‘A Gentleman In Moscow’ Episode 5 Recap & Ending Explained: Is Nina Dead?


I mean, Ben Vanstone really didn’t need to go so Ted Lasso with Sofia’s arrival in the Metropol. This week’s episode of A Gentleman in Moscow dresses up like a party clown to amuse the little kid. And while that’s all kinds of sweet, it does become a bit of a drag because it doesn’t know where to stop. In the process, it almost comes off as a movie of its own. There’s a proper conflict that’s diluted by the melodramatic treatment. There’s cringeworthy humor that distorts the characters we’ve come to know. And there’s a resolution that so preposterously downplays the stakes that it trivializes the misery the Count’s supposed to be in. What more could you want?

Spoiler Alert

Can the Count take care of Sofia?

This adorable little girl Nina had to leave behind knew to trust the Count right off the bat. If her mother thought him reliable enough to entrust him with her safekeeping, Sofia could put her arms in the air to be picked up by the Count. The Count’s days of being able to sleep in a chair and not wake up with intense neck pain are long gone. But he let her have the bed nonetheless. She only meant to be nice when she stuck the note she found near the door in his vest. It’s better than waking him up to hand it to him. But the sweet gesture makes him late for one of his appointments with Anna. Walking into Olga and her boyfriend in the bath together makes for a rather awkward predicament for the Count. On top of that, Anna’s furious because she assumed the Count meant for her to take on the role of Sofia’s mother. Lucky for Anna, the Count only meant to borrow a couple of suitcases. He’s got to make Sofia’s stay in the shabby attic room as comfy as possible. Their routines sync pretty soon. But the Count’s absolutely hopeless with a hairbrush in his hand. So Marina’s days balancing her work and taking care of her toddler get a bit harder. Sofia’s come to quickly befriend her Aunty Marina, though. 

Why does the manager want Sofia to leave?

Being brought up by someone who can’t leave the premises of the Metropol isn’t exactly the best thing for Sofia. And the Count isn’t in any denial about that. The staff helps him out as much as they can. But it’s still a bit of a challenge for the Count to keep the little girl entertained. The poor guy just wants to get through the book he needs to read for his odd book club with Osip. He wildly underestimates Sofia’s wit when he plans to keep her occupied with a game of finding a hidden thimble. When it’s his turn, Sofia’s slick to slide the thimble down his pocket and move a chair around so he can be tricked into looking for it in the room. For a kid this smart, the Count can give up on the book for the time being. Osip’s quick to catch that the Count’s lying about having read the book, though. But being the father of a girl, Osip knows how hard it must be for Sofia to be without her parents. So the Count’s pardoned from the meeting. But the conniving and bitter guy that Bishop is, he isn’t too keen on letting the Count keep Sofia in the Metropol. His connection to the party and his promotion to deputy manager unfortunately mean that he has a say in it. Manager Halecki does give the Count a month’s time. He couldn’t possibly risk his life by implying that the orphanages under Stalin’s regime were not top-notch. But a month passes by in a jiffy with no sign of Nina. Even though the Count keeps Sofia’s and his own hopes up by repeating that her mother will be back, he knows deep down how unlikely it is. Telling her that she’ll be going off to an orphanage is a difficult conversation for the Count. The little kid doesn’t quite grasp the bigger schemes at play here. She simply wants to know why the Count won’t keep her if he loves her. 

What’s going on with Anna?

Ever since Stalin’s rejection of her film, Anna’s career has taken a swift fall. The lead role in Boris Milanovich’s new film isn’t enough to keep her mind off the possibility that this might be it for her career. It’s this insecurity that makes her jump to conclusions every time the Count brings up Sofia. He wants the reassurance that Anna will contribute to giving Sofia a normal childhood. But Anna soon gets to know that she isn’t totally paranoid about her career ending. Stalin’s quite taken with the young actress, Mila Federova. Anna wears the smile of defeat gracefully when the Honorable First Actress of the Russian Federation takes her room at the Metropol, a piece of news Bishop delivers with a nasty smirk. Mila’s apologetic tone with Anna at the bar sounds sincere, though. She’s just taken on the lead role that was promised to Anna. I don’t think she means to be rude when she offers Anna the mother’s role in the same film. But you can see why that’d make Anna feel awful about the premature death of her career. Anna’s right about one thing. Mila’s too sweet of a person to make it in the industry. She’s gone ahead and given up the role that was meant to go to Anna. But Anna’s sort of relieved to be done with it all. She has no business starring in films that are meant to endorse Stalin’s lies anyway. But she’s kind enough to give Mila a crucial trick to avoid the creeps in the business.

Is Nina dead?

Sofia came into the Count’s life when he least expected it. You can imagine why having a purpose is crucial for the Count. In a life where the days blend into one another, being needed is the only way the Count can keep his sanity. Sofia’s the kind of person who likes happy endings. He revisits a story he once told Sofia’s mother when she was a young girl. It’s the one with the princess, who, much to Nina’s dismay, didn’t marry the blacksmith’s son. A lot has happened between the story being told to the mother and the daughter. But most importantly, the Count’s personal growth through all this has shown him that there’s no reason the princess can’t marry the blacksmith’s son. Now that Sofia’s the one hearing it, the princess and the blacksmith’s son live happily ever after. 

The Count knows the risks associated with keeping Sofia with him. But he’s also come to love her enough to hate the alternative. Even though she was quite adamant about wanting to stay out of it before, there’s a reason Anna decides to help him out after all. Olga’s taken a liking to Sofia. She even sings to her as she gives her a bath. Anna and Olga have always seemed to share a professional relationship. But there’s this sense that they rely on each other almost blindly. It’s only now that we get to know that Olga “found” Anna when she was around Sofia’s age. Everything Anna has is because someone gave her a shot to grow up and be loved. Anna can’t possibly let Sofia be taken away from the person who loves her the most. 

Anna’s practically saved Nachevko’s life by helping him keep up the pretense of being straight. He doesn’t mind returning the favor now that she’s the one asking for help. When Bishop shows up with the woman who runs the orphanage Sofia’s meant to go to, the Count wears the name she calls him with pride. He’s her uncle. And they can’t separate families. It’s only the Minister of Culture’s approving nod that gives Halecki the courage to defy Bishop. For now, it seems Sofia’s going to be staying with her uncle Alexander. Maybe she’ll even be just as curious about the maze that is Metropol as her mother was.

But as A Gentleman in Moscow‘s ending whisks us away to Siberia’s icy landscape, we realize how badly the Count and Sofia are going to need each other to get through a common loss. Nina couldn’t survive the labor camps. And it’s likely that one of the bodies in the pile that Nina is in belongs to Leo. Stalin’s Russia has orphaned Sofia. The only silver lining is that Sofia now has someone who will protect her fiercely. 

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Lopamudra Mukherjee
Lopamudra Mukherjee
In cinema, Lopamudra finds answers to some fundamental questions of life. And since jotting things down always makes overthinking more fun, writing is her way to give this madness a meaning.

Must Read

DMT Guide

More Like This