Mozart in the Jungle Recap: Pilot Episode

By Kitin Miranda | 2 years ago
Mozart in the Jungle Recap: Pilot Episode

“Mozart in the Jungle” Season 1 Episode 1 aired on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2014, on Amazon. In this episode, Thomas (Malcolm McDowell), the now former conductor of the New York Symphonic Orchestra, had a hard time accepting the changes that the new conductor, the world famous Rodrigo, (Gael Garcia Bernal) made, including making several cuts in the orchestra. One of the symphony’s cellists, Cynthia (Saffron Burrows), met a female oboist named Hailey Ruttledge (Lola Kirke), who helped save her as she was late for the performance of a musical entitled “Oedipus Rocks.” The next day, Cynthia told Hailey to audition for the orchestra as Rodrigo suddenly held auditions for the woodwind section. Read on to learn more about this episode.

The episode began with Hailey Ruttledge (Lola Kirke) reminding her student, Duncan, about what to do in order to be prepared for his performance the next day. As he went to get her check, she took a look at the text he had been sending to a friend, which had been extremely rude.


Later that night, Hailey attended the last performance of Maestro Thomas (Malcolm McDowell) as the conductor of the New York Symphonic Orchestra, where he performed with the world famous violinist, Joshua Bell. After thanking Joshua, Thomas announced that it performance was to be his last and that he would be accepting the position of “Musical Director Emeritus” of the symphony. He then introduced the chairperson of the board of the orchestra, Mrs. Gloria Windsor (Bernadette Peters), who introduced them to their new conductor — the world famous Rodrigo (Gael Garcia Bernal). He was a prodidgy of sorts as he had been conducting since he was 14 years old and had garnered various awards. He was also sought by many orchestras in the United States and abroad. However, in the middle of all of this, Hailey stood up and left.

Outside, after the performance, Cynthia was able to take a cab as she had to be in Times Square at the Ambassador Theatre in 10 minutes, where the performance of Styx, Oedipus Rocks was underway. As she was late, her seatmate, the oboist, Hailey, helped her find the particular page they were on. After the performance, the conductor, Bernard, thanked Hailey for her help and offered her a ride home. However, in order to save her from him, she decided to bring her home herself. She brought her out for some drinks and introduced herself. However, Hailey already knew who she was — Cynthia Taylor — second cellist for the New York Symphony Orchestra.

Meanwhile, Gloria and the rest of the board popped open a bottle of champagne. They were then interrupted by Thomas, who could not believe that Gloria would allow Rodrigo to make such changes in the orchestra, such as turning off the house lights and playing selected highlights in complete darkness. Gloria then interrupted and reminded him that he still had a say in things and that they had brought Rodrigo as their new musical director and conductor in order to bring new ideas and to provide a youthful point of view. Thomas then said that he did not feel that what Rodrigo was doing was enough cause for celebration. Rodrigo then left but was first confronted by Thomas. Rodrigo then proved his prowess by criticizing Thomas’ conducting and informed them that a lot of changes would be made. However, he reassured them that he did not want to insult the values of this institution.

At a bar, Cynthia bought some drinks for Hailey and told her the different characteristics of musicians and conductors were as lovers. Then she told her that she was really good and that oboists are rare commodities. She then asked the bartender for his name and if he was a dancer. He then replied that his name was Alex (Peter Vack) and that indeed he was a dancer. She then left Hailey and Alex to get to know each other. Alex then invited her to go with him and some other dancers to a party, but Hailey declined. 

Cynthia was then picked up by Thomas in his limousine where she reassured him that he was still a good conductor, even if Rodrigo was better.

 When Hailey arrived at her apartment, she discovered that her roommate, Lizzie, was throwing a party full of musicians and dancers. Hailey was then forced to compete in a showdown with a silver flutist and was winning until she saw that one of the dancers that arrived — Alex. When she saw him, she stumbled, and the flutist won the showdown. She then ran out to the front steps of the apartment, where she was joined by Lizzie, who informed her that she had a crush on Alex Merryweather, the bartender, who was in training at Julliard. After he came out, Lizzie was called back inside as one of their friends had vomited all over her Victrola. Hailey and Alex then bonded after he gave her his scarf against the cold. She agreed that New York was an overwhelming place and that all she seemed to do was try to figure out how to get money and thought very few about the art itself. After they kissed, Lizzie called her as their friend threw up on her bed. Lizzie then tried to flirt with Alex but failed.

The next morning, Hailey woke up and rushed over to her student’s place to help him prepare for his performance in front of his grandmother. However, while she was collecting herself, she put Cynthia’s message, as she had called. Cynthia then told her to drop everything and to get to the symphony hall at that moment as Rodrigo was holding auditions for the woodwinds. Her student told her to go, and she managed to get a ride from a cyclist. When she got there, the auditions were over, and Rodrigo, who had been bored by everything he heard, was starting to make out with the assistant. However, he stopped as he heard someone playing the oboe. It turned out that Hailey, who had been crying, had seen the piece for the audition and decided to play it. Rodrigo then seated himself in the auditorium and listened to Hailey play with a dreamy look on his face.

And that was all for the recap of “Mozart in the Jungle” Season 1 Episode 1. For more news and updates, including spoilers and recaps, on “Mozart in the Jungle” and other television shows, keep following Movie News Guide (MNG).

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Petr Novak, Wikipedia