Have you watched The Crowded Room, the new psychological thriller series starring Tom Holland on Apple TV+? If you have, you probably know that it is based on the true story of Billy Milligan, a man who had 24 personalities and was accused of multiple crimes in the 1970s. The series follows Danny Sullivan (Tom Holland), a man who is arrested following his involvement in a shooting in New York City in 1979. Through a series of interviews with curious interrogator Rya Goodwin (Amanda Seyfried), Danny’s life story unfolds, revealing elements of the mysterious past that shaped him, and the twists and turns that will lead him to a life-altering revelation.
In this post, we will answer the burning question that many fans have been asking: does Danny die in The Crowded Room? We will also explore the meaning and implications of the shocking finale of the series, and what it means for Danny’s future. But before we reveal the answer, let’s recap what happened in the previous episodes of The Crowded Room.
#1. How Danny Got Involved in the Shooting
Danny was working as a delivery boy for a pizza place owned by Yitzhak Safdie (Lior Raz), a shady businessman who was involved in drug trafficking and money laundering. One day, he witnessed Yitzhak killing one of his associates in cold blood, and he tried to escape but was chased by Yitzhak’s men. He ended up in a crowded room at a hotel, where he grabbed a gun from one of Yitzhak’s men and shot randomly, killing three people and injuring several others.
He was arrested by the police and taken to a hospital, where he met Rya Goodwin for the first time. She was intrigued by his case and wanted to interview him to find out his motive for the shooting. She also noticed that he had some strange scars on his body, which he claimed were from an accident when he was a kid.
#2. How Rya Goodwin Became Interested in Danny’s Case
Rya Goodwin was a psychologist who worked for the district attorney’s office as an interrogator. She was assigned to interview Danny and determine his mental state and motive for the shooting. She was fascinated by Danny’s personality and behavior, and she noticed that he seemed to have multiple identities or personalities inside him.
She discovered that Danny suffered from dissociative identity disorder (DID), a mental condition that causes him to have different alters or personalities that take over his mind and body at different times. She also learned that each alter had a different name, age, gender, appearance, voice, accent, skills, memories, and traits. She decided to use hypnosis to communicate with each alter and try to understand Danny better.
#3. How Danny Revealed His Past Traumas and Personalities
Danny gradually opened up to Rya about his childhood and adolescence, and how he suffered from abuse, neglect, and violence from his family and peers. He told her that his father was an alcoholic who beat him regularly, his mother was a drug addict who abandoned him when he was six years old, his stepfather was a pedophile who molested him for years, his stepsister was a bully who tormented him at school, and his foster parents were cruel and indifferent to him.
He also told her that he developed DID as a coping mechanism to deal with his traumas. He said that each alter was created to protect him from a specific threat or fulfill a specific need. He introduced her to some of his alters, such as:
- Jonny (Levon Hawke), a rebellious teenager who likes to cause trouble. He was created when Danny was 14 years old, after he ran away from his foster home. He is impulsive, adventurous, sarcastic, and fearless. He likes to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, steal cars, and flirt with girls. He is also good at fighting and escaping from danger.
- Annabelle (Emma Laird), a sweet and innocent girl who loves animals. She was created when Danny was 8 years old, after he found a stray kitten in the street. She is gentle, kind, optimistic, and naive. She likes to play with dolls, read fairy tales, and sing songs. She is also good at healing and comforting others.
- Angelo (Stephen Barrington), a violent and aggressive man who hates everyone. He was created when Danny was 10 years old, after he was raped by his stepfather. He is angry, bitter, ruthless, and vengeful. He likes to hurt people, break things, and start fires. He is also good at killing and surviving.
- Eden (Nuala Cleary), a spiritual and compassionate woman who wants to help others. She was created when Danny was 12 years old, after he met a nun who taught him about God and love. She is wise, calm, generous, and forgiving. She likes to pray, meditate, and volunteer. She is also good at teaching and inspiring others.
- Jerome (Elijah Jones), a smart and witty guy who knows everything. He was created when Danny was 16 years old, after he enrolled in a college course online. He is curious, clever, humorous, and confident. He likes to read books, watch documentaries, and solve puzzles. He is also good at learning and remembering things.
