Brave New World Season 1, Episode 5 recap: John’s prescence triggers a domino effect

BRAVE NEW WORLD -- "Firefall" Episode 105 -- Pictured: Harry Lloyd as Bernard Marx -- (Photo by: Steve Schofield/Peacock)
BRAVE NEW WORLD -- "Firefall" Episode 105 -- Pictured: Harry Lloyd as Bernard Marx -- (Photo by: Steve Schofield/Peacock) /

John’s presence triggers a domino effect in Episode 5 of Brave New World.

Episode 5 of Brave New World begins with a peek at the average morning for the many Epsilon workers present in New London.

Our little star, CJack60, the anomaly of the bunch, is distinctive from the rest as he peers out the rain-soaked glass of his tiny apartment. Instead of systematically popping his soma like the robotic movements of his kin, Jack simply broods and draws a frowny-face in the condensation, similar to the one on the tiny piece of metal he carries with him.

Mustafa emerges from a pool of water and touches her chest, seemingly connecting her to Indra.

“Talk to me,” she asks.

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Cut to Henry and Lenina in the throes of lovemaking. Lenina is different, more domineering. Henry notices this, and he’s the Alpha, he’s supposed to lead.

Still, she asks him if he liked it if he liked being submissive for a moment. Nonetheless, Lenina takes over and tries to turn the tables, playing the role of an Alpha.

“Do you like not being in control, for once, for a moment?”

She says she liked it and wonders if Henry liked that she liked it. Despite Henry’s requests for her to stop, Lenina continues playing her games, even going so far as to withholding his soma.

Unamused, Henry takes back control by grabbing Lenina’s wrist and taking the pills from her. He tells her they won’t be doing this again.

Brave New World
BRAVE NEW WORLD — “Firefall” Episode 105 — Pictured: Nina Sosanya as Mustafa Mond — (Photo by: Steve Schofield/Peacock) /

Bernard is somewhere new, in a strange gallery of sorts. He and Mustafa have a meeting. She’s curious to check in on John’s wellbeing, questioning Bernard’s counseling tactics as he has yet to introduce John into the social body.

He tries to divulge the big “secret” of the former Director being John’s father, but Mustafa already knows. She instructs Bernard to stop being a “protector” and do his job of integrating John.

If he cannot manage it, Indra will make a “correction,” which sounds quite ominous. Based on Bernard’s face, I’d say he is also concerned. He questions if Indra can even do that, to which Mustafa says, “ask the Epsilon.”

Next, we check in with John to see how he’s doing. He’s spending all of his time down in Conditioning with the children and has no qualms with sticking around there for the foreseeable future, although that’s not really an option.

Bernard tries to coax him into taking the optic and exploring New London, but John doesn’t accept it. He doesn’t think he even needs the lens considering he’s super observant and can already pinpoint levels. Beyond the window barrier, several New Londoners are seen staring at John, watching him like a zoo exhibit.

Lenina shows up not long after her. She and John share a significant look.

“I think he likes you,” whispers one of the other citizens.

BRAVE NEW WORLD — “Firefall” Episode 105 — Pictured: Nina Sosanya as Mustafa Mond — (Photo by: Steve Schofield/Peacock) /

Brave New World: The tension between Lenina and Frannie boils over

Lenina’s “differences” continue into a heated conversation with Frannie. She’s upset that Lenina did not tell her she knows John. Lenina doesn’t understand why she can’t keep at least one part of herself private, which is ironic since she’s in the middle of changing when she says it. That’s part of the twisted aspect of New London, though, stripping isn’t as hard as keeping private things private.

Frannie vents some of her frustrations. All of these interesting things keep happening to her best friend, yet she gets left in the lurch. The tension between the two women boils over in a game of tennis.

A friendly game quickly turns vicious and competitive as it continues until finally, Lenina beats Frannie and rubs some dirt in the wound by asking why Frannie always seems to come in second. Distressed, she rushes to jam some soma down her throat as Lenina walks away.

Back with John and Bernard, the Alpha Plus takes John to visit Wilhelmina, a visionary who creates many of the advances we see in New London, from pleasure bombs to feelie clubs and parties. Bernard has a private conversation with Helm, who is overdosing on soma and struggling to come up with something brand new and sensational.

