Episode 4 of 'The Crowded Room,' titled 'London,' offers a refreshing change of scenery as the narrative shifts from the USA to the bustling city in pursuit of Danny's elusive father, Pete. While this episode doesn't bring Danny face-to-face with his father, it introduces us to an intriguing character named Jack, one of Pete's associates, who becomes Danny's only ally in the unfamiliar streets of London.
Throughout the episode, Jack provides Danny with shelter, food, and a sympathetic ear to his troubles. We witness another psychological facet of Danny's character, as he displays a deep reliance on father figures. However, this dependency transforms into a panic when Jack goes missing for a day or two, highlighting Danny's vulnerability and inability to calm himself.
Adding to the intrigue of the episode, Jack's mysterious demeanor raises suspicions about his true motives and connections. His evasive behavior when questioned about Pete hints at a hidden agenda, casting a shadow of doubt over his seemingly benevolent actions. While it is unlikely that he works for a criminal underlord, the lingering suspicion adds depth to the narrative, keeping you engaged and guessing.
As the past storyline converges with the present, Danny eventually returns to the US, only to be swiftly apprehended by the police. The episode concludes with Rya entering the interrogation room, but to everyone's surprise, it's not Danny who awaits her but Jack—an intriguing twist that hints at the direction the story is taking.
One of the standout aspects of this episode is Tom Holland's exceptional acting. He delivers a breathtaking performance, particularly in the moments of panic when Danny struggles to contact Jack. Holland skillfully portrays the slow descent from confusion to escalating apprehension, fear, and eventually a full-blown panic attack—an emotionally charged sequence that resonates deeply.
Additionally, the interrogation scenes between Rya and Danny in the present storyline finally bring some much-needed conflict and progression to the narrative. Unlike the previous episodes where the interrogations felt repetitive, we now witness tension and friction between Rya and Danny. His straightforward storytelling is met with anger and frustration, as he vehemently denies Rya's insinuations. These scenes inject a new dynamic into their relationship, adding layers to their interactions.
As Danny navigates the vibrant streets of 1970s London in search of Jack, the change of scenery breathes new life into the series. The alleyways and cobblestone paths create an atmospheric backdrop, evoking the time period and adding a sense of gritty realism.
However, while the setting is captivating, the directing choices fall short of capturing the full potential of London's historical charm. The shots and cinematography lack the finesse needed to fully transport us to that era. There is an over-reliance on close-ups, missing the opportunity to showcase the expansive cityscape and the cultural richness of the time.
In conclusion, episode 4 of 'The Crowded Room' delivers a compelling detour to London, showcasing Tom Holland's remarkable acting and injecting new energy into the narrative through intense interrogation scenes. While the change of scenery is refreshing, the directing choices could have better captured the essence of 1970s London. Despite this flaw, the episode leaves us intrigued and eager to discover the direction the story will take next.
Final Score- [6/10]
Premiere Date: June 16, 2023, on Apple TV+
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