Eric episode 5 recap: a breakthrough in both cases

Gaby Hoffman in Eric
Gaby Hoffman in Eric (Image credit: Ludovic Robert/Netflix)

In Eric episode 5, the penultimate episode, Detective Ledroit (McKinley Belcher III) makes significant progress in both cases. However, his path has obstacles, both from within the police department and city hall. 

The clock is ticking for Vincent (Benedict Cumberbatch), who pursues the clues he believes his son Edgar (Ivan Howe) has left behind. His only companion is the caustic puppet Eric, visible only to him. Meanwhile, Vincent's estranged wife Cassie (Gaby Hoffmann) receives a significant phone call, which she believes is from the man holding her son, but the situation is far from straightforward. 

Read our full Eric episode 5 recap directly below.

Ledroit's personal pain

"We need action," says lawyer Renata Clark (LaTonya Borsay),) with missing 14-year-old Marlon Rochelle's mother Cecile (Adepero Oduye) standing by her side. Edgar disappeared six days ago, whereas Marlon hasn't been seen for 11 months.

Not only is Ledroit trying to solve two cases, but he is also in mourning after the death of his boyfriend, William. William's sister has given Ledroit one month to find a new place to live. She blames Ledroit for getting her brother sick and threatens to tell the NYPD that he is gay. Ledroit tells her he is not HIV positive and she is trying to erase "seven extraordinary years together." 

Meanwhile, Yussuf (Bamar Kane) has told Raya (Alexis Molnar) to put an end to her plan to use Edgar to pay off her drug debts to pimp TJ (Stefan Race) because he is finally going to call Cassie to arrange Edgar's return in exchange for the $25,000 reward. 

After getting this call, Cassie goes to the Good Day Sunshine studio to tell Vincent, unaware that Vincent has been fired. She is furious Lennie (Dan Fogler) didn't stop the executives from that decision. 

Eric's big debut 

When Vincent is on the subway following Edgar's map, he sees a child with a flier for the Good Day Sunshine meet-and-greet, where Eric is making his first public appearance. Vincent cannot resist heading to this event, held in honor of the Good Day Sunshine charity that helps people experiencing homelessness. 

Deputy Mayor Costello (Jeff Hephner) and the Hudson sanitation team are on hand to support this cause, even though they are going full steam ahead with clearing out the tunnels of the homeless people currently residing there. Cassie's boyfriend, Sebastian (José Pimentão), vocally objects to their plans.

Vincent looks aghast at what they have done to his Eric puppet design. His version of Eric also voices his objections. "What the f*** is that?" imaginary Eric says.  

A breakthrough in both cases 

At the basketball court, Ledroit finds Ricardo (Orlando Norman), who happens to be wearing Marlon's number 12 basketball jersey. Ricardo admits they swapped jerseys and that his number is eight. Is Marlon the "8" Kennedy was talking about before he died in a hit-and-run? Ricardo is concerned that if he speaks, then he will end up dead.

After this enlightening conversation, Ledroit confronts Gator (Wade Allain-Marcus) with what he knows, saying he needs the Lux CCTV from the day Marlon went missing. Gator reiterates that all the sex workers in the club are legal, but Ledroit doubts whether TJ has been following these rules. 

Gator says the only other time he has seen Ledroit in that suit is when Ledroit's mother died, once again highlighting how close they once were.

More surveillance footage from the day Edgar disappeared reveals he was following Yussuf; Ledroit clocks that he is the person Edgar drew. He goes to Captain Cripp (David Denman) with this new suspect information, also telling him that Marlon Rocelle is the "8" he has been searching for. 

Ledroit tells Cripp about his conversation with Detective Nokes' (Ryan Hunter) wife and that he thinks Nokes killed Kennedy. Cripp tells Ledroit to drop it and focus on finding Edgar. Cripp then warns Nokes to "pull your wife back into line," suggesting Cripp is part of a coverup.

Cleaning up the tunnels 

Bamar Kane and Alexis Molnar in Eric

Bamar Kane and Alexis Molnar in Eric (Image credit: Ludovic Robert/Netflix)

Eric continues to criticize Vincent's parenting skills while they continue ticking off clues. Vincent realizes Edgar is mapping out a specific graffiti tag and realizes it goes down a subway tunnel, which he follows. 

When Cassie goes to get the reward money from her in-laws to pay Yussuf, Mrs. Anderson (Phoebe Nicholls) told her to get some sleep while she got her husband to come home. The Andersons then call the police, who are then when Cassie wakes up. They come to an agreement about holding back while Cassie makes the exchange, but this plan goes to hell as Cripp has released Yussuf's image to the media, so they think he won't show up now.

The other issue is that while a thunderstorm rages, the police and Hudson Sanitation plan to remove anyone who has taken shelter or residence there. 

At The Lux, Gator confronts TJ about the missing June 12 tape. Gator is furious as he clocks Marlon, who came into the club on a different night, and realizes TJ has broken his number one rule. Gator tells him he will kill him if he doesn’t find the tape.

Unknown to Vincent, Edgar is close by. But rather than look for his son, Vincent smokes heroin. So when the cops arrive with their nightsticks swinging, Vincent is in no state to run. Unfortunately, he spots Edgar's jacket but can't get to him.

Yussuf has seen a news report with his face all over it, so he reluctantly lets Raya take Edgar. Raya claims she will take Edgar to Cassie, but this seems unlikely. Edgar slips when climbing the ladder to the street and falls into the now-flooded storm drain with Raya. Cassie, meanwhile, is still waiting at the phone booth. 

With no one else to turn to, Ledroit heads to The Lux, seeking solace in Gator. Beneath the streets, Vincent discovers the drawings Edgar did in Yussuf's now destroyed makeshift home, but passes out before he can do anything about it. One episode to go and both cases are closer to being solved. 

All episodes of Eric are now available to stream on Netflix.

Emma Fraser

Emma Fraser spends most of her time writing about TV, fashion, and costume design; Dana Scully is the reason she loves a pantsuit. Words can also be found at Vulture, Elle, Primetimer, Collider, Little White Lies, Observer, and Girls on Tops. Emma has a Master’s in Film and Television, started a (defunct) blog that mainly focused on Mad Men in 2010, and has been getting paid to write about TV since 2015. It goes back way further as she got her big start making observations in her diary about My So-Called Life’s Angela Chase (and her style) at 14.