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Room 104

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Perhaps time to bump up this thread, although since no one else has commented on the season 3 premiere which aired a couple of nights ago, I may be the only one who saw it.  Re: "The Plot" - Roma and Remus?  So, this motel is owned and operated by the Rat King?  Is that supposed to be the origin of all the fucked up shit that goes on in the establishment?  And does that mean that there is crazy shit going on in all the rooms or just in 104 since that is the part of the floor plan where all the murder and mayhem went down?  I didn't hate it and I appreciated the creative way they stayed consistent with the basic premise - all the events of the episode did take place in room 104 in a sense, even if there were no walls, door, or ceiling at that point in time.  (Compare the finale of season 2 -"Josie and Me" - where I think the premise was violated significantly for perhaps the first time - all the historical events recreated clearly could not have taken place in room 104 although they were all portrayed as having happened there.)

As much as I enjoy the Twilight Zone and anthologies with similar conceit, that has never been my understanding of what Room 104 was about.  The idea I got from it based on season 1 was to create interesting short films of virtually any genre (as long as the story kept to the boundary of seeing events occurring only in the motel room), not simply science fiction, horror, suspense, fantasy, etc., although the usual twists that go along with those sorts of stories do (should) often lend themselves to more interesting payoffs in the brief time available to tell the story.  Perhaps that is why many of the episodes veered in that direction, but there have also been several "slice-of-life" episodes that have stayed more in the straight drama or comedic veins that really would not relate in any way to some rodent demon being behind the scenes and involved in the hospitality industry.

That said, although much of the acting is good, most of the scripts are mediocre with pretty weak payoffs.  Nevertheless, I find myself willing to devote 22 to 26 minutes each week out of the hope that maybe "this one" will be better than most of the others.  I enjoyed watching "The Plot", with the extra hook that this is in a sense an "origin" episode, but again found the payoff on the weak side as it left me with more questions than answers.  I'm kind of curious why this has been renewed for a third season, and why HBO has so much confidence in the series, when they have so much other original content airing and in production.  If this is the last season, maybe the Duplasses will try to tie some of this together so there is a conclusion as well as an origin?

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Regarding S3 E3 - "Itchy":

OMG.  It's just so bad.  So far, out of 3 episodes this season, I rate the premiere as "watchable" just due to the background it gives regarding the entire series, and the next two as "abominable".  Not an auspicious start.

I assume this episode was called "Itchy" because it makes me want to scratch my own eyes out.

Edited by sd dude
Must add snark
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Re S2 E4 "Rogue":

Started out confused, then when it was clarified that this was Room 104 in the future post some kind of apocalypse, there was potential.

Then it ended and I was totally confused.  Was the protagonist at the end the same age as she was at the beginning?  She looked somewhat different to me.  I started to wonder if she was actually supposed to be the other woman's baby grown up, which sounds absolutely ludicrous as it I read what I wrote back to myself. . .

And that is where this series has led me.

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Re S3 E5 "Drywall Guys"

So there is now enough recognition by the creators that no one can figure out what is going on, that they will merely narrate the entire episode by way of exposition.  Tell, don't show, I suppose.

Edited by sd dude
had erroneously coded this as S2
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Re S3 E7 "Jimmy and Gianni"

So what I can glean is that Jimmy Ray Flynn and Gianni Arone are real life contemporary artists and real life father and son, although the "documentary" was scripted by Duplass.

All that said it was still a fucking mess to me.  At the end, all I could think was, "What did I just witness?"

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Re S3 E8 "No Hospital"

Actually kept my attention right up until the end when the mother shows up out of nowhere, with no explanation, for no apparent reason, at which point I realized I had no idea what the whole episode was about.  Fail.

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Re S3 E10 "Night Shift"

The big hole in this one for me is what happened to the vampire who created the split between the partners in the first place.  Perhaps she had been killed in the intervening years, perhaps she chose to move on from the partner she chose - but if she was so important to both of them that her presence changed the course of both their lives so dramatically, one would think the snubbed partner would have wanted to know what happened to her.  Fail.

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Re S3 E11 "Crossroads"

How can an "I sold my soul to devil many years ago and now he's here to collect" story possibly go off the rails?  Do it the Room 104 way!  Actually, this was not as painful to watch as most of the earlier episodes this season, but they simply can't seem to pull off an ending.  Even when the build up is decent, the absence of a satisfying conclusion leaves a dissatisfied feeling overall. Fail.

Re S3 E12 "The Specimen Collector"

I enjoyed Smulder's performance and actually thought the plot was rolling out at an appropriate pace and kept me engaged.  Again, it's the ending that left me flat.  Do they remove everything in the room to another location or destroy it all?  We'll never know.  Thanks, show.  I lean toward destruction as the government would tend to see the new ecosystem as a threat that would need to be contained first, and studied as a distant third or fourth.  If they did destroy it all, that is tragic, but not wry or ironic at all which is the type of ending that could have produced some satisfaction.  Fail.

I am incredulous that a fourth season has been ordered (and filmed).  I'm even more incredulous that I am virtually certain to watch all the episodes.  I fail.

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The only episode this season I've come close to liking is "Avalanche". This show does a lot of TZ-lite, but I think it's best when it does human emotions. The best episode of the whole show for me was the one with the guy who was trying to talk his tech-clueless mother through printing something for him over the phone, and how the stress brought out all sorts of issues with their relationship.

Edited by Starchild
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I was wrong about the foam party thing being the last one. Good thing because it didn't grab me. But this one with Enid and Chip was the best of the season so far. Low bar, but it would have been good even if the bar were higher.

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S4 E8

"No Dice".  An arrogant game show host gets more than he bargained for during an arranged meeting with his self-proclaimed biggest fan.

That was… interesting, but I didn't think it would end well for Gary Cole's character.

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Just read somewhere that this is the final season. I think it's definitely time to end. Some good stories, but most fell flat. The show, for me, never really shook that feeling that it was an indulgence for the Duplass brothers' writer friends.

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