[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Resort Episode 5.]
IN The resortdirector/actor Ben Sinclair (High maintenance) intended to make us “feel all things without form as form was taking form”. Sinclair plays Oceana Vista owner Alex on the series, in addition to directing Episodes 1 through 4. He caught up with TV Insider about his time on the Peacock drama, explaining how he and creator/writer Andy Siara (Palm Springs) collaborated to help solve this holiday mystery. Siara also chatted with TV Insider about all things Episode 5, streaming now, revealing how its plot raises questions answered in Episode 4. Trippy, we know.
For starters, as a director, Sinclair said, “I saw my service as one of tone and humor, making this funny thing about being a mystery” so as not to allow the mystery to be told in the typical “one given leads”. on the other road”. “When it looks like you’re just checking off a list, then it’s a procedural city,” he explained. “And this is not the city I want to live in.” To that end, he threw in spontaneous funny moments, like Baltasar (Luis Gerardo Méndez) drinking on Luna (Gabriela Cartol) while the hurricane appeared above.
“I actually think the dance between form and formlessness is what cloud tank things are. Those inkblots [shots],” he added. The paint-smudge-like shots that punctuate the episodes sporadically are one of Resorts many unsolved mysteries so far. But one thing that becomes more clear in Episode 5 is time travel.
Throughout the episode, Sinclair’s Alex journeys into the jungle with Sam (Skyler Gisondo) and Violet (Nina Bloomgarden) in search of the author of The Disappointment of Time, who he is now convinced has something to do with him. He leaves Sam and Violet at a fruit stand, taking their phones with him, after warning them not to go to Pasaje as Violet plans. Alex clearly knows something they and the viewers don’t, and his seemingly insane ramblings start to make more sense in the last 10 minutes of Episode 5, when we first see him time travel. It appears that the strange hotel owner’s inability to remember his own life may be an effect of his involuntarily crossing timelines. But “when it comes to time travel,” Siara posed the question, “Is it time travel?”
“I like the idea that people can have their own interpretation for sure,” Siara said of the supernatural elements. “But for me there’s really only one answer. And that’s I think if you were to look at the painting, and that moment on the beach where Alex sees something, and we go to that wide shot. If you were to look at that wide shot and then pick out a few lines that he says along the way through Episodes 4 and 5, I think it shows exactly what’s going on.”
“This is how he perceives time. There are looks that he gets,” Siara clarified. “For example, she was shot on the beach [in Episode 4], here’s the meteor, but if you were to look down the beach, you’d see some dinosaurs. And in the front of the frame, you see some dinosaurs. And if you look to the right of the frame and you see the hotel, it’s the abandoned hotel, it’s the hotel in 2022. The asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs hit that spot in the Yucatan [Peninsula in Mexico] 65 million years ago or so. And so in this single moment, there’s 65 million years ago on the left side of the frame to 15 years in the future on the right side of the frame, and in the center is Alex and his team in 2005.”
Basically, Alex doesn’t necessarily travel through time. Rather, he does not experience time linearly. He sees things from the past, present and future happening at once.
“For everything at the end of Episode 5, there are scenes and things that are purposefully not being there that Alex is watching in almost the last 10 minutes of the episode,” Siara said, “That’s what drives him away . in the jungle and leave the phones where they are.”
Indeed, Episode 5 revealed that Alex had placed Sam’s phone in the jungle just seconds before Emma (Cristin Milioti) crashed it when she crashed her ATV in the pilot. He placed Violet’s phone just a stone’s throw away, which Noah (William Jackson Harper) discovers near the end of Year 5. And as it turns out, that moment — and the discovery of Emma and Noah’s history on the trail with Luna — it was made possible because of a spontaneous last-minute change Siara made to the script.
“When the four of them are on that path, and they split up, Baltasar says, ‘Me and Emma are going to come down here, and you guys go walk the path.’ First it was Noah who said, ‘I’m going with Emma.’ And then Emma says: ‘No, I’ll go. You go with Luna.’ We shot this out of order. And seeing how the scene with Emma and Baltasar when she was lying on the floor there, which we shot the day before, I changed everything so that instead of Emma rejecting Noah there, Noah rejects Emma.”
“It feels like a small thing, but the ripple effects are clear,” added Siara. He continued: “There are things inside [Episode] 4 that make more sense after you see 5. And then things in 5 that make more sense after you see 6. Like what Baltasar does at the end of 5, talking to Emma. When they go into the jungle, he doesn’t know what exactly he will find there. But there’s a hope that when you get her to remember things that she’s trying to forget, it might have an effect on other things that are in the same area.”
Emma is trying to forget that she and Noah lost a child a few years ago. The baby lived for just an hour and Emma was not awake during that time, leaving Noah the only one of the couple to see their daughter’s face. The heartbreak turned Emma into an emotional fortress, who ignores talking and feeling her feelings altogether. She’s convinced herself that solving Sam and Violet’s mystery is all about that, but it’s clear that there’s something personal at stake for her as well.
Siara explained that Noah’s rejection of Emma on the trail is an emotional turning point for the series as a whole, because we’ve now learned the root of the couples’ distance and now they’re being sent on separate paths. “You no longer have Noah passive after this. Emma realizes ‘Oh, I was looking outside for my answers, and if I have to look inside, that’s not what I do. I don’t do that.”
Sinclair and Siara both said that The resort it has a lot to do with nostalgia. Sinclair said: “We all have our own personal nostalgia. Therefore, Baltasari’s investigation into people’s motivations is a subjective reality that these characters have.” And as Siara explained, “we have a bunch of characters that are trying to get that sense of home back, and what is home to you, or what is that feeling? And I know what that feels like to me, and if I lose any part of home, how far would I go to get that feeling back even if it’s just for a second? Just for a brief moment?”
“As much as we want to believe that something doesn’t matter, it doesn’t affect us, it makes our path change a little and become part of who we are,” he continued. “They’re trying to get back to a point in their lives before the sh*t that’s thrown at them is thrown at them.”
Find out if they can when The resort Episode 6 airs Thursday, August 18, on Peacock.
The resortNew episodes, on Thursdays, Peacock