Room 104’s latest episode will almost certainly be another polarizing one. With big ideas around art, creativity and familial bonds, Jimmy and Gianni is an interesting but ultimately heavy-handed episode that hammers home some important ideas on a stage that never quite makes the most of its premise. With an abundance of exposition and a lack of colour in its aesthetic, Room 104 delivers another mediocre episode here.
We begin with two men entering Room 104 and scribbling on the wall. Lifting up the mattresses and clearing a space for themselves, it turns out Gianni and Jimmy are artists, as we’re told via expository text, and they’re about to turn the room into a work of art. Taking cues from Modern Family, the episode sees both men talk to the camera and discuss what they’re doing, as well as narrating key parts of their history together. The two men begin by painting the mattresses and laying towels with thought provoking words on.
It turns out Gianni had mental health problems earlier in the year too and it’s enough to give him some inspiration with his current canvas piece. Jumping back in time, we see this Father and Son duo through the years growing closer together and finding solace in art. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing though, and as Jimmy faces the camera again, he talks about Gianni being taken away by the police after a psychotic episode. We then see Gianni’s way of thinking and how he’s a self-confessed addict.
After hearing his story, we cut back to the art where he writes I am Not That Which Needs Liberation in crayon before we continue on and Jimmy adds a random newspaper collage to the middle of the white canvas. Unsure what to do next, the two discuss creativity. After a genuinely thought provoking talk about state of mind and art, the two sit back and look over what they’ve done so far.
As Father and Son hug it out, they stand infront of their art and embrace before they sit opposite each other and discuss how far their relationship has come, where we leave the episode.
With ideas around art bringing people together and a deliberate use of long shots on the artwork itself, Room 104 attempts a thought provoking episode around how art brings us together and forges relationships. In some ways it succeeds but the actual format of this, with an abundance of expository dialogue and monologuing to the camera, ultimately offsets the pacing of this one.
Still it’s certainly one of the more interesting episodes of this season but as I said earlier, it’s also likely to be the most polarizing too. As it stands though, Room 104 does a pretty good job keeping things unique and quite what next week’s episode is likely to bring, remains to be seen.