The Old Man episode 5 says goodbye to fan favorite characters

Jeff Bridges in The Old Man
Jeff Bridges in The Old Man (Image credit: FX)

NOTE: This article contains SPOILERS for The Old Man episode 5.

With episode 5 airing this week, we’ve only got two episodes left of The Old Man season 1 (thank goodness they renewed the series for a second season). Following The Old Man episode 4’s reveal that Harper (John Lithgow) knew Angela (Alia Shawkat) was really Dan Chase’s daughter Emily and Zoe (Amy Brenneman) attempting to shift the power dynamic between her and Dan (Jeff Bridges), episode 5 was all about figuring out how these revelations impact the relationship dynamic between these characters.

That may sound a bit boring on the surface, but The Old Man continues to show that it is one of the best written and acted shows on TV right now, as the quartet knocks their scenes (confined mostly to an airplane and a car) out of the park. We would also be remiss to not mention a great scene featuring Joel Grey’s Morgan Bote and Gbegna Akinnagbe’s Julian Carson that reveals more of the backstory on his character’s relationship with both Chase and Harper.

We’ll discuss all of that a bit more later, however, as the biggest moment in the episode came when Chase — and fans — had to say goodbye to two favorites: the loyal rottweiler’s Dave and Carol.

Viewers have come to love the pair of Dave and Carol, who have been the best of companions and protectors for Chase throughout the series so far. That made it all the more heartbreaking when Chase dropped off the dogs at a pet hotel, no matter how swanky it looks (how many pet hotels have their own underground entrance?). The dogs of course bark as Chase begins to walk away and you can hear the pain in his voice as he yells at them to stop barking.

You would think as valuable as Dave and Carol have been to Chase so far that he would want to bring them along to help out in whatever way they can on his mission against Faraz Hamzad. But the fact he is leaving them behind and authorizing Zoe to take them home in the event he doesn’t come back should say everything we need to know about how dangerous he perceives where they’re heading next.

Fans on social media let the world know how much they are going to miss Dave and Carol.

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The Old Man episode 5 highlights

Here’s a brief rundown of some of the other big moments from The Old Man episode 5: 

  • John Lithgow and Alia Shawkat’s scenes in the plane were incredible (please remember them this time next year Emmy voters). As much fun as it was to see them going against each other following the Angela/Emily revelation, it’s even better that they're back working together to pursue Hamzad and clear Harper’s name. Can Emily save both of her dads?
  • Speaking of family issues, Joel Grey’s Morgan Bote shared just how deep this all runs for him, as he sees both Chase and Harper as surrogate children. He was also the one who pulled the strings to get Emily into the FBI and on Harper’s team. Can’t wait to learn more about Bote and see more of the legendary Grey.
  • Zoe continues to prove that she is more than the divorcee Chase first met. After Chase explains her rare ability to see the weakness in people and knowing how to pressure them, she puts this skill to good use to convince Zachary (Jordan Bridges) to do the business deal he stonewalled Chase on about meeting the former Soviet officer that’s connected to Hamzad. Her confidence is growing, but will it be enough to survive whatever is coming?
  • We finally know at least one facet of why this story was set into motion. In a flashback sequence, the young Abbey Chase (Leem Lubany) reveals to young Dan (Bill Heck) that she is worried a Soviet officer is going to reveal through torture that she is actually spying for the Russians. She says she is only giving information on Hamzad’s rivals so when the Russians leave Afghanistan he can become the new leader of the country, but they also know about a valuable mine site, though she did not share its location with them. She is worried Hamzad will force her to reveal where the mine is and if he finds it that it’ll corrupt him so he won’t become the leader she dreams of.

    Is that what Hamzad is after, the riches he was denied all those years ago? That certainly seems like it could be a big part of it, but have to think there’s a little more to go along with that. 

New episodes of The Old Man premiere on Thursdays at 10 pm ET/PT on FX in the US, streaming next day on Hulu. There's no UK release date yet.

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.