'COBRA' Recap: Episode 5
November 1, 2020
Now that Ellie has confessed to supplying the drugs that killed her friend Georgia, the police are questioning her mother Rachel to see if she coached her daughter to lie. Rachel dissembles. After she returns home, however, Peter Mott is arrested. Robert is worried: he lied to Parliament. But Rachel defends their actions, and believes he can survive this.
Archie doesn’t. He gleefully shows Eleanor what he claims is Peter’s diary, seized from his computer. An entry explicitly states he coached Ellie to lie. Eleanor is less open about her feelings, and refuses to update Archie on her investigation into Edin, Anna’s newly reunited lover. Eleanor is, however, having Edin trailed.
London remains blockaded by the truckers’ union and the nationalist uprising known as People’s Justice. A new crisis center has been set up in Northumberland, since People’s Justice have seized the hospital, but there will soon be shortages of fuel, blood, and medicine because of the blockade. As Robert prepares to take a helicopter to Chequers to meet with Harry Rowntree, the head of the truckers’ union, and Scott Minett, the nominal leader of People’s Justice, Archie jokes that someone should assassinate Minett.
At Chequers, Anna tells Robert about Edin and Eleanor’s investigation. She admits that she still wants to see Edin, and that part of the reason she fell into an affair with him is because her husband is gone so often.
Fraser has experience with the trials of marriage. Francine Bridge accompanies him to his father’s funeral, where his ex-wife limits their children’s interaction with Fraser and tells Francine, “Good luck with him.” Francine responds that they’re just colleagues. Francine and Fraser go for a drink.
Questioned by the police and faced with diary entries—although not the one Archie mentioned—Peter denies anything improper. The investigators tell him that Ellie let slip that she felt pressured to lie. Who’s she going to say pressured her: Peter, or her mother?
Up in Northumberland, Scott Minett preaches revolution against the elites in London, both to his followers and a journalist, Manish, who has been following him. Scott lets Manish see his home, then, as he leaves for Chequers, is plowed into by a car. The car backs over him and speeds off. He dies on the spot.
Talks between Robert and Rowntree were about to begin at Chequers, but Rowntree leaves when he hears the news. People’s Justice are calling for a boycott of the talks until Minett’s death is “clarified,” lest the government was involved. Robert tries to convince Rowntree to stay but only ends up only infuriated by Rowntree’s refusal. Robert says Rowntree can’t control his union and angrily tells him he’s clearing the blockade of London tomorrow, no matter what.
As Manish begins his live TV report on Minett’s death outside his house, a mob of masked men run towards him, throwing bottles. Manish and his cameraman dash to their van, driving away as the men hit the vehicle with bats.
At the pub where Fraser and Francine go for a drink, a racist man, seeing news of Minett’s death on the TV, heckles Francine. The owner asks Francine and Fraser to leave, and Fraser laughs in the heckler’s face at the absurdity of his life and the situation his country is in. The man spits on Fraser as he and Francine leave.
Rioting and looting is beginning in the streets of London, so the pair decide to just go to Francine’s flat. As helicopters hover in the distance, they talk about Fraser’s marriage and his love of his kids. Francine says, “I like you,” and they kiss, then sleep together.
Eleanor shows Anna photos of Edin with a known gangster, Toni Lulin, and mentions that there are rumors Lulin employs an assassin in London known as Nico.
Anna’s daughter wants to speak with her about what’s happening with their family, but Anna insists she stay at home—rioting is starting in the streets.
Robert deploys troops. When asked by his top general about use of force, he says there will be no more “velvet gloves.” They must restore order in Northumberland and stop the rioting.
Reports of the first fatalities, from fires and violence as people sought to loot a store, drive Robert to order troops to remove the trucks blockading London and get the transformer that will restore power to Northumberland on the road.
Anna’s daughter tries to visit her mother at a flat Anna is using in the city. She walks into a meeting between Edin and several other people—all being watched by Eleanor’s intelligence services. Edin tries to convince the others to let Anna’s terrified daughter go. One of the other people calls him Nico and refuses. He pulls a gun and points it at the others, ushering Anna’s daughter out of the flat.
A bulldozer clears the blockading trucks from the highway. Someone throws a Molotov cocktail at the troops behind the bulldozer. Chaos and violence descend. A military-grade grenade is hurled at the troops. Watching from COBRA, Archie counsels Robert against authorizing the troops to return fire, while Anna disagrees—they have military weapons, she says, they’re not protesters. As the troops advance through smoke, several fire.
A photographer has been shot and killed.