April 24, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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The Haunting Of Hill House “The Twin Thing”

Season One, Episode Four.

I’m starting to think Luke Crain may be the most disrespected member of this family.

Let’s take a look at Luke as we know him so far.  He’s Nell’s twin brother, and he’s had addiction issues.  When the series started, we saw adult Luke leave rehab and rob Steven.  We saw Shirley claim he was high and prevent him from attending Nell’s wedding.  Pretty much the entire family has written him off as a hopeless addict.

So, to the surprise of no one (or at least, to me), Luke isn’t a hopeless addict.  It just seems easier for the Shirleys and Stevens of the world to write him off that way.  While this episode doesn’t tell us whether or not Shirley’s assessment of Luke at the wedding was accurate, we do know now why Luke was robbing Steven, and it wasn’t to get money for a fix.

So, let’s start with the childhood incidents.  As a kid, Luke had a friend named Abigail that the other members of the family refuse to believe is real.  Is she?  Well, we don’t know yet.  Given this house, it could go either way.  Olivia was cleaning the house out and found some stuff.  Nell, the one sibling who does believe Luke because they have some sort of psychic bond they call a “twin thing,” gets a box of buttons.  Luke asks for a bowler hat that’s a bit too big for him, but he likes the thing anyway.  As it is, during a game where Nell dropped buttons down a brass speaking tube from a second floor bedroom for Luke to catch at the bottom, something happens.  Nell drops three buttons, but only two come out.  Or at least, at first.  The third comes down noticeably later as the twins try to figure out what to do about the missing button.  Luke goes up alone to look at the upstairs tube and…sees a second face looking over his shoulder in the polished brass.  There is, of course, no one behind him.

This comes after both twins heard a voice through the tube asking for a Clara.

And then later, he hears a sound in the middle of the night.  He takes a look outside his room and sees a tall man with a cane coming down the hallway, checking all the rooms.  The noise is his cane tapping the floor..

He’s also floating about six inches off the ground.  The cane is the only thing touching the floor, using it to push himself along as his feet don’t move.  Luke decides to hide under his bed, and then the tall man comes in and finds what he was looking for…he wanted his hat back.

This is the sort of thing I love about The Haunting of Hill House.  It can do a jump scare when it wants to, and I know a future episode has a really good one, but it works so much better with creepy atmosphere.  That moment at the end of the pilot, when Steven realizes Nell is a ghost standing right in front of him, works so much because of the slow build of “not quite right” until it becomes…something else we know isn’t right and not just something we suspect isn’t quite right.  It’s the children being petrified while the adults only slowly get what’s happening that makes this show work as well as it does.

But, back to adult Luke.  He’s in rehab, clean for 90 days for the first time in ages (so, Shirley may have been right at the wedding), and he has a friend in the form of a woman named Joey.  Joey’s charming and funny, and Luke does take Joey to have dinner with Steven and Steven’s wife whose name I never learned.  But Steven warns Luke to be careful with Joey.  Luke doesn’t want to hear that.  No one ever believes him.

Finally, we see why Luke left rehab and why Luke robbed Steven.  He wasn’t looking for a fix.  He was looking to find Joey and bring her back to rehab.  The money he got from Steven was to pay for a clean hotel.

Then Joey makes some excuse to use an alley while Luke finds himself cold for some reason.  She takes off with his money.

Then Luke gets mugged.

As he’s wandering around, he starts to see the tall guy in the bowler hat, always facing away from him, behind him in multiple locations, always a few feet away…until the tall man glides forward, and when Luke finally turns to face the thing he’s been scared of since childhood, the thing the seven steps (one for each Crain, or one for each step to Nell’s bed in Hill House) can’t seem to disperse…he doesn’t see a tall man in a derby hat.

He sees his mother.

And then Steven shows up with Luke’s therapist.  He has bad news.  Nell killed herself.

Luke doesn’t believe that.

It’s a twin thing.