Ambiguous endings are tough. They always leave people speculating, theorizing, and arguing with each other over what they think the author means to say, when ultimately we can never truly, 100 percent know everything that happens in the end. Such is the case with Blood Meridian when the Kid encounters the Judge waiting for him in the Jakes.
All we can take from the ending is what McCarthy gives us. We know that the Judge is naked and smiling, and that he “gathered [the Kid] in his arms against his immense and terrible flesh”. We know that when a stranger opens the door a few minutes later, his reaction is to say “Good God almighty”. Lastly, we know that the Judge emerges from the jakes but the Kid does not, and that the Judge then enters the saloon dancing and says that he will never die.
I don’t think as readers we can responsibly say what exactly the Judge does to the Kid for those few minutes alone in the jakes. I don’t think that’s the point–the point is how it ends, with the stranger’s shocked, wordless reaction and the Judge’s dancing. Why is it that after three hundred pages of explicitly detailed carnage that only now do we get a shocked reaction, and no words at that? Secondly, the fact that the Judge emerges and the Kid does not signifies to me that the Judge has finally prevailed over the Kid. The Judge has won. As soon as he is finished with the kid he returns to the saloon and dances for the crowd, all of whom are completely entertained by him. Though the least graphic, this is the creepiest scene in the entire book, simply because of the reaction the Judge gets from the crowd. They adore him, and he claims that he will never die.