Fleishman is in Trouble Episode 5 Recap: Vantablack

Image Credit: Linda Kallerus/FX

Created by Taffy Brodesser-Akne from her 2019 namesake novel, ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble’ is a story of the dissolution of a marriage. The story begins when Rachel (Claire Danes) drops her two children off at her estranged husband Toby’s (Jesse Eisenberg) home, apparently without telling him. The non-linear narrative revolves around how Toby and his children deal with the new reality of their life while missing the fourth member of their family. In episode 5, titled ‘Vantablack,’ Toby deals with the aftermath of accepting his circumstances, which is inevitably loneliness. Here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble’ episode 5. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Fleishman is in Trouble Episode 5 Recap

The episode begins with depicting our dearest protagonist, Toby Fleishman, in the most unlikely of places: a midnight supermodel fighting club in a Staten Island basement. As she performs her narrating duties, Libby (Lizzy Caplan) acknowledges how bizarre this is before explaining how Toby has ended up here. The non-linear narrative then shifts back to the past and demonstrates how Toby ends up in Staten Island with Seth and his work buddies.

After Toby has accepted that Rachel agreed to end the marriage only because she was in a relationship, he deals with a severe onset of loneliness. The activities which used to give him joy, such as having sex with strangers through his dating apps, suddenly seem uninteresting. He visits the local museum for an exhibition of Vantablack, but staring at the manifestation of the dark abyss unnerves him, and he can’t flee from there fast enough.

Image Credit: Linda Kallerus/FX

Toby desperately misses his children and tries and fails to find a way to deal with the gnawing loneliness within him. He asks his subordinates to go out for drinks with him, but they decline, all claiming that they have plans. Toby calls Seth, who is out with his finance colleagues, and agrees to join them. And that’s how Toby inevitably ends up betting on a supermodel fight.

It isn’t until morning that Toby and Seth part ways, but once more, Toby feels overwhelmed by a sense of loneliness. He goes to see Nahid and learns that she is married to a Conservative news anchor. Since the beginning of the marriage, it seemed to her that her husband was not interested in sex, but she later discovered him with a male employee. The place he works at regards homosexuality as a sin, so she and her husband have an arrangement. When Toby asks whether it will not be better for her to cut all the ties and free herself, Nahid observes that even divorced people aren’t free of each other.

As his ongoing battle with loneliness continues, Toby adopts a dog and names him Bubbles. When he meets up with Seth and Libby, the latter reminds him what a responsibility dog ownership is. The following day, Toby receives a call from his children’s camp about an emergency.

Fleishman is in Trouble Episode 5: Why Does Toby Bring His Children back from the Camp?

After receiving the call from the camp, Toby leaves Bubbles in Seth and his girlfriend’s care. Upon arriving at the camp, he learns that Hannah has shared certain photos of herself with a boy at the camp, and the said boy has proceeded to distribute the photos among his friends. Furious at the boy and horrified for his daughter, Toby demands to know what actions will be taken against the boy. The stammering counselor explains that they can’t do anything to the boy because his parents are in Switzerland.

Image Credit: Linda Kallerus/FX

Toby subsequently leaves the camp with both his children, but not before briefly confronting that boy and telling him how worthless he is. As they reach New York, the children inevitably ask him where they will stay. This forces Toby to be candid with them for the first time since the entire fiasco began. He admits that Rachel has severed her ties with them and can only hold his children as they cry. Things become significantly better after they return home, and the children meet Bubbles. As Toby marvels at the resilience of his daughter, he decides to confront Rachel. He even goes to her apartment complex but stops short of knocking on the door. He realizes that no confrontation will make this better. A decision has been made. Life as they knew it was over.

Why Did Libby Quit Her Job?

Libby and her family go on a vacation to that gigantic theme park in Orlando, Florida, run by a mega corporation, but it turns out to be a disaster because of Libby’s several mistakes. As they can’t show the vacation, we are taken to the past when Libby used to work for a men’s magazine.

Image Credit: Linda Kallerus/FX

Inspired by the writings of her colleague Archer Sylvan (Christian Slater), Libby wanted to experience incredible things in her life and write about them. But things didn’t turn out the way she wanted. Even though Sylvan had come to be regarded as an outdated fossil because of his misogynistic views, his pieces were still widely read, and now the magazine’s editor was mentoring a new Archer Sylvan for the next generation. Meanwhile, Libby was left behind. She quit her job in the hopes of writing a novel. Two years have passed since then, and Libby hasn’t even written a word.

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