Escape Rooms in Media: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

The Show

Paula Proctor (Donna Lynne Champlin) is the mother of two teenage boys, Brendan (Zayne Emory) and Tommy (Steele Stebbins).

A scene in a small, mall pretzel shop. Two white women are standing next to two white boys seated at a table. One woman is wearing a pretzel shop apron and smiling. The boys look bored.
A white woman spreads her fingers as she speaks to people offscreen excitedly. She’s saying, “Okay, I got tickets for the new escape room at the mall!”
Two white teen boys lounge on a sofa. Both are looking at their phones. It’s subtitled, “[Both groan.]” and “Paula: Ah!”
An exterior shot of a mall parking lot with palm trees in the background.
A white mother and her two sons walk into a medieval-themed escape room. The walls are stone and there are decorative items like a candelabra with fake candles, a suit of armor, a wooden table, and more.
A white man with glasses and a beard wears a leather vest and medieval-style shirt with a hood pulled up over his head. He’s gesturing as he speaks.
A white mother speaks to her two sons. Behind them is a lockbox with a key hole.
A young white boy reaches into the open helmet of a suit of armor, pulling out a metal key
The family gathers around an open metal lockbox. The mother is particularly excited. Inside is a paper scroll sealed with a fake wax seal.
One teen boy holds the scroll, and the other reaches for it.
The mother gestures, exasperated. She’s holding some sort of medieval mace in her hand, and when she flails her arms, she knocks into a sconce on the wall, which tilts on its side, shocking her.
An open cavity in a medieval stone wall. Inside, weapons like axes and polearms are mounted to the wall.
The three people turn and look at the open cavity, mouths open with surprise and delight.
The white woman clasps her medieval weapon to her chest, looking forlorn as she stares into the middle distance.
The family surrounds the older of the two teen boys. He’s holding a scroll and they’re all looking down at it.
One teen boy shoves the scroll into his mother’s hands.
A white teen boy sits at a table in a medieval-themed room. He’s pouring something out of a golden chalice onto the surface of a table, where there’s also a long plank of wood with holes in a line across it.
A white teen boy sits across from his brother at a table. He’s holding plastic gemstones in both hands as they talk.
A white teen boy talks to his mother. The boy is calm, and the woman’s forehead is wrinkled, confused.
A white woman leans over a table, her forehead creased as she reconciles her idea of her children with actual reality.
A white teen boy looks at a row of gemstones nestled into holes on a wooden plank, on a table in front of him.
A white mother looks at her two teen boys, who are seated at a table in front of her, with an exasperated expression on her face.
A white teen boy’s hand reaching forward to adjust a gemstones on a plank of wood. The gemstones have letters on them, which here spell out “DRAGS”, or the latter part of “ASGARD”
A white teen boy raises his hands over a row of colorful plastic gemstones as he contemplates their order
A row of plastic gemstones with letters on them. They spell out “STEARS”, or the end of “DRAGON’S TEARS”. They’re lit from behind here.
The white mother and her two teen boys look at a row of lit-up gemstones on the table in front of him. They’re all raising their hands excitedly, reacting to the gemstones lighting up
A banner drops from the ceiling of a medieval-themed escape room. It reads, in a medieval-style font, “You doth did it!” The mother jumps up and down in front of it and the two teen boys react to it dropping.
The mother and her two sons high five each other in front of the “You Doth Did It!” sign. They’re all smiling genuine smiles. She reaches over to affectionately squeeze the face of her oldest son.
The escape room attendant, a white man with a beard and glasses, wearing a medieval-looking vest and shirt, holds up a phone to take a group photo. He’s raising his hand to gesture for the group to stand closer together
A white woman stands next to her two teenage sons. All of them are wearing gaudy plastic crowns. One of the boys is holding up a little sign that says “We doth escaped”. The mother is leaning over to kiss her son on the cheek. All three are smiling happily.

Game Flow

A flow chart. These show: “Tilt light fixture to reveal secret compartment” opens a hidden door but leads to a question mark. “Open suit of armor” leads to “get key, use key to unlock trunk” leads to “Read scroll” leads to “?”. Another “Read scroll” connects with other box with same words, noting “Might be the same scroll?” Then: “Receive instructions to use chalice”, then “Pour gemstones out of chalice”, then “Arrange gemstones on board, spelling DRAGONS TEARS to complete game.”

Final Thoughts

  • One thing I haven’t really mentioned is that the entire show, and its musical numbers, are absolutely delightful. I haven’t watched it in a while so it was nice to catch up to the story a bit
  • The set for this game looks pretty fun, and I love a good hidden compartment. I’d definitely play it
  • Yet another example of a game attendant shown as a bored nerd who would rather be anywhere else. He’s got a pretty sweet costume on though
  • The banner that falls down at the end of the game (“You doth did it!”) makes me laugh a lot



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Laura E. Hall

Laura E. Hall

Immersive, escape rooms, narrative, video games, ARGs, VR, puzzles, mysteries. PLANNING YOUR ESCAPE, Simon & Schuster. KATAMARI DAMACY, Boss Fight Books.