The weird and wonderful Room 104 returns for episode 2 of Season 4 with the aptly titled “Star Time”. It’s an episode that works well to drive home the idea of addiction but does so in conventional Room 104 fashion. Some moments works really well but other times – like the questionable inclusion of a giant hamster engaging in oral sex – miss the mark completely.
Before we get there though, the episode introduces us to Sam as she sits on a bed in our familiar motel room, eating chips. She’s chasing “Star Time” and lying on the bed next to her is a giant talking hamster. Suddenly, it disappears from view and as Sam looks down, a mosquito happens to be clinging to her arm.
Electronica music starts blaring, stars appear in the air and this giant hamster bursts out the closet and starts dancing. Only, that dancing leads to so much more as it jumps on top of her. As we soon see, Star Time is actually a euphemism for getting high. With Sam looking at her own unconscious body from above, we see a needle sticking out her arm which confirms as much.
Cutting back in time, we see the hamster manifesting itself in different adult forms through her life. A childhood memory of the past involving cough medicine happens to be the first step on a slippery slope to addiction.
From here, we see Sam desperately chasing a high through different activities in her day, including exercising and love. All of this builds up to the crescendo of this piece, where Sam confronts the hamster about the truth. She’s running out of time but wants to feel alive.
The hamster gives it to her straight; Sam can either push the needle out or pull it all the way in. Finally, Sam makes her choice and takes the needle out her arm, ready to finally get clean.
As the episode comes to a close, stylistically there’s a few really cleverly implemented segments in this episode. “Twinkle, twinkle” being used for the credits is a stroke of genius while using the room for all the different flashbacks maintains the motif of this series.
However, the giant hamster is not an original concept and It’s All Gone Pete Tong uses this exact same metaphor in a much more violent and aggressive form. While the episode does do well to reinforce that idea of addiction and chasing a high, it sometimes falls a little too far into the realm of surrealism.
Despite all that though, Room 104 delivers an enjoyable enough anthological slice of the pie. However, it’s also one that pales compared to last week’s episode.
Expect a Full Season Write Up When This Season Ends!