Courtroom drama is always an uneasy subject when it deals with sensitive topics like sexual abuse and uncomfortable testimonies. Apple TV’s The Crowded Room portrays this with such mastery that you can’t help feeling empathy for the characters present, especially Danny Sullivan and Rya Goodwin. The ninth episode of the psychological thriller drama presents the trial of Danny Sullivan after he opened fire in the Rockefeller Center and the defense’s attempts to protect Danny from being sent to prison. Here’s what happens in the ninth episode of The Crowded Room.
Does Candy Not Care About Her Son?
The ninth episode of The Crowded Room opens in a state of complete helplessness, which is the everyday life of Candy Sullivan, the mother of Danny Sullivan, the young man who’s currently facing trial for a shooting incident at Rockefeller Center. Every trace of happiness, joy, or vigor has evaporated from Candy’s countenance, and she blankly stares at the distance and constantly rejects the calls every time their landline phone rings. One night, Marlin is faster than his wife in reaching the phone, but there’s no response from the other side. As a molester, abuser, and absolutely vile person, Marlin forbids his wife from picking up the phone until Danny’s trial is over. She quietly retires into the washroom, where she fishes out newspaper cuttings about her son’s arrest from a cabinet and sobs uncontrollably. The phone calls are from Stan Camisa, requesting Candy to testify to help her son, but Candy lacks the courage to take one step that hasn’t been allowed by Marlin. It’s not that she doesn’t care; she’s just so afraid of Marlin kicking her to the curb that she has to sit idle while her son goes to jail. Such is the power of emotional abuse that shatters a person’s spirit.
What Happens On The First Day Of The Trial?
The time for Danny’s trial is here, and he arrives in court. Soon after, the jury files in. DA Patricia immediately goes to work, going into intricate details to establish that Danny Sullivan is a delinquent who’s trying to escape consequences using made-up claims based on a non-existent disease. She adds that the defense’s claims are just instruments to help Danny escape accountability and demands the jury punish Danny for his crimes. Stan Camisa makes a convincing opening statement where he beseeches the jury to keep an open mind because they’re to be presented with a unique but very real case, and he surmises that Danny’s alters came into existence because he’d been exposed to sexual abuse as a child. He doesn’t request to set his client free but tries to make a plea to ensure that Danny’s mental illness is treated with care instead of imprisoning him for a crime committed by his alter egos.
During the recess, Stan and Rya discuss how Danny’s situation doesn’t look positive because they can only rely on Candy to testify that her son witnessed sexual abuse. Rya can’t testify because he never admitted to her about such an incident, and so far, the prosecution is having a field day. To exacerbate the matter, Marlin is called in as a witness, and he ensures to paint Danny in the worst light possible while maintaining that he loved the young man as his own son. While Marlin portrayed Danny as a violent junkie who stole from him, the prosecution played the video of Danny shooting up the Rockefeller Center. The jury was slowly being influenced to see what the prosecution wanted them to see. That night, Candy finally picked up the phone to tell the caller that she wouldn’t be testifying, only to find out that it was her son on the other end. She tried shakily apologizing for not being able to go see him, but Danny hung up, saying he was sorry for everything. Candy finally makes up her mind to attend the next day’s trial, and she sits in the back to helplessly witness how her son is being presented as a criminal.
Why Did Candy Not Want To Testify?
The prosecution called Angelo, the thug, to testify, and he lied through his teeth, saying he’d gone over to reason with Danny after he robbed the friendly and well-mannered drug dealer. Stan got him to answer that Danny had never been ‘normal’ the entire time he’d known him. When Annabelle came to the stand, she confessed that she’d never seen Danny as violent as he’d been with Angelo, and she’d been terrified. The scale was tipping toward a history of past crimes when Stan asked her if Danny had ever harmed her or behaved rudely with her, and she denied so. In fact, she couldn’t piece together the Danny that drew the amazing portrait of her as the person who fired a bullet at a thug who was bleeding and wetting himself in fear. The two didn’t seem like the same person. However, determined to not let a white man escape justice, Patricia brought up the fact that Danny had sent Annabelle’s boyfriend and a few more of his friends to the hospital in the past as well, indicating that Danny had had a history of violent outbursts. With each witness that the prosecution introduced, the case slipped away from Danny’s favor, inch by inch.
