There’s a really heartbreaking story within the second episode of Roar. Whilst it’s not always nice to watch shows/episodes that focus on dementia, the use of photograph eating brings a fresh way of telling the heartbreak that family members go through.
This recap of Roar season 1, episode 2, “The Woman Who Ate Photographs” contains spoilers. You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.
Roar season 1, episode 2 recap
In the second episode of Roar, Nicole Kidman plays an Australian mom who starts the episode by helping her son, Todd, clear his room as they force him to switch rooms to make way for her mother Rosie’s arrival. Todd is quite upset about having to switch rooms now that his Grandmother will be moving in. He also dislikes the new alarm system, that’s in place to keep Rosie safe, and Todd likens it to being in prison. Instead, Todd wants to move in with his girlfriend, Amy, where he can have tons of sex.
The next day, after renting an “awful van”, Nicole calls her mom, Rosie, before she enters the house so as not to startle her. Once inside, Nicole tries to motivate Rosie, who has dementia, into gathering all of the belongings that she wants to bring back to the house. Whilst alone, Nicole goes through some of the photographs and eats one, allowing herself to relive the memory of that photograph. After Rosie packs a case, Nicole drives them to her home, which is when Rosie accuses Nicole of taking advantage of her. So, Nicole suggests that they go on a road trip.
During that said road trip, Rosie isn’t angry about Todd being more interested in Amy than university. An odd reaction for Nicole, who states that Rosie was outraged when Nicole mentioned dropping out of university when she was younger. After they look through the photo album, Nicole, once again, eats some of the photographs. When Nicole and Rosie drive by the coast, on a big detour, Nicole eats several more photographs.
The next morning, Nicole wakes up late and fears that Rosie is missing. But, luckily, Rosie is just having a shower. When Nicole takes them to a place they visited years ago, Rosie has no recollection of the place. When Nicole goes to grab her jacket, the wind blows several of the photos away. And in a moment of distraction, Nicole loses Rosie. She finds her near the edge of some trees, where Rosie is confused. When they eventually arrive back home, Rosie dismisses help from Nicole’s husband, Adam. When Adam notices that several photographs are missing, Nicole tells him that she ate them.
She reveals that she feels that she has to hold on to everything, and dementia now means that she isn’t Rosie’s daughter anymore, and that she’s also coming to the end of her journey of being Todd’s mother, and that, as a result, she is scared looking ahead. She adds that she loves her Mum, but at the same time she doesn’t. And whilst she doesn’t like spending time with her, she doesn’t want to lose her. As Nicole apologizes for being all over the place, Adam accepts everything that he has just heard. As the episode draws to a close, Nicole walks in on Rosie having a loving moment with her two sons.
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