Sullivan’s Crossing – Season 1 Episode 5 “Pressure Drop” Recap & Review

Pressure Drop

Episode 5 of Sullivan’s Crossing begins with Maggie practising for her deposition. Her session is interrupted by Phoebe, her mother, who once again offers to pay for her lawyers. She asks Maggie to come back to the city but Maggie turns her down. Maggie goes to the cafe after a quick run, where she learns from Syd that Finn, Rob’s son, got kicked out of the baseball tournament as he got into a fight. Syd swears her to secrecy as she doesn’t see the issue as too important. 

Frank is healthy enough to be discharged from the hospital. But he is still frail as Edna and Sully help him to his pet spot right outside the lodge. He has a moment alone with Maggie, who expresses her guilt over being responsible for Frank getting shot. Why? Because she didn’t mention Chelsea’s frustrations to anyone. Frank quite rightly shoots her guilt down as it is completely unfounded on reason. Given her situation, Frank also advises Maggie not to obsessively chase “control of her life.”

If she does so, Maggie might never discover where life will take her. When Maggie goes back inside, she sees Edna burst into tears. Edna confides in Maggie that she realized after this incident how little time she has left with Frank. The epiphany that all of this might end soon has galvanized her incentive to make the most of it from now onwards. When Cal visits the store, Maggie does not waste the opportunity to ask him why he has been avoiding her.

Cal apologizes and explains that he has had a lot on his mind lately. They agree to meet later at Sully’s house to discuss her deposition. Jackson shows Sully a news piece that brands Sullivan’s Crossing as an unsafe place to visit. This has also led to many bookings being cancelled. Sully is shaken and understands that this might be the final nail in the campground’s fortunes. What will save them now?

While practising together, Cal advises Maggie to give as little information as possible to the lawyers and keep her answers short. He shows her how anxious she gets while answering questions related to the case. Maggie must work on this if she has to come on top of this legal conflict. He also mentions his wife, Lynne, in passing. But he doesn’t tell Maggie that she passed away a few years ago due to ALS. Maggie inadvertently tells Rob about Finn’s expulsion, prompting him to confront Syd later in front of customers.

A miffed Syd calls Maggie later and reprimands her for her loose tongue. But Maggie has a more serious problem to deal with as Walter, her stepfather, shows up unexpectedly. Sully and he share cold greetings. They do not like each other one bit. On a walk, Walter advises Maggie to take “control of her life” to make the most of it…something that goes directly against what Frank advised her to do earlier. Sully has a tussle with Phillips at the bank when he asks them to consider giving him another line of credit.

It is his desperation that takes over. Cal goes over to Roy’s house to install the safety rails and the two get to talking about life, especially their partners. Roy even reveals that he was in prison at one point – an innocuous mistake – but it was Ruthie’s appearance in his life that saved him. It is revealed that Sully turned to drinking after Phoebe told him about her new marriage with Walter. Despite wanting to see Maggie, Sully wasn’t allowed that opportunity by Phoebe at a time when he was vulnerable. 

Everything goes awry when he gets a little too drunk at the bar and arrives at Walter’s cabin. Sully asks him to leave the campsite and the two get into an argument. Walter keeps berating Sully and insults him as a drunk loser who could never have shown Maggie the right way in life. In that moment, Sully punches him brutally. When Maggie learns of it, she immediately packs her bags and leaves the campground, just as she did all those years ago with Phoebe. Sully is left ruing his mistakes, losing the second chance he had to make amends.

The Episode Review

Sully’s financial woes continue to pile on as his character arc finally gets attention. One running criticism I have had of Sullivan’s Crossing is its lack of well-roundedness in terms of developing characters. The tension without backdrop is biteless and frail. It is important to pitch the story right by shoring up all ingredients of storytelling.

Other than his money worries, Sully’s emotional scars set the tone in this episode. This is also the first time we see what happened when Phoebe rooted Maggie out of his life. I am not a big fan of writers painting a story in black and white. And hence, it will be significant to see Phoebe’s side as well. I found her characterization to be a little problematic in the episode.

Chad Murray continues to impress and build Cal as the foundation of Sullivan’s Crossing. His calm, soothing, and assured voice is foremost in establishing that. While the melodrama remains intense, thus stopping me from giving the episode a decent rating, there is a noticeable improvement…although the bar remains fairly low. 

Previous Episode

Next Episode

You can read our full Season 1 review of Sullivan’s Crossing here!
  • Episode Rating

Leave a comment