Mike Flanagan’s fitting goodbye to his time with Netflix has finally come. Although we’re sad to see his collaboration with the streaming giant end, we’re excited to see what mind-numbing new horror he has coming for us next. To answer the question on your mind, no, the Ushers are not a part of the Haunting series, although it is very much in line with previous Haunting shows. The Fall of the House of Usher is based loosely on the short story of the same name by Edgar Allen Poe. Episode one is an introduction to the many characters we will see buried by the end of the series (not a spoiler). So, without further ado, let’s jump into the first episode of The Fall of the House of Usher.
The story of The Fall of the House of Usher begins with the twins, Roderick and Madeline Usher. To understand everything that happens to the Usher family, we must first learn about their past. Roderick and Madeline were born to a single mother who worked at the prestigious Fortunato Pharma back in the 1950s. Ironically, she was a devout Christian woman who didn’t believe in modern medicine. There was one rule for the children: never to step near the house of Longfellow, the CEO of Fortunato at the time. Rebellious as they were, the kids did try to break in one time and were threatened by Longfellow himself. Later, when the kids were in their late teens, their mother fell ill. The kids had no idea what to do because she wouldn’t take medication or consent to go to the doctor. Seeing her in so much pain, the kids decided to go to Longfellow himself. Already, it is clear that Madeline knows exactly how to manipulate people to make things work in her favor. They tell Longfellow that he is the only person their mother would listen to, but he essentially tells them to get lost. The next morning, they believe their mother is dead, and because they can’t call the cops and have her embalmed, they bury her themselves. Unfortunately, this is a huge mistake because it seems she’s still got some life in her. She breaks out of the coffin they built for her and comes out from the ground, choking Roderick when he gets in her way. She lets him go when the kids beg for forgiveness, and walks out of the house straight to the Longfellow home. When he comes out to “greet” them, she chokes him to death and then passes away herself (oh, grizzly).
Auggie And Roderick
It is 2023, and Roderick has just buried the last of his six children. He has invited Auguste Dupin, the prosecutor who has been fighting against the Usher family for years, to come listen to his confession in his childhood home. Auggie (as Roderick calls him) once said in court that there was an informant within the Usher family spilling secrets to the FBI. This happens to be the night Roderick sees all of his children in one place together for the last time. Some of them for the last time ever.
The Usher Family
The Usher family consists of twins, of course. Roderick’s current wife, Juno, who is young enough to be his grandchild. Roderick had two children with his first wife, Frederick, and Tamerlane. And then came the lost puppies (illegitimate), Victorine, Napoleon (Leo), Camille, and Prospero, the youngest of the lot (bad idea to pick a favorite). Then there are the partners, Frederick’s wife, Morelle, and daughter, Lenore. Victorine’s partner Al and Tamerlane’s husband Bill. Before the dinner, Roderick’s doctor meets him for a bit, shocking him a little with what he says, but it’s a secret right now.
When every Usher child comes of age, they get a fortune to invest in a business of their own to mint more millions than they already have. You know, keep the legacy intact. It’s Prospero’s turn, and his big plan is to start an exclusive luxury nightclub in his name. Unfortunately, Roderick and Madeline hate this idea because the whole point of their legacy is to “change the world,” which is pretty much impossible with a nightclub. Prospero is furious with the rejection, but something might be brewing in his head.
Now, everyone is at the edge of their seats, pointing fingers at each other to figure out who the informant is. Roderick’s great idea is to give the kid who figures out who the informant is another fortune (50 million), whereas Madeline has had their lawyer, Pym, come up with a new NDA that includes forfeiture of inheritance. Oh, la la, things are getting serious right now. Pegging the kids against each other might seem like the worst thing to do at this point, but all the twins truly care about is their company, Fortunato.
Who Does Roderick See At The Funeral?
Roderick claims that he killed his children, to which Auggie replies that the deaths were all examined, and there’s no such evidence. If this is really the confession he wants to make, there’s no evidence to prove it. Back to the story, we’ve gone back to 1979 New Year’s Eve. Roderick and Madeline have come to the bar, and they seem suspiciously guilty about something. They’ve done something terrible, like killing somebody. Madeline asks Roderick to pull himself together, stop acting paranoid, and go make himself seen so they can have an alibi for the night. They meet an interesting bartender named Verna, who seems to know something, even mentioning that they may have had a wild night already.
Verna seems to be an interesting woman, and Roderick and Madeline both feel drawn to her. She asks them what their resolution for the new year is, and Roderick replies that it is to “change the world.” After closing hours, both Roderick and Madeline still remain, speaking with Verna. We see a glimpse of their conversation as she mentions how it feels like they’re in a dimension out of space and time. According to Roderick, whatever happened that night, the conversation with Verna resulted in the death of his entire family. At the end of the episode, at the funeral, when Roderick looks back, he sees Verna in a mask, claiming to his granddaughter, “She’s here.” When he looks back again, he sees his six dead children, and when he steps out of the church, ready to go home, he sees a clown in the car, falling backward, looking up at a raven, saying, “It is time.” At the end of episode 1 Of The Fall of the House of Usher, we can only assume that Roderick is talking about it being time for him to die. But, as we know, a few hours later, he’s having a conversation with Auggie. What happened on that fateful night that makes Roderick believe he is the reason for the deaths of his children? Let’s find out in the next episode of The Fall of the House of Usher.