Danny’s Father Ed is the character we follow this time around in episode 5 of Tales From The Loop. We begin with him in hospital watching over Danny as he lies in a coma. The familiar rhythmic thumping nicely edits across to the basement where we see him teaching Beth how to box. Unfortunately when the power goes off, it prompts their session to come to a close.
In the morning, and refusing any help on fixing the breaker, Ed heads to work but finds himself unable to talk to his boss as he goes about his usual day, devoid of life or excitement. At the bar some time later, he talks to Logan and learns someone broke into his house. Although they didn’t take anything, it’s enough for Ed to start growing concerns about protecting his family.
On the way home, Ed stops the car as he sees three boys bullying Beth, having taken her two-legged robot toy and run off. Collecting up Beth and taking her home, Ed blames Kate for what happened to her before heading back down to the basement to get his anger out.
That evening, Ed senses someone trying to break in and heads out to investigate. When he doesn’t see anything, despite the front door being wide open, the police arrive and start asking questions too. He and Kate have a very different way of dealing with this situation though and in the aftermath of this, Ed finds himself unable to sleep.
Instead, Ed gets himself a security droid to watch over the house. Obsessed, Ed spends all night outside keeping watch with it. It certainly seems to help keep his mind at ease and soon after, he heads to the hospital to check on Danny.
Ed continues his day to day grind, teaching Beth how to use the robot. Only, in the basement Beth notices sparks and steam flying from the breaker-box and Ed scrambles down to switch it off. Having left Beth outside with the robot, Klara and Ed head back out again and see her training and bonding with it.
Despite his desire to keep the neighbourhood and family safe, the other neighbours raise concerns to the police about Ed’s obsession with the droid. The officers then tell him they’re going to start monitoring the situation going forward.
That night, Jakob shows up at Beth’s door and signs to her. She heads out to see him and leaves the door wide open. As she does, it pricks Ed’s ears as he believes someone is breaking in. Ironically this is just Beth and Jakob outside but Ed heads over with the robot and punches a hole in the barn. When Beth reveals herself, Kate snatches up their daughter and heads inside as Ed shuts the machine down, realizing he’s gone too far.
In the aftermath of this, Kate and Beth leave, deciding to stay at Henry’s as Ed apologises to Danny in the hospital and hands over the robot, selling it back to its original owner. With a renewed purpose, Ed fixes the breaker in the basement and welcomes Beth and Kate back home. Their relationship remains rocky but for Beth, Ed makes more of an effort which is where the episode ends.
Although this episode adds themes around control, belonging and family, the execution is lacking with a slow pace that meanders along and not much in the way of a twist or big emotional moments along the way. Easily the weakest of the episodes so far, the only stand out theme comes from the poetic irony of Ed’s desire to keep his family safe. While he tries so hard to keep people from breaking in, it’s ultimately the breaker-box and what he himself has caused that could have cost the family dearly.
Beyond this interesting idea though, the episode fails to really instill that much excitement and ultimately ends up a bit forgettable.