The Haunting of Hill House Review: A Final Goodbye

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So who exactly is Hugh Crain?

As we approach the season finale, we've gotten a much broader picture of the patriarch of the Crain family and the man he was in the past is nothing like the man he is in the future. A determined "fixer", the younger Hugh took Hill House head-on, old haunted tales and scared children be damned!

Now older Hugh has had years and years to reflect on the past, while he's been essentially isolated from his children. But they are all reunited on The Haunting of Hill House Season 1 Episode 7 and the reunion is equal parts awkward and heartbreaking. 

Olivia's Dream - The Haunting of Hill House Season 1 Episode 7

Not exactly a bold prediction by me, but I did guess a few weeks back that Hugh was seeing and talking to Olivia still and that was confirmed shortly before the funeral. 

There was something incredible about seeing Olivia at different moments throughout the day admiring her children and the people they'd become, as well as offering Hugh both support and advice.

Related: The Haunting of Hill House Season 1 Review: Mr. Smiley & The Floating Man

It's clear that Hugh is completely disconnected from all his children and also a bit disconnected from how to be their father. It's such a stark contrast from the Hugh in the past who was a doting, gentle dad, even when preoccupied and stubborn. He was very much present, but after the events of Hill House, he seems to have drifted away. 

I found myself increasingly frustrated with the younger Hugh, as he was so fixated on his job, fixing the house, that he ignored all the warning signs around him. His kids were clearly terrified and his wife was displaying increasingly odd behavior. Yet, it took Mr. Dudley's tale to convince him to maybe get Olivia out of the house for a bit.

Officer Beckley - The Haunting of Hill House Season 1 Episode 7

Olivia's death has been hanging over the series since the beginning and as we get closer to learning what truly happened to her that final night, we also get to see her decline as she spends more and more time within the house.

Her actions are off-putting at best and downright dangerous at worst, yet Hugh still doesn't have the sense of urgency you would expect. Is that the great regret of Hugh's life? 

Related: The Haunting of Hill House Review - 'Twas A Dark And Stormy Night

It appears he harbors a lot of grief about his actions then and right afterward and he's trying to make amends. His talks with Theo and Luke were both poignant. There was a lot left unsaid, but it was a start for all of them. Even when Hugh was unable to just listen, he was able to at least show them he cared. 

And while Hugh tried to bridge the gap with his children, the gaps between the siblings were continuing to grow. Especially between Shirley and Theodora who began The Haunting of Hill House Season 1 Episode 8 still at odds. 

Theo: Did you just punch me in the boob?
Shirley: Yeah. Yeah! You kiss my husband, that's what you get. You get punched in the fucking boob. And you get evicted from my fucking house.

And Shirley has every reason to be upset with both her husband and her sister, considering what little she saw of their interaction in the closet. But Theo just wanted a chance to talk to her sister and Shirley wasn't giving an inch until they were literally forced out of the house by the mysterious knocking. 

Steven Comes Clean - The Haunting of Hill House Season 1 Episode 8

While Theo and Luke see things and become rattled fairly easily, both Shirley and Steven seem to take the appearance of otherworldly creatures and creepy happenings rather well. Shirley almost seems more annoyed with the disturbances than actually scared. 

Even when Nell makes her presence known during a particularly nasty exchange between the sisters, Theo is horrified and Shirley is merely just bothered. 

Theo's monologue about touching Nell's body and the nothingness she felt was a gorgeous piece of acting. It was devastatingly real and acted to perfection by Kate Siegel. Theo has been my favorite Crain throughout the season and she cemented her place with that scene alone. It was impossible to look away. 

Related: Get HBO via Prime Video Channels for Addictive Dramas, Hilarious Comedies & Hit Movies

Opposite the sisters are father and son on an unfortunate road trip to find Luke. 

Steven harbors a ton of resentment towards his dad, possibly more than all of his siblings combined, and it started to seep out during the car ride. And it's hard to not blame Steven for the way he feels but it's also frustrating to see him make excuses instead of listening. 

Come to think of it, adult Steven is very much like younger Hugh. And as their worlds continue to erode, Steven would do well to listen for a change and trust his own eyes.

The real sickness within the Crains is Hill House. 

Determined Luke - The Haunting of Hill House Season 1 Episode 8

Stray Observations 

  • Mr. Dudley's story about his wife, finding a skeleton in the wall after hearing scratching noises for days and my wife straddling me with a screwdriver to my throat would probably be enough to get me the heck out of that house. 
  • The episodes are getting increasingly scarier and the series is all the better for it. 
  • Perhaps I just want to see the best in Luke, but I never doubted for a second that he stole Theo's car and Shirley's bank card for the greater good and not to get high. I was glad to be proved right, but sad when I realized where he was headed.
  • Timothy Hutton's sad face just gets me every time.

With only two episodes to go, I'd really like to know what you guys are hoping to see by the end of the season. What are your predictions for the finale? Do you think there will be more death? Will Hill House ever be defeated?

Make sure you leave all your comments down below so we can talk it all out! And don't forget to watch The Haunting of Hill House online so you're caught up on the hottest show of the year!

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Whitney Evans is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lover of all things TV. Follow her on X.

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The Haunting of Hill House Season 1 Episode 7 Quotes

Beckley: You like to fix things. You're good at fixing things. I keep hearing this about you, is that right?
Hugh: I'm not so sure anymore.

I'm sorry. I should have made more of an effort with you. You tried as best you could. I should have met you halfway. People fuck up. I guess you don't get that, you don't really get it until you fuck up. Really fuck up.

Theo [to Hugh]