Terms & Conditions
I’ve said it before but Room 104 is one of the strangest anthology shows on TV. A lot of the episodes this season have felt pretty forgettable and failed to stand out, while others really haven’t done a particularly good job in getting their message across. Thankfully that’s not the case here and much like the opening episode of the season, Room 104 delivers a really decent character-driven slice of drama, showing off just what this show is capable of with some creativity and good characterisation.
It’s Christmas time in Room 104 and we begin with Louis listening to Christmas music on the radio before answering the door to a client called Jean. Sitting down with her, she laments her life and how others have the things she wants. Asking how this contract works, he implores her to read the terms written where it specifically notes that signing will hand over her soul to Louis. He stops her from signing numerous times, continuously reminding her that the soul will be his in the next life. Namely in hell. She shrugs it off and signs it anyway.
Years pass and an elderly Jean returns to the room where Louis reminds her she has a date with hell. She refuses to go with him until he shows her a preview, a fiery existence in the bathroom with loud music and flames. He laments his job until she suggests an alternative – she takes over his job. Here, she invites her assistant Dustin into the room where she explains this business opportunity to him. All seems to be going well until a knock at the door prompts the wheels to turn a little faster on this transaction.
The next client, Beth, arrives and laments her lack of progress in her music career. Telling Louis to leave, Jean settles into her role immediately as Jean takes the contract and hands it over. However, she fails to explain the terms and conditions, prompting Louis to stop at the door and instead have her show off her talents. As she sings, the two stand and listen, where we leave the episode.
With an open, ambiguous ending and plenty to chew over, Room 104 delivers one of its strongest episodes. A clever theme running throughout surrounding reading contracts, as well as thought provoking ideas about fast-tracking to success, typically stands out as the anchor to which everything revolves, around while Jean and Louis have some great chemistry through the episode too. While the idea of selling one’s soul isn’t an original concept, seeing this tied into such a simple idea like Room 104 adds an extra layer to this idea. Quite what next week’s episode has in store for us remains to be seen but based on this showing, it’ll be interesting to see if the show can captailize on this and end things with a bang.