Nine Perfect Strangers Season 1 Episode 5 Review: Sweet SurrenderLaura Nowak at .
Between a 21st birthday party and some expected visitors, Nine Perfect Strangers Season 1 Episode 5 was, by far, my favorite.
The guests struggled to tell the difference between reality and fiction thanks to the higher dosage in their smoothies. Some of these realities were hilarious, while others were heartbreaking.
In the middle of the night, Zoe envisioned her dead twin brother Zach. She thought she must be messed up since he's not real.
Zach: Why do you keep telling everyone we weren’t close?
Zoe: You’re not real. You’re not real.
Zach: I’m standing right here, Zoe.
It was the first time Zoe truly expressed her grief. She's constantly in denial and watching her admit how lonely she was made me cry. It's never easy to lose a sibling but to lose her twin crushed her.
She missed him every day, and she was finally able to say it aloud to her brother and, later, to her mom. Zoe finally looked freer, like she might be able to enjoy her birthday.
The other guests had unbelievable dreams, too. I love how excited Napoleon was that he sang as a Beatle. It was a shame that when he serenaded everyone at breakfast, it triggered Carmel.
Lars had the strangest dream since he dreamed he gave birth, and Tony was the dad. Both men were triggered by that dream with their thoughts of being a dad.
Lars is terrified to bring a baby into this world, even though Ray, his ex-boyfriend, really wanted them to have a child.
Lars: I think the world is a tough place for a kid right now
Zoe: Was it a tough place for you as a child?
Living in the LGBTQ community was difficult for Lars, and he wasn't sure he'd wish his child to go through similar ridicule. The world can bully the LGBTQ community for their choices, but they can be cruel to the children of these couples, too.
On the other hand, Tony regrets the time he missed with his children, and that baby dream brought up bad memories. It reminded him of when football and drinking, and drugs were more important than seeing his children's births.
Now he's sober, facing all these hard truths, and he's not sure he likes himself much. However, Frances is always there to comfort and support him.
Frances's dream seemed real. I really thought Paul came to see her. I hated him onsight. He belittled her books and her writing style.
As a writer, I know constructive feedback is helpful, but not when someone was as rude as he was.
I read your books. All of them. There’s not a hint of truth in any of them. They’re so gimmicky. You don’t dig in. You just take a little bit of romance and the topical cocktail of your choice- sexism, racism, ableism. There is no story at all, just isms.Paul
It enraged me that Paul said that he came up there to see if he could find any good qualities in her so she'd be worthy of his love. That guy was a complete jerk, and I'm glad it was only a dream.
However, it's obvious Frances struggles with those negative thoughts about herself, and she was traumatized after she passed out in front of everyone.
Our two married couples grew stronger. Their stories are so different from the book; it's like night and day.
By this point in the book, Jessica and Ben's relationship was so strained that they were contemplating an amicable divorce. Here, they're talking about spending their money on passion projects and becoming passionate with each other again.
Jessica: Sometimes I wish I could surrender all that money. I really hate that money.
Ben: I guess there’s no going back, right? Unless… we spend the money on projects we used to be passionate about like we did in high school.
The happy couple solidified their reunion by having sex in the hot tub. Carmel spotted them, and it sent her into an emotional breakdown.
There is something about Jessica that triggers her and reminds her of her ex's new friend. She lost it and vented to Lars who saw crying.
I get sick of pretending, pretending to be okay, okay with me. Okay with his happy life, okay with pretending to be happy for the sake of my kids. Happy that it doesn’t bother me to see married couples, even unhappy ones, do what married couples do, like fucking in a hot tub! Why does that trigger me?”Carmel
Napolean means well, but sometimes he grates on my nerves as much as does on Heather's. I couldn't believe he implied that she never has fun. I do believe diving off that cliff was the best thing for them. They need some adventure to get their marriage and life back on track.
I was totally surprised when Masha apologized to Delilah and admitted how much she needed her and inquired what she needed to stay at Tranquillum House and be happy.
Masha: What do you need?
Delilah: I need you to stop fucking Yao.
I never saw that kiss coming. I assumed Delilah wanted to keep Yao to herself. Kidman and Boone have awesome chemistry. It just wasn't a direction I was expecting. I'm eager to see where it goes, though. All three of them have such a fun connection.
This group keeps me on my toes. I never would've expected Lars to be as kind as he was to Carmel or see the compassion Masha has started showing towards the guests. Are these people becoming friends or is it an act?
This group really feels like a family. Zoe was absolutely right about that. Some of that is due to the cast's natural chemistry, but I loved the little moments of Lars dancing with Carmel and Jessica realizing Tony and Frances like each other.
Those ending scenes left us with plenty of questions. What does Masha have planned next and what is Zoe the key of? Is there a Phase 3?
Now that we're more than halfway through, what are you thinking of our stay at Tranquillum House, TV Fanatics? Were you shocked by the kiss between Masha and Delilah? Chine in below to let us know your thoughts.
Nine Perfect Strangers drops on Wednesdays on Hulu.
Laura Nowak is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.