The First season 1, episode 5 recap: ‘Two Portraits’


The First takes us back in time as we learn more about Hagerty’s relationship with his wife and the moments leading up to the failed Mars mission.

The First focused heavily on Hagerty’s family and their past, with a heavy look into who his wife was and how they met. When he and Diane met, we learn more about her being a tattoo artist and how she gives him a tattoo of her face.

Fast forward some, and we see their love story unfold and Diane eventually getting pregnant with Denise. As Denise gets older, her passion for drawing and art continues to grow and is, of course, something she shares with Diane. However, one day she begins drawing on the walls and it pisses Hagerty off.

Diane was not supportive of his anger and said they should be encouraging Denise to be creative, and realizing his mistake, Hagerty turns the walls of Denise’s room into a chalkboard. As the episode continues, we see the toll it takes on Diane and Denise whenever Hagerty is gone on his missions. And eventually, Diane is diagnosed with and treated for depression.

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Her deep depression eventually leads her to commit suicide by drowning herself in the lake–and Denise bears witness to all of it. They never found her body, and closure was never achieved when it came to her death. This clarifies why in the present Hagerty and Denise are so conflicted and lost, and it’s truly heartbreaking.

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After Diane’s death, Denise contemplates taking time off of school but Hagerty convinces her to go. Unfortunately, she falls into a deep drug addiction and we see her in and out of rehab as a result.

Because Hagerty was training for the Mars mission that eventually fails, his attention and time were spent on taking care of and worrying for Denise. This is ultimately why Laz takes him off the mission, and it’s a pretty tough pill to swallow.

Throughout the episode, Denise is seen painting a picture of her mother which she adds layers of paint to continuously. However, she ends up scraping the paint all off and ruins the painting she has spent all this time creating.

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And things continue to go downhill when she attends a rave and ends up being injected with drugs. Even though Denise is just a character on The First, it hurts to see her so lost in life, and every time she makes a questionable decision, our heart breaks for her.

What did you think of this episode of The First? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!