The Haunting of Hill House
Season 1 Episode 10
Silence Lay Steadily
The Red Room is revealed and its implications and connections to the Crain family come into focus in the finale. Steven Crain returns to his home and his now pregnant wife and talks to her about his new book chronicling how he escaped Hill House as an adult. As they talk about how their lives have changed since he and his father went after Luke, Steven has a feeling something is wrong. When he tries to explain that he can’t remember how he escaped the house after finding Luke in the Red Room, things get intense when his wife lays into him about all of his faults before a nightmarish vision begins to form.
Only Nell can break Steven out of his nightmare. When he wakes up, he finds Luke dying in the Red Room and they are both unable to get out. What makes matters worse is that his sisters are trapped in the Red Room as well and unable to wake up. With all of his children trapped in the Red Room, Hugh has to make the ultimate sacrifice to set his remaining children free from Hill House.
The final episode delivers on the promise of everything this season introduced and established with these characters. Rather than having an action based or horror-centric finale, this episode deals with the family dynamics and decisions that have kept them anchored to the house well into their adult lives. It has sweet and tragic moments throughout the episode where the viewer embraces Nell as she rescues her wayward siblings, but there is also sympathy and compassion for Olivia as we see that her misguided plan is based on the house feeding on her fear and love for her family.
Most of the episode is an exercise is catharsis. Each character comes to grips with the person they are and the hand they played in separating the family. It’s a sublime revelatory moment when Hugh finally realizes the hand he’s played in perpetuating the divisions between himself and the kids. There is a lot of warmth in this episode as well as chills and the moment when Steven really sees the house is one of the best scenes in the series and a great callback to the first episode.