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'Around the World in 80 Days' Recap: Episode 5

Daniel Hautzinger
Passepartout and Fix in Around the World in 80 Days. Photo: Graham Bartholomew - © Slim 80 Days / Federation Entertainment / Peu Communications / ZDF / Be-Films / RTBF (télévision belge)
Passepartout tries to find money in Hong Kong to allow Fogg to continue his journey. Photo: Graham Bartholomew - © Slim 80 Days / Federation Entertainment / Peu Communications / ZDF / Be-Films / RTBF (télévision belge)

Around the World in 80 Days airs Sundays at 7:00 pm and is available to stream for a limited time. Recap the previous and following episodes.

As we know, Phileas Fogg can’t stop anywhere in his attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days without encountering some delay. So what is it in Hong Kong?

Fogg cannot access his money, to pay for lodging and a steamer to Yokohama. Unbeknownst to him, Kneedling, Bellamy’s man abroad, has told the bank that he is a policeman and that Fogg is a criminal. They must hold his money. So the bank tells Fogg that his money order has not yet come through, while Passepartout notices Kneedling and confronts him about the drug Kneedling gave him for Fogg, throwing his bribe back at him.

Luckily, Passepartout has been to Hong Kong before, in a former life as a sailor. He has a friend who can provide lodging, a dingy single room located in a warren of narrow streets. Fogg and Fix are used to more luxury, but they at least get to experience some grandeur at the Hong Kong governor’s house, where the governor’s wife, Lady Clemency Rowbotham, has convinced her husband to host a garden party for the adventurers.

Lady Clemency is enthralled by the romantic air conjured around Fogg by Fix’s latest newspaper article about Fogg’s “lost love.” Fix is overjoyed that her father has published it—he believes it is a new style of writing, while Bellamy dismisses it as sentimental rot—until Passepartout points out that Fogg is an incredibly private man. He’ll never forgive Fix for revealing such intimate details of his life to the world once he sees the article.

For now, however, Fogg is busy haranguing the bank clerk for his money, loudly mentioning his “friend” the governor. He decides to secure a loan from the governor.

Passepartout is also trying to get some cash, in a less savory way. He visits an old friend, leaving Fix—who has followed him, as always—to try to eat with chopsticks. Jiang Lei will give Passepartout money—in exchange for a jewel, the White Dragon, stolen from the grave of his ancestors and now owned by Lady Clemency. I am no longer a thief, Passepartout tells Jiang—and then Fix, tired of waiting, barges in. Passepartout quickly ushers her out, and Jiang ominously warns him that the streets of Hong Kong are dangerous.

At the governor’s grand estate, Fix realizes that all the women have read her article and fears that they will talk about it to Fogg, who has yet to see it. She and Passepartout resolve to prevent Fogg from interacting with Lady Clemency. Trying to speed things along, Passepartout pours drinks for the governor—and Fogg finally recognizes him as a waiter from the Reform Club, even though Passepartout told him at the beginning of the journey that they didn’t know each other. Fogg’s trust in his valet is shaken, but he’s determined to get a loan from the governor.

The governor finally offers it, and Passepartout rushes off with his slow-moving manservant to fetch a money order. But before it is signed, Lady Clemency pulls Fogg away. She shows Fogg the White Dragon, explaining that it was found with a pair of skeletons holding hands that were unearthed while the governor’s mansion was being built. She eventually mentions Fogg’s lost love, Estella, and Fix’s newspaper article. He is startled, and then furious at Fix for betraying him. He leaves immediately—without the money order.

Passepartout stays behind, hiding under a bed until night falls. As the governor and Lady Clemency sleep, he cracks a safe in their room—but the White Dragon isn’t there. It’s around the lady’s neck. He manages to take it without her waking, then fleetly sneaks out of the complex without any of the guards noticing. Jiang Lei takes the jewel in exchange for cash and warns Passepartout to leave Hong Kong.

The next morning, the bank manager visits the governor to inform him that Fogg is a fraudster. The governor is glad he didn’t loan Fogg money—but then Lady Clemency realizes the White Dragon is missing.

The police barge into Fogg’s room and, finding the cash from Jiang Lei hidden under a bed, arrest him despite his protestations. Putting him in a cell, they schedule a public flogging when he refuses to confess to stealing and selling the White Dragon. While waiting for his punishment, he finally reads Fix’s newspaper article.

Passepartout tries to go to Jiang Lei for help, but is refused entrance. Passepartout confesses to Fix and says he will tell the truth and take Fogg’s place in jail—but she dismisses the idea, as any punishment will be much worse for the lower-class foreigner Passepartout than the wealthy British Fogg. Desperate, Fix and Passepartout appeal to the governor for mercy.

He refuses to give it, but Lady Clemency, true to her name, is more forgiving. Fix appeals to her romantic nature, bringing up Estella. When the governor admits that he is angry because the White Dragon was his one romantic gesture towards his wife—he’s not so great with words—Lady Clemency is moved, and convinces him to let Fogg go. The White Dragon was never a representation of her love story anyway. She has her own romance, and that’s enough.

As Jiang Lei returns the jewel to a tomb with the pair of his ancestors holding hands, Fix and Passepartout rush to the jail with a pardon from the governor. They arrive just as Fogg receives his first lash but manage to stop any more. Passepartout delicately puts Fogg’s shirt over his bleeding back, and they leave the prison.

Finally on board a steamer to Yokohama, Fogg wants to be alone—he feels betrayed by both Fix and Passepartout, who lied to him and also knew about the article. While dining solo, Kneedling joins him—and points a gun at him.