Constellation Episode 5 Recap: Is There an Alternate Universe?

The fifth episode of Apple TV+’s science fiction series ‘Constellation,’ titled ‘Five Miles Out, the Sound Is Clearest,’ opens a window into the mysteries that have been puzzling the protagonist Johanna “Jo” Ericsson. She confronts the startling reality that two Alices are co-existing after listening to a ghost tape she gets from Laurenz and Wallie. As she listens to the tape with Alice, another version of the latter is out in the snow, looking for her mother. Even though the episode makes the viewers ask more questions than it answers, the clues it leaves behind help one theorize what’s happening around Jo! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Constellation “Five Miles Out, the Sound Is Clearest” Recap

‘Five Miles Out, the Sound Is Clearest’ begins with Jo eloping from her house with Alice after her husband Magnus passes out. She calls Frederic to discuss the incident, who leaves for her house to check in on Magnus while she disappears. Before leaving Germany, Jo goes to her office and encounters the CAL canister, which she steals from the place. The astronaut is leaving Germany after reading the anonymous letter she received from people who believe her and what she says about the strange occurrences that unfolded while she was in space. Midway through their journey, Jo stops at a café and talks to her daughter about what’s troubling her.

Jo wants to know why Alice hides herself in cupboards. When the mother becomes persistent about knowing the truth, the daughter reveals she is scared of the Valya, an entity that troubles her. To know more about the same, the astronaut asks the little girl to draw the Valya, only for her to draw the dead cosmonaut the former sees while repairing the International Space Station. Startled, Jo asks Alice whether the latter learned about the mysterious Valya from her, only for the girl to reply, “No.” The mother and daughter continue their journey to meet Laurenz and Walborg, who sent the anonymous letter to the astronaut.

Even though Laurenz doesn’t want to welcome Jo to his place, Walborg AKA Wallie introduces the astronaut to their collection of “ghost tapes.” The siblings are part of a group that has been recording strange sounds from space. Since the sounds should be heard in a liminal place to decode them, space agencies like NASA and ROSCOSMOS fail to comprehend them. In one of the tapes, Jo listens to Paul Lancaster, who died following the accident in the International Space Station. Jo and Alice continue their journey with the tapes the former gives them despite not believing her.

Constellation Episode 5 Ending: Why Are There Two Alices?

After arriving at the cabin, Jo listens to the tape that was recorded right before the accident in the International Space Station. Alice then comes to her and says that she is not the one who is speaking in the tape, since she neither speaks Swedish nor calls her mother “Mamma.” Meanwhile, another Alice is out in the snow, screaming “Mamma” to find her mother. The explicit revelation of two Alices makes it clear that there are at least two alternate realities in ‘Constellation.’ The show has been providing the viewers with several clues regarding the separate universes, mainly through Alice.

At the end of the fourth episode, Alice walks out of her room, only to see several people in her home, attending the wake of Jo. Among the attendees, she sees herself as well, which indicates that there is Alice A and Alice B. At the start of the series, we see Jo talking to her daughter in Swedish right before the accident. While the conversation progresses, Alice calls her mother “Mamma,” unlike what Alice calls the astronaut after the latter returns to Earth from the ISS. The version of Alice who speaks to Jo before the accident can be seen as Alice A, while the other one is Alice B.

Are There Two Jos? Are One of Them and/or Paul Dead?

Similarly, there are two Jos as well. The astronaut who talks to the Swedish-speaking Alice is Jo A. She is the one who returns to Earth after the ISS accident. Ever since returning to her family, Jo notices several discrepancies, starting with the color of her car. She insists that her car was red before she went to space, only for Magnus to claim that they always had a blue car. Jo also notices cups and utensils rearranged in the cupboards but her husband tells her that he hasn’t moved them at all. Jo A saying that there was only one path to their cabin in the woods at the end of the episode is another discrepancy. Ultimately, Magnus and Frederic claim that Jo had an affair with the head of the ESA, only for her to deny it.

Jo B is the one who had a blue car and an affair with Frederic. She is the mother of the second Alice, who is currently with the astronaut in the cabin. Jo A and Jo B somehow swapped their universes, only for the former to end up in the world of the latter. That’s the reason why she is not able to accept the differences, which also include the presence of a piano in her house. But what happened to Jo B? If the fourth episode of the series is to be trusted, Jo B is dead. She is the one who dies among the crew of the ISS, which explains the wake of the astronaut.

Paul doesn’t die in the original universe of Jo A after the swap and that’s why Wallie was able to record his voice and Alice B sees him at the wake. Jo A seeing Paul while visiting his grave in the original universe of Jo B can be paralleled with Alice B seeing him alive. Both Jo A and Alice B see Paul alive in the original universe of the former while he is the one who gets killed in the reality of Jo B. The same logic is applicable in the case of the dead cosmonaut. There can be indeed a corpse flowing around in space in the original universe of Jo A. However, she doesn’t exist in Jo B’s world, which explains why Irena Lysenko tries to deem Jo A’s encounter with the corpse a hallucination.

Since Alice B can see Alice A and the latter’s universe, that can also be the case with the Swedish-speaking girl. Alice A must have seen Jo A in Jo B’s universe after the death of the latter, which leads the little girl to search for her mother as the closing scene of the episode depicts.

Is Bud Caldera Real?

Since the start of the series, Bud Caldera is presented as a twin brother of Henry Caldera. A majority of the viewers must have believed that they were both a part of the crew of the Apollo 18 mission and somehow, a conflict between them separated the two former astronauts. That is not really the case. Bud and Henry are the same person. During the meeting with Wallie, Jo says that Henry is the only survivor of the Apollo 18 mission, which invalidates Bud’s separate existence. Thus, Bud is Henry B or Henry is Bud B. It seems like Henry is a part of Jo B’s universe while Bud has been living in the original reality of Jo A.

After the Apollo 18 mission, Henry/Bud became an author and panelist in one universe and a physicist in the other. Similar to how Alice A and Alice B see each other, Henry and Bud seemingly have been seeing each other after the Apollo 18 mission. They must have been aware of the existence of two universes, which leads them to move forward with their own existences. That’s the reason why Bud appears before Henry at the end of the fifth episode. Somehow, they have been able to find a way to communicate with one another, which also explains Henry’s “LEAVE ME ALONE” message in Bud’s mirror.

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