Recaps

Castle Rock’s “Past Perfect” is Super InTENSE

After an episode like “The Queen” which delved deep into a single character to deliver a one-of-a-kind expository bombshell of a narrative (but which only advanced the active plot by about fifteen minutes from the end of “Filter“) there was a lot of ground to make up and, in some ways, elegance was sacrificed for sensation in “Past Perfect”.

Not only that, some random questions that I’ve been wondering about are answered as much of the action moves this week to the Lacy House. You’ll remember that in that lovely montage of Castle Rock’s horrific history, there were multiple deaths illustrated in the home of the late Warden Lacy. Of course, I get a heap of new random questions at the same time.

To be honest, I didn’t expect to see Gordon (Mark Harelik, The Big Bang Theory) and wife (Lauren Bowles, Veep) again after their unusual house viewing with Molly in “The Box” but it appears the grisly history of the Lacy House and Castle Rock itself was exactly what they were looking for.

Photo Credit: Dana Starbard/Hulu

But it seems that no one settles down in Castle Rock without a natural bent towards humanity’s darker nature. We discover Gordon’s move from Des Moines was probably “recommended” by his employer after he beats up his wife’s lover during said lover’s job interview. As academic defenses go, it probably could’ve gone better.

Honestly, Castle Rock has got to be the weirdest place for a couple to have a “fresh start” but since their brain-child is to open a B&B with a murder theme, I guess it’s pretty perfect. Also, I find it fascinating how many mannequins they moved in with them.

Random question #1: What was that GIGANTIC padlock on the basement door protecting? Henry sees it when he’s chatting with the blind Widow Lacy way back in “Habeas Corpus“. Well, he actually notices it after the Widow’s been informed of his identity and is in the process of throwing him out so she’s not exactly forthcoming about the basement’s contents (if she knows at all).

Photo Credit: Dana Starbard/Hulu

Gordon’s wife finds the key and her question as to where the Warden’s “hundreds” of paintings were is also answered as it turns out that 90% of the paintings were locked in the basement and most of those were of The Kid.

The paintings are immediately displayed all over the house and that much of “The Kid” in one place can’t bode well for this new enterprise.

My sense of chronological time is thrown off a bit since they viewed the house with Molly just after before the massacre at Shawshank. Between that event and them opening the B&B (which had to occur before Henry’s confinement in the RV by Odin Branch and Willy), they seemed to get a lot done.

Unfortunately, their first two patrons aren’t as interested in “the first fully immersive lodging experience of historical integrity for the true crime aficionado” as they are in having an extramarital sexual rodeo in a “sleepy little town”.

This blatant infidelity probably reminds Gordon of the reason he had to leave his tenured teaching position (since he’s still treating his wife with a cold shoulder as well) and their extremely loud lovemaking seems to be that final straw for him.

Photo Credit: Dana Starbard/Hulu

His wife wakes up to screaming and then sudden silence (considering the tenor of the lovemaking, I would have expected her to wake up to the silence since the screaming wasn’t too far off the lovemaking) and goes to investigate.

I find it pretty odd that she is okay just opening the door to their guests’ room when they were recently so obviously “active”. Mind you, the silence was marked.

And, of course, Gordon has killed them both, stabbing them to death. It’s a terrible mess. Interestingly enough, the bodies of the guests are positioned in death very similarly to the way some of the mannequins in the house are displayed.

Photo Credit: Seacia Pavao/Hulu

Meanwhile, with our main cast of characters, Molly dreams her way to Henry’s rescue, pulling him out of the anechoic chamber as he’s overcome by a muddle of images which include ones of the basement cage from his childhood abduction and a clear one of The Kid, looking very different from what we’ve seen.

As they leave, he asks Molly where the men are and she responds she doesn’t know but the camera pauses on the body of Odin Branch on the ground with a skewer through his eye. New random question: Did Molly kill him or was it Willy? And where is Willy now anyway?

Photo Credit: Hulu

Molly drops him off at home and leaves. (Really? After she’d seen the state Ruth was in the night before?) Henry enters a very quiet, very clean and neat house. He finds his mother asleep, his son missing, and The Kid in the kitchen.

Wendell returns just as Henry is confronting The Kid. Henry sends him upstairs and follows The Kid out to the garage where Alan’s body is lying under a sheet. The Kids tries to explain that they need to protect Ruth, that she was confused and scared when she killed Alan, that he’d cleaned up the house and they should just hide the body in the woods.

Henry’s overwhelmed by the situation and when The Kid asks,”Do you hear it?” he can’t hide the fact that he’s been changed by the “acoustics” Odin Branch forced on him. He demands to know why The Kid asked for him. The Kid’s explanation is interrupted by the arrival of the police, called in by Wendall.

“I waited for you. I waited for twenty-seven years… I rescued you from that basement and I didn’t ask for any of this.” – The Kid

With that, he runs out the back and into the woods.

And that leaves Henry to come out of the garage (where there’s still a dead body to explain) to face the Castle Rock police. It’s a scene that is frightening in its contemporary context.

Back to the craziness of Castle Rock Historic B&B, aka the Lacy House. In the front foyer (?) Gordon butchers the bodies of the guests into convenient segments for transport in garbage bags. (It’s a pretty brilliant bit of visual juxtaposition to his putting the murder mannequins together in preparing the B&B.)

