Room 104 season 2, episode 9 recap: The Return


The ninth episode of Room 104 is an intense look at how a mother and her young daughter deal with recent grief.

Sarah (Stephanie Allynne) and her daughter Elle (Abby Ryder Fortson) are in Room 104 to bid farewell to Sarah’s husband. Sarah calls to update her father about their whereabouts. From Sarah’s conversation, we gather that Elle hasn’t been taking the death of her dad well and Sarah is at the end of her tether. Things are about to get a lot more intense in the latest episode of Room 104.

Elle has come up with a plan to contact her father. Both she and her dad were fans of Harry Potter, so she has brought some equipment to try to get in touch with him. Wearing identical witches’ hats, Elle reads out a letter to her dad revealing that he died less than six months ago from a sudden heart attack in Room 104.

She and Sarah cast a spell together, but nothing happens. Elle is convinced that Sarah is the problem – she doesn’t believe that Elle’s plan will work because Sarah doesn’t even like Harry Potter. When Sarah refutes this claim by reminding Elle that she went to Harry Potter World with her daughter and husband for five days, Elle yells back at her because she spent the entire time complaining. Can you even blame poor Sarah? They start to quarrel and Sarah starts packing up, getting ready to leave when Elle says she hears a muffled voice.

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Elle starts speaking to ‘spirit voices’ who can relay messages to and from her father. It’s not evident if Elle is just making this up for closure but she tells her mother that her father is fine and that he misses them both. Reluctantly, Elle also reveals that the voices told her that her father he misses Elle a little more than he misses Sarah. She was afraid to tell her mother this because it might hurt her feelings, but Sarah resignedly admits that Elle and her father shared a very special bond, so it’s completely understandable that he would miss her more. I feel like Sarah thinks that this is Elle’s way of saying that her grief is greater than her mother’s.

When Elle asks Sarah what she’d like to tell her father, Sarah says the usual things – that she misses him, she understands that he had to go, etc. But Elle wants to ask him how he can come back. Sarah agrees and Elle goes back under the covers to speak to the ‘spirit voices’.

When Elle emerges, she looks perturbed. She tells her mother that the only way her dad can return is by trading places with Sarah; ‘there can’t be three of us anymore’. Sarah is very calm despite these revelations, asking Elle whether that is what she would prefer. She even says she’s willing to die if it brings back her husband.

Elle confides with the spirits once again but this time they tell her that her mother doesn’t believe and that Sarah doesn’t really want to give up her life for her husband.

Distraught that the family can’t be whole again, Elle starts throwing items all over Room 104, crying about how other children can have both parents so why can’t she.

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Sarah consoles her, accepting that life isn’t fair and that she is in the same boat as Elle. Finally, Elle calms down and hides under the covers again. She tells her mother that she’s saying goodbye to her father. Sarah looks relieved; her daughter seems to have accepted fact. Under the covers, Elle is heard telling her father that she loves him. As Sarah looks on, a man’s voice replies that he loves her too.