The Crowded Room – Season 1 Episode 7 “The Crowded Room” Recap & Review

The Crowded Room

Episode 7 of The Crowded Room begins with an eclipse that residents of NY watch in wonderment. According to Jung, eclipses are “harbingers of rebirth.”

Would Danny be reborn in his own eyes as Rya prepares to confront him with the tectonic truth about himself? Does he trust her enough to believe it? How will he react when he learns the truth? All these questions go through our minds when Rya puts on the tape Matty gave her in the previous episode for Danny. The tape is a CCTV recording from a jewellery store near Rockefeller Center. Danny’s trial is approaching and Rya is getting impatient.

The tape shows Danny as the only person who shoots the gun. In fact, he is the only person chasing Marlin. Ariana is not there. Surely it is doctored, Danny thinks to himself. How could it not be? The disbelief in Danny’s eyes, when he learns the truth, stirs him up. That is when Yitzhak walks from behind and asks Danny to “sleep.” He has firmly taken over and says to Rya she has made a big mistake. The credits start rolling and the episode cuts to Danny in a field, watching the eclipse.

He looks over his shoulder and spots a barn-like structure. Danny walks in to discover a deep labyrinth of rooms. He descends down the stairs and stumbles upon one. Danny is left speechless as he sees Yitzhak, Jack, Jonny, and Mike together! It is a surreal moment for him, personally. How could they all be in the same room – together? This is Danny’s “Crowded Room.” They were discussing how it was a “mistake telling her.” Yitzhak is the active one so he doesn’t interact with Danny. In a moment, Danny is fast asleep and the discussion continues.

In the real world, we see Yitzhak pushing away the table and chair and warning Rya about her actions. Just as things are about to get out of hand, Mike takes over to calm the guards, who take Danny away. In his crowded room, Jack and Yitzhak discuss how Danny came in there awake. Jack thinks “the system” is breaking down. He also calls Rya “a liar.” They are not ready to let Danny talk to her anymore and now they have a plan. When Danny wakes up in the real world, it seems like Jonny has taken over because he asks someone for “some blow.”

He gets into deep trouble when he jokingly asks one of the inmates for coke. The inmate starts beating him mercilessly. But when Yitzhak awakes and takes over, Danny destroys him. The guards come in and confront Danny. That is when Jack takes over, almost like the baton is passed on to him. Before he can say anything, he is run down by the guards.

Meanwhile, Stan and Rya go to the courthouse together for a pre-trial hearing. The former is sceptical of their chances of convincing the judge of Danny’s illness. He alludes to Rya’s own professional diagnosis of Danny and rationalizes that the judge and law enforcement will not let the Rockefeller shooter go scot-free.

They have a sitdown with the Judge, Dr Whitman, and DA Patricia Richardson. Whitman is a renowned psychologist who outrightly rejects Rya’s thesis. Danny is brought in and it seems like either Mike or Jonny is in charge. But when he starts speaking, the British accent cannot be hidden from Rya. It is clearly Jack, who also affords a wry smile Rya’s way. The Judge is convinced Danny is lucid and dismisses Rya’s claims.

Stan tries to enter into a plea bargain with Patricia but she cites the pressure from her bosses to go for the kill. She also cites how “young black and brown inmates did far less than Danny” and were still in prison. Rya reprimands Jack for his ruse and warns him that a Federal Prison will break Danny. Mike and Yitzhak feel Rya’s advice might have merit. Danny needs to stand on his own feet and it is time for “them” to leave him. That’s when Jack shoots Yitzhak, who disappears from the room. Danny finally wakes up in the room to find Ariana next to him.

“We’re all you, Danny,” quips Ariana. Jack and the others also tell Danny they live for him. Ariana shows him the spotlight, where each of them takes over from Danny whenever he is in trouble. She takes over whenever he feels lonely or needs to connect with other people. Ariana walks toward a room (which we saw at the end of episode 2) and tells him that Danny created them all. The dead people are “undesirables,” who have no purpose to serve. Jack explains how they all came into being – it was as a result of Marlin’s sexual assault on Danny in the barn, as previously suggested by Rya.

That is when he split into separate personalities. They all try to convince Danny that Rya wants to kill them. And if they die, he will die as well. They convince Danny to maintain a distance from Rya and to not plead insanity in any case. It is all ruefully manipulative that might lead Danny to make a decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

Rya meets with Danny again at Rikers and lambasts Jack for making a fool out of her. She is taken aback when she learns Danny is in control. He shakily asks her for “help”, saying “There are voices in my head.” Rya’s reassuring words, “I’m here” might just be all that we need right now.

The Episode Review

Episode 7 has lived up to its billing as the best episode of The Crowded Room. With these new perspectives, we saw Danny in a different light. Rationalizing his condition to us was the only thing the creators needed to do to humanize him. While the terms weren’t simple or clear enough before, episode 7 sets the record straight.

Tom Holland showed glimpses of how well he can act in the last episode and got more of the stage in this one. It is remarkable how he is able to make the switch and channel Danny’s helplessness in the final moments.

The Crowded Room is a story of two halves. While the first one had us writing it off, the sudden seriousness in the second has got us interested. There might be a glowing end to this Apple TV show that none of us saw coming.

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You can read our full season 1 review of The Crowded Room here
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