‘Grand Army’ recap: Episode 5, ‘Valentine’s Day’

In Grand Army Episode 5, Joey’s charges and Owen’s discipline hearing send shockwaves at school. Dom’s mother makes an uncomfortable proposal.

Grand Army Episode 5, “Valentine’s Day,” begins at Dom’s house with her and her mom prepping cards for her younger sister to take to school. Dom’s mom has an idea for her to make $10,000, and honestly, I’m not entirely sure what was being proposed. It seemed like an arranged meeting where a young boy Dom’s age would come to the city so she could guide him? The whole thing felt a little sketchy.

Leila gets a moment in the spotlight during her subway ride to school when someone leaves a Valentine’s Day gift bag unattended. She kicks it off the car, and the onlookers erupt into scattered applause. Leila says she just wanted to play it safe, since the bombing, unattended bags are dangerous.

When she steps off the train, she notices Joey walking by with her mom and dad trailing behind her. Leila films them for her Instagram story and writes a nasty message: “when you’re so ’empowered,’ you sleep with three guys at once but still need mommy and daddy to escort you on the train.”

We pivot to Joey and her parents. They’re taking her to the doctors for a rape kit. Her father tells her they can be done whenever she wants to be done. She’s in charge. “I want to do this. It’s my decision.”

At school, the students are corralled for what I presume are student ID cards, an extra layer of security in light of the bombing. A student hands out candygrams to everyone, and Leila is upset when she doesn’t get one. George shoots her a text, “you alive?” and Omar tries to make conversation with her while they wait in line. It’s obvious he genuinely likes her, but Leila couldn’t be less interested.

Anna confronts Leila in line and asks her where she took the video of Joey, revealing she was on the Upper West Side. Tim wants to know what’s wrong with her, and Anna tells him she had a serious panic attack on Friday. She also warns Leila not to post stuff about her friends again in the future.

Grand Army Episode 5


Grand Army Episode 5 recap: Leila and George hook up again.

As for Omar, the second he mentions casting for The Vagina Monologues, he has Leila’s full attention. She got cast as an understudy, which Leila thinks is embarrassing despite Omar trying to assure her it’s a great part for a freshman. Leila remains unconvinced. The only thing that cheers her up is that she receives a candygram, clearly from Owen, but she assumes it’s from George and invites him to the drama department.

Leila and George hookup, and it goes better than their first time together. What’s perhaps the most frustrating of all is that before Leila sinks to her knees to engage in oral sex with George, he asks her if she’s okay with doing this. Where was his concern for consent with Joey? He tells Leila that “this is the most fun he’s had with like, anyone.” Leila is definitely going to be back under his spell again.

In science class, Victor becomes Sid’s lab partner, but Victor comes bearing unfortunate news. A nude of Meera is floating around the school, allegedly sent by the swim team member Sid saw her getting close with in the last episode, Bo Orlov (David Iacono). Sid’s first reaction is to text Meera with a side of s–t-shaming and victim-blaming. She tells him she doesn’t need his judgment. “You’re okay with everyone seeing you like that???” He couldn’t as least ask her how she was feeling?

Elsewhere, it’s time for another part of the hearing for Owen and Jay. Owen is still avoiding Jay, likely because his parents think it would further harm his reputation to be seen talking to him. At least, that’s why Jay’s parents suspect. Dom is also there to give her statement, and she can’t help but notice Jay has very loving, adoring parents who are very much in love even after years together.

The meeting doesn’t go well. Even though Dom tries to explain that the entire thing was messing around that got out of hand and that she doesn’t believe Owen stole her money, Owen is sentenced to a harsh 60-day suspension.

Grand Army Episode 5 recap: Joey gets a rape kit, Luke and George are arrested.

We see more of Joey’s appointment, each grueling step of the rape test process. It’s hard to watch. Luke and George are pulled out of class back at school by the principal and several police officers. Both boys and Tim are arrested as a desperate Anna tries to figure out what’s going on and where her brother is being taken. Anna’s gut reaction is to blame Joey for the arrest, and she sends her a nasty text message that Joey’s mom reads.

