Room 104 season 2, episode 3 review: Swipe Right


The third episode of Room 104 season 2 is packed with star power and outrageous character development that has the viewer confused and delighted.

A band marches into Room 104 in the fourth episode of the HBO show, followed closely by Michael Shannon. Speaking on the phone in a thick Russian accent, Shannon’s character seems to be attempting to plan a “woke” political rally, in which “we need to confuse some people.”

He can’t continue the conversation now because he is on a personal trip. His parting words to his unseen phone companion are typical political jargon — “they either ride with us or collide with us.” Roll eyes.

Shannon’s character, a political technician in “his country,”  has set up a ‘date with an American woman, Darla Andrews (Judy Greer), but this isn’t a typical hook-up for him.

light. More. Room 104 season 2, episode 2 review: Mr. Mulvahill

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He is “interested in making a connection” with her. As we soon see, a connection is hardly possible when he insists on calling himself “Nathan Ibramovich” when that is clearly not his real name.

Darla is excited to meet Nathan, and he modestly tells her that he has enjoyed their correspondence. She thinks he’s a great writer and the two awkwardly compliment each other. So far, so much like every other internet date we’ve seen before.

Darla is a veterinarian nurse and tries to make conversation. Nathan is intense and incensed when he’s interrupted by phone calls from his people. Darla, on the other hand, is casual and funny — clearly, she’s been looking forward to enjoying this evening. He has as well since he’s got champagne and hors-d’oeuvres ready for her. Unfortunately, he’s not very loquacious.

To spark some life into their dwindling date, Nathan suggests they drink Vodka. He doesn’t like being a stereotype, but he’s Russian and likes Vodka — albeit, a Canadian one. As it is, this date is not going as smoothly as Nathan wanted but then there’s the case of the ice bucket.

One of Nathan’s aids appears with an ice bucket, but Nathan refuses to let him into Room 104. Instead, the aid tries to squeeze the bucket through the narrow gap made by the door chain, but despite their best efforts, neither Nathan nor the aid succeeds. Finally, Nathan grabs some ice from the bucket and commences the rest of the evening.

This is both Nathan and Darla’s first international, internet date. Being the man that he is, he immediately asks her about her domestic internet dates. She discusses them with a sensitivity that belies an innate kindness.

Apparently, most of the guys she met were melancholic about their status in life. It’s all quite sad, Darla explains to Nathan, who is far too busy on his phone. He claims his qualities include “attentiveness and listening to others,” but so far, he’s been neither.

Darla starts asking Nathan about his book, wishing she could get an English translation of it. This being Room 104, Nathan tells her that it is a great book but he didn’t write it. And that the man who wrote the book, Nathan Ibramovich, is pretty much an idiot.

Now, Darla is confused. She asks him what his real name is, but he deflects the question, instead waxing eloquent about why all Russians should be obsessed with Hamlet. The way he says it almost makes sense.

Not only has Nathan lied about his name, but Darla has also spotted a ring around his finger. When she starts becoming too pushy, Nathan uses an unconventional method to distract her.

Out of nowhere, psychedelic disco lights fill Room 104, and Nathan begins rapping. Yes, you read that right, Michael Shannon, the A-list villain — Zod, himself — is rapping and dancing — while two actors in suits twerk and strips off their trousers. I thought I’d seen everything on Room 104, but I was wrong.

Once the rapping is over, Darla looks stunned, while the performers look shell-shocked by her non-reaction. Even though Darla is complimentary about Nathan’s musical abilities, she reminds him that “there’s still an elephant in the room, though.”

Nathan petulantly abandons Darla to hide in the bathroom, re-creating the “Alas, Poor Yorick” scene from Hamlet. He’s having a Shakespearean melt-down. I think he’s too stressed, what with this political rally he has to plan and his need to impress Darla.

When he re-emerges, Darla asks him point-blank whether he’s married. She Googled him and found out he has a wife. It was not an easy search since he has a lot of pseudonyms. His answers continue to be wishy-washy.

Next. Room 104 season 2, episode 4 review: Hungry. dark

Annoyed, Darla tries to leave, but the bodyguards block her at the door of Room 104. Nathan and the bodyguards try and make excuses about why she shouldn’t leave. She doesn’t buy it, but they lock her in.

Nathan then begins talking about the “tragedy of his life.” Darla is so bored — she just stares out the window waiting for this “date” to end.