‘Surface’ Episode 5: Recap And Ending, Explained: Why Had James Actually Stolen The $13 Million From His Firm?


With the release of Episode 5, “Surface” now starts to tighten its plot and round up questions that have been unanswered so far. The protagonist, Sophie, is ready to go beyond any bounds to uncover her lost memories, and she finally takes a step based on information about an experimental method she has gathered from various sources. On the other side, James finally realizes that he can no longer live with his secrets, and he decides that the best way out is to reveal everything to his wife.

Spoilers Ahead

‘Surface’ Episode 5: Recap And Ending

As Sophie sits by the beach thinking of the information she has just received from her therapist, Hannah, about her own mother, very early memories seem to return. Hannah had revealed that Sophie’s mother suffered from a psychotic disorder, something that could be hereditary, and Sophie remembered spending joyful time with her mother by the beach when she was a child. Baden soon joins her, and she tells him all of this, and also expresses how she is tired of pretending to be the good, docile housewife to James. The police officer promises that he has nearly got his hold on incriminating evidence, and the two then spend romantic hours at his house. Here, Baden receives a call from Todd, the IT guy at James’ firm, whom he had earlier tricked into working for him. Todd had been given the responsibility to copy all data from James’ office laptop and hand it over to Baden; the man manages to do so, nearly avoiding being caught, as he sneaks into James’ room when everyone else is out for lunch. Over the phone, Todd asks Baden to give him some more drugs in return, which leads Baden to open up a secret stash of hallucinogenic drugs that he has kept in his house as part of his undercover investigation, and this is seen by Sophie as well. The woman tries to tell her lover how she has recently learned that hallucinogens can be effectively used to recover forgotten memories, but Baden warns her about the dangers of such drugs, much like Hannah had said earlier. Nonetheless, Sophie decides not to let such a chance go by, as she is now desperate to know and understand her past, and she slips out a few capsules from Baden’s secret stash.

Baden meets up with his insider and goes through the data that has been recovered from James’ laptop, but he quickly realizes that there is nothing incriminating in it at all. Todd tells him about a different laptop that James uses, one that he always carries home with him at the end of the day, and the police officer decides that he needs to get hold of the data on it. He chooses that very night to break into the man’s house and try and steal the data, as James and Sophie would be attending a social event at the time. Meanwhile, as James grows more concerned about the missing money, as Caroline has still not sent in the loan she had promised, his close friend Harrison tells him of a large loan that he has managed to procure for James. Harrison is sure that their company would stop investigating the matter as soon as the missing money was recovered, and he convinces James of the same. After work, James returns home to see Sophie all dressed up for the meeting’s event, which is a gala thrown by Caroline. The husband is once again seen disapproving of his wife’s clothes, as he was seen in “Surface” Episode 1, but this time Sophie does not care about his opinion. Back to back, she lets him know that she knows about his constant keeping tabs on her psychological health through Hannah, and then that she knows about his affair with Caroline. Taken aback by the latter, James tries to tell her how both of them have made mistakes, but Sophie does not pay much attention, and instead takes the hallucinogens before heading to the gala. Once there, she receives Baden’s urgent request to somehow get hold of her husband’s phone and let him into their house silently, which Sophie manages to do by rather crudely pretending to be loving to James. When Baden confirms his entry, she once again leaves James’ side and goes away on her own. After some time, James grows wary of where his wife is, and she asks Caroline about the same and also confronts her about telling about their relationship to Sophie. Caroline clearly states that she considers Sophie a close friend and has felt terrible when she has been struggling to understand her past, and once more tries to convince James to tell Sophie the whole truth.

