Ruby In ‘Them: The Scare’ Explained: Why Did Mrs. Reeves Give Up Her Kids, Dawn And Edmund?


In Them: The Scare‘s ending, we saw that Dawn Reeves got to know some shocking things about her past. [Spoiler Alert] Firstly, she realized that the serial killer whom she was chasing was actually her twin brother, Edmund Gaines. She liberated him of his own misery, and the devil finally left the boy and let his soul rest in peace. Dawn Reeves was going through some pictures when she saw a photo of her mother with her grandparents. The series ended on a cliffhanger where we saw that Reeves’ mother, Ruby, gave up both the kids because she didn’t feel that she was capable of bringing them up. Ruby had her own traumas to deal with, and she was so messed up from within that she felt that her scars would be passed down through the generations. So let’s find out what actually happened with Ruby back in the day, what she had to face during the great migration, and if she was actually so broken from within that she didn’t feel that she would be a good mother. 

In Them season 1, we saw how, during the great migration, Ruby’s parents, Livia Lucky Emory, and Henry Emory, shifted from North Carolina to Compton in search of new pastures. They didn’t realize that Compton would be no better. The kind of things the Emory family endured changed them from within, and as viewers, we related to the kind of damage systematic racism could lead to. There are certain scenes in the series that shake you from within, and you feel even more traumatized when you learn that many of those incidents happened in real life. The first problem that the Emory family encountered was when they had to sign a contract to buy the real estate property where they were going to stay. The contract said blatantly, “No negro blood,” and for a moment, Livia didn’t know how to process that sort of information. Henry was a learned man, and back in the 1960s, he studied engineering. But still, he had to face institutionalized racism at his workplace, and it started playing tricks on his mind eventually. Betty, their neighbor, made matters worse for them, as she made it the purpose of her life to make the Emory family realize how they didn’t deserve to breathe the same air as they did. Betty found new ways to torture the family, and though she didn’t do anything overtly, her mental manipulations and tactics were enough to leave a deep imprint on the minds of Livia, Henry, and the entire family. Gracie and Ruby, the little girls, had to face a lot of racism in their school, and those poor souls didn’t realize what they had done wrong to deserve such behavior. 

Something had happened back in the day, and because of this, Livia was no longer herself, though she was trying her level best to face her fears and traumas and be there for her family. Livia and Henry had a kid named Chester, and back in North Carolina, a few people entered their house and killed the poor boy. To make matters worse, Livia was sexually abused while she watched her boy being brutally murdered by savages who probably didn’t have an ounce of feeling inside them. That ghost of the past still troubled Livia, as anybody who had gone through such a thing could never get over it. The fact that I noticed in season 1 was that the white supremacists not only believed in systematic racism, but their capitalistic insects were so predatory in nature that they wanted the entire economics of the country to be driven in accordance with their own vested interests. 

Them season 1 showed us that just like the foundation of American society was plagued with certain vices, such as racism, the foundation of the Emory House was also haunted by a ghost of the past. An age-old evil spirit lurked in their basement, and poor Grace felt traumatized by it. Ruby, the eldest girl in the Emory family, was probably the most affected by all these things, and she went through a committee brainwashing where she started embodying the concept of racial innocence. In a gut-wrenching scene, we saw that the poor girl bleached her face because she started believing that being black was something that was not good. She told her friend Dorris that she wanted to be beautiful like her, as the entire society made her believe that being black was a sin and one had to repent for that. Her beauty standards changed, and she felt that people like Betty were saying the right thing. I can’t even imagine what the poor soul might have gone through during that time and how she could have found the strength to keep going on with her life once she had consciously realized what she had been subjected to. 

After watching season 1, we understand how a mother could give up her children, as before, we thought that she was acting out purely selfish interests. But it was not so. I believe that Ruby did the right thing by giving up custody of her twins, Dawn Reeves and Edmund Gaines. Ruby believed in generational trauma, and she knew that through her actions or inaction, she would find a way to pass it on to the next generation. But even after she made such a sacrifice, at the end of The Scare, we realized that both her kids channeled that same trauma through various means, and their lives also became a living hell. The evil lurked in the shadows, and probably seeing the kind of negative feelings that Dawn Reeves harbored inside her being would make her body its next vessel. There is another aspect to this entire dynamic: we don’t know as of now if Ruby is still alive or not, so it might be a possibility that in the subsequent season, we see the mother-daughter duo fighting the evil together and making sure that their lineage gets liberated from it once and for all.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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