'Grand Army' Episode 5: Joey reports rape while Dom refuses to sell herself for her family

We see the continuation of the same kind of toxic behavior that treats women, not as people, but as objects to be collected, shared, consumed and certainly not respected


                            'Grand Army' Episode 5: Joey reports rape while Dom refuses to sell herself for her family
(Netflix)

It is revealing that when police officers come in to arrest George and Luke, Luke's first thought is that they have been busted for drugs. Their guilty conscience isn't remotely affected by what they did to Joey. Just before that George gets a blow job from Leila and he is on top of the world because it's Valentine's Day and he got six candy grams.

Meanwhile, Joey is on the verge of a breakdown as she goes in for a rape kit test. Her session with the therapist shows what it feels to have your 'friends' betray your trust so deeply and yet be the one feeling guilty for betraying them by reporting them. We see other girls open up about other 'weird s**t' that George and Luke have done, while another girl Gracie defends them saying "weird s**t isn't rape". 

Strangely, we don't get to hear what's being said in the boys' locker room about the arrest. We only see the continuation of the same kind of toxic behavior that treats women, not as people, but as objects to be collected, shared, consumed and certainly not respected. After Meera's nudes are circulated by Orlov in the swim team, Meera fumes to Flora, about why they can't just jerk off to it and keep it to themselves instead of sharing them.

Sid also subtly slut-shames her. He also calls Orlov out on his behavior, but he does it by saying Meera is under his patriarchal protection because she is "his sister" and therefore should be off limits for the "brotherhood".  

Meera on the other hand shuts down Sid's censure, firmly in control of her expression of desire. "I'm embarrassed but I'm not ashamed", she says as she hosts an art and food show about female sexuality in her parents' cafe. They are faintly embarrassed by all of it but just let it slide -- which is precisely how Indian parents would act -- so points for authenticity. 

The mystery that is Leila deepens. She wants to be a feminist but she enables toxic male behavior. In her dreamscape 'world', she dreams of electrocuting George with her pussy but also is vicious about Joey, calling her a slut and essentially saying that she deserved being raped.

Leila is called out by her best friend, who says that she has changed and their friendship is no longer sustainable. And just like that Leila's mood plummets -- we don't know what mental disorder she has but her rapid mood changes based on people's assessment of her is definitely indicative of something. 

Tucked into the background of all the Joey and Leila drama, we get Dom and Jayson's stories. Dom is asked to be a boy's female companion for $10,000 by her own mother who says it is the "only way" to keep their family in the US so that none of them have to go back. Dom's mother is the worst kind of toxic mother there is -- OK with her daughter selling her body but not ok asking her 15-year-old son to pitch in to help the family by doing a few odd jobs. Dom however refuses to sell herself and decides to start a hair salon in the house and work even more hours to get the $10,000 in over three months -- by which time she hopes her sister will get better and start work from home doing telemarketing.

Meanwhile, Jayson and Owen's hearing gets the criminal justice system involved in what was essentially a stupid and immature but harmless school prank. Jayson in trying to help Owen, digs the hole even deeper for him -- he gets 60 days and a record for life, affecting his chances at a better life forever too. Jayson is guilt-stricken and can't help thinking it is too unfair. He accidentally becomes part of a voter registration volunteer meeting and we see the start of him becoming more involved with political activism to help his community. It's a step in the right direction with the cards that he and Owen were handed. 

'Grand Army' premiered on October 16 on Netflix.

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