The second episode of ‘Avenue 5’ launched the show into the same tone as Armando Iannucci’s other works like ‘Veep’ and ‘The Thick of It.’ There is lots of confusion (the good, funny kind) and flaring frustrations. The characters are seen getting on each other’s nerves with an overarching sense of incompetence and doom.
More importantly, the episode, titled ‘And then He’s Gonna Shoot Off…,’ is an indication of ‘Avenue5’’s tone and a reminder that some top brass is involved in its making. Iannucci’s shows have struggled to provide viewers with a solid opening. Take ‘Veep’ for example: a show which picked up steam only after the first few episodes when the characters settled in and introductions weren’t required. Something similar can be observed with ‘Avenue 5’ wherein the second episode was certainly able to derive more humour from previously solidified character traits and an increased sense of the premise.
Avenue 5 Episode 2 Recap
The second episode of the first season of ‘Avenue 5’ starts with Captain Ryan Clark addressing the Avenue 5 passengers after the previous episode’s debacle. However, unable to please the passengers, Clark hands over the mic to Billie, thinking that she might be able to calm everyone as she is an engineer unlike him.
However, Billie gets frustrated when she cannot seem to dumb her explanation down enough for the passengers and is asked to repeat her statements multiple times. She ends up letting her frustration known. Then, Captain Ryan informs the passengers of resuming the conversation after Joe’s funeral to calm the situation.
On the other hand, Judd discusses possible strategies to get Avenue 5 to return to Earth in lesser time than 3 years. However, he refuses to spend money to do so. Iris convinces him to donate his personal coffin to Joe as a good gesture.
Next, Billie introduces an engineer named Cyrus to Captain Clark. At first, Clark judges Cyrus for wearing informal attire but soon gets impressed by him when he reveals an optimistic theory. Cyrus tells Clark that the ship should be able to land in six months and not three years. While Billie doubts Cyrus’ theory, Captain Clark seems to be overjoyed by his theory and prefers to not poke holes in it.
Clark proceeds to tell Karen about it, who spreads the news to the rest of the passengers. On Earth, NASA lends a helping hand to Avenue 5’s control room. However, their rescue mission requires Judd to pay a hefty amount of money. Judd ends up insulting NASA, making the representative of the space organisation to leave.
Next, Joe’s funeral is taking place with the coffin set to be dispatched to space. Billie warns Captain Clark of the coffin’s excess weight but he ignores it. When the coffin gets dispatched, it starts to orbit the Avenue 5 ship due to its weight. Next, three more passengers whose injuries were being tended to die and their funeral is organised in transparent boxes.
However, the Avenue 5 control unit decides to reset the ship’s gravity but fail to inform the spaceship. The gravity reset takes everyone by surprise and the bodies in the coffins dangle out. The three coffins, once dispatched also start to orbit the ship.
Will Avenue 5 actually return to Earth in six months?
While the passengers might not have been too excited about the six months return time, Captain Clark remains positive. But, is the theory actually workable and reliable?
To begin with, it comes from a character who we haven’t met before. So, his credibility is doubtable especially because Billie keeps distrusting him. Moreover, the peeps at the control unit also seem to be confused about the six-months calculation.
Well, in all likelihood, the six-months period might have been grossly false. This is because Billie and the rest of Avenue 5’s control unit crew seem to think so as well. Moreover, Billie is seen doubting Cyrus and she has been right all this while.
So, when will Avenue 5 return to Earth? Well, for now, nothing much has changed. The ship is expected to stay in space for three years as mentioned before.
What can one expect from the upcoming episodes?
In short, more confusion and incompetence. If one is aware of Iannucci’s general storytelling habits, one would assume that more failure is on its way. One can expect the control unit to try different things to help the Avenue 5 ship return on time.
Moreover, it will also be important to witness whether Cyrus’ theory has some credibility. Plus, a shortage of supplies might also be introduced as another conflict given the fact that food supplies were referenced once in ‘And Then He’s Gonna Shoot Off…’
Why did the coffins start to orbit around Avenue 5?
Every large body with a sizable mass, floating in space has a gravitational pull of its own. Hence, one can think of the Avenue 5 spaceship as a tiny planet which would attract other bodies in its orbit towards itself.
If the said body’s weight were to be less, the body would be pulled towards the ship. However, a heavier body would continue to orbit the spaceship like a moon. Joe’s coffin is heavier in weight as Joe was an overweight man and Judd’s coffin was anyway pretty heavy.