Review: HBO’s ‘Room 104’ Returns For Season Two With A Pair Of Haunting Tales

Room 104
Image credit: HBO

HBO’s anthology series Room 104 is back for a second season. While only the first 2 episodes have been released, it seemed right to still diven into to what they have on offer.  Needless to day, they more can off as rather messed up, but nonetheless compelling watches. Episode one, FOMO, written by Mark Duplass is super cringe worthy. Grace played by Charlyne Yi, and her friends rent the familiar room for the night to celebrate her 30th birthday. The three friends are enjoying a night of drinking and getting messed up when Grace reveals she didn’t invite her sister Karen because as her friends put it, “She is literally the worst.” They are all relieved to have a night without her.

Just as the party starts there is a knock at the door and Karen is on the other side and it is as awkward as you can imagine. No one wants to be the one to find out they haven’t been invited to the party, but to show up uninvited later is super uncomfortable for everyone involved. Karen immediately gets the awkwardness started by quietly listening to Grace and her friends fall all over themselves trying to explain how her invite got lost. She follows it up by a pretty creepy rendition on Happy Birthday. It only continues to get more weird from there. Episode one is a little predictable but still really good. Karen definitely makes you think twice about not inviting that one annoying friend to the party.

Image Credit: HBO

Episode two, Mr. Mulvahill stars Rain Wilson as Jim. He reaches out to his music teacher from 3rd grade to have a meeting to discuss the past with him. The encounter seems innocent enough, but Jim wants to talk about a very specific event. Things start to get uncomfortable very quickly. Jim sets the scene as a little trumpet player that wanted to play Ode to Joy instead of the Star Wars theme and he stayed after class after all of the other kids had left. He wants Mr. Mulvahill to remember what happened that day the as he says, “Changed the course of his life forever.” He wants him to remember what happened. All signs lead to Jim possibly being molested by his elementary school teacher.

Rainn Wilson’s performance is unnerving and fantastically weird. His unhinged monologue is perfect as he debates how to get Mr. Mulvahill to admit what he did all those years ago. Mr. Mulvahill looks like anyone’s sweet grandpa. A sweet old man that is scared for his life. You feel bad for him. Yet also wonder is you should feel bad because what if what he did was really bad? The whole episode is full of questions until the very end. It’s hard not to think that maybe Jim is just crazy. But one thing for sure is that you will never guess what has been bothering Jim all this time and Wilson’s performance is pretty perfect.

This is just the start of the season, with more crazy self contained tales on the way. So be sure to check in weekly as we review the latest episode!

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