We finally get to wrap up Season One of ROOM 104 with this post. We have two polar opposites in front of us with Episode 11 and 12. We got fighters & lovers and their respective stories won’t quite play out the way you think; though that shouldn’t be a surprise the way the season has played out. Once again we open the door and peek in.
– “The Fight”
This seems straightforward enough – two female Mixed Martial Arts fighters (Natalie Morgan, Keta Meggett) work together to score a bigger payday in an upcoming bout.
You know, as I watched this season I was beginning to guess what the plot line just might be for a couple of them. And I’ve always been wrong; this episode is no different. I thought that the two tough broads would pound on each other for so long that they would fall in love with each other and just disappear never arriving at their upcoming match. WRONG. These ladies do not like each other and are out to take the other down and they can’t wait for the televised match. But, that is getting a bit ahead.
It all starts with Greta (Morgan) an up-&-coming fighter in Room 104 on the phone with her manager. She is barking pretty hard at him because she is housed in such a dumpy motel and going to make little money off an MMA fight the next day. She wants to know why she isn’t getting the same treatment as her opponent who is likely in a better hotel and getting a better take in the bout. We learn though that Rayna (Megget) is actually in the same motel and Greta goes through the front desk to reach her. Rayna comes to ROOM 104 to hear what Greta has to say. They both admit that the job is a rough way to make a simple living while the venue, sponsors and promoters make all the money.
Thus they hatch a plan to throw the match and via a third interested party they call upon, they intend to rake in the most dough they ever have taken in. All they have to decide you is going to come out the victor and therein lies the problem and the reason room 104 is converted into a fight ring.
The fighters decide to a bout right there going three timed rounds and the one tapping out is the loser in the big fight the next day. But, these ladies have too much pride, honor and self-respect to step down and the fight intensifies. It is the fight of their lives and the room is trashed as a result. They are getting bruised, bloody and swollen yet neither one yields. At one intense moment when bones are about to snap we cut to black.
The scene returns and it is the next day and a contractor is in the battered room taking assessment when he overhears a TV in the adjacent room broadcasting the fight. But, wait? What happened? Which one yielded, tapped out? Did they throw the match or end up in a stalemate that still battles on?
Well, to answer that would spoil the ending. Yep, you’ll have to watch “The Fight” to see. If you haven’t yet then here is a tease to set it up:
Ah, two octogenarians rendezvous in Room 104. How sweet? Here is a quick look at the final episode
– “My Love.”
Meet Charlie (Robert Baker Hall) and Lorraine (Ellen Geer). They are returning to the same motel room they started their married life in 56 years prior. They order some food to be delivered and they settle in for a lovely time. Not only are they there to reminisce about their married union, but Charlie has an idea to reenact their physical union as well. The subject is not often broached in TV, but ROOM 104 attempts it here. Charlie has already taken a Viagra and so they try, at their advanced age, to engage in coitus but…well they don’t get too far before they give up on it. But, they tried and it proves that their love for each other is still quite strong. We all hope for the same in our relationships.
Truthfully, what happens next is quite expected, but the aftermath is not. It is a spoiler perhaps, but the story can’t go on without acknowledging that while Charlie busies himself away from his wife that Lorraine, lying in bed, dies. The years of building up this enormous love is smacked with the sudden absence of one of its key participants. We all face it at some point, but how the widowed deals with it is crucial. Again, I don’t want to spoil for those who still wish to seek the story out, but Charlie does not exactly behave in a way you might expect. He didn’t call 911 or the front desk. He did call his one daughter, Elaine, but when he was on the phone with her, quite numbed with shock, he didn’t tell her that her mother just died. It is natural to want to take a moment to process & let grief take over, but to start a conversation with the deceased without starting the legalities of the death process to task was a startle or a least from my perspective.
The half-hour concludes with Charlie lying down beside Lorraine. Focus draws to the door when the food is delivered, but Charlie does not answer it as the episode ends. “My Love” proves to end in the same way as many of the episodes do in this cinematic experiment known as ROOM 104. It ends rather ambiguously. The viewer chooses the ending after it fades to black. Does Charlie just shut down? Does he only reveal the sad news to someone after the front desk is forced to unlock the door? Is he not responding because he just died of a broken heart? The story chooses not to focus on the very questions viewers are left with. The story is all about Charlie’s reaction to the loss not how he moves on after the fact.
And that, in conclusion, is what ROOM 104 as a whole offered. It didn’t explore the logical path; it delved into the more obscure and nuanced moments and left the audience to ponder out the conclusion that best suited them. That is what I appreciated from the show. Yes, it hit and missed, as most shows do but that is okay; such is the nature of TV. Some got annoyed that this approach left the stories incomplete. They like things to have a beginning, middle and an end. I liked the fact I could interpret things my own way. “My Love” was a good example of that and a good way to end the season.
Go seek out ROOM 104 on the streaming sites and have a go yourselves. For now, we close the door on ROOM 104 until its return.