Television

Surface Season 1 Episode 5 Review: It Comes In Waves

Here’s the thing. Imagine if someone in Sophie’s life just told her the truth!

Imagine for a second James, Caroline, or Baden sitting her down and telling her everything about the events leading up to the accident, at least from their perspective. Would it be painful and a host of other uncomfortable emotions? Of course.

But everything Sophie is currently doing is fueled by the uncertainty she wakes up with daily as she tries to navigate a life she’s unsure of. Perhaps if the people who claim to care for her were a bit more honest, then most of the events of Surface Season 1 Episode 5 never take place.

All Sophie wants to do is feel comfortable in her own skin and try to make sense of her life. It’s not a lot to ask for in the grand scheme of things, but the pushback she receives from all corners of her life means she has to resort to whatever means necessary to try and regain her memories.

Drugs are never the answer, and Sophie puts herself in a very dangerous situation when she ingests the pills the night of the gala, but she feels like it’s her only path forward at this point.

James has continuously shown that his main goal is to get Sophie to embrace her new reality and leave whatever skeletons may be in her closet behind. Second chance this and second chance that is Jame’s MO.

Meanwhile, Baden is laser-focused on getting James out of the picture and little else.

Hannah seems more in line with James’s way of thinking, but Sophie doesn’t feel safe in that therapy because she doesn’t feel safe with James. And all these reasons lead Sophie to take the pills and then set off on one hell of a night.

You can see with each passing hour how desperate Sophie is to crawl out of the life she feels boxed into, and putting on that dress she knew James would hate was part one of her big night out. The second one is to take off the mask she feels others have placed on her so she can embrace herself.

Baden: There’s nothing wrong with you, Sophie.
Sophie: But what if there is? What if this is something that’s always been in me?
Baden: You decide who you are.
Sophie: Yeah, I hope you’re right.

Sophie’s trip takes her on quite the ride, and it’s once again clear that so much of what Sophie is looking for is tied to the woman she keeps seeing in her memory flashes. It’s someone who knows her intimately and may just hold all the answers she’s looking for, and the series isn’t rushing this reveal.

From what we can gather, mainly based on the memories, Sophie was Tess long before she was Sophie, and this mysterious woman was someone very close to her. The woman had a lot of interesting things to say to her, especially as it relates to the notion of running away.

Claiming that Tess runs away from people after she gets what she wants makes me wonder if that was the original basis for why she was on the ferry that day.

Was she running away from James? Was she running away from everything?

I’ve long thought James was a red herring because they did the most to make him the bad guy. And it’s not like I believe he’s a good guy, but I think he sits more firmly in the gray. He’s got issues for sure, and his relationship had and has many faults, but the biggest question here is, did he try to kill Sophie?

No, I don’t believe he did.

There were big-time problems in their marriage, as they were both engaged in extramarital affairs, but I can’t help but believe James when he says that his main reason for keeping things from Sophie is his desire to start over. It’s misguided, wrong, and dangerous, but I believe that’s what he believes is right.

As we peel back each layer of this story, you can tell there is so much about Sophie we don’t know and cannot even begin to understand. With only a few hours left, hopefully, we get to see not only the events leading up to the ferry accident but also some deeper flashbacks.

The big reveal at the end was a shock because of how they’ve decided to frame James to this point. By placing him in the suspect column, you’re less inclined to think outside the box. Of course, he stole the money for some nefarious reason we don’t know yet and don’t need to know right now!

Whatever James did or does is for a bad reason, and we’re content with that. But when Baden mentioned that James put money into an account for Tess, it was like the record stopped.

For starters, we’re to now assume that James knows “Tess” and also that he wouldn’t be setting aside money for a wife he was planning to kill. That doesn’t make a lot of sense.

So, if you have to take James out of the suspect column and at the very least put him in the middle, who else can you slide over to take his place?

Baden presents as a little creepy here, but he still doesn’t seem like he wants to bring Sophie harm or ever has. His walking around her house and laying down in her bed felt like a way to be closer to this Sophie, although it comes across as weird. Still, it’s probably harmless.

Going toe to toe with James felt like some posturing on his end, especially since he now believes he has the upper hand. It also firmly draws a line in the sand, as there is no going back now and no hiding.

Now, is this ultimately a good thing for Sophie? Not particularly, but Baden doesn’t seem very interested in following rules, so why would he start now?

Sophie effectively “choosing” James was inevitable because if she wants a shot at finally getting some answers, then James will ultimately be her best bet. If she can break him down, maybe she can finally get some semblance of peace.

Though this feels like a story ripe to end on a sour note.

Everything Else You Need To Know

  • Theory time! What if Sophie did something terrible, causing James to take the money from the firm to help get her the money so she could disappear? Maybe James was supposed to go with her, but things went sideways. I’m not sure this is plausible, but I’m now stuck on the money and her running away.
  • I get the imagery of the woman from Sophie’s past constantly being covered in blood should make us believe that she’s dead, but now I believe it less and less.
  • The imagery throughout this hour was exceptional. The cinematography in this series is next level.
  • Harrison is still on my list. There is something a little too smug and arrogant about him that just screams he’s willing to do something shady to benefit himself.

Surface is taking its sweet time unraveling things while simultaneously giving us just enough to keep us invested, and it’s working.

With only three hours left, we are inching toward figuring out how all the players fit in this complicated web and what happened that fateful day on the ferry.

Let me know in the comments what your current theories are and where you think we’re headed next. As always, watch Surface online anytime via TV Fanatic so you can join the conversation.

Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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