‘3 Body Problem’ Episode 5 Recap: What Is Judgment Day?

The previous episode of 3 Body Problem revealed San-Ti’s intention with Planet Earth. The San-Ti’s home planet experiences frequent extinction events, which is why they need a new home. The solution to their dilemma is provided by Wenjie, who hates humankind and invites them to Earth. It will take them 400 years to reach Earth, but in the meantime, Wenjie, with Mike Evans’ help, creates a fifth columnist kind of organization against human science and development, given that humans have always been detrimental for their own sakes. After Jack’s murder by San-Ti’s followers for turning them down, Jin is persuaded by Wade to visit the organization’s London summit. Reluctantly, she complies, and at the venue, the police end up ambushing the summit. After an unprovoked gunfight started by Tatiana, Clarence and his forces finally arrest Ye Wenjie, who is revealed to be the founder of the organization. During her interrogation, she reveals that the San-Ti, despite being 4 light years away, are already ahead of the humans. She claims that everything that has happened to the organization, including her arrest, is part of San-Ti’s grand scheme. 


However, unbeknownst to Wenjie, San-Ti has already abandoned their collaboration with their human followers after realizing that humans are pathological liars. They fail to understand the concept of lying, but for them, any manner of communication based on false words is dangerous, and therefore humans are not worth coexisting. 

Spoilers Ahead


Why Does Wade Recruit Raj? 

At the beginning of the fifth episode, Wade is seen recruiting Raj Varma, a high-ranking Navy officer who is also dating Jin. Raj is skeptical of Wade, especially because he doesn’t know who Wade is, but after checking Wade’s ID, which remains undisclosed, Raj seems to be flustered. Wade had been asking him about a ship that he had been in command of and asking for its specifications. However, after knowing who Wade is, he reveals the true shortcomings of the ship. Raj is at the top of his class and is considered the newest rising cadet in the Navy, which is why Wade sees him as a suitable candidate to lead the mission Wade has in mind. 

What Is Judgment Day? 

‘Judgment Day’ is the name of an old oil tanker turned into the base of operations for the followers of San-Ti. The ship belongs to Mike Evans, who first mobilized the ship in 1984 with Wenjie. Now, Judgment Day houses the followers of San-Ti and their family, and the total population living on the ship consists of approximately a thousand people. Wade and Clarence believe that Judgment Day might have a storage drive that could contain all the information needed about the San-Ti. Finding the hard drive is of crucial importance to Earth’s defense. This is why, after going through several ideas that could possibly damage the hard disk, Clarence hatches a suitable idea that could destroy the followers and let them retrieve the hard drive accordingly. 


Why Does Auggie Go Back To Her Lab? 

Following the revelation about the San-Ti and the commotion at the summit, Auggie and Jin are kept under protection at a cottage in an undisclosed location. Realizing that they have no choice but to indulge in this war against an unknown enemy, Jin and Auggie decide to do their part. This is why, when Clarence approaches Auggie to produce more of her nanofibers, she isn’t able to turn him down. She is, however, afraid that the countdown will appear again if she restarts the project but still complies with Clarence’s request, perhaps to avenge Jack’s murder. When asked why they need the nanofibers, Clarence denies her the explanation. Clarence and Auggie arrive at her lab and jumpstart the nanofiber production. Surprisingly, the countdown she had been fearing didn’t show up this time, providing much relief to Auggie. Clarence deduces that the San-Ti may have abandoned their human followers, which is true. 

Why Does Jack’s Lawyer Visit Will Downing? 

Following Jack’s death, Will is discharged from the hospital. He expects to live out his last few days in peace, as there is no longer a cure for his condition. A few days after Jack’s death, however, Will is visited by Jack’s lawyer, who tells him that, as per Jack’s will, half of his estate worth $20 million is to be inherited by Will. Jack had amassed a lot of wealth over time through his own venture after he quit working for Vera Ye. But despite becoming a wealthy man, he cared deeply for his friend Will. It is even possible that Jack predicted his demise sooner or later, judging from the way scientists were dying. Following Will’s cancer diagnosis, Jack was adamant about paying for his hospital bills, and it may be likely that it was during this time that he willed his estate to his friend. 


How Does Wade Destroy The Followers Of San-Ti? 

Clarence indeed came up with an effective plan to tackle the followers of San-Ti. When he reveals that Judgment Day is en route to the Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal, Wade sees this as an opportunity to destroy the ship and retrieve their hard drive. The Panama Canal is quite a narrow pass, and this narrow path is where they lay a trap for Judgment Day. Led by Raj Varma, the plan is to draw Auggie’s nanofibers across the canal like a fence. In other words, Wade intends to destroy the ship along with its inhabitants, including children. 

Despite protests from Auggie, who is not keen on sacrificing innocent children, Wade, a man of Machiavellian tactics, justifies the act as he believes that it increases their chances of winning the war against the San-Ti. As expected, Judgment Day passes through the canal and runs into the deathtrap. The nanofibers slice through every single human onboard, completely wrecking the ship and even killing Evans in the process. After the ship falls apart, Wade’s forces rummage through the debris and successfully retrieve the hard drive. 


What Do Wade And Jin Find On The Drive? 

Wade sees the ruthless genocide on Judgment Day and the retrieval of the drive as humanity’s first win. The drive is encrypted, but it automatically unlocks, suggesting that the San-Ti already want humans to look at the data. Among the contents of the drive are another file of the VR game and audio recordings of conversations between Evans and the San-Ti. They even find out that Clarence’s suspicions about the San-Ti abandoning their followers were indeed true. 

What Are Sophons? 

Finding the game file, Wade summons Jin, who once again puts on the headgear along with Wade this time. They enter the apocalyptic world and are welcomed by the AI woman, who explains that San-Ti’s appearance is nothing like humans. In fact, it is suggested that humans might even fear the San-Ti. 


The AI reveals that the San-Ti led the humans to this point to let them know that the San-Ti were indeed doomed to begin with. Humans have developed exponentially since they were cavemen. It took humans 10,000 years to invent industries, 200 years to invent atomic power, and 50 years to reach the information age. The San-Ti acknowledge that humans are formidable enemies, and by the time they arrive on Earth, humans would’ve already surpassed the San-Ti. Humans might even defeat their enemies and conquer even the San-Ti homeworld. 

As a solution to the threat humans pose to the San-Ti, the aliens pitched in all their resources and developed a Sophon. Sophons are protons equipped with a sentient supercomputer. While in three-dimensional physics, protons cannot alter their size, the San-Ti have the technology, advanced enough to harness the higher dimensions, merging them into a three-dimensional space. Because a proton is practically massless, the Sophon immediately traveled across the stars and arrived on Earth. Likewise, out of the four Sophons the San-Ti created, two are on Earth, while their identical twins are with their creators, who use these channels to communicate between the distances. As it turns out, it was because of the Sophons that the particle accelerators around the world have been acting up. Even Auggie’s visions had been conjured by the Sophons. With the help of these omniscient weapons, the San-Ti plan to destroy the knowledge that humans have, stunting their development so that the San-Ti can take over when they arrive. 


At the end of the episode, the Sophons materialize into a colossal figure resembling an eye looking down at Planet Earth, while taking over every single phone, television, and billboard display on the entire planet, announcing the San-Ti’s presence to the human world with a single message: “You are bugs.” 

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Shrey Ashley Philip
Shrey Ashley Philip
A teacher, photographer, linguist, and songwriter, Shrey started out as a Biotechnology graduate, but shifted to studying Japanese. Now he talks about movies, advocates for ADHD awareness, and embraces Albert Camus.

Latest articles