Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King

Season 1 Episode 4

The End of the Whole Mess

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jul 19, 2006 on TNT
out of 10
User Rating
106 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The End of the Whole Mess
A young genius, Bobby Fornoy, comes up with a chemical cure for human violence. With the aid of his brother Howie, he comes up with a way to implement it worldwide. But the “cure” comes with a horrible side effect.

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  • A genius discovers a cure for war but forgets about the side-effects

    So far, the best of the series with an excellent story and some really great acting. The changes with regards to the story were to be expected, the inclusion of 911, was too, though I personally would've preferred it without that particular update.

    This story and the movie really show some of the dangers of good intentions. Sometimes good intentions are simply not good enough and this episode is a great reminder of that easy-to-overlook fact.

    The cinematography for some of the shots was breathtaking and the acting, particularly of the narrator was first class and at times very moving. Highly recommended!moreless
  • Awesome show!

    A depressing, well written story. I’ve always been opposed to anything designed to alter human behaviour. We’ve seen this kind of scenario before but the episode keeps it fresh. Ron Livingstone is very good in his role as the narrator, making us “want” to hear his story. The story develops nicely and comes to a dark ending that’s like a punch in the stomach. Bobby is a great character and I wish they had more time to develop him. Kudos to the actor too, Henry Thomas. Also depressing is the depiction of how violent, unsafe and ugly the world is today. It makes us think. When will this stop? Is there time to turn things around, without that miracle water? I hope so. I really do. A great episode of an awesome show.moreless
  • good episode

    i think this has been the second best of the series to date. Good story, good pacing, but the thing that was always in the back of my mind was how much this seemd like a Twilight Zone (the original) episode. I was waiting for Rod Serling to pop up at the end. The zone comparison came across for me becuase the way the episode paced of a protagonist attempting to do something for the greater good - and within the last few minutes, we see it unravel - a twist that was pretty typical in Zone and sometimes Tales from the Crypt.moreless
  • This is a good example of a King story adapted correctly with the changes made minor and the very good casting starring Ron Livingston as Howard and Henry Thomas as Bobby Fornoy led to an interesting end of the world type story.moreless

    I was well into "The End of the Whole Mess" and it stayed true to the King short story it was involving and kept the viewer interested. In this adaptation Howard is a documentarian instead of a writer, and he tells his story in front of a video camera that slight change was correctly done so we could see the character ourself now as he is telling the story in flashbacks. Also, as an addition the events of 9/11 are incorporated into the story and are used a catalyst for Bobby's inspiration.

    I enjoyed this installment and I would say it is the best of the series thus far.moreless
  • My favourite episode so far

    I really enjoyed watching this episode as it was a classic King-style story that was translated well to the a visual medium. Ron Livingston and Henry Thomas did a great job handling material that could easily become a joke in the wrong hands which often happens with Stephen King stories. It's a little odd seeing relatively famous Australian actors popping up (Rebecca Gibney in this case) but at least it didn't have the rather distracting geographic familiarity as was the case with Crouch End (my least favourite episode) where Melbourne trams were trundling in and out of frame in what was meant to be London.moreless
Ron Livingston

Ron Livingston

Howard Fornoy

Guest Star

Henry Thomas

Henry Thomas

Robert Fornoy

Guest Star

Jake Stone

Jake Stone

Bobby Fornoy (2-3 years old)

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Howard: What I haven't told you is that four hours ago, I killed my brother by shooting him up with his own discovery. He called it "the calmative," but... "a very serious mistake" might have been a better name.

    • Howard: They say God protects drunks and fools and children. They also say that the devil's in the details.

    • Howard: You see, guys like Bobby, they come along maybe once in a lifetime. Uh, the Da Vincis and the Newtons, and the Einsteins and the Edisons. And they all had one thing in common, they're like huge compasses just swinging aimlessly for a long time. Uh, searching for some true north. And then, one day, they just hone in on it with fearful force.

    • Howard: In spite of the nearly five years between us, we were inseparable. He could be a royal pain and I could be a brat, but when push came to shove, we were the fabulous Fornoy boys and there was nothing, nothing that I wouldn't do for him.

    • Robert: I'm sorry. I made the world full of fools and dumbbells.
      Howard: Hey. Better fools and dumbbells than a big black cinder in space. Huh?
      Robert: Forgive me.

    • Robert: This is it, Bow-wow. The big one. The cure for the worst disease to which we Homo Sapes fall prey.
      Howard: Cancer?
      Robert: No. Wars. Barroom brawls. Drive-by shootings. Meanness. This, big brother, this is gonna change it all. This is gonna bring about an end to the whole mess.

    • (commenting on the smell from a volcano)
      Howard: Man, that blows. What is that?
      Bobby: Hydrogen sulfide. Talk about your ultimate fart, huh? It's as if God himself busted through all the business as usual transmissions with a special bulletin. "This is your last chance, jerk-wads."

    • Howard: Nobody, not even MENSA types like our folks, ever expects a kid like Bobby. Not ever.

    • Howard: My name is Howard Fornoy. I was a documentary filmmaker. I want to tell you about the end of war, the degeneration of mankind and the death of my brother Robert Fornoy, the messiah.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Differences from the original work: Howie is a film documentarian, not a writer (to better suit his narration on television). In the original story the threat of nuclear war was the catalyst for Bobby to distribute the water – here it is the 9/11 terrorist attack as the story was written pre-2001. They fly the water into a volcano by helicopter rather than pull it up via a winch system. In the story, the brothers simply catch the "disease" rather than deliberately inject themselves. In the story, digitalis acts as very short-term inhibitor to the onset of Alzheimers' but no reference is made to it in the episode.