So, what is inside that freakin’ Red Room anyway?
Well, anything the person inside wants it to be. Hugh was the only one who couldn’t get inside. That pilot episode, where young Shirley and Nell couldn’t get inside, well, Theo was already in there. And as the adult Crains arrive, everyone can get in except for Hugh, and the mold seems to take him out.
But the ghosts are out. Steve and Hugh both see Bowler Hat and Abigail, the saddest ghost in the house.
The bad news is the ghost of Poppy Hill can apparently knock out anyone with a simple tap. And all the kids get knocked out and sent to something akin to their worst fears. For Steven, that’s his wife being pregnant with a ghost of some kind. Shirley has to relive her one-night stand. Theo gets touched by, oh, everybody. And Luke? Luke can’t get away from that tea party.
But Nell, on the other hand, can wake everyone up.
And Hugh can more or less remind Olivia that they need to let their kids grow up. They can’t protect the kids forever, and that means she can’t force them to stay. So, Hugh will stay there.
As it is, Steven gets to see what happened the rest of the night everyone fled. Hugh went back to find Olivia dead, and then the Dudleys show up. Yes, Abigail was their daughter. She snuck out. They don’t blame Hugh or Olivia. It’s the house. They ask Hugh not to burn it down so they can stay with their daughter’s spirit. Hugh agrees.
And…that’s it. Luke wakes up from an overdose the house caused. Steven and Shirley make up with their respective spouses. Theo starts an actual relationship and ditches her gloves. Nell stays with her parents in the house. And Luke stays clean. Heck, even Mrs. Dudley gets something like a happy ending with her husband getting her inside the house just before she dies so she can be with her two children in the next life, and my guess is Mr. Dudley will be with them eventually.
So, that’s season one. As I type this, Netflix hasn’t renewed the show, and series creator Mike Flanagan has said if there is a season two, it will follow different characters. That said, The Haunting of Hill House does make for one fine season of TV and if it doesn’t get another, that will probably be fine. This was horror done right, rooted in the psychologies of the characters and in a way that wasn’t just gore or jump scares, and the few jump scares were done well. It would be difficult to match the quality here, but not impossible. 10 out of 10 ghosts hidden in nearly every scene in the house.
Oh, and hey, Vikings finally came back. There’s some scuttlebutt that the History Channel may have canceled the series effective after next year’s season six, but for now, let’s go back to those violent pagans.