Castle Rock: Season 1, Episode 10 Recap and Review

Life can be a bit ambiguous sometimes.

What color is that dress, really?

The only sure thing is that it’s ugly!

And no, I know what Donald, Mickey and Pluto are, but I still don’t know what the hell Goofy is!

So, in order to deal with the ambiguity that is life, sometimes you just need to kick back…

And remind yourself of something:

M-O-O-N, that spells schisma!

In other words, go watch Castle Rock!

No ambiguity there!

Oh, and Pennywise is just your friendly neighborhood clown.  He’s just a lonely guy, and he just wants to have the neighborhood kids for dinner

Oh, right.

Back to reality this instant!

You know, the reality where having kids for dinner is actually literal?

And the reality (or maybe realities in this case) where Castle Rock is confusing as fuck and makes you question everything that you thought you knew, at least according to the last episode.

In other words, let’s review and dissect the season 1 finale of Castle Rock, titled Romans.

And, as always:

 

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Castle Rock: Season 1, Episode 9 Recap and Review

Life can be so confusing sometimes.

You might think you have things figured out, but then you just get thrown for a (time) loop.

So, sometimes you just need to kick back (in your cage,)

Grab something tasty (your Wonder Bread) and…

Tell yourself, oh hey, what the schisma

And go watch Castle Rock!

So yeah, episode 9.  Henry Deaver.

No, not this guy.

Or this one.

That was the title to the episode.

And if you thought that the ride was wild in the previous eight episodes, well buckle up, my friend.

Because the show completely took its foot off the break with this second to last episode.

And the writers now have just jammed that accelerator, so that we can hurry to our destination, whatever that may be.

So, without any further ado, here is is my recap and review of the ninth episode of Castle Rock, titled Henry Deaver.

As always:

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Castle Rock: Season 1, Episode 8 Recap and Review

Lately, I have been thinking that I need a vacation.

Things have just been a little stressful the past few days.

Work is crazy, I have not been sleeping too well.

I mean, I keep hearing this odd noise…

And I keep becoming unstuck in time, for whatever reason.

Maybe I should book myself a weekend at bed and breakfast.

Yeah, that’s the ticket!

A bed and breakfast with a theme would be even better, right?

And boy, those owners of the bed and breakfast seem so nice!

Maybe a murder house of sorts…

Or, I can just watch the show Castle Rock, and experience that bed and breakfast place for free!

Yes, I am talking about episode 8 of the artistry known as Castle Rock.

Last night’s journey was an interesting excursion, to say the least.

There actually was not a lot of that nuisance otherwise known as getting unstuck in time, but there was quite a bit of that nuisance otherwise known as murder by extremely violent, somewhat creative ways.

So join me in this week’s recap and review of episode 8, titled Past Perfect.

As always:

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Castle Rock: Season 1, Episode 7 Recap and Review

Well, then.

This was quite the week.

Filled with a bit of confusion.

Lots of drama.

Kept us glued to our screens.

The entertainment was non-stop.

Of course, I am talking about this week’s episode of Castle Rock, titled The Queen.

Geez, did you think I was talking about some horror story or something?

Each week, Castle Rock keeps on setting the bar higher and higher.

And we got this episode.

Honestly, if this is the peak for the show and the rest of the episodes are just really, really good as opposed to the make you wanna slap your mama bad ass that is this week’s episode, I won’t complain.

But, I find myself getting blown away every week.  Somehow, I don’t think that is going to change.

So, buckle in and join me in the recap and review of this week’s wild ride, titled The Queen.

And, as always:

 

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Castle Rock: Season 1, Episode 6 Recap and Review

Normally, Wednesday is not a noteworthy day.

It is true that she can be distinguished from her ugly, mean, cruel sister by the name of Monday.

She is not Tuesday, which is really Monday in disguise.

However, she does not even have the title of Friday Eve, like Tuesday.

And she sure is not that sexy, elusive motherfucker by the name of Friday.

But now, Wednesday has something to set her apart from her sisters now.

It makes her unique.  It makes her stand out.

And that something is the show Castle Rock.

The anticipation begins to build within me throughout the week.

Every morning, I wake up.

As the radio alarm blares out the annoying music our local station plays and my dogs start barking and demanding that I get up, I take a moment to reflect upon what day it is.

As the week goes on, my hope builds up.

And finally, it is Wednesday.

I may have to drag myself out of bed and do my half ass attempts at “adulting,” but at least I know that I can come home, plop down on the couch, and spend approximately the next 53 minutes or so in the world that is the love child of JJ Abrams and Stephen King.

And then the cycle begins all over again once I am done.

