The Crowded Room Series Finale Recap: Danny Faces the Truth in “Judgment”

Ariana lies with Danny on his bunk in The Crowded Room series finale
Screenshot / Apple TV+

The following recap contains spoilers for the series finale of The Crowded Room, Episode 10, “Judgment,” on Apple TV+

Editor’s Note: This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.

Ah, man. Knowing this was the last episode, I expected some emotions, but I didn’t expect all of them. There were a lot of heartbreaking scenes as well as some things that made me smile, and of course, have the occasional outburst of anger, which has become the norm with this show.

I’ll start with Danny’s suicide attempt. I’m kind of glad that there wasn’t an exorbitant amount of time spent on this as we still had so much left to cram into 44 minutes. While the sun rises, Danny is still lying in his bed, bleeding out while Ariana lies with him. She begs him to let her help but he refuses. Eventually, he loses consciousness, but Ariana manages to push him off his bunk at the same time.

The noise from his falling prompts a guard to check on him and get him medical treatment. Stan hears the news from the judge and shows up at Rya’s house to let her know. She blames herself for not seeing the signs.

The next day they go visit Danny in the infirmary, but Danny is not the one lying there; it’s Jack instead. Jack decides that since they pretty much lost their case, he is the best thing for Danny. Stan and Rya serve no purpose anymore.

Meanwhile, in the barn, Jack locks Danny up inside a stall and tells him if he doesn’t behave, he will fill it all with water.

Rya and Stan look shocked.
Screenshot / Apple TV+

Rya & Stan

Rya and Stan discuss their next steps over lunch. Stan assumes they will lose, but Rya isn’t trying to hear that. She questions if there was a suicide note in Danny’s cell. Stan shows her a drawing of Danny and Adam and says there was no note, just the drawing.

Stan pops his pills, which he acquired earlier in a clinic. Pain pills, perhaps? Whatever they are, he is addicted to them judging by his outburst when the clinician denied him a refill.

Rya catches this and probes until we come to understand he was in the war and suffers PTSD from losing men under his watch. Rya explains that when bad things happen to us, we make them our fault and therefore cannot heal. Her words spark a eureka moment, and she tells Stan they need to go.

In the car, she explains that they are going to lose because they couldn’t prove sexual assault. She says Danny’s guilt and shame are keeping him from remembering, but there is a way to get him to remember.

They stop at the hospital where Candy works. Candy hands Rya a manilla envelope containing what I presume are the photos we see later on in the trial.

Before going back to trial, Rya tries to obtain more time off from teaching her classes. The dean gives her an ultimatum, which ends with her choosing Danny and not her job.


It’s time to go back to court. Jack is brought out and seated next to Stan where he antagonizes him some while shooting a wink over to Rya. Stan says the defense isn’t ready to rest as they have one more witness and calls Danny to the stand. There is some pearl clutching as well as giggles from the D.A (witch!).

Jack looks amused and takes the stand. After Stan asks Jack to state his name, he accuses him of lying. The D.A. objects but the judge allows the questioning. Jack asks to tell his side of the story in which he states he was only trying to scare Marlin away because he had been abusive to Candy.

Stan accuses Jack again of not being Danny. This is when he grabs Danny’s sketchbook and holds up a drawing of Jack. Jack agrees it’s a handsome fella. Stan turns to the drawing of Danny and Adam and asks Jack who the boy is. This catches Danny’s attention in the barn and Jack begins to look nervous.

He tells them it was his twin brother, who died when he was a boy. Stan grabs the manilla envelope and begins pulling out photos. They are pivotal moments such as his mom holding him as a baby, birthdays, etc.

Stan asks Jack if he notices anything strange? Danny is in his stall, rattling his chains. Jack is getting hostile. Jack tells Stan there is nothing unusual in the photos.

Stan asks when Adam died. At this point, Danny is trying to kick through the door of the stall. Jack looks at him and tells him to stop (while also screaming it in the courtroom). Stan continues his questions and asks why Adam isn’t in any of the photos?

Danny breaks free and storms his way through the barn. Stan asks Jack how did Adam die? Is it possible that he doesn’t remember?

