Castle Rock Episodes 1-8

“Take my hand.” Castle Rock beckons at the onset. I arrived here on the strength of the name Stephen King. Imagine an original television series that flirts with the works of your hero weaving together characters and worlds he’s created over his four-decade career. You’d be intrigued too, right? 

There are two primary forces, good and evil. Period. People are disappearing and reappearing, committing suicide and there’s an unknown virus gnawing at the core of this town. Residents know there’s something terribly wrong. They can’t put their finger on it. So, they just exist until something terrible happens to them directly. I purposely wrote this entry to journal my thoughts prior to watching episode nine. Because I have a lurking feeling that things will be revealed as there are only three episodes left to this season. Overall, I feel this show is channeling American Horror Story’s regimen of being all over the place for most of the season then weaving all the sub-plots together into a basket at the end. We don’t know if this basket is going to be work of art like AHS Asylum or a dreadful sight hastily made like AHS Roanoke. After the first four episodes I asked Castle Rock, “Where are we going?” Let’s discuss what we know.

Henry Matthew Deaver, an attorney, is summoned back to his hometown Castle Rock after an anonymous phone call from the Shawshank State Penitentiary. He left after being suspected of murder in the death of his father. Oddly, he went missing during the events leading to his father’s death and has no clear memory of much of his childhood. I internalize a lot. You know…put myself inside the story. I remember vividly every detail of my life all the way back to about age five. This man and I are probably about the same age and he can’t recall anything? What the hell happened to him in those woods?

The Kid, played by Bill Skarsgard, who I’ve decided I’m deathly afraid of is one of the most sinister things about this show. We don’t know his name. We don’t know where he came from. The only thing we do know is hell follows him. He’s evil, manipulative and was a secret prisoner of Warden Lacey for twenty-seven years in the basement of Shawshank prison. 

Sissy Spacek, who I love, is Henry Deaver’s adoptive mother Ruth Deaver. She’s suffering from dementia. It pains me to watch her character come to terms with the onset of this disease and the struggle that ensues of her trying to maintain a grip on the present. Although, I’m led to believe that many of the loose threads found in her memories will weave most of the basket this television show is building.

As in any other King creation there are a host of other characters. I won’t write them all here because the point of this post is to encourage you to binge watch this show. Catch up! We need to talk. After watching episode eight I said to Castle Rock, “I’m scared.” We are in a dark place coming closer to forces so powerful they could shake the very fabric of our being. Will the town survive The Kid? Will Henry be forced to face his past in order save not only himself but his mother and son? Please watch this show and share your thoughts with me. Maybe, if there’s a second season we can start a support group to talk through episodes like Talking Dead (the segment that discusses the Walking Dead airing after each new episode.) When the going gets rough in my fictional worlds I like a real friend to talk it all out with or at the very least to hold my hand.