The Woman Who Ate Photographs
Episode 2 of Roar starts with tension between Robin and her son Todd. Robin’s mother Rose is suffering with dementia and she’s on the verge of moving into their house. Specifically, she’s going to be taking Todd’s room. Now, Todd wants to move in with his girlfriend Amy but Robin isn’t too fond of that idea.
The pair have quite the turbulent relationship, with Robin pointing out to Adam, her husband, that the pair have been fighting a lot recently.
Robin eventually heads over to see her mum, where things are tense and awkward. Rose isn’t exactly enthused about the idea of moving. Robin feels caught in the middle, torn between her mother and her own family. Neither are particularly happy with this new arrangement.
While sifting through old photo albums, Robin decides to eat one of the photographs, as you do. In doing so, she ends up experiencing visions from the time in question. This continues throughout the episode, with sprinkles of the past thrown in to add depth to Robin and Rose’s turbulent relationship.
Tensions here appear to have started when Robin’s mum went ballistic over her leaving university for Adam. Rose believes her daughter has wasted her life but when Robin tries to connect with her mum, encouraging her to look through the photos together, Rosie is having none of it and tells her daughter to put it away.
The pair continue on their road-trip together, but when they hold up at a motel that night, Robin decides to eat all the photos, one after another, just to experience her past again. In doing so, she ends up eating away the hours (no pun intended!) and finds herself in the motel room in the morning.
Rose is still there and she helps fix up her mother’s hair. Unfortunately, Rose has forgotten who Adam is overnight. Robin and Rose do eventually reconvene their road trip again, making their way to the “lookout”, an area where the family visited 30 years prior.
Robin heads off to get photos from the album, stashed in the van, but in doing so a gust of wind blows some of them away. Robin panics when she thinks she’s lost her Mum. She looks everywhere and eventually does catch up with her some time later. A close call for sure; the pair drive home again.
When they eventually make it home, Robin speaks to Adam and admits that she’s worried about Rose. She’s losing her mum and admits she doesn’t really like talking to her anymore, given she’s almost like a completely different person.
As the episode closes out, we cut forward to the next morning where Rose and Robin exchange a warm smile at the doorway as Todd hugs his mother, admitting that he’s happy that Rose hasn’t forgotten him. Yet.
The Episode Review
Compared to the first episode, Roar’s follow-up is much better written, with a lovely story about a mother and daughter’s relationship and how that’s been tested by this dementia diagnosis.
The whole idea of Robin “eating” these photographs is a nice allegory for what dementia does to a person’s memory (See what I mean about clever writing?) and it works so well here, extending beyond “dementia=bad” to actually tell a coherent and touching story.
The actual ability Robin has for eating photographs is never really addressed, but given Adam’s nonchalant reaction toward hearing this, it would appear that he knows Robin is able to do this.
The series manages to instil a nice little blend of sci-fi into the mix too, which I’d imagine is going to be a recurring theme throughout the show from now one.