Danny wades through the water, Rya begins crying, and the D.A. is starting to look serious. Stan keeps repeating himself, asking what happened to Adam.

Danny's alters stand around Jack.
Screenshot / Apple TV+

Danny is neck deep in the water when he comes across a little boy floating face down in the water. We know it is Adam, but Danny doesn’t realize it yet. He grabs Adam’s hands under the water. At the same time, the alters all gather around Jack as the spotlight above them fades, leaving them in the dark.

The spotlight is on Adam now who lifts his head and looks at Danny, giving him a quiet, “Hey, Dan.” Danny’s face at this moment was some incredible acting from Tom Holland. You could feel his heart breaking as the realization hit him. I’m not sure how anyone watching could keep their shit together after this moment.

Back in the courtroom, Danny’s body is turned away from everyone. He still has that shocked, sad look on his face. Stan must recognize it is Danny and asks him again, softly, what happened to Adam?

Danny faces him and said he had to go away because of what he did. Stan asks what did Adam do?

Danny explains,

He wanted it to happen. He wanted Marlin to do it because he wanted everything to be OK because he didn’t want our mom to be alone. He wanted Marlin to do whatever he wanted to him, and he raped him over and over, but he wanted him to, so I had to send him away.

Everyone, including Stan and the D.A., is teary-eyed. Stan asks Danny, “Who is Adam?” Danny replies that Adam is him.

The defense rests and not surprisingly, the jury comes back later with a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. Danny is sent to a medical facility where he spends two years. Danny has been doing fusion therapy and appears to be doing well. They even let him paint because it’s therapeutic.

Danny allows his mom to come visit after two years because he realizes he will never be ready to face her so best to get it over with. This was another heartbreaking scene and I hate to say I felt no sympathy for Candy. I realize she was a victim of abuse, but I just can’t seem to find justification for her inaction to protect Danny.

He asks her when she knew about the sexual abuse. She explains in a roundabout way that she realized when Danny was 4 years old that his real father had been abusing him so she ran off with Danny. She was struggling to do it all on her own and thought that when she met Marlin, he would be good for them. She knew Marlin was abusing him too but she went into denial because how could she have brought another man like that into their lives? Danny seems numb to it all.

She explains that she lives alone now in her own apartment and has been getting counseling. Marlin bothered her a few times, but gave up eventually. Yes, this part pissed me off. This woman not only allowed her child to be abused for his whole life but basically abandoned him in court when he was facing years in prison. Surely, she was informed of his suicide attempt, but still nothing. She even looked reluctant to hand the envelope over to Rya. Now, after all that, she decides to leave Marlin and get help. Her son needed her, but it wasn’t enough to give her that push.

Danny had said on the stand that Adam let Marlin do those things to him because he didn’t want his mom to be alone and there she was for years just waiting on Marlin hand and foot. It truly is disgusting. The sad part is that I’m sure others may have suspected as well, but back in those days people tended to mind their business and look the other way. But then situations like Danny’s become the cost of silence.

Moving on…Danny thanks her for coming but when she asks to see him again, his silence is a big fuck no. She says she will keep asking. Danny explains to Rya when she comes to visit that his mom will never ask again.

Rya is happy to see him as it must have been quite some time since she had seen him last. She tells Danny she is a shrink now and sees patients out of her home office. She is also the reason that D.I.D. is added to the DSM as a real condition. He thanks her for everything and tells her she saved him. Later, they embrace and she walks away as “Let It Be” from the Beatles plays.

That’s it, folks. I am so happy Danny had the best outcome he could’ve had in his situation. I’m happy to see how much of a bond he and Rya share. I’m sure she is part of a new family for him. As sad as it is, I’m also glad he cut his mother out of his life. Clearly, she has too many issues of her own to work on and can’t be the mother he needs.

It saddens me that this is a real disorder because it means others were sexually abused and traumatized to the point of breaking. I think this show will cast a light on this disorder which is definitely not talked about enough. Tom Holland did an amazing job. Playing Danny allowed him to show his extraordinary acting range. I don’t think it would have been the same show if some other actor was cast. Amanda Seyfried was great also. When she cried, I cried.

If you have kids, go give ’em a hug.

Written by Felicia Nickens

Lover of television, film, & the macabre.

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