Meanwhile, John stirs up trouble with some of Helm’s worker bees. He questions whether they genuinely like being Betas, or if they ever wish for something more. It creates a sense of unease in the room, as almost every question John asks causes everyone to click their little soma dispensers frantically.

Eventually, one of the Beta Minuses asks John to stop, because they don’t talk like that here. John tells him to get up, tries to fight him, before backing down and saying he was just joking around. He and his savage ways throw everyone off balance.

Finally, Bernard introduces Helm to John, and she’s quite taken with him and his unpredictable nature. She asks Bernard to bring him to her party that night, “a sensation for her sensation.”

Then the two men leave, John takes another soma as Bernard suggests he drink in his new home, make connections, and accept all there is to offer him in New London.

In the privacy of her apartment, Lenina has something of a breakdown. Frustrations from her Savage Lands trauma and New London pile up as she bursts into tears. A few soma pills later, and she’s recollected herself before prepping for the party.

Bernard and John also prepare for the party, and John asks a Gamma named Gary for his opinion. Bernard is like, “uh we don’t listen to Gammas,” but he notes that John is too long-waisted for the suit jacket Bernard wants him to wear. He looks quite dashing in the black suit, anyway, so I agree with Gary.

At the party, things get crazy for every character involved. Bernard regales the party attendees with stories of John and the Savage Land while John himself entertains Wilhelmina with a real story. She suggests the party, the costumes, and the grand finale orgy or a “story,” and John says otherwise.

His fairy tale-esque tale captivates Helm, and a spark ignites between them as they have sex.

Once finished, John seeks out Bernard, who has just had a run-in with Henry. He arrogantly announces he’s been made the new Director as he introduces himself to John. Then the two are forced to watch as he goes out onto the dance floor and begins making out with Lenina.

At the same time, Jack is questioning why all the people in New London get to have fun and have sex while they, the Epsilon, do nothing but work. Slowly, he starts to succumb to the music, enjoying a dance, which is definitely unheard of.

Bernard makes his boldest choice yet in Brave New World.

In one of the episode’s and season’s most hilarious scenes, John teaches Bernard how to throw a punch. He also calls Bernard his friend, which I thought was sweet, I’m loving their relationship. He thinks Henry is an arrogant jerk who deserves to get decked for the way he humiliated Bernard in front of everyone.

Surprisingly, John manages to cajole Bernard into taking action as he readies himself to punch Henry in the face. Helm watches from above as he decks Henry and Lenina watches. Then John lifts Bernard’s hand into the air and everyone clamors for more attention, especially from BJohn, who is suddenly the party’s hottest commodity.

He gives himself over to the orgy, albeit rather confused by the whole process.

And Epsilon Jack watches the entire thing happen, slowly closing his hand into a fist, as he learns a new startling move.

Lenina retreats from the party after that show of violence and makes her way to a sandy bank. Bernard finds her there. Together they look at the earth below. She asks him if it was John that made him throw the punch, but Bernard denies it, realizing that it was truly his ultimate decision.

“It’s not as good as the real thing, is it?” Bernard asks.

Slowly, she rests her head on his shoulder, and he accepts her affectionate gesture, the two of them leaning against each other and holding hands as they watch the earth — both realizing that they’ll never be able to have what they really want.

But their moment is interrupted by a giant technicolor marquee on the earth advertising the new pleasure bomb, “Firefall.” Helm activates it on the dance floor, causing a wave of sparks to rain down that makes everyone go even more orgy-tastic.

When Lenina walks back inside, she watches as John is in the epicenter of it all.

What is the final scene of Brave New World Episode 5?

We zoom out from the party, seeing it all contained inside of a tiny black stone on Mustafa’s Go board. I’m a little unclear on what this scene means as she chats with her opponent, who is a projection of some kind.

“What does it mean that you can’t beat me anymore?”  The projection asks.

Mustafa throws the board to the ground in a fury as the stones scatter across the floor.

“The stone that seemed the most inconsequential matters most,” said her opponent earlier.

John’s presence has triggered a domino effect, and New London’s world order may crumble beneath it.

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The entire first season of Brave New World is available to stream on Peacock TV.