Room 104 – Season 4 Episode 5 Recap & Review

Oh, Harry!

What would you do if you woke up and found yourself trapped inside a sitcom? From canned laughter and scripted scenarios to generic, cheesy dialogue, it’s anyone’s worst nightmare. Unfortunately for Harry, this nightmare is about to become his very reality. 

The episode begins with a brief opening credits scene before meeting the family. While their house is being repaired, Harry, his wife Linda and three kids (Jules, Maddie and Will) find themselves caught inside a nightmarish sitcom playing out in our motel.

In the morning, Harry sits down with the kids and starts eating breakfast, served by Linda. It turns out though it’s actually her birthday but Harry is the only one whose forgotten.

That manifests itself in the worst way as Harry is hit in the head and knocked unconscious. When he awakens, the canned laughter from before is gone. Instead, awkward pauses between each sentence drives home how bizarre it would be to live inside a sitcom.

When the laughter starts again, a self-aware Harry bolts up and questions the kids about what’s happening. Getting nowhere, he heads into the bathroom where he finds a script for everything that’s happening.

Back out in the main room, Harry reads through the script as the local mechanic Charlie suddenly appears. Harry continues to struggle breaking free from this reality. His cursing is bleeped out and the script is being adhered to perfectly by the rest of the family.

Instead, Harry decides to try and use this to his advantage, using the script to call a family meeting. There, he follows the dialogue and tries to get out the room.

Only, the script also calls for him to collapse on the ground and he does so, continuing to be a slave to the very end as the camera pans out to reveal a studio lot.

While Family Guy and The Truman Show have tackled this idea of self-awareness inside a sitcom before, Room 104 takes it one step further by playing up the dark humour.

The canned laughter when Harry hits his head badly is one such example, and helps to drive home that sinister undercurrent of comedy playing out here.

Although the ending is a little disappointing (personally I would have preferred Harry opening the door to find the cast and crew outside), the entire episode is crafted well. It’s unlikely to be regarded as the best of the season, but it’s an enjoyable one nonetheless.

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