Last week’s episode of The Crowded Room heavily focused on Danny’s relationship with his mother, Candy. It pivoted to her relationship with Danny’s stepfather, Marlin, and how Danny saw him as someone who was intruding into his relationship with his mother. That said, Danny did understand that his mother needed a male figure to steady the proverbial ship. So, he didn’t object to her proximity to Marlin. But things became problematic when Marlin turned out to be a pedophile who molested Danny to silence him. Well, Danny thought that his twin brother Adam was the victim of Marlin’s abuse. However, Rya wanted him to realize that Adam didn’t exist and that he was the one who had been sexually assaulted as a child. Danny evidently couldn’t process this piece of information, but it looks like he has to face his reality very soon.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Rya Is Discouraged From Continuing Her Work With Danny
Rya’s mother, Susie, enters the picture in order to take care of her grandson while Rya goes to work. A title card shows that this is taking place before the Rockefeller incident, which means that Rya hasn’t met Danny yet. While going to her class where she teaches, Rya meets Dean Hughs (or maybe it’s the other way around) to discuss the subjects she can teach as they’ve been distributed between her and her male colleagues in a sexist way. In the class, Rya happens to be teaching about dissociative disorders, where she talks about how tough it is to make a person realize that their perceived reality isn’t actually the reality. When the bell rings, Detective Matty Dunne comes up to her to talk about Danny (while also discussing their romantic relationship). And then, the episode goes into a complete recap of the first five episodes, albeit from the perspective of Rya and the detectives. Why, though? We don’t get any new information. Everything we know is just repeated.
I am simply sick and tired of this form of storytelling because this is a problem that’s happening in every single TV show. They just stop everything and recap the plot and every single subplot in existence to probably pad the runtime or give the show the appearance that it has some meat on its bones. Either pay your writers properly to write a good expository scene or hire better writers altogether and then pay them properly. I don’t care; I want this to stop. Anyway, the scene preceding this exposition is that of Tom Holland, in one of Danny’s personas, trying to intimidate Rya. That’s it. When she gets back home, she is reprimanded for not looking after his son. She tells him that the reason her son longs for his father is because Rya is an absent mother. That said, after everything cools down, she advises Rya to keep giving her son the love that he needs because that’s the only way to help him get through his parents’ divorce. The following day, she goes to meet Greg (her ex-husband, her former teacher, and her son’s father), who essentially discourages her from taking Danny’s case. In return, Rya discourages Greg from talking to their son when he isn’t supposed to. Later that night, Rya watches Nunnally Johnson’s The Three Faces Of Eve and comes to the conclusion that Danny is suffering from dissociative personality disorder.
Rya Sees Danny In His Jack Lamb persona.
Rya approaches Dean Hughes to let her study Danny, as it’ll allow her to write an article, which allows the university to support her grant, which allows her and her son to have a life. And, of course, Martin agrees to Rya’s proposal. So, Rya goes to the ghost house to look through Danny’s stuff and finds his sketchbook. After exiting the place, she comes face-to-face with Candy. Guess what happens? Yes! Yet another recap of everything that we’ve already seen up until this point. No new information, just repetition. This is the sixth episode in a 10-episode miniseries. What’s the big idea? Do the writers, creators, and/or producers think that viewers don’t have the ability to retain information? That’s why they have to keep recycling it and re-feeding it to the public? Also, I don’t understand the purpose of this little prequel to the main plot. Why couldn’t this be the starting point of the show? What are we gaining by progressing the plot and then dialing back the clocks only to give the same old information?
This flashback of sorts is so painfully unnecessary that it angers me to even write about it. Yes, yes, I know that I am supposed to sympathize with Tom Holland because of that video of his where he is saying that he’s aware of how badly this miniseries has been reviewed, yet he’s promoting it. However, I can’t. I can like the actor, even though I don’t know him personally, and still abhor his work. I hope he gets better agents and signs projects that are better than The Crowded Room. Anyway, Rya meets Stan, i.e., the one who is legally handling Danny’s case, and tries to convince him that they can prove that Danny is innocent while one of his other personalities committed the attempted murder. Again, we know this is a redundant conversation because we’ve seen Rya talk to Danny in the current timeline of the plot. If she didn’t face any obstacles while getting the keys to the case, what is the point of showing all this? Okay, moving on. We see Danny (in his Jack Lamb persona) talk to Rya and explain how Danny and Jack aren’t the same person. By the way, I’ll give Holland some credit for doing a fake English accent despite being British.
Does Danny Accept What Happened To Him?
Matty delivers a VHS tape to Rya. What does the tape have? Well, going by the gunshot sounds, it’s CCTV footage of the Rockefeller Center shooting. Rya goes to meet Danny at Rikers Island, who is in his Jack persona again, to talk about helping Danny. She convinces Jack to let Danny’s persona come to the forefront so that she can help him confront his crimes and progress. When Jack allows that, Danny seemingly enters his own body and mind. After a few minutes of confusion and disorientation, Rya gets him to talk. Guess what happens? Bingo! Yet another recap of the first five episodes of this chore of a miniseries. That’s three times! They did it three times in one episode. Can you believe it? I certainly can’t.
At the end of The Crowded Room, episode 6, Danny comes really close to realizing that he is a victim of sexual abuse. This sign of self-acceptance causes Rya to break down and go hug her mom and her son. So, I’m guessing this whole ordeal exists to make Rya appreciative of the life she has and thankful that she isn’t as broken as Danny, that her mother isn’t like Candy, and that she won’t be a mother like Candy? I don’t know. Whatever it is, it is tiring. I am sure this story could’ve been told far more smoothly and far more sensitively. Yet, here we are, with this stupid portrayal of a real disorder. We have made it past the halfway point, though, which means we have four more episodes to go. Those who want to stick around, thank you. Those who want to stop tuning into the miniseries next week onwards, trust me, you won’t be missing out on anything.