Fleishman Is in Trouble season 1 episode 5 recap & review: Vantablack

The fifth episode of ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble’ sees Toby struggling with loneliness, while Libby sheds light on her career as a writer. The episode is now streaming on Hulu.


After breaking down at the hospital, Toby came back home and resumed his regular life. Toby felt lost and alone. He visits his favorite places and does his favorite things to keep himself busy.

The time passes slowly, but soon the work week arrives. Toby gets busy at the hospital and even thinks of going out with his colleagues. Upon asking them, he learns that they all have different plans.

When all hope was lost, he turned to his old friend, Seth. When Toby called him, Seth was out there celebrating with his friends. Seth invited Toby, and they spent a night full of golf, dance-offs, and underground fights.

The next day, Toby goes back to the woman he met online, who had rejected his proposal. This time around, she is more open about why she can’t be with him.

- Advertisement -

She reveals that she is married to a man who works as an anchor on a conservative news network. Her husband was never interested in sleeping with her.

One day, she walked into their house and saw him getting intimate with another man. He might lose his job if anyone else finds out about it.

So he pays for everything she desires, and in return, she goes out with him occasionally. So technically, she isn’t divorced.

On his way back home, Toby comes across a pet adoption van. He remembers how his kids always wanted a dog. Now that he is all alone, he thinks of filling his house with a new member.

He adopts one of the dogs, names him Bubbles, and goes straight to meet his friends, Libby and Seth.

Libby is forced to leave their conversation midway as she has plans with her family. She is reluctant to disclose where her family is headed. So she instead spends time telling the viewers how she went from being an ambitious writer to a housewife.

Libby worked at a men’s magazine and aspired to be like her favorite author, Archer Sylvan. After spending 15 years at the magazine, she realized that she is not moving forward.

She quit her job at the magazine and planned on writing a novel. It’s been two years since then, and she hasn’t even opened up a blank page and attempted to write anything.

Meanwhile, Toby receives a call from the camp director. He asks him to pick up Hanna. Toby visits the camp and is told that Hanna is being kicked out for sending a boy an inappropriate picture. That boy, in turn, has shared it with everyone else at the camp.

Toby is furious at the camp director, who won’t take action against the boy, and his reason is simply that Hanna was the one to share it in the first place.

He picks up a crying Hanna and then Solly. Before leaving, he confronts the boy responsible for sharing Hanna’s pictures.

Despite Hanna being broken to the core, Toby musters up the courage to tell the kids about their mother, who has abandoned them. The family drives back home and eventually gets along as they sing a song together on their way.

At home, Bubbles surprises the kids, who rejoice, forgetting what went down at the camp. Toby, on the other hand, doesn’t. He wonders how Hanna managed to turn things around.

Earlier, she faced public humiliation and learned that her mother has abandoned her. Now, after meeting Bubbles, it seems like she has left all of that behind.

After putting his kids to sleep, Toby leaves to confront Rachel, but before knocking on the door, he questions himself if there is any point in having a conversation about this.

The next day, the Fleishman family embarks on a new life as a family of three. Toby takes them to the American Museum of Natural History to see an exhibit called Vantablack.


  • This is probably the most wholesome episode of the series so far. The second half of the episode, in particular, is high on emotions and hits the right notes with songs and music featured.
  • The episode has brilliantly used songs like Rachel Platten’s ‘Fight Song’ and Calum Scott’s ‘Dancing On My Own’ to convey the situation the Fleishman family is in right now.
  • The show sheds some light on what went down with Libby. Her story is inserted carefully without overshadowing Toby’s.
  • The fifth episode also offers some memorable moments, like Toby confronting the kid who shared Hannah’s picture and the Fleishman family getting back on its feet together.
  • The end of the episode signifies that the Fleishman family has accepted their situation and has moved on from Rachel. She is no longer the fourth member of their family, and it would be intriguing to see how that would work out for them.
Fleishman Is in Trouble season 1 episode 5
Fleishman Is in Trouble season 1 episode 5 recap & review: Vantablack 1

Director: Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini

Date Created: 2022-12-08 11:00

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Who is Sam Rothberg in Fleishman Is in Trouble?