The ‘Bag of Bones’ conclusion opens right where part one left off, with Mike Noonan fighting to save the mud-covered girl from drowning in the bathtub. Brenda the housekeeper interrupts and the vision abruptly ends. It’s from her we then get an explanation of what it means to go “Dark Score Crazy.” She tells Mike about Lance going nuts and trying to drown Kyra, and then Buddy Jellison and Bill Dean both watching their sisters drown at their fathers’ hands. This is all rather interesting to Mike, who’s now curious as to why these men went crazy and killed their daughters so often. I’m curious too — what’s going on here?
Mike receives a letter about overdue books, and he goes on a quest to find them. While he’s ripping apart Jo’s studio looking for the books, he gets freaked out by a raccoon in the rafters. He finds the books, and realizes Jo was researching the history of Dark Score Lake and the insanity surrounding it. Mattie Devore shows up and tells Mike the guardian lawyer appointed for Kyra was receiving kickbacks from Max. This is joyous news, because now there’s no way the courts will take his opinion on custody seriously. Woohoo for Mattie! She thanks Mike, and then freaks at a picture of Sidney, Mike’s gay brother. Sidney was apparently the one Jo had dinner with at Warrington’s that day, which gives us all a good laugh. After saying goodbye, Mike goes back in the house and sees it ripped apart. He asks if Jo did it, but Bunter’s bell rings twice, and then falls down. A video of Sara Tidwell starts playing. I guess Miss Sara’s not too happy right now, because then a record plays “I’m with you baby” on repeat.
Mike is about to leave for a run, but he sees the fridge letters spell Sid Down Lft. He calls his brother, assuming this means Sid had something to do with a lift. Sidney calls back and says he didn’t talk about anything with a lift, so Mike hangs up. He then greets the Green Lady tree, touching her, and is suddenly wracked with intense physical pain. So bad are the visions he sees that Mike vomits. He runs for a bit more and stops at a rock above the lake. Max then shows up with his caretaker Rosette and, after a conversation where Max threatens Mike again, Rosette punches Mike in the face and knocks him into the water. Mike swims to a floating dock while the crazy lady throws rocks at him and Max laughs. This is the limit of the guy’s evil? I’m kind of disappointed.
Mike comes back to the house and stares at the fridge letters again. He shifts an E to below Sid, and reads it again as Side Down Left. Or, in his head, Down Left Side in the Times crossword puzzle. This then leads to him looking at the most recent one when Deputy Foot shows up at his door with a message from Max. Cease all legal action about the encounter on the lake, and Max agrees to stop trying to get custody of Kyra. Sounds like a devil’s deal to me, but Mike decides to take it.
When Mike calls to agree, Rosette reminds him that custody has its responsibilities. Ominous, much? Then we watch Rosette help Max kill himself by suffocation while he lies in the bathtub. Huh … bad guy who kills himself before his victory is even close to assured. Color me confused.
Mike is working in his office, when he hears Sara’s singing through the door. He throws the door open, and we see Dark Score Lake in 1939 again. Sara’s up on stage signing a haunting Jazz song with tears running down her face. Mike muses on what happened to her, when suddenly Kyra runs up begging for Mike to help. The pair run into a rather creepy barn and hide from this group of men who look like they’re itching to hurt Kyra for some reason. The men leave, and Mike and Kyra flee to the second floor. Mike looks out for the men, and he tells Kyra to keep squeezing his hand if she’s scared. Except she’s not, and says so. Mike looks and there’s a little black girl there too. Kyra slips around to Mike’s other side, and then Sara’s there holding the little black girl. “Max Devore’s dead,” she says, “but custody still has its responsibilities.” The men snatch Kyra and run off. Mike follows, but he can’t find them. Then suddenly Corpse Jo shows up and tells him “Lie still bag of bones.” Wait, what?
Mike comes to and the phone’s ringing. It’s Mattie calling with the news that Max killed himself the previous night — which Mike already knew — and to invite Mike to dinner after he attends the funeral. Mike waffles on dinner, but Mattie suggests Jo would’ve wanted him to be happy. Mike hangs up the phone, goes to his word doc, and sees “Lie still bag of bones” on repeat through several pages. Oh my … this is not good. But then again maybe it is. Who knows?
Mike attends the funeral and sees an old man crying. He follows the old man, Edgar White, to the Tanglewood nursing home. There Edgar at first thinks Mike is Harold, his grandfather. And then we find out that Edgar was party to something terrible involving Sara Tidwell. Edgar visiting Sara after the show in the company of Max Devore, Fred Dean, Normal Jellison, and Harold Noonan. Max flirts a bit with Sara, but when she tries to leave Max tackles her and has his cronies hold her down while he rapes her. Sara’s daughter Keisha watches Max rape her mother; Sara then begs that she’ll do anything so long as they don’t hurt her little girl. However Max declares they can’t leave any witnesses. One of the men drowns the girl in the lake, while Sara screams and cries. Max smashes a rock into Sara’s head to shut her up, but all that happens is she curses them to kill their daughters the way they killed hers. All the way until their families are completely gone. Well that sucks giant bum doesn’t it? But now things make a lot more sense.
