‘The Crowded Room’ Ending, Explained: Did Danny Finally Conquer His Demons?


Well, we have reached the end of The Crowded Room. What a journey this has been, isn’t it? To be honest, things were quite boring until all the off-screen shenanigans started to heat up. I was extremely disappointed with the miniseries overall, and I still am. But my harshness diminished when I saw that interview of a dejected Tom Holland talking about how he’s aware of the negative reviews that his work has received. I am pretty sure most of those reviews are on point, and Holland will only learn from this process as he has a long career ahead of him. That said, I became defensive about Holland’s work when bigoted Spider-Man fans launched an attack on him for portraying a queer character. It was uncalled for, hateful, and incredibly immature. It’s baffling that even in 2023, this is happening, and people still wonder what the point of gender studies is. With all that out of the way, let’s talk about the finale of Akiva Goldsman’s miniseries.

Spoilers Alert

Rya Has An epiphany.

In the ninth episode of The Crowded Room, we saw Danny harming himself after learning that his mother, Candy, doesn’t want to side with him and is willing to take his stepfather Marlin’s side, despite knowing full well that Marlin has sexually harassed Danny. During the opening moments of episode 10, we see Danny having a conversation with Ariana in his cell. But in reality, he is bleeding out and is about to become unconscious. The episode cuts to Stan, who is throwing a fit for not getting the medications that he needs. He says that he is a war veteran. So, I am guessing he has some form of PTSD. He does calm down after taking his medication. However, that’s when he gets a disturbing call from the Judge overseeing Danny’s case. After getting an earful from her professor, Rya, too, learns about what Danny has done. The following day, they visit him.

On the way to Danny’s hospital room, Stan tells Rya that Danny is supposed to resume his hearing in two weeks, which Rya thinks is impractical because Danny has taken this step as a result of the stressful trial. What’s more shocking than that, but entirely expected, is Jack taking over Danny’s body. In the titular barn in Danny’s mind, we see Jack locking up Danny so that he can’t resume control in the near future. So, Rya and Stan are left with no other option but to sit down and discuss how they can work their way around this conundrum. Weirdly enough, Rya starts assessing Stan’s PTSD and rambles about one’s agency over their feelings. She says that people fail to heal because they blame themselves for all the bad things that happen to them. Sometimes that is not the case at all, and a person’s predicament is a result of things going wrong in life. So, Rya thinks that one can only tread the path to healing when they accept that they aren’t entirely guilty for the situation they are in. As soon as she finishes that sentence, she is hit with the idea of applying this theory to Danny.

The Court Rules That Danny Is innocent.

Rya theorizes that if they are able to show Danny what has happened to him, then he’s going to deal with it. So far, Rya has only pushed Danny to come to terms with his own truth. She has nudged him in the right direction but never confronted him about it because she wanted him to see what he has gone through all by himself. But since that isn’t working anymore, she thinks this alternative approach can help Danny realize that he shouldn’t be the one suffering for what has happened to him. By the way, while pursuing this line of thinking, Rya gets fired from her job as a professor because she wasn’t attending her classes and was spending every waking minute of her life on Danny’s case. The way she puts it, she saw this coming at her from a mile away, and she accepts that she doesn’t have to split her time between academia and actual on-the-ground work that’ll help her be a better criminal psychologist.

With that out of the way, Rya and Stan head into Danny’s hearing, and it’s evident that Jack is still in control of his mind. In order to ambush Jack, Stan calls Danny Sullivan to the stand, thereby not only treating Danny and Jack as separate people but also forcing Jack to relinquish his control over Danny. Jack does take the stand, but he continues to be in control of Danny’s mind and body. Left with no other option, Stan and the Judge allow Jack to tell Danny’s story. Jack does a little recap of Danny’s life, and Stan counters by treating him as a hostile witness. He starts showing pictures from Danny’s childhood to prove that Adam (Danny’s imaginary twin brother) doesn’t actually exist. This motivates Danny to break out of his mental prison and admit that he is a victim of sexual assault. Based on that, the jury decides that Danny is actually not guilty and that he requires medical help for what he has endured because of Marlin.

Did Danny Finally Conquer His Demons?

We see Rya and Danny having a conversation, discussing the aftermath of the decision at the courthouse. Rya says that she couldn’t come to terms with the fact that Danny was going to see other therapists in order to make some kind of progress in life. But she eventually understood that that was important for him. We see Candy coming to visit Danny at the retreat, where he is seeking help and comes across his paintings. Yes, they are the same paintings that we see during the opening credits of The Crowded Room. The artists who have made them should be properly credited, especially due to the controversy that has been created by the AI-generated title sequence of Marvel’s Secret Invasion. By the way, we learn that Candy has separated from Marlin and is living in an apartment. Marlin apparently harassed her for a few weeks and then stopped on his own. Candy apologizes for not standing beside Danny or protecting him in any way. She gives a little information about Danny’s biological father, which boils down to him being abusive and Candy running away from him with Danny. And then she gives her reason for depending so much on Marlin. She is apologetic about it, but is it enough? Well, Danny thinks it isn’t, and I agree. He is also of the opinion that Candy will never do anything substantial to rectify everything that she has done, and even though Rya tries to empathize with Candy because of what she has gone through, Danny doesn’t agree with her perspective.

At the end of The Crowded Room, Danny walks Rya out of the retreat, and Rya observes that Danny has started to combine his fractured personality into a singular identity. Danny says that he has an unpaid debt and that it’s his turn to be the guardian angel, i.e., something that his alter egos have been doing so far. On that note, Danny goes back to his room, and Rya walks past the gates but turns back to look at Danny one last time. For a split second, she sees a young Adam or a young Danny standing beside the adult Danny. You can interpret it as a moment where Rya sees how much Danny has grown, or you can see it as the moment where the showrunners make the old mistake of treating mental illness as a superpower. I mean, this is exactly how Judgemental Hai Kya concluded, which is an awful portrayal of mental illness, and anyone who remotely mimics it (knowingly or unknowingly) is not getting my approval. Anyway, I am thankful that this miniseries has come to an end, with the “mini” in the “miniseries” being a joke because who greenlit ten episodes of this hollow narrative? I won’t advise going through what I have gone through, but if you want to give it a try, please be my guest. Form your own opinion about The Crowded Room, and feel free to share it with all of us.

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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