HBO’s Room 104
Season 1, Episode 3: “The Knockadoo”
Directed by Sarah Adina Smith
Written by Carson D. Mell

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Pizza Boy” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “I Knew You Weren’t Dead” – click here
Pic 1A woman named Deborah (Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris) arrives at the motel, Room 104. She heads inside, pouring herself a mixed drink of vodka. Before taking a sip she murmurs something to herself, almost a mantra.
Soon, a knock at the door. It’s Samuel (Orlando Jones), she’s been expecting him. This is the first time they’ve met, face to face, in the flesh. He’s got all sorts of stuff with him, too. Binders full of things. Deborah says it’s “like a celebrity is in the room,” though he shrugs this off. They’ve talked a long time before meeting. Then he gets ready to change, asking for her to put a DVD in. Except there’s no DVD player, so she has to call the front desk while he changes.
When Samuel comes back out, he’s wearing an elaborate robe. He has another robe for her to wear. Can’t be wearing any “synthetic fibres.” Weird. She goes to the bathroom to put it on. She’s apprehensive, but out she goes eventually.
Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 8.38.21 PMAnother knock comes at the door: staff with their DVD player.
Samuel puts on a DVD. The Father (Tony Todd) appears speaking to “kindred spirits” whom he sees as his children. He talks of a door, different worlds, planes, so on. Lots of that good hippy cult shit. Father’s deep, soothing voice captivates Deborah; behind her, Samuel sets the mood.
Next up – the crossroads, whatever they are ultimately. This is the point of no return, the “procedure” must go on all the way now. Well, not before money changes hands, and Samuel rants about cash briefly. Another DVD plays, Father sitting at a Casio keyboard this time. He uses words similar to Scientology, such as “operators.” He plays a note on the keyboard and the next part of the procedure begins. Father preaches, going backward through life, Samuel puts his hands on Deborah’s head, supposedly cradling her brain. The intensity swells. After which Deborah goes through her memories, seeing one where her mother smacked her in the face. Next, a memory from school where her friends rejected her because she lived “on the wrong side of town.” Further and further, they look for unexplained things in her past.
Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 8.46.34 PMShe recounts another memory, walking home after school with a friend named Herman. He pulls her into the woods to show her a “knockadoo bird.” They get to a cabin where Herman claims the birds come out of the holes in its exterior. She smells something ghastly, though. He pushes her forward, saying a bird is about to come out. And when Deborah looks up close, he sticks his penis through the hole. She followed her mom’s advice, picking up a rock and smashing it. She ran away.
Next day, Herman got on with a lot of nonsense, sending her to go to see the doctor who looked after him. However, it’s no doctor she talks to, rather a magician named John Knockadoo. He floated in front of her. That day, she also got her period.
When they finish, Deborah feels no different. Samuel assures her “transcendence” takes some time, of course. There’s a last blockage keeping her from it, he says. Reels off a load of bullshit about Father’s methods concerning incomplete entities, which create these blockages in us. Apparently ridding people of them is no more difficult than popping a pimple; one deep up inside your nose. And Deborah can’t stop now, right?
She wants to stop. Samuel keeps hitting her with all that rhetoric. Wearing her down. So, she agrees. He starts running the long instrument up her nose, deeper, deeper. The creepy magician appears. Random edits of penises. Not long until she snaps, hauling the instrument from her nose and jabbing him with it.
Cut to black amidst her screams of “knockadoo” and Samuel wailing in terror.
Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 8.55.09 PMScreen Shot 2017-10-10 at 9.00.41 PMThese episodes are so weird and wild, each with their own unique, fresh twist. This was very out there. Not sure anything’s topped “Ralphie” so far. Still a lot of interesting stuff happening. Excited for more.
“I Knew You Weren’t Dead” is next.

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I'm a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) graduate & a Master's student with a concentration in pre-19th century literature. Although I've studied everything from Medieval literature onward, I've also spent an extensive time studying post-modern critical theory and have a large interest in both Marshall McLuhan and Jean Baudrillard. I completed my Honours thesis on John Milton's Paradise Lost + the communal aspects of its conception, writing, and its later printing/publication. My thesis will serve as the basis for a book about Milton's authorship and his influence on pop culture (that continues to this day). My Master's program involves a Creative Thesis, which will be a full-length, semi-autobiographical novel. Author Lisa Moore is supervising the writing of this thesis. I'm also a writer and a freelance editor. My short stories have been printed in Canada and the U.S. I edited Newfoundland author Earl B. Pilgrim's latest novel The Adventures of Ernest Doane Volume I. Aside from that I have a short screenplay titled "New Woman" that went into post-production in early 2018. I was part of a pilot episode for "The Ship" on CBC; I told a non-fiction story of mine about my own addiction/alcoholism live for an audience with nine other storytellers. Meanwhile, I'm writing more screenplays, working on editing a couple novels I've finished, and running this website/writing all of its content. I used to write for Film Inquiry frequently during 2016-17. Contact me at u39cjhn@mun.ca or hit me up on Twitter (@fathergore) if you want to chat, collaborate, or have any questions for me. I'm also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fathersonholygore. Cheers!

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