While leaving the courtroom, Candy was stopped by Rya, and the counselor asked the mother of her client for a coffee, but Candy refused to cooperate. Later, Rya explained to Stan that Candy had trauma-bonded with Marlin. She knew her husband was the worst thing that could happen to her, but she couldn’t leave him. Candy had been convinced that she wouldn’t survive on her own, and she had to rely on Marlin for survival, even if it meant watching her son be taken away. Such had been the impact of Marlin on Candy, and one couldn’t fault her for her actions because only the victim knows the situations they’ve had to go through.
How Did The Prosecution Try To Poison The Jury Against Danny?
On the third day, Jerome was brought in, and he made it clear that there was no way Danny could be the same person as Ariana. His girlfriend, Ariana, had been a sassy, confident, and powerful woman, while Danny was timid, shy, and cowering. His testimony threw light on the difference between the two alters, but Patricia didn’t hold her punches and pointed out how Jerome didn’t know Ariana beyond the club, where they shared their most intimate moments. She presented the relationship between Jerome and Ariana as a perverse and twisted union of the flesh, souring the jury once again against Danny. Outside, Stan tried reasoning with Candy to take the stand and admit that her son had been assaulted, but she’d rather be held in contempt of court than admit that she knew of her son’s trauma and kept quiet.
When Stan questions Rya about Multiple personality disorder, she explains that it’s a very real thing that often begins when a child is exposed to something severe like sexual abuse. Being unable to understand the horror they’ve been subjected to, their psyche shatters, and new personas develop. However, this attempt was soured by Patricia, who started showing Rya’s attempts to help Danny as a way to seek a grant from the university and brought Rya’s sexual life into question. Finally, Patricia asked whether Danny had himself confessed to Rya that he’d been sexually abused, to which the counselor had no choice but to admit that he hadn’t.
What Did Candy Testify In Court?
Later on, Candy followed Rya to a bar and tried to rub it in that Rya was doing all this for personal gain. To change her perspective, Rya told Candy of a young girl who’d been raped by multiple men over the years. She explained the trauma it brings to a person and how it shatters them. Candy realized how she’d been blind to her son’s tragedy and made up her mind. She packed her things the moment Marlin left the next day and headed to the court with determination. However, inside the elevator, she was met with Marlin, who scared her to such an extent that when the time came to answer whether Danny had been sexually abused or not, she said, “No.” That night, Danny picked out the paper clip that Jonny had helped him steal and slit his wrists, knowing there was no escape from prison now that his mother had lied against him. Ariana pleaded with Danny to wake up and not ‘go gentle into the good night’, and when he didn’t budge, the only persona that was Danny’s best friend pushed him down to the floor, where he bled profusely.
The Crowded Room Episode 9 Ending
Candy lied about her son’s tragedy and trauma because she was afraid of what the truth could have been. Scared that she’d be exposed as a monster who stayed silent on her son’s abuse, scared that she’d never have a home, a job, or a life if she went against her husband, she threw her son into the pits of darkness. Candy chose herself over her son, and even that’s something trauma can do. Danny slit his wrists, knowing he was going to be sent to prison and had nothing else to do about it. However, it was only Ariana who came to his rescue because she was the keeper of his loneliness, and when abandoned by the one person he was supposed to blindly trust, Ariana returned. She was also his side of self-preservation, and she pushed him down to alert the authorities of what he’d done to himself, hoping that Danny would be saved. But will Danny be saved, and what will the final outcome be? The next week’s episode of The Crowded Room will reveal it all.