Mike goes over to Mattie’s for dinner, and she quite nervously takes his coat. Awww, someone’s got a crush. She points to her apron, which says Kiss the Cook. Yeah cause that’s not a lead-in or anything Mattie. Sheesh. A quick peck turns into a much deeper kiss, and then a giggly Kyra interrupts them. She asks “Mr. Mike” to read her a bedtime story, which he is only too happy to do. Kyra tells Mike she dreamed about him the other night. Yeah, that dream of hers? Same thing Mike saw right before he woke to Mattie’s phone call. Oh dear … and Kyra already knows Keisha’s name. Turns out the ghost girl and Kyra are friends.
Mike reveals the nature of the curse to Mattie, which is that every male descendant of those boys who killed Sara Tidwell would murder their own daughters the same way Keisha died. Mattie puts the pieces together — Jo didn’t want to tell Mike she was pregnant because she thought Mike would be bound by blood to fulfill the curse. Mike thanks Mattie, saying he doesn’t want to doubt Jo anymore. They kiss, and a bullet shatters the window. Mattie falls dead in Mike’s arms, asking him to watch over Kyra. Mikes runs out into the rain with a meat hammer and beats Deputy Foot for pulling the trigger. Foot claims they need to take care of Kyra, that this is bigger than Devore. Mike loads Kyra into his car and drives off. Bill Dean and Buddy Jellison pull alongside, claiming Kyra needs to die for the curse to end. Mike shouts a curse at them and speeds off. The Warrington’s sign falls in the storm, and Bill and Buddy plow headlong into it, perishing in a flash of flame.
Mike takes Kyra back to the lake house and brings her into the bathroom to dry her off. He runs a bath, and sees flashes of men drowning their daughters in tubs and sinks. Rather than place her in the tub, he brings Kyra into the bedroom and starts searching for clothes to fit her. The little girl meanwhile has already fallen asleep on the bed.
There’s Jazz playing downstairs. Uh-oh … Sara’s starting things up again. Records fly at Mike’s head rapid-fire while the playing music skips over the same line again and again — “finish it daddy.” Mike goes to drain the tub, but Max shows up and tells him custody has its responsibilities and to get that little whorelet and put her in the water where she belongs. Mike runs out of the room and hears Jo’s voice: “Lie still bag of bones.”
Mike then figures out that Jo hid messages in his writing. Messages that Sara couldn’t see her sending. Down left side means down the left side of the manuscript, and Mike reads “Owls above studio.” Lie still bag of bones, he discovers, means “Lye will still her bag of bones.” Mike climbs to the crawlspace above the studio, and finds a large bag of lye among the owls. He realizes if Jo had known where Sara’s bones were she would’ve poured the lye on the bones years ago. Then he looks out the window and makes the connection to the Green Lady tree.
Mike digs under the Green Lady, and hears “Finish it!” on the wind. He uncovers the bones of Sara and Keisha in a shallow grave. A face forms in the tree above him, while Mike says to the air “I am so sorry what they did to you and your daughter, Sara.” Then the tree begins beating the crap out of him. Jo pops up and shouts at the tree to leave Mike alone. The ghost of Sara says she won’t rest until Devore’s bloodline is ended. But Jo won’t let Kyra and Mike come to harm. Then Mike declares it’s time for this to end, opens the bag of lye, and pours it on the bones. The storm slows as the bones decay, and the face vanishes from the tree.
He climbs from the hole and says his goodbyes at last to Jo, who’d been protecting him this whole time. She fades away as he tells her he loves her. Then a new day dawns, and Mike runs back into the house to find Kyra. She’s not in her bed though, and then he finds her sitting in the bathtub sobbing. Mike tells her that Sara’s beaten, but it’s not Sara that’s the problem now. It’s Rosette! She comes at Mike with a knife, and he fights her off. In the instant before he stabs her in the neck, he shouts for Kyra to turn away. With Rosette dead, and Mike comforting Kyra, Mattie forms out of the bathwater and tells Kyra not to cry. Mike carries the little girl out of the house as the police show up to cart Rosette’s body away.
Mike and Kyra sit together on the porch as the police swarm, and Mike says they’ll be OK now even though they’re sad at Mattie’s death. Kyra agrees, and reveals that Mattie said she was Mike’s little girl now and that he was finally ready to be a daddy. The miniseries ends with Mike taking Kyra out on the lake for a canoe ride.
My final thoughts are mixed on this miniseries. In some cases it was a good character study of a struggling novelist, while in others I felt like things could’ve gone differently. At the end of the day though, this was a fairly solid offering for a Stephen King miniseries. Nothing like ‘Storm of the Century,’ but then that one will be hard to beat.
If you missed the first part of the series, be sure to read Stephen King’s ‘Bag of Bones’ Part 1 recap.