ROOM 104 Season Two winds down real soon but we still can get lost within its four walls a few more times. Here is our take of the ninth and tenth episodes.
Episode # 9 – THE RETURN
Grieving the death of her father months earlier in Room 104, a young girl returns with her mother in hopes of being able to communicate with him.
This is a simple touching story written by Mark Duplass and directed by So Yong Kim. It is a story of grief and at its center is Elle played by Abby Ryder Fortson (daughter Sophie of TOGETHERNESS). She and her mother Sarah (Stephanie Allynne, an ANIMALS. voice) are revisiting the room to aid Elle in coming to terms with her father’s death. She has other plans as she is not ready to let him go. On the contrary, she wants to bring him back and thinks that she can do just that.
As the family was Harry Potter fans, the two put on the appropriate garb to conjure up dear daddy. Sarah fails to see what Elle intends at first. She tries to get Elle to accept their loss and say final goodbyes, but Elle is persistent. She accuses Sarah of not wanting to be a happy family again because Daddy always loved Elle best. Sarah is ready to call it all off and gets ready to leave which throws Elle into a highly heated rant. Sarah decides to not go down that road and changes tactics.
As the adult in the situation, she realizes Elle is going to have to grieve through this in her own way and in her own time. Sarah will enable that by being supportive & patience of Elle instead of fighting her. Elle goes under the covers several times to communicate with the spirits to make a deal for her father’s return. She bargains, she pleads under the covers only to surface and tell her mother that there is a chance if Sarah would trade places with Dad. That stings and we see them back to arguing. The whole situation is played emotionally and is quite believable. But to what end?
Is Elle going to be able to let go? Can she abandon the notion of summoning her father back to the living? Is she going to be able to move past blaming her mother or wishing it was her instead? Well, all we can say at this point is – this is ROOM 104. What do you think?
Episode # 10 – ARTIFICIAL
A reporter looks to uncover the truth about a woman who claims to be a hybrid robot warning of an impending AI takeover.
Natalie Morales, who suffered the nightmare in this season’s “A NIGHTMARE” directed this episode and it is a treat to be seen. Katie Aselton, wife of Mark Duplass is Helen. She is either a robot or a mentally disturbed woman who thinks she is a robot. The episode opens with her going through a range of emotions & facial expressions in front of the mirror before the reporter arrives. The knock at the door that interrupts her is Charles. He is played by Sheaun McKinney (VICE PRINCIPALS).
Helen has booked the room for three days in order to give Charles the exclusive news of her creation and purpose. He was hoping for a good twenty minutes. They each sit, per her suggestion, knees to knees on the edge of each bed and the interview begins. When you listen to Helen you do noticed a stilted tone in her voice, great enunciation and frequent odd tilts of her head. She is playing the role to the hilt. She does seem to have some issues though.
She starts to flirt a bit and when Charles calls her out on her inappropriate approach, she gets angry and when he calls her out for that emotion she really breaks out in a rant. She is basically fighting for her acceptance; she doesn’t want to come across as an insane woman but for what she is. Charles needs to expect it or walk. With some apology and understanding they move past that point but the whole rant has seemed to exhaust Helen. She needs to recharge and she wants Charles’ assistance. In a funny moment she has an extension cord in hand and lies on the bed and asks Charles to plug her in. Where is the connection, he asks? The logical place, of course, he needs to plug it in her ‘taint’. Hah! Watch to see how that plays out.
Charles still isn’t buying Helen’s story even when they sit at the table and get seriously down to business. We get her revealing that she is a hybrid robot comparing herself to The Terminator including the part where later versions could take over the world. She is the prototype, the first in a new age. She is complete with a computer chip on the back of her neck. Charles is still not convinced so she takes the last measure. She presents a knife and asks him to stab her palm. She will not feel the pain and will finally prove her case.
What happens? Will Charles be able to stab her? Is she an artificial life or a crazy woman? What does Charles learn as a result? Sorry, you got to watch it to find out. By the episode’s end, you will have seen one of the best ones of the season.