Episode 5 of Women At War opens by giving us a peek at what’s going on with one of the Protagonists Suzanne. She and Lucien leave the German spaces that day, and she finds herself held captive in a challenging trap.
As soon as they touch down, Suzanne attempts to flee while telling two French soldiers who Lucien is. However, Lucien is quick on his feet and kills them before they have a chance to hurt him. Knowing that Suzanne and Joseph seem to be infatuated with each other, Lucien seizes the opportunity and threatens Suzanne, telling her that he’ll kill Joseph. Suzanne is now compelled to follow Lucien’s orders.
To make up for having spent the night with Till, Agnes harms herself the following morning. Since her actions have gone against everything she stood for, she seems to be wracked with guilt. She completely ignores Till, and while she’s at it, ignores her feelings for him as well.
Marguerite tends to ignore her responsibilities at the whorehouse, and Marcel’s sister Yvonne is adamant that he should discipline Marguerite for her missteps. Marguerite then ignores their opinion and heads for the headquarters.
General Duvernet invites all four protagonists to the headquarters. Their initiatives have pleasantly surprised the president, Mr. Raymond Poincaré, who wishes to appreciate them in the hopes that it will inspire other women across the nation. Using this great opportunity, Marguerite asks General Duvernet to find accommodation facilities for the ex-brothel turned ambulance-driving women.
Caroline is concerned about the production plant because Charles has the potential to ruin everything. Things seem to be getting trickier for her now that her partner has passed away. Caroline is encouraged to carry the company forward by Marguerite, who reassures her that she has improved the company’s reputation.
Charles might try to make things difficult for the household, though, so Caroline chooses to keep Dewitt’s passing hidden from the family. If Charles doesn’t seize this chance, he will have to join the front lines in the field. Charles seems to have 24 hours to transform the production plant into an ammunition manufacturing unit. In order to prevent that from happening, Marcel and Charles plan to kill Caroline, and Marcel hands him a pistol to do the job.
Suzanne refuses to attend the celebration, which leads to an argument between Lucien and Suzanne at the convent. But since he wishes to get close to the President, Lucien blackmails her into going. She is unwilling to reveal her identity as this ceremony will be covered by photographers and reporters. He takes out a photo of Claudine, his girl, and his partner.
He explains that he was a former member of the French Intelligence, however the German authorities murdered Lucien’s partner and kidnapped his daughter after someone revealed his identity to them. The only thing that could save Claudine is for Lucien to release information about the next move the French army will make.
Somebody has been watching Agnes back at the convent. Her door seems to have a defect in it, making it simpler for the person to peek inside her space. Father Vautrin unexpectedly knocks on Agnes’ door to praise her for receiving a national honor. She generally accompanies the other nuns at his prayer services and discussions. Agnes has been acting differently and Vautrin notices it, so he coerces her into making a confession. Agnes declines and decides to confess on another day.
The next evening, Till visits Agnes’ room. Agnes refuses to accept his suggestion of choosing him because she values her life as a mother. Agnes starts to feel bad about herself because the other nuns have been praising Agnes for her achievement. Agnes feels guilty because she is aware that she has compromised her vow to God. Agnes exits the room while sobbing and Suzanne follows her and defends her actions. She makes an effort to speak with Agnes and reassures her that loving someone is not wrong.
As a consequence of Marguerite’s partnership with Caroline, which further enables her to regularly visit the army quarters, she and Colin begin communicating on a daily basis. Colin extends an invitation to Marguerite to join him as well as the other soldiers for lunch. Marguerite and Colin start talking about her private life, but when it gets too personal, she brushes it off.
For financial gain, Marcel and Yvonne hire young girls. The young girl is persuaded by Marguerite to not get involved, and she is then sent away. The following evening, Marcel makes an effort to get Marguerite more actively involved in the prostitution work. He proposes an offer wherein Marguerite would receive a bigger percentage if she agrees to be his partner. Marguerite thereafter refuses to work with Marcel because she is aware that he has been infatuated with her.
During the celebration, President Poincaré thanks the four women for their contributions and presents them with badges. Marguerite, on the other hand, is delighted to have her kid present at the celebration. Marguerite then thanks Colin and assures him that she quit the whorehouse work, and also that he was the one who encouraged her to do so. When Marguerite realizes that Colin has grown to love her, everything changes. Caroline tries to ask her not to leave, however, the two end up arguing about the past.
Away at the convent, Lucien makes an effort to get along with the President. Suzanne and Lucien are invited for drinks by President Poincaré, but she claims to be ill in order to call off the discussion. Suzanne goes on to tell Lucien that she’ll never desert her country and its people. When Lucien completely loses control, he slaps Suzanne, causing her to drop to the floor. Joseph, thankfully, shows up and stops Lucien from striking her harder.
General Duvernet and President Poincaré are debating over a new plan of attack to beat the German army. The President then presents the idea that Lucien could help them by using his skills to conduct reconnaissance over the enemy’s front line. General Duvernet is aware that he was found impaired for any service, but the President still wishes to give him another opportunity to help them.
Caroline’s whereabouts are being monitored by Charles. He pursues Caroline and chooses the ideal time to shoot and kill her. Charles points his gun at Caroline but is unable to fire at the crucial moment. At the same time, Eleonore is contacted by the Mayor who informs her of her son’s death. Eleonore is infuriated by the situation and accuses Caroline of lying. Madeleine walks away after overhearing their interaction.
Charles goes to the production plant at night and injures himself with a pounding machine. He collapses to the ground thereafter. While this is going on, Till ends up leaving the convent after unintentionally overhearing Agnes’ interaction with Suzanne, so Agnes is forced to give up her love.
Till writes a letter to Agnes and tends to leave it by her door before actually leaving the convent. He informs her of his immediate move to Switzerland. She leaves her room quickly and makes every effort to locate Till. However, he has already left. Agnes immediately hears Father Vautrin’s voice speaking from the backyard and discovers that he has been assaulting many nuns in the church.
The Episode Review
The episode ends on a cliffhanger, with Father Vautrin being caught by Mother Agnes for molesting nuns at the convent. Father Vautrin appears to be a shady character from the start, and this new development isn’t particularly shocking; however, one can’t help but wonder if it’s Father Vautrin who is keeping tabs on Mother Agnes.
This episode takes the show in a new direction too, and it appears to be overly dramatic in terms of the issues it chooses to focus on. For instance, the addition of the Oedipus complex element to the mother/son relationship between Suzanne and Colin is unsettling and seems unnecessary.
You can read our full season review for Women At War Season 1 here!