At the beginning of The Five, we see 5-year-old Jesse hanging out with his friends. His friends and brother tell him he cannot come along, because he is too young. The boy heads off on his own, while the others head in the opposite direction. Jesse’s brother, Mark, turns around and watches his brother walk away. We jump 20 years into the future and see Mark (Tom Cullen) jogging through the woods. His childhood friend, Danny Kenwood (O.T. Fagbenle), gets prepares for work. We see several other individuals and flashbacks to their childhoods during these opening scenes. Danny arrives at work and heads to a murder scene.
Danny and his colleague, DC Ally Caine (Hannah Arterton), quickly discover that the murder victim checked into the motel under an alias. They chat about the male suspect’s description, which is fairly vague. Once inside the victim’s motel room, Danny and the forensic investigator recreate the murder. It is believed the woman was attacked from behind, hit several times on the bed, and finally killed. Also, the killer apparently cleaned off the blood inside of the room. Mark grabs coffee and watches outside of a home, while a man leaves. Mark surprises a lady friend, Laura (Honeysuckle Weeks), who is still married to her husband, Kenton Marshall (Tom Price).
The pair speak about their relationship. Laura admits to lying about leaving her husband. Mark can’t seem to wrap his head around his girlfriend cheating on him with her husband. Next, we jump over to another friend of Jesse. Slade (Lee Ingleby) watches a group of women dance, while Britnay Shearer (Sophia La Porta) flirts with a friend. Slade urges her over and dances with the woman, as if to stop her from flirting with the other man. Meanwhile, Danny scours over crime scene pictures. He is given DNA evidence from Ken (Tom Brittney). Danny finds something utterly disturbing in the DNA report. Meanwhile, Jesse’s mother, Julie Wells (Geraldine James), stares out the window and thinks about the past.
Sales joins his friends at Mark’s birthday party. Mark’s dad, Alan Wells (Michael Maloney), gives a short speech before Julie enters and interrupts. She speaks about Jesse, before the party continues. Once things die down, Danny enters and speaks with Mark and Slade in private. Danny confirms that DNA tests found Jesse’s DNA at the murder scene. Danny agrees to double check the results, while Slade insists the boy must be alive. Danny tells Slade they need to speak with everyone, who was with them the day Jesse disappeared. Slade quickly mentions Pru Carew (Sarah Solemani). In the morning, Danny speaks with his ailing father. He shows him a picture of Jesse and asks him if he can remember the boy.
His father seems to have a flashback of the boy, but refuses to admit remembering him. Mark speaks with his father at their restaurant. Mark asks his dad whether or not Jakob Marosi (Rade Serbedzija) was really responsible for his brother’s mother. While Alan remains adamant that Marosi was the killer, Mark seems to have his doubts. Danny returns to the office and orders his men to double check the forensic results. He tells them about the missing kid’s case from 1995. Next, he meets up with Slade and Mark. The group looks up Pru on social media and confirms she has married. Slade confirms he has already set up a meeting with the woman for the following day.
Seconds later, the men arrive at Pru’s house and are invited in like family. They all chat about their new lives and Pru’s trip to America. Pru is given information about the DNA and is told she has a right to know, since she was there. She admits she thought about it a lot in the past. Pru and Danny chat about their children. Slade invites Pru to visit his shelter and to meet the children. Afterwards, we see a flashback of Jesse calling out to Mark. He is told this is the last time he will see Jesse, before waking up. Mark glances at a picture of the suspect and comes to the conclusion that he needs to meet the man for himself. He contacts Danny and tells him about his decision. Despite some reluctance from Danny, he agrees to help Mark meet the man.
Danny heads to the prison and meets with the murderer. It is revealed that Jakob killed four boys and liked them young. Despite Mark refuting his claims, Jakob remains adamant that he killed Jesse. Jakob mentions Jesse was crying when he found him. At the police station, the team is given an update about the murder. Danny tells the group the woman might’ve been a prostitute. Mickey (Michael Peavoy) makes a comment and is humiliated by Ally. Next, Mickey mentions Danny’s relationship to Jesse and questions whether or not that creates a conflict of interest. Danny is adamant that it does not. Mark goes on another run. This time, he freaks out and has flashbacks, while hallucinating that he sees Jesse. He returns to his mother’s home.
Mark tells his mother and father about the DNA. His mother likes the revelation, but his father does not and insists it must be a mistake. That night, Mark has dinner with Pru. They chat about Pru’s daughter and Mark’s relationship, before finishing up. On the way out, Mark gets a call from Slade. Slade is shown watching over a child’s basketball game. Slade demands to speak with Pru, while one of the boys is belittled by the others. Slade tells Pru about Mark’s prison visit and insists he is keeping things bottled up inside. He forced Pru to promise not to leave Mark alone in the ordeal. Once he hangs up the phone, Slade forces the youngster to kick the ball as hard as he can. That night, a young girl is shown stumbling along the dark streets. A man places a call and tells someone he has one for him.
The girl stumbles a little further, before collapsing to the ground. She is confronted by Slade, who takes her to a safe location. Pru checks on the girl and insists she needs internal scans, before Mark calls Danny. He passes along a picture of the girl and asks Danny to gather information on the girl. Reluctantly, Danny agrees. Danny discovers that the girl, Gemma Morgan (Naomi Ackie), has been missing for several years. Slade and Mark speak with the girl. Mark tells about his brother, while Gemma admits she was with several others. She also admits she was held against her will. Mark and Slade head into the hallway to form a plan. They agree to tread carefully, so they do not upset the girl. Moment later, Britnay enters and agrees to watch over the girl.
Once Britnay sees the girl for herself, she turns around and makes a run for it. At home, Danny receives a call. He learns the team has traced the mobile phone of the victim. He learns her name, Annie Green, and discovers that the phone is turned on. The police quickly arrive at the scene and attempt to capture the suspect. The man makes a run for it and the officers give chase. Eventually, Danny captures the man and asks him repeatedly if he is Jesse. The boy says nothing, but smiles and laughs. The next day, Slade heads to a meeting wearing gloves. He has a flashback of himself chasing Jesse through the woods. He meets with a man, pulls out a gun, and shoots him dead.
The Five Review
The debut episode of The Five was a double edged sword. The episode was genuinely mysterious and kept me interested thanks to the scenes with Mark and Danny. The show’s flashbacks do a good job of slowly unraveling the mystery as well. Unfortunately, the show’s pacing was off. It felt like things were placed into hyper drive.
With 10 episodes for the season, there shouldn’t be a need to rush things along so quickly. The acting was good enough to seem realistic. All in all, a decent start. A 6.5 out of 10 is deserved.