Surface – Season 1 Episode 6 Recap & Review

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Episode 6 of Surface starts with Sophie speaking to James in the front room. Sophie encourages him to start from the beginning, where we jump back in time and see where James’ money woes began.

We arrive at a bar where a business meeting for James goes awry, including an expensive bottle of red wine they splashed out on for $300. Funnily enough, James gets talking to the waitress, who happens to be Sophie.

He encourages her to sit with him and drink, eventually inviting her back to his boss’ place, trying (in vain) to pass it off as his own. Sophie sees straight through his façade, but James apologizes and admits he was just trying to impress her.

She accepts his apology and decides they should at least enjoy this place while they have it. A night of drinking and starting at the sunrise while dipping their feet in the pool allows the conversation to open up. James admits that he’s thinking of leaving the firm given he’s perceived as an outsider and will never be looked at as “one of them.”

The pair eventually get the train home, where they seal their tie with a kiss. There’s an interesting little reflection to the left of them, which nicely juxtaposes the double-lives these two have been living. It’s a nice visual motif.

These flashes through time continue, as Sophie lies about how she and James met to both Caroline and her partner at work, Harrison. Sophie talks a big game and speaks to Vince Hawkins, convincing him that James is a big deal and the highest earner at the firm. This is an outright lie but Sophie shrugs it off when James admits he’s concerned, claiming it’s no different than his lies about where he lived.

James tries to tell Sophie that this could cause him to lose his job, but she convinces him to keep playing this game and double-down on the lies and gameplaying.

Harrison is concerned at work, telling James that there’s something off with Sophie and he’s concerned. He goes on to warn James that her past isn’t exactly an open book and he needs to be careful. James gets defensive and tells him to lay off his “future wife.”

Harrison does no such thing though and on their housewarming party, he confronts Sophie upstairs. He’s concerned that James is being played and is looking out for his wellbeing. “Well, what the f*ck are you doing with him?” “Trying to deserve him.” Is Sophie’s reply. Interestingly, James happens to be listening from the stairwell.

James has won and made it big in the next flash forward, but there are visible cracks beginning to form in this relationship. Sophie is continuing to pedal her “James has tripled his money” story, but James pulls her aside and tells her she can drop the charade now. “Can’t you just enjoy the moment?” He rasps.

This is the turning point. James is the one who apologizes to Sophie (even though she’s the one to blame) and that shift in their relationship eventually leads to Sophie cheating on him, the pair growing apart and James knowing his wife is being unfaithful, courtesy of the security cameras he has installed at the holiday home. So naturally, this brings him over to Caroline, worried that he’s losing Sophie. The pair end up having sex in the heat of the moment.

When James heads back home, he confronts Sophie about her cheating but she turns it around. When she finds out about him sleeping with Caroline, James is forced to apologize. Sophie takes the high road… for some reason. James tells her he loves her no matter what but Sophie shrugs that off.

Things go from bad to worse when James decides to trust Sophie over a business deal. Sensing something up, he decided to watch her, where he noticed Sophie head to the bank and hide money from them. He also followed her to the pier. He was unsure where she was going but eventually confronted her after draining their account. It turns out she’s been planning this for ages but Sophie justifies her actions as he left her behind long ago. And she even left him a letter back home, explaining how she wanted to leave him.

James wasn’t responsible for what happened to Sophie at the pier, but learning of her injuries he decides to use this as a fresh start. He covered up everything that happened between them to try and make things right with his wife.

In the present, James admits that he’ll always love Sophie, and decides they should just move past what’s happened.

The Episode Review

Well this episode really doesn’t paint Sophie in a particularly positive light. It does her character absolutely no favours in what’s otherwise been a series on thin ice from the start. I’m struggling to empathize with Sophie’s plight when she (in her own words) is a pretty “shitty person.”

The fact that Sophie takes no responsibility for her actions through these flashes, while James has been forced to apologize for everything is pretty telling, and it’s something that’s bogged this show down into mediocre waters over the past few weeks.

This chapter ultimately works to flesh out more of James and Sophie’s past, but anyone could have guessed that James wasn’t directly involved in what happened to her back in episode 2. Still, we’ve got 2 more episodes left and if you’re still along for the ride, it seems we’re on course for some well-deserved answers.

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