Sophie goes around the grand gala venue on her own, and now the hallucinogenic drugs are starting to have an effect. She hallucinates seeing paintings move and then imagines herself to be a woman in a painting who is also drowning. When one of James’ colleagues tries to inquire about her well-being, the woman is discomforted even more, and she goes away from the gala by herself. She walks over to the bar she used to frequent before her accident, and her hallucinations only get worse from here on. Imagining a random stranger sitting by her to be her past lover, the woman who always kept calling her Tess in her memories, Sophie spills her drink. She is joined by this same woman on the dance floor, and the hallucinations now seriously scare her out of the place. All the traffic lights look blurry now, as Sophie traverses the empty night streets alone. Baden had earlier completed transferring all the data he needed as solid evidence against James, and he had informed Sophie about this via voice messages. However, since the woman has been missing for so long, both Baden and James grow concerned about her, and the two now come face-to-face for the first time. Baden introduces his identity as a police officer and also as Sophie’s lover, and James’ reaction makes it clear that he did not know the man, despite knowing that Sophie had a lover. As both of them keep waiting for Sophie, she is seen walking to the harbor, where she hallucinates jumping into the water once again. However, she wakes up the next morning on a bench on the harbor and realizes that she had fallen asleep there. She asks a worker about a ferry that is docked there, and what she learns about its destination seems to make things much clearer to her. At once, she returns home and ignores Baden, who had still been waiting outside James’ house. Instead, Sophie walks straight into James’ house and confronts him about telling her the actual truth.

What Are The Revelations That Episode 5 Makes About Sophie?

During her delirious hallucinogenic frenzy, Sophie had listened to the voice messages Baden had sent her, but seemed not to have listened to them in entirety. What she had heard was that James had wired $3.1 million dollars to a bank account downtown exactly on the day before her accident or suicide attempt, and Baden was confident that this money was actually sent to some professional hitman who had pushed Sophie into the water. However, when Sophie listens to the message again the next morning, something completely different strikes her. Baden’s voice in the message also mentions the bank account holder’s name where James had sent the money—a woman called Tess Caldwell. By now, Sophie knows this name well enough, as she has been referred to by that name multiple times in her memories. She realizes what is going on, and upon confronting James at the very end of “Surface” Episode 5, her suspicions are indeed revealed to be true. The money that was stolen from James’ firm was actually taken by Sophie, as her real name before the accident was probably Tess, and the husband was only trying to cover for his wife during all this time.

Although it might seem unclear as to why Sophie had stolen such a large amount of money, the other side of her character that “Surface” Episode 5 reveals becomes influential in answering this. When Sophie hallucinates her past lover in the random woman she sits beside at the bar, the two women have an imaginary conversation, which is really about Sophie’s conscience asking her the difficult questions. The two women then go on to dance together, and here too, the past lover’s memory haunts Sophie. It is now that the woman tells Sophie how she has always cared only for herself and has always left people and situations as soon as her purpose was served. Sophie is apparently someone who does not care about the mess that she creates behind her before she leaves every situation, unfairly thwarting that responsibility on those unfortunate to have been close to her. The imaginary lover also tells Sophie, referring to her as Tess, that she cannot always run from who she is and from what her past is, and while saying all this, she is seen to bleed fatally from her head. This woman was also seen fatally injured in Sophie’s memory in the earlier episodes of “Surface,” and although it might seem far-fetched, it looks like  Sophie might have had something to do with her death. Or at least, she could have probably prevented it and chose to stay away. What becomes important here is Sophie’s habit of creating a mess and running away from it, and it seems that she was on a similar routine this time as well. When she asks the worker at the harbor about where the docked boat goes, he says that it goes over to some industrial peninsula that has an airport for private planes. It becomes clear that Sophie was trying to escape the mess she had created this time, via the airport that would allow her an exit.

What To Expect Next From ‘Surface’ Episode 6?

At the end of Episode 5 James promises Sophie that he will now tell her the whole truth, and this revelation obviously becomes the biggest thing to look forward to. Whether there are any more secrets as well, with regards to James, Caroline, and Sophie, could also be seen. Who the past lover is and what led to her fate is also important, as it is clear that Sophie had a role to play in it. Lastly, if this new revelation is what had actually happened, then why has Baden spun some different tale? This, and Baden’s real intentions, will also perhaps be something that “Surface” focuses on next.

See More: ‘Surface’ Episode 6: Recap & Ending, Explained: What Happened Between Sophie & James Before The Accident?

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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