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Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't watched the entirety of Channel Zero: No-End House, including the finale.
Few TV experiences have been as bewildering, melancholic and unnerving as Syfy's horror series Channel Zero: No-End House. Furthermore, few aspects of this second season boggled the mind as much as Aisha Dee's Jules, who seemingly remained a mystery from her introduction to the finale's final moments. (Though she definitely wasn't alone.) "The Hollow Girl" did manage to largely explain Seth's twisted history with the House and some of its permanent residents, but viewers were still left mostly in the dark about Jules. When creator Nick Antosca spoke with CinemaBlend about No-End House, I asked what Jules' Room 5 was about, thinking it would unlock the mystery. Here's what Antosca told me:
Jules' experience of the No-End House comes from...all I'll say is it comes from a nightmare that [visual artist] Sarah Sitkin had that our DP also used to have as a child. And so it's a shared nightmare that represents something that we put in the show, and I don't want to explain it.
I had no other reactions but to laugh when Nick Antosca left me dangling with only the vaguest of hints about the maddening orb that followed Jules around during Channel Zero: No-End House, or exactly what the tragedy was that mentally dragged her down and really kept her away from Margot in the year following John's death. I'm not buying her explanation of being unable to deal with Margot's grief, unless it just so happened to coincide with Jules' own sense of turmoil. But what was her turmoil? I guess we'll never actually know. But that's no fun.
As far as the shared nightmare goes between director of photography Isaac Bauman and artist Sarah Sitkin -- she's the one who created those awesome burst-open busts inside the House's Room 1 -- I'm of the assumption that's where the visual idea of the orb itself came from, since there's not much about what we see of Jules' backstory that seems extremely out of the ordinary. Plus, the orgasmic-lite feeling she gets from touching the orb likely ties into that succubi book she'd talked about in the season premiere. Other than that, she's mostly just shown with her increasingly memory-blocked family, as well as the moments where she's under the water in her bathtub; and in those, it's not even easy to tell if she's being purposefully held underwater or if she's just having a bath.
There are obviously theories to be pondered, especially when thinking about all six episodes as a whole, and all of the themes and details that were used (and sometimes shared by different characters).
Jules Had Pregnancy Issues
Perhaps not the most complicated theory to come up with, considering how much this show was about family and the various connections between a parent and a child. Plus, there were undeniable comparisons to be made between the orb and a the female womb. But did she have a miscarriage or an abortion or something along those lines?
This would be an interesting way to approach such a sensitive and heated topic for a cable horror show, and leaving it vague would arguably be the smarter route. Plus, it would give some really weird subtext for Jules having to stab her way out of the orb after being swayed into it (or whatever) by Margot's voice. Which leads us to...
John and Jules Had...Something
I won't act like this isn't a slightly more narratively disturbing idea than the previous one (especially when I bring them together in a second), but the clues are there if one looks for them. For one, she and Margot's friendship dissipated immediately following John's death, which is timely. Perhaps they had a consensual fling, as John was having some severe stress, which always makes people do crazy things. Maybe she got pregnant; maybe that's part of why he killed himself. Could that be why she had such a unique reaction to Room 5's John wanting hugs from her next to the bathtub?
Then, on the flip side, maybe it wasn't consensual at all, and maybe John's monstrous side was also birthed from some of Margot's memories of him. (The way he looked at those young girls upon traversing the Real World was bothersome, to say the least.) Jules' bathroom scenes could have been from a suicide attempt that either backfired or was intentionally stopped. Any of that would be reason for Jules to avoid Margot for all that time, I'd think.
We Barely Saw The Real Jules
This is perhaps less a shot at explaining Jules' backstory and more about what we actually did see a lot of. We saw Jules touching the orb in much the same way that Houseworld's cannibals touched their hosts, with memory-bodies popping up nearby that are never seen from again. Who was eating those people, or are we to believe that the orb rolled over and consume Jules' memory-bodies? We saw Jules start to look really weak and perhaps famished in the later episodes -- remember when her Margot-memory-body's formation was interrupted by Margot? -- and upon going through the house again, she looks like she'd never been inside of it before. And she did give a particularly intriguing smile once she and Margot was back in the Real World that seemed mighty suspicious.
Considering J.D. was the only other character who had a body double serving as a cannibal, we don't really know what the rules are for the way the House sets things up. Other J.D. represented one aspect of Real J.D.'s mind, so maybe the orb represented Jules in the same way. (That could also have something to do with the fact that Other J.D. was a terrible cannibal, having not sapped Real J.D.'s memories before killing him.) And then later, it would have been the real Jules cutting her way out of orb and saving the day with Margot. There are obviously ways to disprove this theory, as well as the above ones, but it's more fun to talk these things out than to make ourselves blind with rabid curiosity.
Channel Zero: No-End House is complete, now, even if our conversations about it aren't. Thankfully, Syfy and Nick Antosca revealed the title for Season 3, Channel Zero: Butcher's Block, which also saw its first teaser released. Let us know what you guys thought Jules' story was about in the comments, since I know I sound like that bearded House weirdo at this point. And for more spooky shows that have yet to debut this year, head to our fall premiere TV schedule.