Who says Stephen King can’t write a love story?
Lisey’s Story Season 1 Episode 8 proved otherwise.
The teleplay by King based on his favorite novel was, first and foremost, about the doomed romance between Scott and Lisey Landon.
But while that was the primary relationship in this limited series, the bond between Lisey and her sisters Amanda and Darla also was front and center as well. King was supposedly inspired by observing his wife Tabitha and her sisters.
Before any of the many loose ends could be tied up, however, a major irritant needed to be dealt with.
Yup. Jim Dooley.
Dane DeHaan has brought the necessary menace that any Stephen King work requires. He had been a major component of Lisey’s Story thus far.
That’s why it was a disappointment that he was dispatched so early in the finale. But at least he got a memorable death out of the deal.
Lisey’s plan to do away with Dooley was as ill thought out as it seemed. She thought that the weirdness of Boo’ya Moon would disorient him, but a born predator will adapt to a new situation.
Fortunately, the weapons that she had planted there came in handy. Her shovel helped her level the playing field against the stronger Dooley, and the ketamine injection set him up for his end.
Dooley was a loon until the end, right up through his final rant. Just as well that the Long Boy took care of him for Lisey.
The Long Boy was terrifying enough at a distance. But up close, it appeared to be composed of hungry, lost souls who wasted no time in tearing apart Dooley.
It was easy to relate with Lisey at that moment. Dooley had been brutal to her, but that end was too much for anybody, regardless of their crimes.
Especially since Lisey had to clean up after the Long Boy, pulling the parts of Dooley out of her pool and disposing of them off the bridge.
It was surprising that those remains never became an issue later on, especially after the police chief expressed his doubts about Dooley’s disappearance. Still, he said he was OK with Dooley meeting a bad end, so case closed.
With Dooley discarded, Lisey could move on to more important concerns, finishing her Bool hunt and determining what Scott meant by “Lisey’s Story.”
Unfortunately, her only source for information, outside of her unreliable memories, was Amanda, who knew more than she let on and less than Lisey needed her to.
At least Amanda could explain who the shrouded ones are, and Lisey was able to determine that Scott might be one of them, still waiting to pass over. That must be why Lisey never seemed to be able to see Scott just sitting there by the pool.
So it was back to Boo’ya Moon for Lisey, as she had picked up on the last clue in Scott’s Bool hunt. She followed the yarn from Good Ma’s afghan to her prize: a box containing “Lisey’s Story.”
Finally, Scott’s last and most gruesome secret was revealed: The final fate of his mentally ill (to be kind) father, Andrew, who didn’t get any better after he put down Scott’s homicidal older brother Paul.
Andrew never returned to work, which meant the two of them had to get by with the supplies that remained at their rundown home.
These glimpses back into Scott’s childhood make you wonder why he didn’t end up more screwed up than he was, that he was able to live a fairly normal adult life with only occasional strange occurrences, that he was able to find a woman who loves him.
I mean, first, his father kills his homicidal brother, who Scott adored, and then this?
First, it fell on young Scott to be the adult who keeps himself and his father alive. Then he had to protect the personnel director from Andrew’s work, who comes to check in on him by slickly laying out a believable scenario for Andrew’s extended absence.
Then his father did something nice, setting up a Bool hunt for him, just like Paul used to do so that Scott could do something remotely child-like.
But what was Scott’s prize? He got to kill his father with a pick-ax after Andrew was too chicken to kill himself. Then Scott had to dump his body down the well because he couldn’t cross over to Boo’ya Moon with Andrew.
That he was adult enough to walk away and not look back was entirely believable. Whatever future he was facing had to be better than his past.
Andrew did love Paul and Scott. Unfortunately, he was just the latest generation of a backward, messed-up family. Scott was able to break free of that.
Scott saw telling this story as necessary for Lisey to be able to move ahead with her life, to be able to leave him behind.
But that wasn’t enough for Lisey, who had to see Scott one more time. She even stood up to the Long Boy, trading her shovel for that opportunity.
She barely made it, as Scott was in the pool departing when she arrived. It was heartwarming as she flashed back through their times together.
It was sweet when she sat down where Amanda had been, also watching her and her sisters play on the Hollyhocks.
In the end, Lisey was moving ahead with her life, although we were all watching to see what would come out of the pool next.
To catch all the nuance in this limited series, watch Lisey’s Story online.
Did you expect Dooley to last longer?
Do you feel even sadder for Scott now?
Has Lisey started to move on?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.