I love it, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So join me in my recap and review of episode 6, titled Filter.

And, as always:

 

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Castle Rock: Season 1, Episode 5 Recap and Review

Hi everyone.

My name is Leah and I have a confession to make.

I’m…I’m…

Totally hooked on the Hulu show Castle Rock!

There, I feel better.  I hope you guys don’t judge me!

So yeah, I have a problem.  And I love it!

I spend my free time (well time when I am supposed to be working, since real life is a non-stop horror movie) waiting for the next episode to be released.

I browse Reddit to read the latest, craziest fan theories.

I come up with my own crazy fan theories.

(A connection to the Crimson King is not a crazy theory.  It.  Is.  Not,)

And oh yeah, writing about the show, for your reading pleasure!

So join my in my recap and review of this week’s episode, titled Harvest.

And, per usual:

 

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Castle Rock: Episode 3 Recap and Review

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:

 

 

 

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Castle Rock: Episode 2 Recap and Review

Occasionally, writers and film makers gift us with a fictional universe.

Actually, this practice is becoming more common.  Marvel has pretty well established theirs.  DC is right behind them, and well, we can give DC a participation trophy for trying.

Joss Whedon created one, when he created Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Kurt Sutter is on his way to creating one, as we had Sons of Anarchy, and we will have The Mayans this fall.

There is something neat in seeing that one or more books (or movies or television shows) are connected and share characters.

Sometimes, however, these works of fiction share more than just characters, as what happens in one book, movie or show has a direct affect on another work of fiction.  Marvel has spent years building up to this, in the form of Avengers: Infinity War.

Finally, we got Rocket Raccoon in the same movie as Iron Man!  How cool is that?!

However, The King (cough, cough) of a shared universe is…

None other than The Master himself!

Over forty years ago, it began with the publication of Carrie, King’s first novel.

It grew to include that crazy number one fan, that gang of meddling kids, a guy who enjoys time travel, and many, many other novels.

Most importantly, it includes that story of your friendly neighborhood gunslinger.  King himself has referred to his Dark Tower novels as the Jupiter of solar system, with several seemingly unrelated novels that have some sort of impact on our friendly neighborhood gunslinger and his quest.

And most recently, the Hulu TV series Castle Rock joins that universe.  Even though King may not have “officially” written this JJ Abrams creation himself, I will be damned if I can tell (well, other than checking the credits on the internet.)

Castle Rock takes place in what could probably be King’s most notorious fictional setting (other than the unnamed town known as Pennywise the Clown’s personal buffet.)

Needful Things, The Body, The Dark Half, The Dead Zone and several other stories take place in Castle Rock.

I am always up for a visit to Castle Rock.  In fact, it is one of my favorite King hangouts.

And so far, even though I have only watched two episodes, the show is reinforcing that feeling, making me feel like I am paying a  visit to an old friend, where we chat as though we have never been apart.

So join me this week for my recap and review of my visit!

As always:

 

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Castle Rock: Episode 1 Recap and Review

It is always such a treat when your favorite writer publishes a new book.

Me, I pace around, almost like an expectant father in the delivery room, anxiously waiting.

And via the magic of technology, the book appears on my Tablet the next day, ready for me to savor, whenever I am ready.

Now, of course, my favorite writer is Stephen King…Captain Obvious strikes again, right?

And we are still fortunate to be receiving the gifts of The Master’s books on a fairly regular basis.

This year we received The Outsider.  And Elevation will be published this fall.

All in all, not bad.

But when I heard that Hulu would release a TV series this year, set in the Stephen King universe and produced by JJ Abrams, my interest was piqued.

So we are, for all intents and purposes, getting a new Stephen King book, set in the same universe, with some familiar characters, as well as plenty of new characters.  This may not have King’s name on the by-line, but it is set in his expansive universe and has the feel of his books, but is not a book, but an anthology TV series instead…

Well, how can we go wrong with that?

And not only is it set in the King universe, but is titled Castle Rock, King’s other notorious town, the one that probably advertises that its main attraction is the fact that it is not inhabited by a trans-dimensional demon doing a poor impersonation of a clown.

Again, how is this a bad thing?

I have watched one episode of Castle Rock so far, and I can tell you that this is not a bad thing.  Far from it, in fact.

So, come with me to Castle Rock, where we break down and analyze the first episode, titled Severance.

And, as always:

 

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11/22/63: Episode 7 Recap and Review

For the past several weeks, I have been taking a long, almost leisurely car ride on Monday nights.

However, the ride has gotten more urgent and less leisurely as of this week.

