Based on Daniel Keyes’ The Minds of Billy Milligan, The Crowded Room follows Danny as he is arrested for trying to gun down a guy at the Rockefeller Center in New York City. His accomplice, Ariana, runs away, and he’s sent to jail. He is interviewed by a criminal psychologist named Rya Goodwin, who helps Danny piece together his past and the events that led to the fateful day. So, without any further ado, let’s talk about the first episode of the Tom Holland-led show.
Danny Steals From Marlin
During one of the sessions between Rya and Danny, we learn that before things went downhill, Danny used to be the unpopular kid at school and lived with his mother, Candy, and his stepfather, Marlin. Danny was severely bullied by Marlin, and Candy used to step in at the last minute to save him from some dicey altercations. He apparently had two friends, Mike and Jonny, and was constantly bullied by a jock named Bill. In addition to his biological father, Danny missed his identical twin brother, Adam, a lot, and he immortalized him through his many sketches. However, when Rya asks him to talk about Adam, he avoids the topic and goes to the moment in his fractured memory where he met Annabelle, i.e., the most beautiful girl in the school.
Mike and Jonny urged Danny to go talk to Annabelle, but he didn’t. Later on, Annabelle approached Danny and proposed the idea of bonding with each other over marijuana. After returning home, he was bullied by Marlin again, and that was when he saw Yitzhak entering the “ghost house” across the street. When Rya asks Danny to remember whether or not Ariana was there, he says that he doesn’t exactly remember. Instead, he starts talking about Jonny’s idea to buy and sell weed in order to help with their personal needs and get Annabelle to hook up with Danny. Since they need money to do that, they decide to steal it from Marlin. And since Jonny did a good job of convincing Danny to get Marlin’s ATM card and then use it to extract $100 from his account, Danny went ahead with it when Marlin was drunk and asleep.
Danny Goes On A Date With Annabelle
After getting the money, the trio headed over to the park to strike a deal with a guy named Angelo, who would deliver the weed to them. We see the drug dealers bullying Danny, Jonny, and Mike because it was and still is customary for drug dealers to act violently and appear menacing, or else their popularity would go down, or something like that. Anyway, they made it out of there alive and with the weed. The following day, Jonny proceeded to sell the weed to the students while Danny got bullied by Bill. When Mike noticed that Annabelle and her friend, Eden, were buying ice cream, he sent Danny in her direction so that he could set up their date. Danny brought up the fact that he had weed in his possession. While Eden rubbished Danny’s claim, Bill barged in and didn’t let Danny talk to Annabelle.
Eden and Bill didn’t stop there. Bill snitched to the principal about Danny’s weed. However, due to some clever sleight of hand by Jonny, Danny averted suspension while Bill was dragged away by the principal for giving him faulty information about a student. With the pot and the money both intact, Danny proceeded to go on a date with Annabelle. She told him that she would’ve met her even if Danny had failed to bring the pot, which meant that the weed was merely an excuse. They even made out with each other. Danny was so overwhelmed by this experience that he expressed his love for her by painting Annabelle with the intention of giving it to her as a gift, along with some pot. When he tried to actually give it to her, Eden prevented Danny from meeting Annabelle, the reason being that she didn’t want to meet him anymore. When Eden whacked the envelope containing the painting and the pot, the mini-envelope with the weed fell onto the floor and was discovered by the principal.
How Did Danny Move Into The Ghost House?
Danny realized that things had gone terribly wrong for him. That was why he bolted out of the school and went straight to his home, where some more trouble was waiting for him because Marlin had discovered the missing money in his account, and he was blaming Candy for it. When he tried to run away from his house to probably get to Candy or Marlin and explain the situation, he was confronted by Bill, who wanted revenge for his suspension. It seemed like Bill was about to kill Danny. However, since all this was transpiring in front of Yitzhak’s house, he stepped in and told everyone to leave Danny alone after doling out a few slaps. Yitzhak then welcomed Danny into the ghost house, which was where Danny saw Ariana for the first time. They allowed Danny to stay there and recuperate because he was too afraid to go back to his school or home. The narrative shifts back to the conversation happening between Rya and Danny, who asks him if he knows where Ariana is because if she doesn’t show up, Danny is the one who will go to jail for the shootout.
At the end of The Crowded Room, episode 1, Rya throws a flurry of questions at Danny, asking him to explain Yitzhak, Ariana, and Adam’s mysterious disappearances. Danny assumes that she’s accusing him of killing them. But it’s apparent that that’s not the truth at all. Going by the concluding montage, it seems like Ariana was in a fight at a bar and had some kind of a mental breakdown. We see Yitzhak dealing with a possible home invasion as he punches a guy in the ghost house. As for Adam, he’s associated with fireflies and a barn. Therefore, it’s possible that all of their current situations have something to do with those moments. With all that said, we’ve got to keep in mind that all of this is Danny’s account. It isn’t a hard fact. He is using his messed-up mind to create a narrative. Hence, it’s difficult to say what’s the truth and what’s a blatant lie. All we can do for now is buckle up and watch the next few episodes that have been released on Apple TV+.