'Press' Episode 5 Recap: "Two Worlds"

(Photo: Courtesy of Lookout Point /Colin Hutton) 

After four episodes of sloppy Holly Evans and her "I couldn't care less about my appearance because that makes me a serious person" demeanor, Press Episode 5, "Two Worlds" starts with the glow up of the entire series. Holly puts on her best hair, heels, and lipstick, and heads into The Post for her first day at work. It's not model perfect, she's still wearing the raggy coat, and the blouse isn't the greatest fit. But it's still night and day from the last four episodes, as James notes when she walks by him on her way in. "I didn't even know you owned a skirt!"

Of course, then he puts two and two together as she pushes him aside and heads to her building instead of his. "Oh! Holly, noooo!"

The Post is all smiles and welcomes, but Allen admits he'd chased her down because Emmerson wanted to do more serious journalism. That is, before he suddenly narrows, in that way he does, and starts asking the tough questions. Why is Holly here? Sure, better resources, bigger readership, but why? Something's up; he's not sure what, but he's paranoid enough to wonder if this isn't some insane setup. It's enough that though Holly technically has the title and status, he's not letting her into the daily conference.

(Photo: Courtesy of Lookout Point /Colin Hutton) 

Holly has a list of stuff she wanted to work on but never could get the funds to cover, including the story of a Syrian refugee named Adnan. Unfortunately, none of which interest Allen in the slightest. He has something else he wants her to sink her teeth into though: Resonance. He has this whole song and dance about a "boozy lunch with an MI-5 higher up" that wrote it on a napkin with a date on it (14/8/18), but we know his real source was the PM himself. It only gets uglier as the show turns into Holly vs. Allen when she doesn't take "Stay out of the conference" for an answer and then won't keep her mouth shut once she's in. He's trying to go all-in on some story hounding a 17-year-old, Danny Lyons, for bullying, while Holly thinks the story's played out and they should leave it. She's also brought in Adnan (Armin Karima), who Allen refuses to make time for, much to her rage.

It all becomes moot when Lyons kills himself, found dead with The Post's story on his iPad in his hand. The other editors are with Holly on this; they need to drop the story, now. But the disagreement only makes Allen dig in further, and Ed sides with Allen. But Holly's right and he knows it. It's just a matter of getting him to put aside his ego for 30 seconds and think about it. After a one-on-one, Holly has Allen turn around and following her plan: Turn it into a "How The Public Drove Lyons to Suicide." Go full bore on an anti-bullying campaign. Allen comes back out, roaring to get Lyon's mother on the line, get her support, get her to tell the world The Post is a good paper. But in the shuffle, Adnan leaves, recognizing Allen doesn't give a damn about him, whatever Holly says.

Ed initially missed his now-former-flatmate arriving as his new coworker because he's too busy hitting on one of the new girls, Jools (Georgina Landers), who's doing a week of work experience. Once they do spot each other, it's ugly — ex-lovers, ex-flatmates, ex-rivals, and Ed's own self-loathing over what he's doing at The Post bubbling up to the surface. It doesn't help that his next assignment is now calling Lyon's mother, and doing whatever it takes (including covering funeral expenses) to turn this grieving woman around and make a statement in support of their campaign. Ed succeeds, but as he does, he realizes this is what Allen sees in Holly — a successor, someone who is just as ruthless in her way. 

(Photo: Courtesy of Lookout Point /Colin Hutton) 

Just as it seems that the show has forgetton about The Herald, 40 minutes in the episode suddenly rewinds to the beginning. This time it follows James to work instead. The Herald are still sad sacks, now made sadder, and far more incompetent, by Holly's absence. Craig attempts to step in, but can't even keep his papers in order. Meanwhile, Leona is grabbing every opening, finding her way into Holly's old seat, presenting the stories as Craig frantically shuffles his notes.

What Holly misses while selling her soul is Amina listened to her parting words. The Herald is going free for print, paywall online, the first sensible thing anyone at that place has done all season. This change will bring a promotion for Leona, who will now work directly with Peter. But just as it seems they're all moving on, Holly pops up in the office. She's not lasted a day at The Post, just as Ed predicted. (Neither it turns out, has Jools, who upon seeing Lyon's mother record the anti-bullying message under grieving duress, has decided this is far too stomach-churning, and Ed is a terrible person.)

Holly did leave the Resonance napkin behind, so Allen doesn't fret about that. Even better, she's also left her notes on Adnan on the server. Allen considers picking it up and running with it as punishment. (Far better than him putting her mother on the cover with a nasty headline, and getting what she wanted to boot.) But no one bothered to get his information, and Allen can't even remember his name. Holly, of course, has come back with what she witnessed with the Danny Lyons story, nevermind that it was her idea. She's raring to write an expose on The Post, as well as asking for the money to get Adnan's story since The Post failed her. But when she mentions the safe and the napkin with Resonance on it, Leona's ears peak up, and she brings James in. The only story worth watching in this whole show is finally brought back to the A-plot for the finale.