In every show, there comes a critical point.
It is usually a couple of episodes in.
We all know what I am talking about…
It is the episode where the viewer decides if he/she is in it for the long haul, or if that show will be dropped like an extremely warm root vegetable.
This week, I think we reached it, with the show Castle Rock.
And guess what?
Yep, Castle Rock is a keeper!
I mean, I was hopeful, but I didn’t want to get too attached, too early…
But, my worries were unfounded.
Castle Rock is worthy of all the love that I have to give!
I mean, I know it is part of the Stephen King universe, but still…
I had to be sure.
And episode 3, titled Local Color, cemented my status.
So far, the show is meeting my expectations. In fact, it is exceeding them, in some ways.
In other words, I asked. And I received. And it was awesome.
So join me in my recap and review of Local Color.
And, as always:
The episode begins with a flashback to Henry and Molly’s childhood. We learn that one evening, after Henry’s father is found, Molly sneaks into the Deaver house and unplugs Mr. Deaver’s life support machine, which kills him. However, we do not learn why Molly murdered Henry’s father.
The episode returns to the present. Molly is talking to Jackie Torrance, and is preparing a presentation for the public access channel for a show called Local Color. Molly is a real estate agent, and she is hoping to bring some life back into Castle Rock’s economy.
At that moment, Henry walks through the door. Molly “hears” Henry’s thoughts that contain sound bites from the previous two episodes. Molly then greets Henry, although she acts as though she does not really remember him. Henry tries to make small talk with Molly and even tries to hire her as a real estate agent so that he can sell her mother’s home, but Molly cuts him off, much to his surprise.
Molly then returns home and discovers that her house has been ransacked. Her box of Henry’s Deaver’s belongings has been opened and thrown around, which prompts Jackie to ask some questions, which are ignored by Molly.
As Molly prepares for her presentation on the public access channel, she discovers that she has ran out of pills. Her main connection also does not have any, which forces Molly to find her drugs elsewhere.
Molly arrives at a place called Timberland Motor Court in an attempt to purchase her pills. She runs into a group of children who are playing a “game” that appears to consist of a mock trial. The children decide that Molly is “guilty” and a judge whisks her away. The “judge” is actually the supplier, but Molly is unable to purchase the drugs, as the police show up and arrest her.
In the meantime, The Kid is still imprisoned at Shawshank Prison. His behavior is unsettling, and Officer Zalewski keeps tabs on him for Henry.
Henry pays a visit to the prison, in an attempt to gather more information in regards to Warden Lacy’s suicide. However, Henry is distracted when he finds out that Molly has been arrested, and bails her out.
However, Molly is not grateful for Henry’s help. She confesses to him that she can hear other people’s thoughts, and that his thoughts in particular are loud.
Henry seems skeptical of Molly’s confession, but he hails a cab for her, so that she can make her appearance on the show Local Color. However, instead of making a speech in regards to revitalization of Castle Rock, Molly states that Shawshank Prison has imprisoned The Kid with no official charges or a trial, and that the town needs to do something in regards to this.
Henry meets up with the kid, explaining to him that if he were to file a wrongful imprisonment suit against Shawshank Prison, he would likely receive a large settlement. However, the kid continues to behave oddly, asking Henry if it has begun yet and how old he is.
Molly comes home and hears something upstairs. She grabs a knife and heads upstairs. She then sees an apparition that appears to be a bloodied priest in bandages. The apparition screams to Molly, “Behold! I tell you a mystery!” Before Molly can respond, the apparition disappears.
Last week, it was the Easter eggs and overall world building.
This week, it’s…
Now, I have not focused a lot on this character and actress, as we have not seen a lot of her in the first two episodes.
I was waiting to see how things would shake out. And it was worth the wait.
Melanie Lynskey is a great actress, that is a given. Like most great actresses, she does very well when she is given a role that she can sink her teeth (which are fortunately not Pennywise canines) into.
This is exactly what the show has done: given Lynskey a juicy role, perhaps even the role of the most fascinating characters on this show. This is saying a lot, considering the fact that no one on this show is what he/she appears to be.
In fact, this episode focused heavily on Molly, and I loved that.
Right from the beginning of the episode, it was all about Molly.
Right from the beginning of the episode, questions were raised.
I mean, obviously, Molly did it. She unplugged that life support machine. And left it unplugged, as she meant business.
However, I think that there was a good reason for her actions.
Given that in another flashback scene, we heard Henry mumbling “fuck you, Dad” over and over, I think that the relationship between Henry and his father was strained, to say the least.
In fact, I would wager that the Deaver family was not a perfect family, even though the pictures would make it seem that way.
Religion is often used as cover for abuse. Henry hinted that his father was forcing him to attend Catholic school for some unknown reason. This makes me think that the not so good reverend was likely using religion to control his son, and perhaps even his wife.
Molly also spotted Henry and his father leaving in the middle of the night, which is at least somewhat sketchy. We also know that Molly can read other people’s thoughts, although this ability varies, depending on who is she is “reading.”
So it is possible that Molly was able to figure out that the reverend did not have good intentions, and may have, in fact, intended to hurt or kill his son, for whatever unknown reason.
But Henry’s father did not die, and it is possible that Molly was finishing off the job. Killing someone who should have died to begin with, if he was in fact planning on hurting or killing his son.
And, like anything with the slightest influence from Stephen King, there is an element of reality in Molly.
King’s stories are so effective due to the elements of realism. The Shining may be known as a story about a haunted hotel, but at its core, it is a story about family, the love we feel for our family and what addiction does to that family.
Molly Strand is another character in the King universe who deals with her own issues in regards to addiction. From the beginning, the writers have let us know that she is addicted to painkillers, ostensibly because her PSI powers force her to hear other’s thoughts, which is exhausting for her, so she needs something to drown out the noise.
However, we know that her abilities are not the only reason why she is addicted to painkillers. We know that she has had a life full of trauma, and the pills are a coping mechanism for her.
But she is never shown as weak or incompetent. In fact, she is shaping up to be one of the strongest characters on the show, and I love that.
Speaking of the influence of Stephen King…
He is known as the King of Horror for a reason.
Now, I am not sure if Castle Rock neatly falls into the category of “horror.”
Like anything else from Stephen King, Castle Rock seems to be something a little more complex than “just” a horror story.
But of course we cannot ignore the horror element that is present in this show.
And this episode had quite a few creepy moments.
Seriously, I was wondering if He Who Walks Behind the Rows would make an appearance. It’s the town of Castle Rock, you never know!
The opening scene was also creepy. There was nothing really supernatural involved, but watching Molly sneak into the Deaver house, and pulling the plug on Henry’s father was unnerving, to say the least.
And, before I forget…
I supposed there is a chance that The Kid could just be a red herring (with orange pom poms?) but come on now…
The guy eats Wonder Bread!
With no cheese, butter or even bologna!
And Henry is representing him!
That’s right, Henry is wanting to unleash The Kid into society…
Someone who eats Wonder Bread!
If the world isn’t screwed up enough as is…
But someone who eats Wonder Bread???
Sure, he may be the Devil Incarnate. He has been locked up for an untold number of years. He doesn’t really speak.
He stares at people in a creep way.
He also may have the ability to make other people kill themselves.
He appears to be able to control animals as well, and make them kill themselves.
He can create illusions, making prison guards think that there is a massacre going on.
THE. MAN. EATS. WONDER BREAD!
Is Henry delusional?
Wells, that’s it for Local Color.
Tune in next week for the recap and review of episode 4, titled The Box.
Tune in next week…
Same bat time, same bat channel!