The Chill Views

Transatlantic – Episode 5 Recap

The residents of Villa Bel Air were captured by the French police in Episode 4. Their escape route to Spain had also been compromised.

Transatlantic is a historical drama based on the novel titled The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer. It follows the efforts of Mary Jayne Gold and Varian Fry who helped refugees escaped to the US during the WWII. Starring Gillian Jacobs, Cory Michael Smith, and Lucas Englander.

Streaming on Netflix

Transatlantic - Episode 5 Summary & Recap

Operation save the Brits

Margaux came to meet Thomas and Mj to tell them the news that their soldiers were sent back to prison. If they were questioned, MJ’s name might come up. Although Thomas wanted to help MJ, Margaux wanted MJ to now get those men out again by her own. 

Left with very little choice, MJ approached Paul and Albert for help. Paul helped her check out the outsides of the prison camp while MJ continued to get help from a Jewish dollmaker named Bellmer. Bellmer had been in the same prison camp and knew the inside outs of the place. 

After all of them came back and strategized how to help the British POWs escape, Albert noticed the name Hans Fittko among the name of prisoners in the camp. This took Lisa by surprise, as Hans, her husband was supposed to be dead. Paul was confused. He and Lisa had been in a romantic relationship all this while, but he still offered to save Hans.

Varian navigating through immigration

Meanwhile, Varian tried going to office like usual just to find another US consulate named Dillon Reese there as his replacement. Varian was told that his French visa terminates alongside his employment, leaving Varian in complete disarray.

After talking to another Jewish historian named Hannah Arendt, Varian felt better. Hannah advised him to get on a tourist visa as a regular American citizen. Varian immediately went and got it done and felt indebted to Hannah. He couldn’t get an American visa for Hannah all this while as she was not on his list under the ERC.

By the end of the episode, Varian met up with Bingham, who was also blindsided by Varian’s termination. This time, Varian intended to take up the SS Sinaia’s captain’s offer to transport refugees. He requested Bingam to help get visas for Hannah and several other Jews.

Scene from Transatlantic Episode 5 to illustrate recap
Varian got in touch with Bingham to help him with the US visas. Photo: Netflix

Partially successful operation

That night, everyone worked together to get the British POWs out of the prison camp. MJ used her dog as a diversion, Paul snuck in as an officer to bring the soldiers out, while Albert dug the hole for them to escape. The operation was successful and Paul even managed to get Hans Fittko out. However, MJ’s dog ran back into the prison camp and was caught.

This left MJ devastated that night and Albert consoled her. The two slept together that night. In the morning, Albert woke up in a great mood, but he then received a letter from his sister, Ursula. Ursula had gotten Amercian visas for both of them and pleaded that Albert escape to the US now that he can. The letter left him extremely conflicted.

Meanwhile, Commissaire Frot got hold of MJ’s dog and brought it to Patterson. He told Patterson that MJ has been involved with the British Intelligence, and asked Patterson to take action.


Paul's operations

Paul, who had been trying to get in contact with the British eventually met Margaux, presumably through MJ. He told Margaux that he wanted to ensure the Nazis could not expand their influence to Southern France. In order to do this, Paul wanted to make a targeted attack in the main railway stations and requested that Margaux provide him with explosives, weapons and intelligence. Margaux agreed.


Additional Observations From Episode 5

  • During the process of getting his tourist visa, Varian found out that the villa they were living in does not belong to Thomas. In fact, it belongs to Madame Nouget. Thomas later revealed that Madame Nouget worked for him years ago, and she allowed Thomas to stay there as Thomas was helping the Jews.
  • After saving Hans Fittko, Paul was visibly heartbroken as Lisa has now reunited with her husband.
  • Varian and Thomas had a heart-to heart conversation about the future and the new world. They were visibly closer after that. Varian even let Thomas kiss him on the cheek at a Christmas party.
  • Patterson took up a job in the ACM.

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