Joey visits with a therapist and admits she’s having trouble reconciling reporting the rape with the fact that Tim, George, and Luke were her friends. She even sent them candygrams for Valentine’s Day. She reveals that she really isn’t sure what she wants to happen to them. All of it is just very traumatic for her, and now she also has to deal with people from school turning vicious, including her closest friends.

Read: ‘Grand Army’ recap: Episode 4, ‘Safety On’

Since the accusations against George and Luke are so serious, they’re not likely to be on the swim team much longer that year. Sid and his coach meet to discuss options for an upcoming relay. Their conversation gets interrupted by Victor, who brings Sid his backpack after he mistakenly left it behind in class.

Sid is just thankful that his personal statement (which reveals he’s gay) is still inside. His coach tells Sid that Harvard scouts will be at the relay, so he needs to think carefully about who he wants to swim with. His best option is probably Orlov. Obviously, that’s the last thing Sid wants to hear after the Meera incident.

The confrontation isn’t as bad as it could be. Sid heads toward Bo in the locker rooms and calls him out for disrespecting him and his sister. Bo gives him a somewhat half-hearted apology. For now, Sid is just trying to focus more on the relay and ensuring Bo will work hard and give it his all.

Grand Army Episode 5 recap: The fallout of Luke and George’s arrest.

In the girl’s locker rooms, Grace is leading the anti-Joey brigade. It shows how terrible of a friend Grace is that she’s immediately willing to turn on Joey, who has been there for her repeatedly. Several girls are willing to believe Joey, while others want to throw her under the bus and label her a s–t, including Leila. She tries to make herself throw up after going down on George and briefly wondering if he’s actually a rapist.

“He didn’t actually rape her, right?” Leila asks Rachel. Obviously, Rachel can’t answer that, and Leila gets pissed. Rachel calls her out for how much she’s changed and how she claims to be about feminism yet flip-flops on a dime to fit in. “Last year, if a girl said she was raped, you would have believed her.”

During a Black Student Union meeting, Dom hands out flyers for her skills as a hairstylist. She’s doubling down on her side hustles now with her sister Sabine out of work. John tries to get people to volunteer slogans for an upcoming fundraiser to take them to Philadelphia and get involved with the voter registration process. Jay arrives late to the meeting, and Sonia encourages him to tell the BSU about Owen, so he does, and Dom leaves the room looking guilty.

She can’t help but ask John if she thinks his suspension is her fault. John says he doesn’t and then cheers her up with an adorable Valentine’s Day gift in the shape of a pink mug saying, “Dr. Dominique Pierre.” In return, Dom gives him a V-Day cookie, and they share a sweet kiss.

Grand Army Episode 5

GRAND ARMY (L to R) ASHLEY GANGER as MEERA PAKAM in GRAND ARMY EPISODE 5 Image Courtesy of Netflix © 2020

Grand Army Episode 5 recap: Meera’s event is a success, and Dom makes a decision.

Although her parents seem shocked by what they’ve agreed to host, Meera’s event is a success. I’m guessing Meera didn’t tell them that she was planning to celebrate sexuality and her agency as an Indian woman.

Surprisingly, Flo shows up. She and Sid might not be together anymore, but she’s still close with his family. Sid sees it as an opportunity to start things up between him and Flo again, perhaps as another way to ignore his sexuality. They have sex in the bathroom of the venue.

Dom decides on her mom’s proposal. While it might be a lot of money, it makes her uncomfortable, and she doesn’t want to do it. Instead, she does the math and comes up with a plan for them to get through the next few months with her doing hair several times a week to cover Sabine’s lost wages.

Joey sneaks out to grab some Valentine’s Day chocolate so she and her sisters can settle in for a movie night when she hears her parents arguing behind a closed door. It sounds like her dad is against his daughter reporting the rape, while her mom wants Joey to understand it’s her body, and she has a right to decide what to do with it.

Leaving them to it, Joey settles into bed with her two younger sisters, and one of them asks her what it means to be raped. “It means they hurt my body in certain ways.” Joey assures her siblings that she’ll be okay and then deletes her Instagram account.

“You think this is fun and games? It’s actually more like hell,” says the typed manifesto at the end.

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All nine episodes of Grand Army Season 1 are now streaming on Netflix.