The Crowded Room – Season 1 Episode 8 “Reunion” Recap & Review


Episode 8 of The Crowded Room begins with Detective Doyle, a.k.a, Matty, paying a visit to Marlin. He sees a bruise on his hand, which Marlin explains was a stabbing by a convict at the facility where he works. But Matty quickly shoots his idea down by saying it looks like something else. He later confirms to Stan, Danny’s lawyer, that Marlin’s alibi that he wasn’t at the Rockefeller Centre that day was a lie. That is definitely a graze wound from a bullet.

After his meltdown in the last episode, Danny goes over how his split personalities were born with Rya. First is Yitzhak, who was born as a result of the constant bullying Danny suffered at school. The incident from episode 2 where Billy beats him black and blue with his friends is replayed as it was: Danny beating them with superhuman-like strength.

Rya explains that Danny’s disorder is progressing – meaning that he keeps splitting a new one. Yitzhak and Ariana are just symptoms, which emerge in specific situations. She visits Stan, who tells her that he will not be pleading “insanity” for Danny at the trial. Their best shot is justifying that the shooting was not random by bringing to light Marlin’s sexual assaults on Danny as a child. Stan could bring down the sentence to just 5 years. Rya disagrees and presses that Danny needs treatment, but Stan remains unconvinced.

Candy is becoming more convinced every day that Marlin is not the charmer she fell in love with. The truth of his monstrosity hasn’t surfaced yet. But we are on the right track to seeing him exposed. 

Danny’s cellmate asks him about Jack, and if he is coming back. He also knows Yitzhak but doesn’t want to meet him again. Danny gets an unusual visitor in prison. Jerome, who still calls Danny “Ariana,” enquires why he hasn’t called. Danny tries to explain that it was Ariana, his split personality, who fell in love with Jerome. Danny doesn’t know him at all, in his lucid state.

Rya and Danny discuss Ariana’s significance for Danny. Beyond her ability to be sexually liberated, Ariana could easily connect with people. She brought intimacy and vulnerability to Danny’s emotional landscape. “She was the keeper of my loneliness, pain, and fears,” quips Danny. When he felt he couldn’t take action to resolve his feelings, Ariana stepped in.

Rya mentions fusion therapy as a new form of treatment that could integrate Danny’s broken fragments to make him whole again. He isn’t too optimistic about the trial but Rya wants him to latch on to it. Meanwhile, Marlin is served with a summons to testify in the trial by Stan.

Rya works further with Danny to get to the bottom of his personalities and to also recount instances when they surfaced that could help his case. Yitzhak was Danny’s protector from threats. We see what actually happened when Angelo, the drug dealer, broke into the ghost house when Danny was with Annabelle.

In a touch-and-go incident, Yitzhak almost takes control when Danny is heckled by a prisoner in the mess, calling him “freak boy” and asking him to do “the voices.”

Jerome meets Danny once again and apologizes for his rudeness the other day. They have a pleasant interaction where Jerome recounts how he met Ariana for the first time at the club. They connect instantly. All of this is new for Danny, who begins to trust him. Danny confesses his insecurities about how life would be after he leads a normal life.

Next up, the reason why Danny went to London. Rya explains that the system that controlled Danny and his “alters” is an imperfect one. It is not immune to behaving erratically and putting Danny in danger. We then learn that Danny still feels Marlin assaulted Adam and not him. Rya remains silent and has a guilty look on her face.  She takes away the focus from that and back to London. Rya justifies Danny’s actions as a normal emotional reaction. She makes all effort to sensitise Danny to his condition and to not let him feel crazy or detached.

Rya gets to how Mike and Jonny came into being. Rya posits that Danny’s condition went undiagnosed for a long time because these two are the most like Danny among all his alter egos. Social skills, friendships, and the jock vibes were why he needed them. Danny gets really animated as he recounts that it was him that went to Angelo and did all the things with him under the influence of drugs; not Jonny. Rya assures Danny that he will be alright over time. He will lead a normal life. Because in the end, it was Danny trying to save himself, not his alters.

Jerome meets Danny again and announces it as his last time. All this while, he has been coming there expecting Ariana will show up, which isn’t fair to either of them. But when he gives Danny a good luck charm, something in him turns and unexpectedly, Ariana takes back control. But that is only momentary as Ari wanted to bid farewell to Jerome. 

Stan learns that Marlin has approached Patricia, the DA trying Danny’s case, and has offered to be a witness for them. He falsely claimed to the DA that Danny has a history of violence and that Marlin was at the Centre that day. The DA now has Annabelle and Angelo to demonstrate Danny’s behaviour. Danny is in deep trouble now, as Stan still won’t agree to plead insanity.

The episode ends with Jonny taking control, forcing Danny’s hand into the closing door of his prison cell, and being taken to the infirmary. We see him stealing a paper clip and Danny coming back as himself, muttering “Just in case.”

The Episode Review

The last two episodes have been a revelation for Tom Holland. After watching “Reunion,” there is little surprise in how much it affected the British actor on a personal level. Holland has shone the brightest in these two episodes. Not only has he successfully convinced us with his uncanny impression of the “alters,” he has also enriched Danny’s portrait. Beyond his playing different characters, he has played Danny’s helplessness the best.

There is an instant disarming quality in his disposition after learning about his “condition.” What will happen at the trial is anyone’s guess. Since the show has carved its own creative universe, all possibilities are open. For now, Danny seems to have a good handle on his alters, who resurface every now and then. Elsewhere in the plot, we all want Marlin to be brought to justice – that must be a universal feeling by now!

The Crowded Room is heading for a steamy finish. The show was misjudged to be a clumsily told narrative at the beginning. But the deeper we have gone behind Danny’s troubling spectacle of a universe, the better the show has turned out to be.

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