Episode 9 of Netflix’s Raising Dion offers a big showdown.
Previously on Raising Dion, we saw that Pat Rollins (Jason Ritter) was actually the “Crooked Man,” or “The Man in the Storm.” In addition to crossing the line with Nicole (Alisha Wainwright), he instigated a fight with Charlotte Tuck (Deirdre Lovejoy), which closed the episode out.
The Season 1 finale starts in simpler times, in 2010, with Pat and Mark Warren (Michael B. Jordan) experiencing the “Iceland Event.” With radiation levels off the charts, we see Pat getting hit by strange, almost ash-like projectiles. They scorch parts of his skin and, of course, give him strange powers.
We also see Atlanta in 2014, after the event. Apparently, Pat had a relationship with Kerry Phillips (Ariana Guerra). It turns out she also acquired superpowers from the event. When she broke up with Pat, he tried to get her to not leave, resulting in her setting his arm on fire.
This triggered him to become The Crooked Man and he absorbed her. In the present, Charlotte is also absorbed as Nicole and Dion Warre (Ja’Siah Young) leave the apartment complex.
Raising Dion: Boundaries
By the time Pat enters their apartment, Dion and Nicole are gone. Dishonestly, he tells Kat (Jazmyn Simon) he’s afraid Nicole will hurt Dion.
She tells Pat the two are on their way to St. Louis. Shortly after that, Pat contacts Dion through the Reptile Repo video game, and Dion innocently tells him about the cabin. Knowing there’s a storm coming named “Pat,” Nicole has actually boarded up the windows.
During their stay, Dion admits to feeling bad about not respecting Esperanza’s (Sammi Haney) boundaries. He had recently lifted her out of her wheelchair to “make her fly,” which he thought would impress her. He wants to call her to apologize, but Nicole says he’ll have to wait…until the storm passes. Unfortunately, Pat does arrive, but Dion concentrates his mental energy into teleporting to the science fair, leaving Nicole alone to face the tragic figure known as Pat Rollins.
Yes, Pat Rollins is sort of a tragic figure
Raising Dion has established that Pat Rollins is a jerk. However, this show is mature enough to offer insight into his shortcomings. For one thing, we see that he’s at risk of dying, so that’s why he keeps absorbing superpowered people, to absorb their energy and heal himself. In other words, he really is in a predicament. This all might feed into his personality problems, as he’s both fighting death and certainly some level of trauma from his deteriorating condition. He knows he’s dying and doesn’t want to die alone.
However, Nicole knows he cannot be trusted, and that he killed her husband, so she hits him when she sees him. This triggers his Crooked Man transformation again, and he used his powers to basically wreck their cabin, with Nicole left unconscious. When she wakes up, Pat is gone, but it’s not known if he willingly spared her or left her for dead (probably the latter).
At the science fair
Dion, Esperanza, and Jonathan (Gavin Munn) are at the Stem Stars Competition, where Pat shows up uninvited and unannounced. He takes Dion to a place they can talk and tells him, “Heal me like you healed that fox,” adding that he’s dying but Dion can save him.
However, Nicole shows up in what seems like record time, telling Dion that he killed his father and tried to kill her, too. On that point, Pat offers an ultimatum: Finish healing him or he’ll have to kill Nicole. Dion’s choice: He sets Pat’s arm on fire and they run outside.
Raising Dion then takes us outside the science fair, where Nicole and Dion face off against Pat as The Crooked Man. Suzanne Wu (Ali Ahn) and a crew from BIONA show up with some liquid nitrogen, hoping it’ll thwart The Crooked Man. However, that job is ultimately done by an improvised lightning rod stabbed into him by Nicole, which gets supercharged by Dion. The Crooked Man appears to dissipate.
In an interesting moment, Mark shows up, suggesting he is only semi-deceased. He tells Nicole that energy doesn’t die, it just takes another form. After embracing and speaking for a moment, Mark starts dissipating. We then see that The Crooked Man probably isn’t truly gone. As implied in Mark’s words, he seems to have traveled elsewhere to take up residence in the body of Brayden Mills (Griffin Robert Faulkner), a child who possibly even younger than Dion.
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