Photo by: Dana Starbard/Hulu

His wife is content for them to pretend it never happened (something she’s been trying to convince him to do with her affair) and appears to have been in charge of cleaning up the room. Just as they seem to have reached a moment of real “togetherness”, Jackie Torrance shows up to see if she and they could cross-promote her gypsy cab service with the B&B.

As Jackie is quite literally the audience they had designed the B&B for, it’s not surprising that she’s fascinated by the recreation of an axe-murder victim in the living room. Of course, she points out they used the wrong kind of axe to split the mannequin’s skull.

 

Photo Credit: Patrick Harbron/Hulu

 

Aware that the garbage bags Jackie is surrounded by are full of human body parts, the couple gives her a bit of a bum’s rush out the door. As she leaves, she steps on a bracelet which she picks up and notices some fluid on it which she then TASTES (seriously? So much yuck) and seems to recognize THE TASTE OF BLOOD. (I don’t even want to know how she knows but it’s now on the random question list.)

With the police investigating the site of Alan’s body, Henry and Wendall have another awkward talk before Ruth calls Henry upstairs. She tries to explain what happened but Henry soon realizes that she thinks she killed his father and that Alan is still alive. He doesn’t have the heart to clear this up for her.

 

Photo Credit: Dana Starbard/Hulu

 

As the police remove Alan’s body, one of the officers (Jayne Atkinson, House of Cards) discusses The Kid’s identity with Henry, laying the blame for Pangborn’s death and the deaths at Juniper Hill Asylum on his having The Kid released from Shawshank. When he gets defensive about his mother, the officer gets personal with his past in Castle Rock, how the kids in high school used to call him “The Black Death” and how tragedy seemed to follow him around.

Henry puts Wendall on the bus back to Boston. Their last conversation is again awkward and unsatisfying as Wendall tries to put into words what Henry’s absence means to him. Henry’s willing but unable to bridge that gap and Wendall is clear that he doesn’t think he ever will be.

As Wendall waits for the bus to leave, he puts on his headphones when a dead bird falls from the sky and hits the windshield. Immediately after, his ears start ringing painfully.

Photo Credit: Hulu

Henry talks over recent events with Molly on the phone and twigs on the memory of the GIGANTIC padlock on the basement door. He goes over to see if the new owners will let him look around.

And here’s where our timelines mesh. He arrives while they’re out disposing of the garbage bags of body parts, can’t get an answer when he knocks so he decides to break into the basement through the storm doors. He finds a bunch of mannequin parts (which is weird but not quite creepy) and apparently, all the paintings were moved upstairs because he doesn’t find any of those.

He heads up the stairs into the house and then up to the bedrooms where he finds a room completely plastered in portraits of The Kid. Lacy dated each of his canvasses and Henry finds the earliest one, dated 1991, and realizes The Kid has been drawn wearing the same shirt Henry was wearing in the picture used in the poster that was circulated when he disappeared.

Photo Credit: Hulu

Molly’s having a terrible night with her mind filled with images from the past mixed with images of herself lying dead in the woods. She takes all the pills she has in an attempt to stem the flow. She calls Henry’s phone, gets his voicemail (again), and leaves a message saying she’s coming over because she can’t be alone.

Gordon returns home while Henry’s taking a picture of the 1991 portrait of The Kid. They have a tense sort of stand-off and Henry offers to just leave and Gordon seems to agree that would be best. Henry backs out of the room just to be stabbed in the back by the wife who then proceeds to hack and slash at him with Gordon trying to provide back-up.

Photo Credit: Hulu

It’s almost a comedic episode of macabre. She accidentally stabs Gordon a little and then as Henry tries to deflect her knife away from him, she knicks her own carotid artery and falls back to bleed out on the floor of the bathroom. Henry runs out of the house, chased by a knife-wielding Gordon who tries to stab him through his open driver’s side window.

When that doesn’t work, Gordon opens the car door and pulls Henry out and tries to stab him to death on the ground. He’s only saved when Jackie plants an axe in Gordon’s skull.

Molly’s driving erratically down the road.

Wendall gets off his bus in the town of Jerusalem’s Lot, Maine (EASTER EGG ALERT) and starts walking the twenty-four miles back towards Castle Rock.

Photo Credit: Hulu

At the Lacy House, Henry’s a part of his second police crime scene of the day although Jackie’s doing most of the talking. (Another new random question: How did Jackie have time to get into the house to get the axe out of the head of the mannequin to use on Gordon?)

Molly arrives at the Deaver House but notices lights on in her childhood home across the street. She goes in and finds The Kid waiting for her. He insists that she can help him because Henry is “not ready yet” and she knows him.

At the crime scene, Henry answers a call from Rev. Appleton who says Ruth was in to see him and seemed confused before wandering off again. Henry gets in his car and leaves which is understandably problematic for the police on the scene.

Photo Credit: Hulu

Back at Molly’s place, The Kid has led her up to her childhood bedroom as he recounts what her room looked like then and what she used to do. Staring out the window together, he conversationally comments,”Out there, in the woods. That’s where you died.”

Castle Rock streams on Hulu with new episodes dropping every Wednesday.

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