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The Crowded Room Episode 8 Recap

Episode 8 of The Crowded Room sees an impressive performance from Tom Holland as Danny explores his alters and their consequences while connecting with himself.

If you began watching The Crowded Room, then maybe moved on because you felt the story was being clumsily told, I highly suggest revisiting it. Not only is the plot nicely unfolding and picking up speed like a tilt-a-whirl ride, but Tom Holland throws up an impressive performance as he explores his alters and their experiences (and consequences). Episode 8, “Reunion,” ultimately focuses on three things: Danny’s understanding of his alters, how the law feels about mental health, and the lengths Marlin will go to in order to protect himself.

Episode 8 opens with Det. Matty Dunn (Thomas Sadoski) walking into a bar and ordering a drink before striking up a conversation with the guy next to him, who just so happens to be Danny’s stepfather, Marlin (Will Chase). Matty is there for a reason, and that reason is to let Marlin know that the police know he was lying about not being at Rockefeller Center on the day of the shooting—just enough to spook Marlin into a state of paranoia.

When Marlin later receives a summons to testify at Danny’s upcoming trial, he panics and slivers his way to the district attorney, telling her that he was, indeed, at the Center when the shooting occurred, and that Danny has a history of violence, and he can prove it. He then tells the D.A. about the shooting at the Ghost House from Episode 3, where Danny, as Yitzhak (Lior Raz) threatened to shoot Angelo (Stephen Barrington), the drug dealer, in front of Annabelle (Emma Laird), the girl from school Danny liked. If the D.A. can get Angelo and Annabelle to testify, it’ll be over for Danny, and Marlin knows that.

When Stan (Christopher Abbott), Danny’s defense attorney, finds out about this and tells Rya, he still refuses to plead insanity and suggests to Rya she heavily rethink her effort to prove on the back of Danny Sullivan that multiple personality disorder exists and is a mental illness deserving treatment, not sentencing.

“[The law doesn’t] give a sh*t about mental health,” he sternly tells her.

loud and clear reviews the crowded room episode 8 recap apple tv+ tom holland
[Recap] Tom Holland and Will Chase in episode 8 of The Crowded Room, now streaming on Apple TV+.(Apple TV+)

We get the idea just how big a mountain she faces in proving her theory in a system that just doesn’t care and in that, we really feel how lost and confused Danny must be in facing what he’s facing, only he doesn’t know they won’t (and don’t) care—only Rya does, and she’s doing her best to prove everything she can.

Where last week’s episode ended with Danny coming to terms with the chaos inside his mind and begging Rya (Amanda Seyfried) for help, in this week’s episode, we see that help unfolding through a series of sessions that take Danny back to each alter’s arrival. This is fascinating for us as viewers, because we finally get to see Danny performing their actions and experiences instead of each personality. Holland is really a force to watch here. Just outstanding.

Rya starts by asking about Yitzhak, who Danny says first appeared when Annabelle’s boyfriend and his friends were bullying him outside of the Ghost House in Episode 2. As he lay on the ground in the fetal position getting kicked and beaten, Yitzhak appeared and took control, allowing the fear Danny was feeling to alleviate.

He then says to Rya, “This is so difficult. It feels like my head is caving in and I’m stuck in a metal box.”

Rya uses that as an opportunity to stress the importance of going through this and points out to Danny that his disease is progressing.

“Your mind, it keeps splitting more and more. Yitzhak and Ariana were just symptoms,” she says—symptoms that emerged in specific situations, and it’s crucial Danny understand what it was about those situations that forced an alter development. She then encourages him to keep going, not to let the alters in. As Danny continues exploring each identity, he comes to understand what it is they do for him.

Jack made him somewhat self-aware and could give fatherly love and advice. Ariana could have sex and was the keeper of his loneliness, fear, pain, and suffering; she brought intimacy and vulnerability into his life because every action she took was in effort to resolve his feelings. Yitzhak was strong and confident—a protector—but his answer wasn’t always violence, as we saw in his encounter with Marlin when he tried to remove Danny from the Ghost House in Episode 3.

And then there are Mike and Jonny, Danny’s friends from high school. They have, perhaps, been there the longest but had been unnoticeable because they were so like Danny in age and expected high-school-kid personality. Mike was cool and social and made friends with everyone; he gave Danny courage. Jonny, on the other hand, was an escape artist and magician; he was also an erratic drug user who put Danny in more than one dangerous, uncomfortable situation, as we see him remember and defend himself to Rya over during a session.

Rya pushes Danny to explore what he thinks Jonny does for him, and he grows so increasingly uncomfortable, he gets angry and yells at her to, “F— off!”—exemplifying, for the first time, control over his own feelings. This moment seems to be a turning point for Danny, as Rya acknowledges and commends him, then explains to Danny that his feelings about all of this are normal.

“It’s the way you experience them through other people that’s unique,” she says.

While his alters are there to protect him, she assures Danny, Rya tells him his disease is also degenerative, meaning the alters become chaotic and can put him in danger, like they did when they sent him to London to find his father. She confirms to him that the system isn’t perfect, and he needs to be aware of this. Then, she tells him of a new treatment called Fusion Therapy, which will allow him to fuse with his alters—an idea he seems to like.

Episode 8 really is fascinating in terms of the story’s development and the acting. Holland’s malleable ability to slide right into these personalities is both uncanny and unnerving; it gives us a sense of just how deeply into this role he went and makes sense as to why he’s taking a break from acting for a moment after working so hard to properly portray this particular character with the kind of controlled finesse he did.

We also get to witness Danny connecting with himself during certain scenes when an acquaintance (i.e., old lover) of Ariana’s, Jerome (Elijah Jones, of Marvel’s Wastelanders: Doom), shows up to visit him in jail, and it’s such a delight to see Danny self-assure and happy—even if just for a small amount of time. Danny has no idea who Jerome is, but the two get to know each other and develop a friendship, making Danny feel like he has someone he can trust who also allows Danny to feel like he can maybe begin to trust himself a little.

This episode’s peek into Danny’s story ends, however, with a little less hope for Danny, as Jonny slips in while Danny is sleeping and injures himself, just to get to medical in hopes of securing some sort of tool presumably to help Danny escape—whatever way that may be—if it comes down to it.

“Just in case,” Jonny says as the camera fades to black.

I don’t know what’s coming next, but the air of mystery is thickening around Danny, his alters, Marlin, and the justice system. With only two episodes left, this ticking time bomb is getting ready to explode. And I can assure you, you won’t want to miss it when it does.

The Crowded Room airs Fridays on Apple TV+.

Watch on Apple TV

The Crowded Room Episode 8 is now streaming on Apple TV+.

The Crowded Room Episode 9 Recap – Loud And Clear Reviews
The Crowded Room Episode 9 Recap: The revelation of what led to Danny’s fractured psyche will have your heart bleeding all over the floor.
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