10 Best Episodes of VICE - Season 5

A documentary news series with a taboo-breaking team who deliver incredible news stories from around the world.

Written by Sophie and last updated on jan 26, 2023.

PS: The following content contains spoilers!

PPS: I will admit that parts of this page was written with the help of AI - it makes my work so much easier to not start from a blank page!

VICE - S5E15

#15 - Future of Firearms & Russia “Wins” Climate Change (Season 5 - Episode 15)

“Future of Firearms” - With the political landscape fundamentally changed, the firearms industry, and gun rights advocates, are looking for new ways to expand upon their 2nd amendment rights and the bottom line -- with some surprising results. VICE takes a closer look at the future of firearms in America. “Russia 'Wins' Climate Change” - Climate change is causing catastrophic changes to our planet, but it may be an economic blessing for Russia. As the Arctic ice melts, petroleum and mineral resources are more accessible, shipping lanes are opening up and the frozen Siberian tundra could become arable. In fact, the Russian government and people seem to be welcoming the warming temperatures. And with America pulling out of the Paris Agreement, perhaps this is a glimpse into our own future.

The episode was rated 7.79 from 193 votes.

VICE - S5E17

#14 - Last Line of Defense & El Rostro (Season 5 - Episode 17)


“Last Line of Defense” - With the Constitutional right to fair representation in a court of law in jeopardy, Cord Jefferson heads to one of the worst hit states to see how overworked and underpaid public defenders are coping with the broken legal system. “El Rostro” - VICE travels deep in the Peruvian Amazon to where multinational companies have been extracting lucrative natural resources to see how these activities are decimating the land. With the native Harakmbut people as his guide, Ben Anderson goes into the forest to explore sacred landmarks they hope will prevent companies from destroying the land for a profit.

The episode was rated 7.80 from 168 votes.

VICE - S5E11

#13 - Engineering Immortality & Robot Revolution (Season 5 - Episode 11)

“Engineering Immortality” - Isobel Yeung meets the scientists and doctors leading the charge in genomics, pharmaceuticals, and stem cell research, which promises to revolutionize how our bodies age in the years to come. “Robot Revolution” - VICE explores how robotics and the computers that power them are poised for an extraordinary leap forward with the emergence of artificial intelligence, and how humanity can reconcile the huge risks and possibilities that will follow.

The episode was rated 7.80 from 268 votes.


#12 - Medical Détente & Bananas (Season 5 - Episode 9)


“Medical Détente” - VICE correspondent Gianna Toboni travels to Cuba to witness potential treatments and cures that flourished in the country's biotech industry despite the decades-long US embargo. “Bananas” - VICE heads to the heart of banana country in Latin American and the Philippines to see the devastating effects of the disease and to investigate what the loss of the banana would really mean besides a less colorful lunchbox.

The episode was rated 7.82 from 236 votes.

VICE - S5E16

#11 - Cyber Supremacy & Japan Rising (Season 5 - Episode 16)

“Cyber Supremacy” - Ben Ferguson travels to Tel Aviv to find out how Israel is on its way to becoming the world's top cyber superpower. “Japan Rising” - VICE sends Gianna Toboni to Tokyo to see the consequences of Japan's rising nationalism.

The episode was rated 7.82 from 235 votes.

VICE - S5E23

#10 - Dawn of a Dictator (Season 5 - Episode 23)


Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro makes moves toward turning the country from a democracy into a dictatorship, creating a growing opposition to his rule.

The episode was rated 7.83 from 164 votes.

VICE - S5E20

#9 - Autism Under the Lens (Season 5 - Episode 20)

VICE’s Gianna Toboni explores the transformative work being done at the forefront of autism research, meets families trying out some of the newest treatments, and discovers a growing self-advocacy movement out of the autistic community that wants to refocus the science.

The episode was rated 7.84 from 117 votes.


#8 - Kings of Cannabis & Into the Darkness (Season 5 - Episode 4)


"Kings of Cannabis" - VICE correspondent Hamilton Morris joins two hunters on an epic journey through the Democratic Republic of Congo in search of one of the rarest species of Cannabis, whose unique genetics could ultimately earn them millions of dollars. "Into the Darkness" - From an abandoned gold mine that lies a mile beneath the Black Hills of South Dakota, to the world's most powerful telescope nestled into the high deserts of Chile, nuclear physicist Taylor Wilson meets the scientists working to unlock the secrets of our Universe.

The episode was rated 7.84 from 320 votes.

VICE - S5E22

#7 - Controlling the Narrative & Power to Congo (Season 5 - Episode 22)

Filipino journalists risk their lives while reporting on the president's brutal war on drugs; journalist Carl Bernstein discusses press freedom; in spite of the deadly war, rangers fight to protect Congo's endangered species and natural resources.

The episode was rated 7.84 from 151 votes.

VICE - S5E24

#6 - Dirty Oil & Rebuilding Our Reefs (Season 5 - Episode 24)


Nigerian locals fight to get their government to allow them to profit from oil jobs and urban development; after losing 50 per cent of the world's coral reefs over the last 30 years, scientists work to keep the remaining reefs alive.

The episode was rated 7.85 from 121 votes.

VICE - S5E19

#5 - Crude Reality & Between Oil and Water (Season 5 - Episode 19)

“Crude Reality” - VICE's Isobel Yeung explores how corruption at the top in South Sudan is threatening to tear the world's newest country apart. “Between Oil and Water” - VICE travelled to the Sacred Stone Camp in December and followed the story of efforts to block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline over the subsequent months as the Trump Administration moved quickly to resume work on the pipeline, examining how resource extraction has affected Native American communities.

The episode was rated 7.85 from 148 votes.


#4 - Trans Youth (Season 5 - Episode 2)


Families and doctors are rewriting the rules as they decide when and how to start medical intervention before transgender youth hit puberty. Gianna Toboni explores this emotionally charged and rapidly evolving issue with trans youth and their parents in the midst of that intense process.

The episode was rated 7.86 from 233 votes.


#3 - Assad's Syria & Cost of Climate Change (Season 5 - Episode 1)

“Assad's Syria” - Isobel Yeung travels through regime-controlled Syria to see how Assad prevailed and to find out what might happen next in his crippled country. “Cost of Climate Change” - In the face of a scientific consensus, and with the Trump administration ushering some climate deniers into the highest levels of government, Shane Smith follows the money to see the true economic stakes of decades of denial.

The episode was rated 7.95 from 335 votes.

VICE - S5E29

#2 - After ISIS & Cubs of the Caliphate (Season 5 - Episode 29)


Season 5 concludes with a report from Iraq on the aftermath of the ferocious and costly fight to retake Mosul from ISIS. Also: Isobel Yeung meets Iraqi youth who trained under ISIS, but now face an uncertain future as they try to rebuild their lives.

The episode was rated 7.95 from 127 votes.


#1 - When the Earth Melts & The Displaced (Season 5 - Episode 3)

“When the Earth Melts” - VICE Correspondent Ben Anderson travels across the Arctic to examine the devastating impact of thawing permafrost--and the astonishing solution that might keep it frozen. “Displaced” - VICE Correspondent Gianna Toboni follows the journey of refugees journeying across the Mediterranean Sea who have been left in limbo due to the tightening borders of an increasingly nationalist Europe.

The episode was rated 8.11 from 253 votes.

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