'Les Miserables' Episode 5 Recap: Do You Hear the People Sing?

Marius and Cosette in their secret garden rendezvous (Photo:  Courtesy of Robert Viglasky / Lookout Point)

Previously on Les Miserables: Cosette – now considerably older – convinces her adopted dad that she’s tired of life penned up in a convent and wants to see the world. She and Valjean move to a splashy new flat that none of us can tell how they afford, and she catches the eye of the world’s most boring youth, Marius Pontmercy, on their daily constitutionals around a local park. Valjean is unhappy, Cosette feels oppressed, and Marius whines about his lack of love life to his pseudo-revolutionary friends at the pub. Elsewhere, it turns out that the now-broke Thenardiers are Marius’ next-door neighbors and he watches them both discover and try to rob and murder Valjean when he stops by to distribute some charity. Paris is wild, y’all! If you need a longer explanation of what went down, our recap of Episode 4 is this way.

After four episodes, it feels like Les Miserables is finally ready to acknowledge the most bizarre thing that’s going on in this particular adaptation, and that is the fact that Javert has straight up lost his mind.

'Les Miserables' Episode 4 Recap: In My Life

Cosette (Photo: Courtesy of Robert Viglasky / Lookout Point)

Previously on Les Miserables: After another several-year stint in prison, Valjean breaks out, retrieves his bottomless secret stash of money – seriously were those candlesticks made of diamonds?? – and heads to Montfermeil to finally rescue Fantine’s daughter. Getting a tiny child to care for is the saving of Jean Valjean’s character as he suddenly becomes gruff, caring and kind of adorable instead of just feral and self-centered. Unfortunately, Javert is still stalking Valjean across the entire countryside of France and this eventually drives Valjean and Cosette to take shelter in a kind nunnery, where the Mother Superior breaks something like a hundred years of tradition by letting a man into their holy building and lying to the police. I guess Valjean must have a really nice face?

It’s unfortunate for Les Miserables that the worst part of its story is something that no adaptation has yet quite figured out how to fix, given that this character is a key piece of so many of its major arcs. And that is the fact that Marius Pontmercy is the worst.

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