‘Irma Vep’ Episode 5 And 6: Recap And Ending, Explained: Does Rene Vidal Get Replaced?


The fifth and sixth episodes of HBO’s “Irma Vep,” titled “Hypnotic Eyes” and “The Thunder Master,” respectively, build up to Rene reaching the point of no return. He was constantly on the edge, where the chances of him having a mental or emotional breakdown were becoming inevitable. Mira, too, was in a chaotic state of mind after she had indulged with her ex-partner, Eamonn. She knew it was wrong, but she went ahead with it. Zoe, on the other hand, was still infatuated with Mira, and had tried to ask her out indirectly. Mira wasn’t sure what she was going to do. She was finding a lot of new things about herself through the tenure of this film. She was getting to know herself in a better way. So let’s see what happens next on the eventful set of Irma Vep and if René Vidal is able to survive another day without losing his temper. 

About Twisted Fantasies

It seemed like Rene’s problems were never going to end. Something or the other kept hampering his mood. He didn’t like the administrative bit of filmmaking, and very complacently, he owned up to it and left the job to the first AD, Carla, and the producers. Rene had a vision in mind and wasn’t ready to compromise on it even a bit. Time and again, from Edmond to Robert Danjou, most of the actors were trying to add their bit, sometimes in order to have more screen space and sometimes merely to add more significance and prestige to their characters. Rene reached on set and got to know that Robert was thinking that his character, the Grand Vampire, had a romantic angel with Mira’s character, Irma Vep. 

Rene told Robert that he was more of a business partner than a lover, but the old man was in no mood to listen. Rene knew that there was no point arguing with the man, so he directly went to Mira and told her to perform in the manner that he wanted. Rene often did that. Instead of confronting the person who was at loggerheads with him, he would find a way to do as he wished, while keeping the person in the dark, all the while making him believe that he would get what he wanted. Obviously, Robert Danjou felt disrespected and cheated. He was a respected actor in the circuit and had gone out of his way to tell Rene how honored he felt working with him. But Rene had backstabbed him. Edmond Lagrange, too, felt the pinch. He felt that Rene was biased towards Mira.

Whatever she did was validated by him, even if it was opposed to his sensibilities. Edmond had accepted that his character would be overshadowed by Irma Vep completely. He felt terrible about it, but he knew he didn’t have a choice. Surprisingly, the only actor with whom Rene had no issue whatsoever was Gottfried. Infact their sensibilities, likings, and ideologies matched quite a bit. It was surprising because Gottfried was probably the most difficult man to manage on and off set. He was a drug addict, and after shooting, if he was not kept under check, he often disappeared without telling anyone. 

A controversial scene had to be shot, and Rene had waited a long time for it. In that scene, the character of Moreno had hypnotized Irma, and while she was unconscious, he took advantage of her. Rene called that scene “sexy in a perverted way,” but the others felt that he was justifying something that clearly looked like an act of molestation. Though the point had merit, Rene knew that Robert was doing this on purpose to give it back to the director as he didn’t let his character have a romantic angel with that of Irma Vep. He just wanted revenge for not letting him play his character as he wanted, and in reality, he too felt aroused by looking at the scene but didn’t want to accept it. Rene went to Mira to ask her if she felt the same about the scene. Mira said that she felt it was one of the strongest scenes in the TV series and that it shouldn’t be removed. In fact, she also pointed towards the fact that in 1915, when Louis Feuillade shot this scene, Musidora, who was playing Irma Vep, advocated in his favor in front of the police chief, as the set had been shut down by the authorities. Rene had an idea at that very moment. He went to meet Gregory Desormeaux and told him that he wanted to add a new scene and showcase how Musidora would have advocated for the controversial scene, henceforth putting an end to all the hue and cry surrounding it.

‘Irma Vep’ Episode 6: Ending Explained: Does Rene Vidal Get Replaced? 

Gregory met Gautier Parcheminerie and told him about the tension on set because of the feud between Rene and Robert. Gautier was a businessman, and all he cared about was keeping Mira happy. It didn’t matter to him if Rene or somebody else directed the movie, as long as it was being made. Meanwhile, Gottfried went missing, and Carla found him in an unconscious state, hanging from a noose in his room. He used to do such weird things for excitement and to fend for his sexual fantasies. But somehow, the man managed to stay alive. He escaped the hospital and came back to the hotel. The peculiar actor says that it was a usual thing for him to  strangle himself once in a while and that in fact it had boosted his energy.

Rene had decided to kill the character of “The Grand Vampire,” as he was done dealing with Robert and his rebellious attitude. He tells Mira that even Louis Feuillade had done the same thing with the actor named Jean Ayme because of his unprofessionalism. Robert said a few things after his last shot that triggered Rene, so much so that he had a meltdown in front of everybody. 

Rene Vidal left the set and stopped picking up calls from Carla or anyone from the production. Even Mira tried to reach him, but he wasn’t responding to anyone. René visits his therapist and agrees that he loves Mira. But he also knew that he would never make romantic advancements toward her, as he didn’t want her to be subjected to his mood swings. Rene was fully aware that he was not an easy man to deal with. Whenever he was on a shooting schedule, his wife used to leave the house with the kids and stay with her mother. Rene was unbearable at times, and the wife didn’t want her kids to be harassed by his behavior. Gautier had vested Angus, the head of production, with the responsibility of finding a new director, as he was no longer in the mood to bear the tantrums of the ace director and wait for him to come back. 

Angus gets in touch with Herman, who decides to come on board and finish the TV series. Hermann was reaching on Monday, and he couldn’t start shooting until Tuesday. The issue was that insurers had asked the crew to shoot the next day, dismantle the set, and vacate it as soon as possible. So it was decided that Regina, who was Mira’s assistant and also a film student, would be given the mantle to shoot for that one day. Regina uses the work of Kenneth Anger as her inspiration. Mira, after indulging with Eamonn, had decided that she would put an end to it. She texted him, saying not to call or message her ever again. Laurie had accompanied Herman, and Mira knew that she was in town. She had tried contacting her, but Laurie didn’t respond. Mira puts on her Irma Vep catsuit and decides to pry upon Herman and Laurie. She merges the boundary between her character and her reality and witnesses the couple getting intimate. Herman tells Laurie that she was toying with Mira, unnecessarily, by not responding to her messages. Laurie had always felt that she was a puppet whose sole purpose was to serve her master, Mira. She was done being submissive and wanted to set the rules of the game herself.

Mira was disheartened as she had said yes to the film only because of Rene, and now with Laurie coming back to Paris, complications were expected to increase even more. It would be interesting to see if Rene Vidal has a change of heart and decides to once again come back on set, or abides by the decision he had taken to stay in hiding. 

See More: ‘Irma Vep’ Episode 3 & 4: Recap & Ending, Explained: Why Did Rene Want To Meet Mira? What Happened To Eamonn?

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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