The Crowded Room Episode 1,2,3 Recap and Ending, Explained

Starring Tom Holland and Amanda Seyfried, Apple TV+’s psychological thriller, ‘The Crowded Room’ follows the story of Danny Sullivan. He is interviewed by a psychiatrist, Rya Goodwin, after getting arrested for a shooting. Through their conversations, Rya tries to get to the bottom of the truth and realizes there is much more to the story than initially imagined. Over three episodes, the show sets the stage for the discoveries and revelations that are set to change everything Danny thought he knew about himself and the people around him. Here’s what the ending means for him. SPOILERS AHEAD

The Crowded Room Episode 1,2,3 Recap

Danny Sullivan is arrested after he and his friend, Ariana, open fire in a public place chasing after a man. Two people are shot, but no one is killed, which keeps Danny from being charged with murder. He tells the cops about Ariana, but she runs away after the shooting and is nowhere to be found. Neither is there any sign of Yitzhak, Danny’s landlord. The cops worry that Danny might have killed them. However, Rya Goodwin believes otherwise.

To find out more about Ariana and Yitzhak, she interviews Danny. He starts from the beginning when he was still in school and hadn’t met them yet. Danny lives with his mother and stepfather and is a loner at school. He has only two friends, Jonny and Mike, who help him secure weed and make money on the side. Danny is bullied at school by some jocks, who chase after him one day when one of them is suspended because of him. This is when Yitzhak, who had recently moved into an abandoned boarding house, shows up and saves Danny.

Because Danny doesn’t like his stepfather, he feels safer with Yitzhak, who offers him a room in the boarding house. Ariana is also rooming there, and despite her fickle mood, they become friends. Danny starts to think of them as his real family and spends the next three years at the house with them. Then the shooting incident happens, and Danny is forced to run away. When he is caught, he wonders what happened to Ariana and Yitzhak. After hearing his story, Rya points out something that changes everything.

The Crowded Room Episode 3 Ending: Did Danny Imagine Ariana?

In the opening scene of ‘The Crowded Room,’ we see Danny and Ariana follow a mysterious man. From their conversation, it seems like Danny is going forward with Ariana’s plan and has no stake in the situation. They are going to kill a bad man, so he shouldn’t hesitate. But he does when he sees the man’s face. In the third episode, Danny tells Rya that this man abused Ariana when she was a child, which is why they wanted to kill him.

Ariana confides in Danny about the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father’s friend when she was little and how it has traumatized her so much that she cannot sustain a proper relationship anymore. She is always scared that the bad man will come back and hurt her. To make her feel safe, Danny buys a gun. He wants her to have it because he thinks having the gun will comfort her. If the man shows up, she can fight back. However, she refuses to keep the weapon.

Eventually, she proposes a new plan. What if they killed the man? Then she wouldn’t have to worry about him returning and hurting her again. Though hesitant, Danny agrees to the plan. This is when Rya asks him who the man is and why Danny stopped when he looked at him. He reveals that the man they were following turned out to be Marlin. Rya points out the impossibility of Danny’s stepfather being Ariana’s rapist and how they both ended up living in the same place. She pushes him to talk more about what might have happened to Ariana following the shooting and where Yitzhak disappeared. Instead of following her cues, Danny talks about how these events pushed him to seek his father.

Danny might not want to confront the possibility presented to him by Rya, but it sets up a huge revelation for the audience. Returning to their conversation and how Danny has been telling the story, there are clues in his narrative and hints dropped by Rya in her questions that point toward the possibility that Ariana might not be a real person. Danny has been imagining her, which is why there is no sign of her, and the cops cannot find her.

Knowing that Danny Sullivan is loosely based on Billy Milligan, we know that the protagonist has dissociative identity disorder. This means that Danny is not alone inside his head, which is where the title gets its meaning. He has other personalities inside his head, and Ariana is one of them. Picking up on Rya’s cues and extending this theory to Yitzhak, it looks like the landlord never existed either.

Rya points out that Yitzhak showed up just when Danny needed him the most as if the man had been waiting for Danny to come to him. Going back to the scene when Yitzhak saves Danny, it is interesting that the boys who beat up Danny never acknowledge the man’s presence. They are shocked when Yitzhak stops them and then beats them. As they run away, they throw insults at Danny, saying nothing of Yitzhak, as if Danny was the one who beat them up.

However, how did Jonny and Mike see him if Yitzhak is not real? Perhaps, because they are not real, either. Danny mentions that he has no friends besides them, and it seems like they don’t have any friends other than him as well. In the scene where they go to buy drugs, it is curious how, when Jonny refers to them as “we,” Angelo makes fun of him. Jonny, Danny, and Mike take turns, coming forward when one of them is needed as if taking the spotlight.

Similarly, when Angelo shows up at Danny’s house to get the gun back, he says that Danny broke his nose, even though Jonny attacked him. Then Yitzhak shows up to save the day even though he wasn’t present in the house before. If Yitzhak is one of Danny’s personalities, it explains why Annabelle got so scared of Danny and ran away from the house.

At one point during the interview, Rya asks Danny if there have been times when he forgot something he’d done. He doesn’t give it much thought but later confesses that he forgot he had invited Annabelle to his house. All of this adds up to one fact: Danny has DID, and we have already met four of his other personalities. It remains to be seen how many more are there and where they will lead him.

Read More: Is Danny Sullivan Based on a Real Person?