The Origin Story
Room 104 is one of the most unpredictable shows on TV. With a myriad of different creative ideas and varying quality from episode to episode, the unique idea of setting its scene in a solitary room hasn’t always been as pristine and high quality as it perhaps could be. Back for a third season, Room 104 returns for an origin story; a look at how the hotel came to be and just why Room 104 is so infamous.
With the hotel still a dream for now, we begin in the tranquil night with a lady named Roma smoking a cigarette. Watching the smoke curl into the air, she awaits her brother Remus who arrives and embraces her. It turns out they’re looking upon the foundations of the hotel and as Roma excitedly talks about her plans, she turns and shows the outlines of the building, strung together right now with string. She tells him it’ll be their family legacy and, looking upon the paperwork drawn up by Bill, Roma hands the papers to her brother and he signs; the site is officially theirs now.
As the talk turns to relationships, Roma’s mood takes a turn for the worst as they discuss their dead Father. With Roma’s mood darkening, Remus continues to be oblivious to her sister, leading to her spying his pistol and asking to test it. It’s here she shoots him in the stomach, causing him to double over and fall on the ground.
With her brother dead, she screams to the heavens before looking upon the paperwork that confirms the ownership falls solely to her in the event of the other owner passing away. However, in the midst of her maniacal episode, a man arrives and shares some of her chicken. She tells him her plans to make a hotel but as Remus’ cut oozes open, the man antagonizes her until she shoots him. Unfortunately, it’s here the big twist is revealed as it turns out the man happens to be a shapeshifter and able to switch faces on the fly. Seizing the opportunity to take Roma’s face, he kills her and tests out his voice, modulating his tone until something resembling a warm female. Practicing hotel greetings, laughter echoes through the air where we leave the episode.
In terms of atmosphere and tone, Room 104 does well here to deliver a pretty good origin story for the hotel. There are, of course, numerous questions hanging over this one including just who or what this shapeshifter is and how it came to be. In true Room 104 fashion though there’s a twist at the end of this episode that feels a little contrived given what we’ve seen before. Still, there’s enough here in the opening 20 minutes or so to make for an enjoyable episode and if there’s one thing you can’t fault Room 104 for, it’s creativity. That returns again here in a big way and there’s no doubt this origin story makes imaginative use of the solitary setting. Quite what the rest of the season will bring remains to be seen but for now, Room 104 gets off to a pretty good start.