In other words, I just finished watching the second to last episode (sniff) of the mini series 11/22/63 this week.

And the clock has begun to tick.  The foot is on the gas, ready to accelerate when needed.

In other words, the suspense has come to a crescendo.  And we are left to wonder:  Will Jake Epping succeed in his quest?  Can he change history, possibly for the better?

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Well, we are getting closer and closer to the answer.  The mini series has got down to business (even being so nice as to count down for us) and we should have our answer soon, although I have no complaints at all about the journey.  In fact, it’s all in the journey.

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But, I am ready to reach my destination.  I may love or hate that destination, but I am eager to finally reach it and find out for myself.  And after a bit of waiting, I am almost there.

So, without further ado, here is my recap and review of the last leg of the journey, aka episode 7 of the mini series 11/22/63, titled Soldier Boy.

And, as always:

Homer spoiler


 

Synopsis

The episode begins with Jake in a state of unconsciousness after his head injury.  Jake is also having hallucinations:  he sees he ex wife and Al, along with Anderson Cooper on his television screen.

Finally, Jake awakens in his present of November 1963, with Sadie by his side.  However, he has no memory of why he has traveled back to the past and does not even know what LBJ and JFK stand for, although Sadie attempts to help him jog his memory.

A few days later, Lee Harvey Oswald stops by the FBI office, asking after the agent whom he believes has bugged his apartment and is tailing him and his wife Marina.  Oswald’s behavior becomes erratic, and he is determined to make sure that people remember him.

Jake’s memory is awakened when he signs himself out of the hospital:  he remembers that he had his friend Bill committed to a mental hospital before his injury.  Jake also finds out from Deke that Mimi has passed away from cancer.

Sadie and Jake pay a visit to the hospital to see Bill.  Bill has become a shell of the man he was, as he has been subjected to electroshock therapy due to his talk of time-travel.  This is not good for Jake, as Bill is the only other person who remembers the details of his mission.  Jake attempts to take Bill home, but Bill tragically commits suicide by jumping out of a window.

At home, Jake continues to take pain pills, which make him groggy and do not help his memory.  This frustrates Sadie, who still tries to talk him through it, in the hopes that she can revive his memory.  Jake finally flushes the pills down the drain, and asks Sadie to repeat the last conversation between them before his injury.

Oswald’s mother berates him for bothering the FBI, and pulls out an old report card of his, reminding him of his potential.  Oswald sits on a park bench in Dallas, and appears to have some sort of an epiphany.  He walks away, appearing determined.

One night, Sadie and Jake share a dance in the living room.  Somehow, Jake remembers the street he used to live on in Dallas.  Jake and Sadie visit the area, in the hopes of recovering some of Jake’s memories.

Jake and Sadie are able to locate his old apartment building, and visit Oswald.  This triggers Jake’s memories and he realizes that Oswald is the enemy.  Jake attempts to kill Oswald with a knife, but is stopped when Oswald steps out of the nursery, holding his infant daughter.

That evening, Jake attempts to sneak out and stop Oswald.  Sadie catches him, and tells him that she is now involved and will be helping him, whether he likes it or not.  Jake tells her that he wants the non-violent solution:  steal Oswald’s gun so that he cannot shoot the president.  Jake and Sadie visit the Oswald’s friend Ruth, and look for the gun.  However, they are unable to locate the rifle, and Jake realizes that he will need to resort to violence to stop Oswald.

Jake and Sadie stake out the plaza in Dallas the night before the assassination of the president.  Sadie continues to ask Jake questions about the future, and Jake admits that he does not have many ties to his own time, in terms of friends and family.  However, Jake’s conversation with Sadie is interrupted by the appearance of the Yellow Card Man.  The Yellow Card Man tells Jake that he is a failed time traveler himself who traveled back in time to attempt to prevent the drowning of his daughter, and is now forced to watch her death repeatedly on an endless loop. Jake awakens and attempts to convince Sadie to give up on their mission, but she reminds him that he has traveled back to the past for a reason, and giving up the mission is not an option.

The next morning, Jake and Sadie awaken, finding out that their vehicle will not start.  Jake grabs a gun, and he and Sadie run.

Oswald awakens, having spent the night with Marina.  Marina tries to convince Oswald to spend the day with her and the children, but he heads out of the house, telling her that he has a job to do.

Sadie and Jake hotwire a car, in an attempt to reach Oswald in time.  Oswald climbs to the abandoned upper floor of the book depository with his rifle, and waits for the arrival of Kennedy.


My Thoughts

Before we move on, let’s pay our respects:

Cletus 1

Well, to Bill actually.  Although he did look a little slack-jawed, if I do say so myself.

