‘Poker Face’ Episode 5: Recap And Ending: Old Grudges Never Die

Following a week-long hiatus, “Poker Face” is back on our screens with the freshly released episode 5, dubbed “Time of the Monkey.” The episode explores the story of two old women who decide to commit a crime to quench their old grudge.

Spoilers Ahead

Old Grudges Never Die

Episode 5 brings the audience to a retirement home where Joyce Harris (played by S. Epatha Merkerson) lives with her best friend, Irene Smothers (played by Judith Light). Both Harris and Irene oscillate their time between playing board games and picking up uncanny conversations with Betty (K. Kallan) and occasionally flirting with Billy (played by Darius Fraser), the doctor employed by the retirement home. The duo plans to murder Ben (played by Reed Birney), who’s just arrived at the retirement home and wishes to spend the rest of the days in solace alongside his friends. At this juncture, we don’t know why Harris and Irene had something against Ben that made them kill him. The institution was hosting a trip to the local zoo, providing the murderous duo with the perfect opportunity to carry out their sinister plan. Harris could walk freely, but Mekerson’s mobility was limited to wheelchairs. Both Harris and Irene knew each other from their youth, were members of a band called the Droopy Hues, and were involved in the revolution against then-President Nixon. Sadly, their headquarters was raided, and Irene was shot and paralyzed from the waist down. However, that doesn’t deter her from carrying out her plan. Even though Irene was unable to walk, she harbors immense strength in her muscles, allowing her to scale from the ground floor’s toilet to Ben’s room on the third floor. After making her way into Ben’s room, Irene injected him with a needle she had procured from the medical cart, stopping Ben’s heartbeat. She also stole Ben’s heartbeat sensor and shocked herself on the zoo trip to create an impeccable alibi for herself so no one could suspect her, as she was miles away from the institution when Ben was found dead in the room.

But why? In reality, Ben was the one who led Irene and Harris to join the group and later gave up their locations to the authorities to acquit himself of all charges, robbing both of them of decades of their lives and Irene’s legs. Both Harris and Irene believe they have avenged themselves and gotten away with a crime, but sadly, they are brought in for questioning by FBI agent Luca (played by Simon Herberg), who suddenly learns about their real identities from Charlie. Luca is having a hard time wrapping his head around the fact that Ben, aka Gabriel, died a day after he encountered Irene and Harris, and since he has snitched on them in the past, the duo has a concrete motive to kill him. But the heart-cuff data puts them in the zoo when Gabriel breathes his last. However, Charlie believes the duo to be an innocent couple enjoying their final days in the retirement home but learns from Luca that they were domestic terrorists wanted for making bombs and conspiring to blow up the model United Nations. The allegations made Charlie conduct her own independent investigation and question them directly about killing Ben to draw out their lies. Fearing that Charlie is getting too close to the truth; the duo decides to murder her as well. On the other hand, Charlie learns from a trio of old ladies who spend their hours watching crime serials that the best way to kill someone is through Sodium Nitrate, as it is a naturally occurring material in the body and very difficult to isolate in the autopsy. The Gardner likewise confirms that he has provided Harris with a substantial amount of sodium nitrate for her plants. But this doesn’t add up as the sensors showed that the time of death was 2:23 when Harris and Irene were at the zoo.

Charlie also asks Billy if she could take a look at Ben’s data from his hard-cuff bracelet. According to the data, Ben had a cardiac spike and died minutes later. Charlie notices some disparity in the data and learns that after 11:10, it shows different speeds and strengths, like Ben has switched his heart or something. She puts all the pieces together and concludes that Irene climbed up the plant ladder, swapped up the heart cuff, killed Ben at 11:10, climbed back down, went to the zoo, and faked the cardiac spike during the show in the zoo. After probing further, Charlie learns that Betty saw Irene and Harris tasing each other but was killed by a pressure cooker bomb. Realizing they’ve gone too far, Charlie decides to bring an end to this madness. The duo tries to kill Charlie, but Luca arrives at the right moment, saves Charlie, and sends Irene and Harris back to federal prison for murdering Ben and Betty, offering Charlie one more win.

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