‘The Crowded Room’ Episode 8 Recap & Ending, Explained: What Did Jonny Do To Danny?


Last week’s episode of The Crowded Room finally showed the metaphorical and titular space where Danny’s alter egos exist. It was revealed that Jack was the CEO of Danny’s body, while Yitzhak, Jonny, Mike, and Ariana would take turns to control him. Each personality depicted a different side of Danny, something that all of us have. It’s just that in Danny’s case, these personalities are so fully fleshed out that Danny became a different person depending on the circumstances and his mood. That said, it all came down to putting Danny on trial or sending him to a medical institution so that he could cure his dissociative identity disorder and become whole again. Jack was against it because he saw it as an extermination, and hence, he “killed” Yitzhak because he was the only one supporting the decision to let Danny get some help instead of going to jail. However, when Danny (his original self) was given the opportunity to convince Rya to let his case go to trial, he used it to ask her to help him get rid of the voices in his head.

Spoilers Alert

Marlin Is Served

The eighth episode of The Crowded Room begins with Matty Dunne visiting the bar where Marlin is a regular and trying to get a read on him and confirm that he isn’t a liar. When Matty reports to Stan, he says that he doesn’t trust Marlin. He doesn’t have anything solid; it’s just a gut feeling. The narrative shifts to Danny and Rya, and it seems like a few minutes have passed since Danny’s realization that he is suffering from dissociative identity disorder. Since that feeling is overwhelming, Rya tells Danny to be aware of the fact that he is susceptible to being controlled by his other identities. So, he has to ensure that he’s the one who is in control all the time instead of his alter egos. Next, Rya goes to Stan to convince him that Danny’s best chance of gaining freedom is by proving that he’s clinically insane, and hence, he needs help. Stan says that that will be a hard thing to prove, especially after they failed to do the same at the pretrial. Instead, they can use Rya’s research about Danny’s history of being abused sexually by Marlin and then prove that Danny was motivated by revenge. Rya and Stan get into an argument over Danny because Rya thinks Danny won’t survive a day in jail, while Stan thinks that, as per the law, he has no other option but to go to jail.

There’s an important point that is made here, which is that the law doesn’t care about mental health. I am sure we’ve come a long way since this whole situation, but one look at how judiciary bodies treat mental health even now shows that we still have a long way to go. Anyway, coming back to the plot, Stan goes to have a drink, and Marlin questions Candy about whether or not she’s talking to somebody about Danny. Given how he has been in control of his body for the longest period of time, Danny starts to realize that some of the cellmates are aware of his alter egos. That’s when he gets a call from a visitor named Jerome, who is supposed to be Ariana’s boyfriend. Danny says that he doesn’t know him because Ariana isn’t the one who’s in control of his mind and body. When Rya asks Danny to talk about Ariana, initially, he doesn’t know why she exists. But when Rya explains that Ariana channels Danny’s unresolved feelings, he realizes why she’s so integral to his personality. I think there’s an important conversation to be had about how Danny’s dissociative identity disorder robs him of his autonomy while also allowing him to be more fluid about his sexuality. However, since Stan summoning Marlin to the court right after that scene reminds us that the show is tying all this to the assault on Danny, the execution of that particular topic gets problematic.

Rya Tries To Help Danny Realize Everything That Has Happened

After getting a recap of Danny’s confrontation as Yitzhak with Marlin in front of the house, we get a recap of his fight with Angelo, and that’s how Danny realizes that Annabelle was afraid of him because she saw Danny doing all the things that Danny thought was being done by Yitzhak. Later on, Danny is taunted by the inmates to “put on a performance” for them with one of the characters that live inside him, and Danny almost loses control. Next, we see Jerome visiting Danny again, and the two start talking about how he met Ariana. The conversation underscores the main topic of the episode, i.e., Danny’s personalities aren’t sentient entities; they come together as a whole to make Danny who he is. All Danny has to do is accept them and integrate them into himself. Jerome says this while talking about his sexual identity and how he has faced ridicule for being a queer Black man. But the people who abused Jerome couldn’t define him because he always knew who he was.

So, Jerome advises Danny to take the best parts of Ariana (or all the alter egos residing in him) and make them a part of his personality. During their next conversation, Rya tries to highlight the same thing by saying that Danny’s alter egos aren’t his defense mechanism; instead, they are a sign of a degenerative mental illness. Hence, instead of making him better, those personalities are making him worse. Danny tries to understand the reason behind all this, and he comes this close to realizing that Marlin is the root of all this. However, since Rya can’t suggest anything and has to let Danny come to a conclusion all on his own, she lets him sit with his emotions and work his way through this. As soon as Danny realizes that he was sexually abused as a kid by Marlin, he’ll understand that the Rockefeller shooting was an act of revenge and not some random attack.

What Did Jonny Do To Danny?

Marlin approaches DDA Patricia Richards regarding Danny’s case, and soon after that, Stan gets a notice that infuriates him like anything. Rya continues her conversation with Danny and tries to help him figure out why Mike and Jonny exist. We get flashbacks of the moments when Mike took over Danny’s body, as that personality of his was better at socializing with people. It recontextualizes the moment when Annabelle arrived at the ghost house for a party, and Danny was sitting there all on his own. Then, Rya shifts Danny’s focus to Jonny, and we see that his personality is not only synonymous with consuming copious amounts of cocaine, but he also was in a sexual relationship with Angelo. That recontextualizes the last altercation with Angelo and why he expected Danny to perform fellatio on him. This revelation makes Danny angry, but Rya tells him that after a very long time, Danny is expressing emotion without letting one of his personalities take over him. That means he’s making some kind of progress. She also says that all of Danny’s alters have been trying to save him. She is basically insinuating that they’re trying to save Danny from living on his own with the knowledge that he’s a victim of sexual assault. Therefore, if Danny realizes that he can face that aspect of his life without the help of his alter egos, then he won’t need them anymore. 

Rya gifts Danny a suit for his trial and promises him that he’ll be with him throughout his trial. Danny meets Jerome, and Jerome says that he’s meeting him for the last time and gives Danny a St. Christopher pendant (something that has appeared in Dark and The Boys too). That’s when Ariana seemingly takes over Danny’s body to bid Jerome goodbye. Stan informs Rya that Marlin has told the DA that he didn’t admit to getting shot by Danny because he wanted to protect him and that he has proven that Danny has a history of violence by pointing toward the case of shooting at the ghost house. Marlin has even talked about his drug abuse. And all this doesn’t bode well for Danny, even though these acts were done by his alter egos. At the end of The Crowded Room, episode 8, Jonny takes over Danny’s body and gets his hand injured so he can be taken to the infirmary. I assumed that he was going to take drugs. Instead, he takes one of those steel binder clips and tries to harm himself. I am not sure what the endgame is here, but I am guessing that Jonny is trying to stop Danny’s healing process by worsening his physical state. Danny has progressed quite a lot, and he is really close to getting rid of his alternate identities. However, if his physical state deteriorates, then he’ll need them again.

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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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