Apple TV+’s ‘The Crowded Room’ takes Danny Sullivan to trial as he finally faces the consequences of his actions. For weeks, Rya Goodwin interviewed him, bringing out all of his alters and finding a way to put the real Danny back in control. Meanwhile, his lawyer, Stan Camisa, tries to figure out how to get his client the best deal possible, one that doesn’t land him in prison but in a hospital. He knows his task is difficult, but it feels even more impossible after what happens at the end of this episode. Let’s take a look at the events of the ninth episode and see what it means for the finale. SPOILERS AHEAD
The Crowded Room Episode 9 Recap
Stan subpoenas Candy Sullivan to testify in court about the sexual abuse that Danny suffered during his childhood. However, she refuses the call. She dodges him at work, doesn’t pick up his calls, and doesn’t appear in court, even if it means she will be held in contempt. While Stan doesn’t understand the reasoning behind it, we see how scared Candy is of her husband. Marlin has a hold on her that keeps her from coming to her son’s aid.
As the trial begins, the prosecution lays down a strong case for themselves. ADA Patricia Richards warns the jury about the defense using multiple personality disorder as an excuse for Danny’s wrongdoings. She calls Marlin Reid to the defense, who is on his best behavior. He is painted as a model parent who wanted nothing but good things for his stepson but was shot at instead.
Anabelle and Angelo also appear to give their testimony. Stan tries to use them to prove that the core Danny is a good person, underlining the instances when his alters took over and committed the crimes. However, the prosecution quickly turns it around to show that Danny has always been violent, and nothing the witnesses say can prove that he has any other personality inside his head.
The Crowded Room Episode 9 Ending: Why Did Candy Lie?
In the case of Danny Sullivan, Stan Camisa has only one thing going for him: multiple personality disorder. If he can prove that Danny has MPD, the jury will most likely let him go to the hospital rather than prison. The repeated talks about the disorder boil down to one thing— the sexual abuse suffered by Danny in his childhood. This means that the defense needs to target Marlin Reid, but the problem is that they don’t have anything that proves that Marlin abused Danny.
When Danny talked about the abuse, he always spoke of it in terms of what happened with his twin, Adam, not himself. This means that he never directly confessed to being the victim, which means the burden of proof falls on the people around him. Marlin would never admit to being the abuser. Instead, he presents himself as a caring father who didn’t tell on Danny even when the boy shot him. The only other person who was ever close enough to Danny to know what he might have been going through and attest to the fact that the abuse happened is his mother: Candy.
When Rya is brought on the stand and testifies in favor of Danny’s MPD, the prosecution sets aside all her words and asks her a straightforward question. Did Danny ever say he was sexually abused? The answer is no. It bolsters the prosecution’s case, and they contend that even if MPD is an actual mental disorder, the essential requirement for someone’s psyche to fracture is unimaginable trauma, such as sexual abuse in childhood. If Danny didn’t go through that, how could he have MPD?
This leaves Candy, who finally decides to show up for Danny, but Marlin intercepts her just before she is about to walk into the court. He warns her that she might testify against him, but this will make people question her. If she knew what was happening with her son, why didn’t she stop it? What kind of a mother does that make her? It will direct such hatred toward her that she will be turned into an outcast. As opposed to this, if she lies, she can continue living the good life she has with Marlin.
Does Danny Die?
Scared by what the truth might bring for her, Candy lies on the stand. Either that or she is telling the truth and doesn’t know what Marlin did to Danny. In any case, once she says she doesn’t believe Marlin sexually abused Danny as a child, the whole case turns against Danny. Stan was counting on Candy to come through for her son, placing all his hopes on her. But when this move falls through, there is no other hand left to play.
Stan was never very optimistic about Danny’s fate, but he hoped he might get some sympathy for Danny and the jury might reduce his sentence. However, after Candy’s testimony, even he cannot deny that the stakes are completely stacked against his client. Danny is aware of this situation and has already prepared for it. In the previous episode, Danny discovered that he might have to spend the rest of his life in prison if found guilty.
Having been in prison for the few weeks that Rya interviewed him, Danny knew he wouldn’t be able to survive it, even if he were sent there for one year. By far, his personalities protected him, but now, even they were gone. Even if they came back, it would only hurt Danny more, fracturing his mind more and pulling him away from reality until nothing of him was left. After his mother’s testimony, he knows he might face the impossible, so he slashes his wrists.
Considering how things turned out for Billy Milligan, we don’t expect Danny to die following this suicide attempt. It might undo his progress, and some of his alters might come back. However, this might just be what he needs to prove his innocence. Perhaps, if his personalities show up during the trial, he might be able to convince the jury that he has MPD, and they might decide to send him to a hospital rather than prison.
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