“Nine Perfect Strangers” episode 5 recap: ghosts of the past

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Nine Perfect Strangers Episode 5, “Sweet Surender,” answers some of the questions posed in the early episodes of the Hulu series. It also shows the aftermath of Masha (Nicole Kidman) taking the next step in her mysterious protocol. Guests at Tranquillum House faced some interesting side effects after being microdosed for the first time, but the end of Episode 4 saw Kidman’s character altering his doses again. Everything they drink causes guests to act out of their personalities – and even revisit ghosts from the past.

[Spoiler warning: This article contains spoilers for the first five episodes of Nine Perfect Strangers.]

“Nine Perfect Strangers” Episode 5 Dives Into Masha’s Past

Grace Van Patten and Nicole Kidman in ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ | Vince Valitutti / Hulu

Of course, the guests of Tranquillum House aren’t the only ones revisiting the past by Nine Perfect Strangers Episode 5. The show previously revealed that Masha had encountered legal issues because of something that had happened during another retreat. Although he clarifies that she won this particular battle, the series never reveals why Masha was in hot water.

It’s not hard to guess that Masha injured or even killed someone who was staying at his resort, but Nine Perfect Strangers confirms this in “Sweet Surrender”. The episode sees the chef of Tranquillum House having flashbacks, returning to a fateful day that still clearly haunts her.

The scenes show Yao (Manny Jacinto) and Masha trying to revive the guest in question, but it doesn’t work in the end. Delilah (Tiffany Boone) is on hand for the whole situation as well, and Masha’s guilt for the trauma she caused to her assistant is at the forefront of this episode.

Speaking of Delilah, Nine Perfect Strangers Episode 5 also adds a new layer to his relationship with Masha. Despite the tensions between the characters in the previous episodes, “Sweet Surrender” suggests that something romantic is lurking beneath their interactions. When Delilah asks Masha to stop sleeping with Yao, the two women kiss.

Although some fans suspected a polyamorous relationship between Masha and her team members, Delilah’s insistence on keeping things quiet suggests otherwise. According to Masha, Yao doesn’t know anything about what is going on between the two of them. With the camera moving to see the kiss from the bushes, however, it seems someone is aware of their attraction. Could this be the same person threatening Masha?

Zoe de Grace Van Patten sees a ghost in “Sweet Surrender”

RELATED: ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’: 1 Fan Theory Suggests Masha Threatening Herself

The other big plot of Nine Perfect Strangers Episode 5 follows Zoe Marconi (Grace Van Patten) as she celebrates her birthday. It’s a bittersweet affair since she shares it with her late brother. However, she doesn’t need to miss it this year. Zach (Hal Cumpston) appears during the episode’s opening scene, a surprising development for anyone who didn’t expect the series to delve into the supernatural.

As of yet, it’s unclear exactly what’s going on with Zach and Zoe. She has a full discussion with him when he introduces himself for the first time. Of course, this could be attributed to microdosing. However, a later scene sees Zach running behind Heater (Asher Keddie) into the woods. She doesn’t notice it, so viewers wonder if Zach is really there or just somebody’s imagination.

The ending of the episode raises even more questions after Zoe toast during her birthday celebration. She sees Zach sitting on the side and Masha immediately realizes what she is looking at. The wellness guru walks up to Zoe and roughly says, ending the episode with a weird exclamation, “It’s you. You are the key.

Until now, viewers probably didn’t have “Masha Raising the Dead” on their bingo boards. Her words to Zoe suggest that she’s doing more than she suggests – and that she might have expected Zach to show up.

“Nine Perfect Strangers” Episode 5 Shows the Consequences of Masha’s Improved Protocol

RELATED: ‘Nine Perfect Strangers’: Regina Hall Says Cast ‘Got Into Character’ By Doing ‘Research’ On Psychedelic Drugs

Zoe has the strangest reaction to Masha increasing her “protocol,” but she’s far from the only character to collide with her past this week. Others do not face it the same way. However, they deal with their trauma in other ways – some through dreams and others through talking (or shouting) things.

Nine Perfect Strangers Episode 5 sees Lars (Luke Evans) and Frances (Melissa McCarthy) having dreams related to their sorrows. Lars sees himself having a baby with Tony (Bobby Cannavale), something he later confesses is linked to his previous relationship. He and his partner broke up over disagreements over having a child, a decision Lars still seems to struggle with.

Frances’ dream is less peaceful, as it occurs after she passes out in her oatmeal. McCarthy’s romance writer imagines the man who fished her doing things right – and proving he’s really the guy he claimed to be. However, he also insults her handwriting, showing that there is more of a conflict in Frances’ mind.

Ben (Melvin Gregg) and Jessica (Samara Weaving) rekindle their relationship somewhat, as do Heather and Napoleon (Michael Shannon). Things aren’t entirely clear for the two couples, but they seem to fit Masha’s schedule the best.

This is at the expense of Carmel (Regina Hall), as she tries to forget about her ex-husband and his new relationship. She and Lars share a surprisingly emotional moment after meeting Ben and Jessica having sex. Tony and Frances also have a few heartfelt conversations during “Sweet Surrender,” although Tony’s feeling that he “isn’t going to make it” does not bode well for both of them.

Where is “Nine Perfect Strangers” going?

As the Hulu series nears its final three episodes, viewers must be wondering where Nine Perfect Strangers Is ruled. Some of the guests seem to actually heal during their time at Tranquillum House, but their tale makes it seem like it’s building towards something bigger. It could involve the threats Masha receives, but Zoe’s storyline this week raises new questions about the climax.

If one thing is certain, it is that Nine Perfect Strangers Episode 5 made things a lot stranger. It is currently available to stream on Hulu.


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