Rabbit Hole Finale Recap: What Was Crowley’s Plan?

The fascinating conclusion of Kiefer Sutherland’s spy drama is now streaming, and the show necessitates a rewatch to figure out all the twists and turns.

Rob Yang as Edward Homm, Kiefer Sutherland as John Weir and Meta Golding as Hailey Winton of the Paramount+ series Rabbit Hole.
Photo: Marni Grossman | Paramount+

This article contains spoilers for all eight episodes of Rabbit Hole.

Rabbit Hole, airing on Paramount+, is an exciting addition to the streaming service, especially if you’re looking for something that isn’t written or created by Taylor Sheridan under the Paramount umbrella. Kiefer Sutherland plays John Weir, a private contractor adept at corporate espionage, who more than often finds himself merely creating lies for his clients for them to get what they want. 

He and his firm are adept at creating deception and aren’t necessarily concerned about whose lives they might ruin in the process. When his estranged childhood friend, Valence (Jason Butler Harner) hires Weir for a job involving a treasury officer, Ed Homm (Rob Yang), Weir’s entire existence is suddenly thrown upside down, as his team is killed, Valence commits suicide, and he is framed for the murder of Homm by the nefarious Crowley, his father’s former partner. 

A lot to keep track of, undoubtedly, and that was merely the show’s pilot. As audiences follow Weir’s run from the law, his attempt to escape an inescapable shadowy sect that controls America’s digital information, and fuelled by paranoia, it’s difficult to keep track of who to trust. Allow Den of Geek to explain the labyrinth-like plot and shed some light on the shadowy corners. 

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Who is Crowley? 

When it is revealed that John’s father, Dr. Ben Wilson (Charles Dance) , a man thought long dead is still alive, Weir’s life changed dramatically. Ben was a psychologist who worked for the American government and at one point had to fake his own suicide to protect those he loved. When he came back into Weir’s life decades later, Ben almost immediately tried to recruit his estranged son and Valence for his battle against those who would use “The Algorithms of Control” for toppling the American government. He and his former partner, Crowley were the two brilliant minds who had been working on this methodology for decades. The two saw how information can change the outcome of wars, or how misinformation can create chaos, and with Ben’s analytical mind, they could even predict patterns in human behavior that made it easy to move citizens, law enforcement, corporations and high ranking government officials like chess pieces, into whatever formation they so desired.

Crowley for almost the entire season, other than the occasional flashback, is merely a gravelly voice in someone’s ear, or a whisper over a telephone. He is the apparent mastermind behind everything, and his plan, despite a few hitches, is going off very smoothly. Weir, Ben and their team, which eventually includes Homm and Hailey Winton (Meta Golding) always seem as if they are one step behind.

Eventually, Crowley is revealed for the first time in a long time, as he kidnaps Ben and Weir’s ex-wife Liv (Alex Castillo). At this point, Crowley (Lance Henrickson) is a shell of an elderly man, hooked up to an oxygen tank as much as he’s proverbially hooked up to his nefarious system of informational control. 

What Was Crowley’s plan?

Simply put, Crowley always wanted control. His time with Ben when they were young agents showed the two men how easy it would be to take control of almost anything, including a government as powerful as the United States.

To get what he wants, Crowley uses his influence to force Valence’s hand, as Weir’s long time friend has to commit suicide in order to protect Weir. Valence had been placed deep undercover in Arda Analytics, an analytical company that, much like Weir did, controls the narrative for their clients, just on a much larger scale. 

Crowley also forces Senator Evers (Megan Follows), a Presidential candidacy front-runner to create an act that would allow large corporations to collect and monitor almost all information within America, including private citizen information, all in the guise of national security. Weir originally thinks Crowley wants to place Evers in the White House as a Manchurian Candidate type of puppet, but her assassination at the hands of Crowley dispels that notion fairly quickly. Crowley only needed Evers’ support and martyrdom to push the Act through. Not surprisingly, in honor of her egregious death, the “Nora Evers Protection Act” is greenlit, and naturally, Arda Analytics is named one of the companies the American government would go to in order to collect that precious information. 

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With the Nora Evers Act now in place, Crowley seemingly holds all the cards in the finale.

Is it Over?

There is one play that Weir and his team can make. Homm is alive, or as the truth-seekers within the show repeatedly say “Ed is not dead”. Many conspiracy theorists or private journalists within the show get the impression that Homm’s alleged murder was trying to hide something, and of course, they were absolutely right.

Weir plans to prove to the world that Homm is still alive, so that he can finally control the narrative. With Ed able to tell the true story, that he was merely one small pawn on that proverbial chessboard, he can reveal that there is a shadowy deep state government entity out there. Coupled with what Homm and Weir were able to discover about just how much information Crowley collected on dozens if not hundreds of high ranking government officials and corporate tycoons, the Weir team can begin to dismantle the system of control.

Despite Crowley’s best attempt, he ultimately fails. He fails to have Homm killed prior to him going on the air. The young agent of Crowley, predominantly known as “The Intern” (Walt Klink) is still out there. While he didn’t kill Homm as he was ordered, he did escape justice, and knowing that one of Crowley’s deadliest soldiers is out there, the fight can undoubtedly continue. 

However, in what was arguably the show’s greatest twist, Weir reveals to Crowley, as they face off over the phone, that the woman he kidnapped, the woman Crowley believes to be his ex wife, is in fact a professional who Weir once had to hire to rescue his ex wife. The woman known as “Liv” since the pilot episode has been nothing more than a plant, an “Ace in the Hole” as the finale title hints at. As she easily handles the dozen or so of Crowley’s armed goons and frees herself and Ben, Crowley is brought to true justice, as Ben shoots him in the head. 

While the gray matter sprayed on the floor seems fairly conclusive in terms of Crowley’s demise, just before Ben leaves, he notices a communication piece in Crowley’s ear. Evidently Crowley was not the ultimate puppet master. Knowing someone else out there is still in control, it would appear that while Crowley and Arda have lost the battle, the war will continue.

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All eight episodes of Rabbit Hole are available to stream on Paramount+ now.