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

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
107 votes
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • 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.
  • It's good to see Henry Thomas in pretty much anything, and the story a good one, too. Enjoyable, and well-worth watching.

    I've always had a soft spot for anything Henry Thomas appeared in, ever since the days of "E.T.". I've also had a soft spot for end-of-the-world stories, especially when they result from man's attempt to "fix" something "wrong" with the world in the first place.

    To that end, "The End of the Whole Mess" fits the bill nicely, on multiple levels. This episode could easily have appeared on the more recent version of "The Outer Limits", which often follows such themes. Most Twilight Zone"- and "The Outer Limits"-style episodes involve circumstances that befall a few people at a time, so I'm always happy to see stories that clearly have to involve an alternate reality for the Earth as a whole.

    The human drama seemed interesting and relatively believable, although I must admit I'd have preferred to see more on the degeneration of the world's collective intelligence, explained by those living through it. I was also moved by the ending sequence, which surprised me.

    The Bottom Line: My second-favorite episode of the mini-series so far, after "Battleground".