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In all seriousness, this death was sad.  I may not have liked this particular character all that much.  However, he did serve his purpose, and his death was just…pitiful…I cannot think of any other way to describe it.

The moments leading up to Bill’s death were actually well done.  In fact, Bill’s death was probably one of this character’s better moments, at least from a writing standpoint.  I thought that the scene in the mental institution, along with the portrayal of Bill right before his death were both well executed.  This show has reminded us several times that we should not be looking back at the 1960’s with rose-colored glasses, but with a more realistic viewpoint, as it was not as idyllic as it is made out to be.  The scene in the mental hospital is another example of this.  Even today, mental illness is still stigmatized.  However, we have made giant strides in our understanding and treatment of mental illness over the past 50 years.  Patients are treated much more humanely, and the stigma is slowly lessening.  We do not use electroshock therapy.  This was not the case in 1963, and 11/22/63 provides us with yet another powerful reminder of this fact.

The primary antagonist in 11/22/63 is obviously Lee Harvey Oswald.  I have not discussed this aspect of the mini series much, because I felt that I to simply see more before forming an opinion.  So, I think I have seen enough at this point to discuss this now.

lee harvey oswald

When I first read the book, I was impressed with this character, simply because he is a historical figure, as opposed to a fictional character.  Oswald is also someone who lived before social media, the Internet or even before television was as commonplace as it is now (I have three TV’s in my house myself, but who’s counting?)

So, in order to construct a character for someone like Lee Harvey Oswald, we have to rely on written accounts.  And the memories of others, most of whom are likely deceased at this point.  In other words, reconstructing a person like Lee Harvey Oswald takes an awful lot of imagination.

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Stephen King has an awful lot of imagination, although this usually used to create creepy clowns that still haunt my nightmares to this day (or is this just me?)  But King is far more than a writer of horror, as a book like 11/22/63 demonstrates.  So he was able to construct a convincing character using the equivalent of literary fumes.  Hence the reason he is The Master.

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And from what I have seen, the show has been able to do the same thing:  turn a historical figure into a good, convincing fictional villain.  Daniel Webber, the actor who plays Oswald on the mini series, is yet another good casting choice (like almost everyone else on the show).  Over the course of the mini series, we have seen Oswald become more and more erratic over time.  This is realistic, given the circumstances.  No one just wakes up one morning with the desire to kill the leader of the free world.  Rather, this is something that develops over time, and both the writers of the show and the actor playing Oswald have taken great pains to establish this fact.  The result is a compelling character, who is at times sympathetic (not even Jake could kill him when he was carrying the baby in his arms), but still a villain, and one of the most notorious villains in all of history.

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The other main “villain” of 11/22/63 could be considered to be the past.  Although the past may not be a villain in the literal sense of word, the past is certainly foreboding.  As Jake says, the past “fucks with you.” And the past will indeed go to great lengths to protect itself, and anyone trying to change it (like Jake, Bill and now Sadie) are often subject to some tragic consequences.

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Establishing the past as a character on the screen can be tricky at best.  Even in the book, creating a character out of something that is an abstract concept is almost as tricky as creating a character out of a historical figure.  However, the book was able to also create a character out of the past.  The mini series has also been able to do this, although the approach has been slightly different.

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The mini series has relied on the use of the character The Yellow Card Man in establishing the past as an onscreen character.  This is actually a good move.  For one, this character is just downright creepy, and maybe even a little tragic.  The fact that strange things happen when he is around is also something that adds to the mood, and further cements the idea of the past “pushing back”, in the same way that an animal may attack if disturbed.

I also loved that we learned a little more about the mysterious Yellow Card Man in this episode, and how he is a also time traveler stuck in a perpetual loop.

In fact, I thought of this guy:

Roland and horn 1

I also think that the concept of the the Yellow Card Man being a time traveler stuck in a perpetual loop is a great bit of foreshadowing in terms of Jake, who has also become an unwitting time traveler.  Will Jake be forced to watch some horrible event over and over, as punishment for his attempt to interfere with history?  Will the misdeeds that he has committed (in the name of changing history for the better) doom him to a horrible existence and maybe even force him to become the next Yellow Card Man?  Is the Yellow Card Man in fact an alternate reality version of Jake that’s supposed to serve as a warning about what will happen to him if he continues on his path?  All fascinating questions, and I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer.  And this is a sign that the writing is good.


 

Well, that’s it for Soldier Boy.  Join me next week as we review and dissect the final episode, titled The Day in Question.

Tune in next week…same bat time, same bat channel!

batman and robin