HBO’s Room 104
Season 2, Episode 4: “Hungry”
Directed by Patrick Brice
Written by Mark Duplass
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Swipe Right” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Woman in the Wall” – click here
This episode is based on the Armin Meiwes case. But, if you want a surprise, don’t read that until you’ve watched every last minute!
A man named Gene (Mark Proksch) sets up a nice dining table with candles in Room 104. He’s waiting anxiously for somebody to arrive. He checks himself in the mirror, introducing himself as practice. He’s nervous about the night ahead, wanting to make every last little thing perfect.
Soon a knock comes at the door. Gene opens it to find his awaited guest, Dan (Kent Osborne). They shake hands awkwardly, but they hug. They’re happy to finally be together in the same place. “It‘s all lovely,” Dan says. They’re each nervous for what’s about to occur.
They decide to “dive in,” so Gene produces 20 pills for Dan to eat. He breaks out wine to go with the drugs. They talk a bit and laugh together. After a bit, Dan’s feeling the effects of what he’s taken. They’re giddy about things and Dan feels an “air of kismet” about their meeting. This leads the men to prepare themselves, setting everything else up they’ll need.
What DO they need?
Well, Gene’s brought a frying pan, tongs, and a few kitchen utensils. He takes out his smartphone, then the two men record a disclaimer about being consenting adults agreeing to all the acts they’ll perform or have performed upon them. A postmodern pact for consent. They wait a little longer to make sure Dan is fully drugged. They talk more about how they’re the only two people who understand one another’s needs. Another minute and Dan says he’s ready.
Dan lies back on the bed, taking off his pants, while Gene breaks out surgical gloves and rubbing alcohol. Thus commences the cutting off of the willing patient’s penis with a hefty squirt of blood. When it’s over, Gene slips a diaper onto his friend, who watches as his dick gets tossed into the frying pan. The smell of burning flesh unexpectedly thrills the two men— “It smells like nothing I‘ve ever smelled before,” says Gene while he knocks back a couple pills of his own and rolls the phallus around to cook over heat.
“Mmm. It’s so good.”
When the dick is cooked enough the pair sit at the table to dine. Except they’re interrupted by cops at the door. Officer Pankin (Michole Briana White) is highly suspicious of Gene, who’s hidden Dan in the bathroom. She starts asking about Dan, whose wife found “unusual and cryptic e–mails” on her husband’s computer. The wife followed him to the motel, believing his life was in danger. Officer Pankin begins looking around, finding nothing. But the gig is up when Dan wanders out of the bathroom, drugged, and his crotch bleeding.
Officer Pankin calls out over the radio about “two gay males” doing “some kind of Silence of the Lambs shit.” This begins a question of consent, as the men claim they have audio confirming their plans. Gene plays the smartphone recording for Pankin and two other cops who turn up. Suddenly, the other cops are worried about “probable cause” because they don’t think it’s illegal for one guy to eat another guy’s dick if both dudes are consenting adults.
After the cops leave, Gene is ready to have his dick lopped off for a second course. It’s just two dudes who understand themselves and one another while the world will never get them. A perfect use of “Somebody Made for Me” by Emitt Rhodes at the end, too.
This episode was awesome! In reality, Meiwes killed his online pal, kept him in the freezer, and consumed pounds of his body over a period of months— he was caught after going online to find another victim to be cannibalised willingly. Not such a cutesy story in real life.
“Woman in the Wall” is next.