The Swarm – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap & Review

Episode 5

At the beginning of episode 5 of The Swarm, we see a box labelled “biohazard” being brought to the university in France. Cecile investigates the carcass of an infected crab transported from Morocco. She is shocked to find how the crab’s specimen reacts with human blood, indicating that most sea animals are poisonous to human health.

Sophie and she talk about the characteristics of vent crabs, which cannot survive on land. This means that either there is a mutation or a new species of crabs altogether. While discussing their new findings, the two friends arrive at discussing the biblical connotations of all the unnatural phenomena they’re experiencing. But more importantly: what is the role of humans in bringing this on themselves?

Sigur tries contacting Tina on her work phone since she won’t pick up her personal number. But to his surprise, Tina no longer works at Hovedstad. It seems that she is as deeply affected by their misgivings as Sigur was. He visits the IMB once again as Lehman explains to him about more sightings of the ice worms. Sigur is alarmed and fascinated by their presence only on those sites where they can do the most damage to mankind.

Charlie has continued her investigation into the sudden light in the footage. She has also identified a distinct sound that is also present in the ROV footage collected by the crew of the sunk Juno. They are identical. Charlie notices that at the time the ship went down, the sea temperatures rose. It was a sudden spike and she believes that what happened to Thorvaldsson and Juno might be connected. Lehman does not want Charlie to investigate any further. He wants her to pack up the station, and come back. Temperates flare up in the room, after which Lehmann walks away.

Sigur goes up to her and Lehmann ruefully confesses she feels guilty. It is normal for someone in her position to have these thoughts. Sigur asks her not to readily dismiss Charlie’s theory. It is also revealed that Sigur studied with Charlie’s mother, Ingrid, at the IMB. He talks to Sato, Mifune’s advisor, and mentions the possibility of all the phenomena being interconnected. At the Vancouver Institute, Alicia is informed by her mother that she is undergoing a procedure the next week. And now, she has to go back.

Sigur contacts Leon to investigate Charlie’s suspicions. Leon tells him that the lab found similar compounds in mussels and whales, two completely different organisms. It is not just a stroke of coincidence. When he gets back home, Sigur is surprised to see Tina inside. He apologizes for not trusting her but Tina doesn’t respond. She announces that she is going away, by herself, implying she broke up with her partner. Sigur announces his feelings to her before she leaves. But Tina still doesn’t respond and bids him farewell.

The video that Leon sends, retrieved from the whales showing the glowing light, has the same audio as the one Charlie identified. It is agreed that a deepwater AUV will be sent to Shetland Island in order to explore Charlie’s theory. Sigur also tags along as he wants to meet her in person.

We see Rhim and everyone at the IMB get an alert about a tsunami forming near the coast of Norway, Denmark, and the Shetland Islands. Rahmi tries to contact Charlie but isn’t able to. Lehmann just gets the word in time to Sigur, who takes appropriate action. Tina, who has gone to her boyfriend’s restaurant, presumably to break up with him, is alarmed when she sees it forming right in front of her eyes. 

All of this calamity happens as one of the slopes has slid due to the ice worms. Charlie sees the tsunami and tries to warn another car that is going in its direction. But Sigur grabs her and brings her to the chopper. As Tina faces her death with the tall tsunami heading her way, she leaves a message for Sigur, saying “I cannot imagine my life without you, either,” echoing his words from before. 

The Episode Review

This is the sort of turning point the viewers were waiting for. Despite the scientifically accurate legwork in the first four episodes, the average Joe doesn’t really connect with infected crabs and lobsters. That might as well have been important in setting up the tall tsunami that swept away one of our main characters, though.

The Swarm has breathed new life into the narrative with a lot of overlap of different storylines. The shape of what the show would look like in the second half is finally beginning to form. Without the interconnectedness, all we had were scattered timelines of quaint ecological and aquatic events. But now, perhaps, there is a chance to form a well-rounded plot that carries dramatic as well as social credit. The commonality of loss and tragedy and a realization of mankind’s horror show are emphasized in this episode.

It will be essential going forward to keep up this momentum and build upon the collective curiosity on the bioluminescence, as well as jolting us with more urgent interventions like the finale of this episode.

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You can read our full season 1 review of The Swarm here!
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