The Woman Who Found Bite Marks On Her Skin
Episode 4 of Roar starts with Ambia about to give birth. She claims there are too many white people in the room, and chalks this up to the reason why the baby doesn’t want to come out.
Anyway, something is wrong with Ambia as she starts hemorrhaging. It looks bad but we soon fast forward in time to find Ambia preparing to head back to work. Her partner, Greg, is left to look after Zoe (their eldest daughter) and Harvey (their newborn son.) Ambia is quite the highflier at work and happens to be one of the partners working at a private equity firm called Layman Capital Group. However, faint whiffs of sexism seem to be in the air among the men.
Ambia notices a bite mark above her breast while she’s pumping milk in private, and in fact she stays late at the office and misses her promised bedtime story with Zoe.
Zoe isn’t happy with her mum showing up late, and even tells her that she should be “making things better, not worse” when Ambia tries to explain herself. Ambia eventually lies with her daughter in bed, pointing out that not all women are the same and she works hard to make sure they have a good living.
Zoe is distracted at work though, partly thanks to random bite marks she keeps finding; one on her thigh and the other on her breast. Ambia is on the cusp of leaving the family again, heading off for a business lunch. She avoids calls from Greg, and even admits later on with her colleague Rodney that she’s having a good time. Eventually he encourages her to turn her phone off. She’s also peer pressured into drinking.
It turns out Greg’s calls are in relation to Harvey, who happens to have a fever of over 104. He’s obviously not happy when Ambia returns his call early in the morning, intoxicated, pointing out she shouldn’t have ignored him all day.
When Ambia eventually heads home, she sports nasty bite marks all over her cheek and neck. Zoe screams when she sees her mother, while Greg encourages Ambia to go to the doctor and get them checked out. Ambia refuses, using her marriage therapist as an example of why these sort of things don’t work. Instead, she presses on with work.
Things take an awful turn though when Ambia belittles the other workers in the office. She suddenly pauses, as a strange bulge on her hand paves way for a tooth to sprout. It’s a horrific scene and one that eventually sees her pass out.
Ambia awakens in the hospital to find herself still covered in bite marks but with some slick visual effects paving way for her heading down to a therapy group in the hospital after-hours. It’s very clearly a dream sequence but it’s really nicely put together.
Numerous other women are there too, also sporting bites of their own. Ambia talks about how the bites started when she was at work. She believes Greg is resenting her while Zoe clings to every piece of skin while she’s there. Meanwhile, she’s unable to confront her feelings regarding Harvey’s birth, given it was a bloodbath and she feels guilty that she can’t fully enjoy her son’s birth. It sounds like she has post-natal depression.
At the same time, it’s a physical manifestation of her letting work “eat her alive.” When Ambia awakens, Greg rushes into the hospital, apologizing. The bites are getting better now while Ambia seems a little calmer after talking about her issues.
The Episode Review
This chapter showcases Ambia’s plight, although by the end one could argue that she’s been suffering from post-natal depression, which is why she’s decided not to be with her family so much.
Ambia is putting all of her energy into going to work, despite being offered to stay at home longer. She’s paranoid over Rodney taking her job (despite making it clear he doesn’t want it, although it’s not clear if he actually does or not) and she’s succumbing to peer pressure with her colleagues.
It was tough to watch Ambia swayed into drinking alcohol and ignoring her family. Although the therapy session did help somewhat toward the end, it’s still a little disappointing that we didn’t get to see more of Ambia’s depression or sensitive side to level out her persona. This would have done wonders to really help take us on a journey with this character.
Either way, this is likely to be a polarizing episode; let’s hope the later chapters can knock it out the bag.