Netflix: The Haunting of Hill House Ep 5 (The Bent-Neck Lady) recap

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Luke tells the others that Mommy fell on the floor, and that they were having a tea party with Mommy and Abigail in the red room. Nell says ominously, “That wasn’t Mommy.”

Adult Nell is sitting on the bed in the motel room, drinking coffee, and putting 7 sugar packets in a circle on the bed. She counts them out loud, touching each one, just as Luke instructed her to do as a child.

Later, Nell wakes up in sleep paralysis, and sees Luke sprawled out on the ceiling.

Hugh walks into the motel room, with his shirt covered in blood. Nell is awake, and they sit outside on a bench, as she asks if he found Mommy. He nods his head, and says, “I found her.” Nell asks if she is OK, and her responds that she’s OK now. He tells her the blood on his shirt is paint, and we hear police cars drive by, one of them pulls into the parking lot.

Hugh tells Nell that it’s OK, he called them. He says he has to go to the station and answer some question, but a police officer will stay with them until Aunt Janet gets there. Nell is upset, and wants to know how long it will be before she gets there. He gives her the pocket watch we saw earlier, opens it, taps it twice, and tells her “when the little hand is on the two and the big hand is on the 12.”

Adult Nell wakes up, and it is 2:00 pm, she slept all day. She calls Steven and Shirley (we saw this in the first episode), but neither of them answers. She leaves a voicemail, saying that she is worried about Luke.

Nell goes to the soda machine in the hall, and suddenly the Bent Neck Lady drops down from the ceiling, causing Nell to fall to the ground, crying out. She goes to her room and gets Steven’s voice mail, then basically blanks out until 1:00 in the morning. She heads to Hill House.

When Nell arrives at the gate to Hill House, she sits in the driveway and calls Hugh, as we also saw in the first episode. She sees the lights come on, and the front porch light blinks off and on. Remember, that was always Olivia’s signal that it’s time to come home.

When she walks into the house, we see it as it was before, and both young Luke and Steven are there. Hugh comes down the stairs, and young Shirley appears, saying they were going to have a tea party. As Nell follows them, we see that Hill House is dusty and in bad repair again.

Olivia is there, smiling, and is writing on the wall; now it reads “Welcome Home Nell.” Nell tells her mother that she didn’t write that, and Olivia says “we always believed you.” She tells Nell to get dressed for bed.

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We see Hill House again as it is now, not as when the Crain children lived there.

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When Nell returns, she is wearing a long, pretty nightdress, and Olivia tells her “we have to get downstairs, we can’t be late for the reception.” Nell sees her siblings standing at the bottom of the stairs, and they are all smiling at her. They all very apologetic and kind to her, and Olivia tells her that she is so proud. Nell is happy, this is all she has every wanted. Luke thanks her for believing in him, and when he moves to the side, Arthur is standing there. Nell is radiating happiness, and that little cracking sound you hear? Yeah, that’s my heart breaking just a little.

Nell and Arthur dance, just as they did at their wedding reception, and her family members watch. We flash to decrepit Hill House, and see that Nell is actually dancing alone.

Then, she is dancing with Arthur, and they kiss. A moment later, she is alone, and sees Luke’s little friend Abigail sitting at the foot of the stairs. Olivia shows up with the tea set and tells Nell they are having a tea party. She walks up the spiral staircase, followed by Luke and Abigail, Nell trailing behind. At the top of the stairs, Nell looks down to see that is holding a rope (and my heart starts to sink). Olivia holds out the locket necklace, and Nell puts it on.

Now Nell sees that she is on the ledge of the top of the staircase, with the rope around her neck. She looks at Olivia, and says one word in a beseeching voice, “Mommy.” Olivia says, “It’s time to wake up, sweetheart”, and pushes her off the ledge. Nell snaps downward, and hangs.

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Nell opens her eyes, and drops to see herself on the floor in front of the soda machine.

She drops again, and she is looking at herself in the car after picking up Luke in the rain.

She drops again, and she is in bed with Arthur dead on the floor.

She drops again, and sees herself as a child on the sofa.

She drops again, and sees herself as a child in bed. And she screams

How heartbreaking is this realization? NELL is the Bent-Neck Lady, she has essentially been haunting herself all these years. Well played, Hill House…well played. And now — CRACK — my heart finishes breaking.

That was a harrowing and emotional hour, without a doubt. How did you feel about this reveal? Did you figure it out, or were you as surprised (and shocked) as I was? The recap continues with

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