Look for The Changeling to get weirder as we go, and probably darker.
This article will contain spoilers from episode 5 of the Changeling
The Changeling Episode 5 Plot Summary
To continue with the pattern established in episode 4, we start in the past. Emma is wandering through a forest in Brazil and happens upon the lady by the waterfall who gave her the bracelet. Unlike what we previously thought, she doesn’t immediately go see the lady. She leaves the forest and returns to the town where she is staying.
The townspeople tell her that the woman is a witch and that Emma should never return. Instead of taking their advice, Emma returns to the waterfall and receives the bracelet. She returns to the town where she hitches a ride with a man. This man takes her into the jungle for some photos, clearly, the photographer that was discussed in episode one.
Emma takes the photos herself, using a timer, and then the man develops them sometime later. Right before the image is revealed, we cut to a different man, the art gallery owner who purchased and displayed the image. This man finds the photo online, still not revealing the actual photo or Emma’s supposed facial expression.
The image is delivered to the art gallery, and we see what looks to be William and his young daughter across the street. After a few moments, the photo is revealed and we get to see Emma’s intense glare.
Apollo is still in his prison cell, but he finds a message carved into one of the posts that seems to have been written by Emma. Cal and her guards come to the cells, only to be greeted by William listing off many facts about Cal’s previous life. Cal retorts with an accusation, saying William killed his daughter.
Cal releases Apollo from his cage with promises of a second chance. They walk through some bushes, Cal refusing to give Apollo any concrete information on Apollo’s whereabouts.
The story flashes back to Emma on a rooftop, talking to Brian. She remembers the night of her wedding, wishing she could be happy like that for her son. Flashing forward, Emma is at work at the library, posting on The Wise Ones’ Facebook page. She voices her concerns about Brian and immediately receives a message from Cal about the disappearing text messages.
Cal and Apollo keep walking, and Cal suddenly gives Apollo a copy of ‘To The Water and The Wild’. Cal talks about her time with Emma, and then the story jumps back to Emma with the baby.
Emma is struggling to come to terms with what she is experiencing while nobody else believes her. She stops taking her medication and instead accepts Cal’s help. Emma is seen bringing the chains into Brian’s room. She is distraught about what she is about to do but goes through with it anyway.
Cal explains to Apollo that he and William entered a new world when they entered the waters surrounding Brothers Island. The pair arrive at what looks to be a village. Cal shows Apollo the school, where many children are seen inside.
The story jumps back to Emma when she was talking to the priest about baptizing Brian. She chooses to baptize Brian in an attempt to cleanse him of whatever evil is inside him.
Apollo and Cal discuss Emma’s effort to restock the village’s library. Emma went to and from the island weekly to retrieve more books. Cal discusses how the island came to be, and how children end up there along with their mothers. She tells Apollo that The Wise Ones are in fact witches, and Apollo and Emma are caught in a terrible fairy tale.
Apollo asks Cal about talking to Greta, but she isn’t interested in that idea. Cal tells Apollo he can talk to her in the evening if Greta wants to talk to him. Shr leaves Apollo at the library to read to the children.
Everyone in the village gathers for Cal’s puppet show. Apollo is introduced to Greta. Greta reveals that William sent her ‘To Kill A Mocking Bird’ with her daughter’s name written on every page. He also bought the book using every penny that Greta had. Apollo, filled with rage returns to the jail to find William.
William is emotional but doesn’t deny the accusations. Instead, he walks towards Apollo and reveals that he isn’t actually William. His face has changed, no longer the meek man he once was, and his tone has changed. He reveals to Apollo that he is the man responsible for some of the horrible messages on Brian’s tribute Facebook page.
The Changeling Episode 5 Review
Again, a great start, a very mediocre middle, and a fantastic ending. The Changeling continues to develop a really cool world around our characters, and episode 5 is no exception. Brothers Island is a full-blown society hidden from society, and it’s a cool detail. There are a bunch of women on the island, and it really magnifies how often Emma’s situation occurs in this world.
To start the episode, we end up in Brazil. The scenery is beautiful, with stunning imagery of the forest and the river. That beautiful imagery continues throughout the episode, with the nature shots of the island. The details put into the different buildings and areas on the island were really cool. It felt like a fully developed society, which was a lot more than I was expecting based on the last episode.
Apollo continues to flesh out, and I really like the character. LaKeith Stanfield is fantastic in this show, and he continues to get better week in and week out. Samuel T. Herring is great as well, but golly does his character fall down a rabbit hole in this episode. William goes from kinda weird, kinda creepy, to actually evil. I knew he’d get weird on us, I just didn’t expect him to be so dark so quickly.
The ending is again the highlight of this episode, really opening the door for the final three episodes to be dark. The weird magical lore started to form in this episode, so I fully expected episode 6 to be even further down that rabbit hole. William going full evil demon on us wasn’t on my bingo card, but I like the twist. I was thinking he might end up having a redemption arc, but that’s out of the picture now.
The only negative in this episode was the frequent flashbacks. Yes, the pacing slowed down, but it wasn’t terrible. The number of flashes between the present and the past made the storytelling more choppy. I do like that they are using the flash-backs to show instead of tell, but it was too broken up. The piecemeal approach didn’t work as well as the longer flashbacks that were used in previous episodes.
The continuity of both the present and the past storylines was better when the flashbacks were longer, so hopefully we get back to that style in the remaining episodes.
Our actors are doing great, the story is really picking up, and the world-building has been great so far. I don’t know where our story is headed, but I am really enjoying the path we are on right now. Look for this show to get weirder as we go, and probably darker.