Netflix‘s ‘The Devil All The Time’ follows the stories of a bunch of twisted characters whose threads are intertwined with each other. It is a star-studded tale of violence and agony that leaves one exhausted, both emotionally and psychologically, wondering what path would the protagonist take at the end of the story. Read further to know where this journey leads him.
Willard Russell (Bill Skarsgard) comes back from war to start his life all over again. He falls in love with Charlotte after meeting him with a diner. His mother wanted him to marry Helen, who ends up marrying a preacher, named Roy. Charlotte gives birth to a baby boy named Arvin (Tom Holland), while Helen gives birth to Lenora. When cancer gets Charlotte, Willard starts leaning on his faith to heal her.
Meanwhile, Helen gets murdered by Roy. This leaves Lenora (Eliza Scanlen) at the hands of Willard’s mother. After both his parents die, Arvin reunites with his grandmother too. Sometime later, a new preacher arrives, and his lustful ways worsen Arvin’s life. There is also a couple, Carl and Sandy, who are on a murder spree, while Sandy’s brother, Lee Bodecker, only thinks about maintaining his position as the sheriff.
Lenora decides not to commit suicide, but an accident claims her life. Later, Arvin discovers that she was pregnant, and follows Teagardin (Robert Pattinson), who is exploiting some other young girl now. He confronts him, but he tries to shift the blame on Lenora, so Arvin shoots him dead.
Arvin leaves behind a letter exposing the preacher’s crime. On his way back to Knockemstiff, Arvin is picked up by Carl and Sandy, both of whom he grows suspicious of. Before Carl attacks him, he shoots him, and Sandy is shot too. Arvin takes the photo roll he finds in the car along with him.
Meanwhile, Bodecker kills but finds out that unfortunately his sister has been killed too. At her place, he finds pictures and the negatives that prove that Sandy and Carl had been killing people. He burns that evidence to prevent creating a controversy for himself to ensure that he wins in the next election.
When Bodecker finds out that Arvin has killed the preacher, he realizes that Arvin is the same kid he had met years ago, so he knows where to find him. Arvin goes to the same place where he had found his father’s dead body and where his dog had been sacrificed. Bodecker finds him, but Arvin kills him too. He the pictures behind and buries his father’s gun with Jack’s bones, and leaves.
What Happens To Arvin In The End?
With the blood of so many people on his hands, Arvin realizes that he cannot go back to his grandmother and grandfather. Gradually, Arvin makes his peace with the fact that he has no choice but to leave everything behind.
He gets on a ride again, and the driver is on his way to Cincinnati. On the radio, President Johnson declares America’s increased presence in Vietnam, which makes Arvin question if he should volunteer. His thoughts about being in the army merge with the story of his father, and he ends up not being able to distinguish who he is thinking about.
So How Will Arvin’s Story End?
Despite the lack of clarity, one thing we are sure about ‘The Devil All The Time’ is how everything comes around for everyone. Just like Helen, her daughter, Lenora, also falls for a false preacher, which ends up in her being dead. In case of Arvin, we also see him transforming into his father as he turns into a man who chooses time and place to exact revenge.
Arvin also understands now why his father killed himself following Charlotte’s death. Later, he also thinks about meeting a girl, joining the army and starting a family just like his father did. Arvin, much like Lenora, is also unintentionally following into the footsteps of his father. So is he also doomed just like Willard?
Arvin will never be free of his past, especially after the trail of bodies he left behind. Even though he considers himself to be a good person who just happened to meet some unfortunate circumstances, the law will not forgive him for all these murders.
Even if the note about Teagardin exposes the preacher’s true nature, and Carl and Sandy’s murderous streak is brought to light, and even if the cops find out that Arvin killed Bodecker in self-defence, he is still a murderer on the run. The cops will keep on looking for him and will get caught eventually. The only option he has now is to enlist in the Vietnam war, fro which he might never return.