‘The Chair’ Season 1 Episode 5 Recap — ‘The Last Bus in Town’

Once again Ji-Yoon Kim (Sandra Oh) is struggling. She’s not happy with the newest lecturer in The Chair Season 1 Episode 5: “The Last Bus in Town.” As for Professor Bill Dobson (Jay Duplass), Ji-Yoon learns in this episode of the Netflix original series that his future at Pembroke University doesn’t look good.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from The Chair Season 1 Episode 5: “The Last Bus in Town”]

‘The Chair’ Season 1 Episode 5: Ji-Yoon meets David Duchovny and she’s not impressed

David Duchovny and Sandra Oh sit on a gray couch in 'The Chair' Season 1
David Duchovny and Sandra Oh in ‘The Chair’ Season 1 | Eliza Morse/Netflix

David Duchovny makes his first appearance after being mentioned earlier in the series. Ji-Yoon goes to his lavish country home where, at one point, he recreates the Speedo scene from The X-Files

When Ji-Yoon arrives at David’s mansion she finds him swimming laps in his indoor pool. As he gets out of the water Ji-Yoon awkwardly hides behind a plant thinking the actor’s naked. He’s not — Duchovny’s wearing a Speedo just like he did on The X-Files — and the two proceed to have a conversation about the distinguished lectureship and teaching Bill’s class. 

Duchovny’s ideas don’t impress Ji-Yoon. He says he’d like to discuss his unfinished, decades-old dissertation. When Ji-Yoon expresses her concern Duchovny leaves the room to play guitar. Ji-Yoon finds him and offers him an honorary doctorate if he agrees to back out of the distinguished lectureship.

Professor Bill Dobson makes a memorable impression as he joins in on a Korean tradition

Jay Duplass smiles as he looks at food in 'The Chair' Season 1 Episode 5
Jay Duplass in ‘The Chair’ Season 1 | Eliza Morse/Netflix

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After learning his upcoming hearing will no longer be about disciplinary action but termination Bill takes self-medicates with pills. On his way to get fast food, he’s stopped by Ji-Yoon’s daughter, Ju-Hee “Ju Ju” Kim (Everly Carganilla), who is on her way to a relative’s birthday party with her grandpa. 

Ju Ju invites Bill to tag along which is how he ends up watching a Dol ceremony, a Korean tradition to mark a child’s first birthday and bless them with a prosperous future.

Bill gets upset over the outcome of the Dol ceremony (the baby picks a dollar bill after some encouragement from a guest). In the process, pills spill out of his pocket for everyone to see. 

‘The Chair’ Season 1 Episode 5: The tenured professors get organized and Yaz McKay receives a tempting offer

Nana Mensah wears a pink turtleneck sweater as she stands across from Sandra Oh in a brown suit in 'The Chair' Season 1
Nana Mensah and Sandra Oh in ‘The Chair’ Season 1 | Eliza Morse/Netflix

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After finding Professor Elliot Rentz’s (Bob Balaban) letter arguing she should receive tenure Professor Yaz McKay (Nana Mensah) confronts him about it. She tells Elliot that Ji-Yoon begged her to co-teach with him because so few students were enrolled in his classes. Yaz also tells Elliot that his name was on a list of tenured professors who were going to be forced to retire.

Elliot proceeds to tell his other tenured colleagues about his conversation with Yaz. Professor Joan Hambling (Holland Taylor) jokes about staging a coup and judging by Elliot’s reaction that’s exactly what he wants to do.

Meanwhile, Yaz goes to Ji-Yoon. She tells her friend and boss that she’s considering leaving the university for a job at Yale.