- Mike (Sam Vartholomeos), a loyal and protective friend who tries to keep Danny safe. He was created when Danny was 18 years old, after he met Mike Collins, a fellow delivery boy who befriended him. He is friendly, helpful, honest, and brave. He likes to play video games, listen to music, and hang out with friends. He is also good at driving and planning things.
These were just some of the 24 personalities that Danny had inside him. Rya was amazed by the diversity and complexity of his alters, but she also wondered if there was a way to integrate them into one coherent identity.
#4. How Danny Discovered His True Identity and Purpose
In the final episode of the series, Danny realized that he was not really Danny Sullivan, but Billy Milligan. He learned that he was part of a secret experiment conducted by Jack Lamb (Jason Isaacs), a rogue CIA agent who wanted to create super-soldiers with multiple personalities that could be controlled by him. He found out that Lamb had kidnapped him when he was six years old, after his mother left him at a gas station. Lamb had subjected him to various forms of torture and manipulation to induce DID in him. Lamb had also implanted false memories in him to make him forget his real name and history.
Danny also discovered that he had another alter, called The Teacher. The Teacher was the mastermind behind all his actions, and he had a plan to expose Lamb’s conspiracy and stop him from harming more people. The Teacher had orchestrated the shooting at the hotel as a way to attract media attention and reveal Lamb’s identity to the public. The Teacher had also contacted Rya Goodwin through an anonymous letter and asked her to interview Danny and help him remember his true self.
The Teacher revealed himself to Danny in the final scene of the series. He told him that he was the 24th personality that Danny had inside him. He said that he was the one who created all the other alters and gave them their names, ages, genders, appearances, voices, accents, skills, memories, and traits. He said that he did this to protect Danny from Lamb’s abuse and to prepare him for his mission. He said that he was not human, but an alien entity that had entered Danny’s body when he was six years old. He said that he came from a distant planet where his people lived in harmony with nature and each other. He said that he came to Earth to stop Lamb from destroying the world with his evil experiments.
He also told Danny that he loved him like a son and that he was proud of him for surviving all the hardships that he had faced. He said that he wanted Danny to be happy and free from Lamb’s influence. He said that he had a gift for him: a device that could merge all his personalities into one single identity. He said that if Danny used the device, he would become Billy Milligan again. He said that Billy Milligan was the original personality that Danny had before Lamb kidnapped him. He said that Billy Milligan was a good person who had a family and friends who cared for him.
He asked Danny if he wanted to use the device or not. He said that it was his choice and that he would respect whatever decision he made. He said that he would always be with him, no matter what.
Danny was stunned by The Teacher’s revelation and his offer. He felt a mix of emotions: confusion, anger, fear, sadness, gratitude, and curiosity. He looked at the device in The Teacher’s hand. It was a small metal box with a red button on it. He wondered what would happen if he pressed it. Would he really become Billy Milligan? Would he lose all his other personalities? Would he remember everything that happened to him? Would he be able to live a normal life?
He looked at Rya, who was watching him with concern and hope. She had been by his side throughout his ordeal. She had listened to him, understood him, and cared for him. She had helped him discover his true identity and purpose. She had also fallen in love with him, and he had fallen in love with her.
He looked at Lamb, who was standing in the corner of the room, surrounded by armed agents. He had been exposed and arrested by the FBI, thanks to The Teacher’s plan. He had been the source of all his pain and suffering. He had kidnapped him, tortured him, manipulated him, and used him as a guinea pig for his twisted experiments. He had also killed his mother, who had come back to look for him after she got sober.
He looked at himself, who was sitting on a chair, holding a gun in his hand. He had been through hell and back. He had endured unimaginable horrors and traumas. He had also experienced amazing wonders and joys. He had met incredible people and learned incredible things. He had 24 personalities inside him, each with their own story and voice. He didn’t know what to do.
In this post, we answered the question: does Danny die in The Crowded Room? The answer is no. He survives the shooting and the trial, but he also discovers that he is not who he thinks he is. He is Billy Milligan, a man with 24 personalities who was part of a CIA experiment gone wrong. He also has a hidden alter, called The Teacher, who has a mission to expose the truth and save the world.
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