The Jack’s Son Phenomenon

Surprise, surprise. That’s exactly what happens.

And before I tell you what, consider this: as the One By One soundtrack appears onscreen, so does the movie Carson City, playing on the TV behind Wendy.

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The dialogue in that moment from that film that we can’t hear here is between a guy hired to build a railroad through some mountains, and the guy who hired him to do it. It goes something very close to, Kincaid: “Hi, Mr. Sharon! We ought to be punching through here in a couple days.” Mr. Sharon: “That’s not all you’ve been punching lately.” The holes in sewing cards look like they’re made by a hole-punch.

Okay, so, there’s a painting in the film by AY Jackson called Red Maple. The first time it appears in the film is as Jack’s passing through the lobby to attend his interview, from 3:25-3:29.

This painting is the only one to visibly watch over Hallorann’s murder, or to appear behind murderer Jack. And since the artist’s name is Jackson, I’ve long imagined this was a reference to how “Jack’s son” (which sounds exactly like Jackson, in English), was also watching during the murder of Hallorann; as Hallorann falls to his painful doom, we get three flashes of Danny’s face, screaming in the dark, eyes wide.

So, the first time we’re in the same room with it in the Twice-Folded Shining is in the very first second of the very first shot. It would be directly behind this shot of the camera zoomed in on the photo Jack photo, which is on the west side of the lobby.

Track one has three parts to it, and right at the transition from One By One to Hey Man, Watson enters, which means he also just passed that Jackson painting.

Part three of track one is called One By One (Reprise), and as you can see, it starts exactly as forward Jack is passing Red Maple in the best shot we ever get of it in the film. In the moving film, it seems to float through interview Jack’s head as he says “horror film addict” in the line, “And, uh…as far as my wife’s concerned, I’m sure she’ll be absolutely fascinated when I tell her about it, she’s a, uh, confirmed ghost story and horror film addict.”

Right as track one fades to silence, the shot has reversed, showing the hall before the Jackson painting. This means that track one begins and ends with these two shots that zoom straight at the spot where photo Jack will hang forever and ever.

As track two ends and track three, Rain Race, starts, murder Jack is walking backwards down the stairs and passing backwards past the hall where Red Maple is, though it only appears on screen a few seconds into the track.

As track 3 ends, Danny is sprinting backwards from his hidey hole, which happens to be straight through the red doors behind where Red Maple was seen hanging at the start of track 3. I added the red box to make sprinting Danny more visible.

At the switch from Side A to Side B, from track four to track five, Wendy and Danny are watching Summer of ’42, which means they’re about halfway between the Jackson and the photo Jack location. But also, when Danny asks if he can go get his fire engine, he sprints off in the direction of the Jackson painting.

A bonus fact for that last moment: it features the first appearance of Danny’s Formula 1 race car, that’s most visible when he’s playing with it outside room 237 later.

Track five is another gargantuan track, the longest on the album at 12:19, and features two named passages, Superstar and Loxycycle. It’s not clear when that transition was meant to take place, as there’s this bonus interlude that doesn’t appear in The Quick and the Dead. But right at the transition below, backwards Wendy is making the first part of her distress call, which means she’s just walked backwards through the lobby, passing the painting, but it also means there’s a shot of forward Jack walking up the hall to kill the radio, which means he’s walking straight at it.

Here’s that moment with just the Single-Fold mirrorform, to make it a little clearer.

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The transition from Loxycycle to track six, Nüburgring, features the entirety of backwards Jack whipping the tennis ball straight at the Red Maple painting, so that right in the silence between tracks, he’s just getting ready to do this, and the painting is in plain view.

Track seven, Seasons, technically starts on the establishing shot of the Overlook, but it’s just a few seconds until we’re in the lobby with Wendy pushing the breakfast cart toward the Jackson.

As Seasons becomes track eight, Accident, we’re seeing the backwards “start” of Danny seeing his final bloodfall vision from Tony, which means…that Red Maple is just offscreen again, because three of the paintings from the lobby repeat in the bloodfall hall, and the Jackson is one of them, as you can read about here, if you like.

And finally, amazingly, the start of track nine, At Tangerine Beach, is the same as what the start of Seasons ought to have been for our purposes here, this time showing breakfast cart Wendy walking backwards away from the Jackson.

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Now you might (somewhat fairly) ask “Why does it have to be the Jackson painting making a sewing card out of the entire film? Why not any of the other artworks in the lobby?” Well, two things: 1) the lobby is the only area that features in every transition moment with the exception of one, track eight, Accident, in which we grab the Jackson from Danny’s bloodfall vision, which leads us to 2) the only other paintings which jump from the lobby wall to the bloodfall hall are JEH MacDonald’s Mist Fantasy, Sand River and Lawren Harris’s Beaver Swamp. So I suppose if you think either of those is more significant for some reason, then knock yourself out, and think of it that way. For me, this combination of “Red” and “Jack” and “son” is just too juicy to ignore.

But here’s some food for thought: Red Maple actually appears, as we’ve seen, at three of the transitions between tracks: just before going into track 2, just after the start of track 3, and right on the transition into track 6.


Not quite 237, but maybe this means that this is the room the hotel wanted to absorb Danny into. Just like my discovery about the hotel wanting to absorb Dick into room 238.

Or maybe it’s just a coincidence. Either way, I’d say that “Jack’s son” is the true sewing card punch hole of the Twice Folded Shining. Why? Because, ultimately, this is Danny’s story. He’s the real hero. Jack’s son is what binds everything together, like a connecting thread to help us find our way through this labyrinth.

Click here to continue on to One By One