Episode 3 of Castle Rock follows Molly Strand as she reconnects with Henry and attempts to make her big presentation on the local TV show Living Color. The biggest thing in Molly’s life, though, is her “undiagnosed psychic affliction”, as her unnamed sister put it. Like anyone with an unpredictable health condition, Molly does her best to cope with whatever life throws at her and the symptoms that brings on. Since science doesn’t have an answer for her (just as it doesn’t for so many of us), she turns to alternative treatments.
In addition to following the Psychic Adventures of Molly Strand, we also follow her psydekick and sometimes
adversary trigger, Henry Deaver, as he continues to stir up trouble in the Castle Rock vicinity. He finally meets the Kid face to face and officially becomes Kid’s attorney.
The jury’s still out on whether we should be rooting for Kid to go back into the cage or be freed into the wild. I’m currently thinking that the trinity of Henry, Molly and Kid together, with hands joined, will bring on the end of life as we know it. What we need to know now is, is Henry a good witch, or a bad witch, and what would the
post-apocalypse new world look like?
We know Molly’s power is good to neutral and Kid’s power is dark to neutral (no one can blame him for saving himself from his skinhead Roomie). Henry’s power amplifies Molly’s power and gets the biggest rise we’ve seen yet out of Kid. It has something to do with bringing the dead back, which, if controlled, might allow it to be used for healing.
Except this is Stephen King, who never allows powers to be controlled and used for good. So then, the three of them will be bringing on the zombie apocalypse. Got it. That would be why Dale severed his head. 😉
But before we raise the dead, let’s get inside Molly’s head. Or at least her memories, since we aren’t given a motive for her actions during the shocking cold open.
It’s 1991, the middle of the night. Henry is missing and Pastor Deaver is critically injured, but has been found and is being treated at home. Why aren’t his life-threatening injuries being treated in a hospital? That’s really good question.
Molly is awake and watching the Deaver house through her bedroom window. She has the radio on:
Six days into the search, authorities are increasingly doubtful that the 11 year old Deaver boy will be found alive. His father, Matthew Deaver, local reverend at Church of the Incarnation, is recovering from his injuries at home and is in stable condition. With highs still hovering around zero…
Molly leaves her house and walks over to Henry’s half-dressed and barefoot, despite the temperature being below zero. She uses the Deaver’s hidden spare key to go inside, then puts on the jacket that will eventually end up in her stalker box.
She goes upstairs to Ruth and Matthew’s bedroom, where Matthew is sleeping in a hospital bed. He’s attached to monitors and on life support, with a breathing tube attached to his trachea. Molly disconnects the tube, so that the machine is no longer breathing for Henry’s father. Matthew wakes up and tries to breathe, but quickly passes out. Ruth stirs in her sleep, but doesn’t wake up. Molly leaves. It was as if she was in a trance the whole time.
Adult Molly dreams that there’s snow in the Church of the Incarnation, which is set for a funeral. As Molly approaches the casket, Matthew appears suddenly
to give us a cheap thrill to question why Molly killed him. He asks, “Why? I was saved. My body fell to earth, my bones were broken, but I asked my Lord for mercy and he saved me. Who are you to overrule the will of my Lord? Friends, we have let a sinner into our house. [The church is suddenly full of people.] Behold, I will tell you a mystery. Not all will sleep, but all will be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised, imperishable, and we will all be changed.”
Sounds like zombies to me. Will they be sentient zombies or mindless? Fast or slow? Stay tuned. Either way, you can bet they’ll be evil.
Molly’s alarm goes off and she wakes up. Before she leaves for work, she takes a pill.
Henry browses through the newspaper at the bar/grill/bowling alley and notices an ad for Molly’s real estate business.
Molly is busy having a productive day. She’s explaining her detailed, well-thought out business strategy to Jackie Torrance, while putting the finishing touches on the diorama which shows her vision for a revitalized downtown. It sounds like she’d have a shot at success if she weren’t living in a quarantined H*llmouth zone.
Molly sends Jackie to the studio to drop off the diorama, giving her precise instructions. She’s completely together and prepared. Then she goes back inside to keep working.
Before long, Molly tenses up. After a moment, Henry walks in. She could sense him coming. Molly pretends that she doesn’t recognize Henry, and makes him introduce himself, probably hoping he’ll leave quickly.
She can’t concentrate on what he says out loud during their conversation because she’s overwhelmed by what’s she’s hearing from inside his head. He asks her to help with his mother’s house, since he’s decided Ruth needs fulltime care in a more consistent setting. Molly turns Henry down, using the excuse that she’s already overwhelmed with work and since they’re neighbors it’s a conflict of interest.
Henry is confused about what went wrong with such a simple business transaction, and asks Molly if it was something he said. Molly denies it, so Henry leaves. Then she remembers when they were kids and Henry was angrily burning a videotape to spite his dad. Molly asked Henry if he wanted to see her room. Once they get there, Henry tells her that his dad is making him go to Catholic school and isn’t his real father. Molly isn’t surprised.
Then Molly gets serious.
Molly: I know what you do in your room. Touching your thingy. Feels like fireworks.
Henry: I ain’t never…
Molly: I can’t explain it, but I can hear what you’re thinking and feeling. When you’re brushing your teeth, and when you’re out in the woods, it’s like I’m out there with you.
Henry looks mesmerized by what she’s saying, like he’s drawn in by the idea of someone knowing and understanding him so completely.
But they’re interrupted by Matthew, who apparently lived to ruin the fun of his entire family. Mathew calls for Henry to come home. It sounds like he’s a strict parent. Henry clenches his fist and so does Molly.
Present day Molly wakes up from her daydream. She takes another pill. That’s 2 whole pills so far today, instead of the 1/2 pill per day she told her sister she gets by on.
Boyd and Zalewski discuss what they’re each going to do with the
bribe bonus checks that the prison is giving the employees. Everyone is getting a substantial payoff to remind them to keep quiet about Kid.
Kid is eating lunch in the prison cafeteria, but he’s a picky eater who only wants one food, Wonder Bread. He slowly gets up and walks toward one side of the room. Boyd and Zalewski rush to stop him. Zalewski realizes that Kid is staring at the photo on the wall of Dale Lacy. He whispers to Kid that Henry has scheduled a hearing so that Kid can get out, but Kid has to help himself, too, by behaving.
Zalewski meets Henry outside of town to report on Kid. Kid barely sleeps, walks in little circles for exercise, and only eats Wonder Bread. The COs call him Nick at Nite after Nick Cage and because they watch him at night on the video monitors.
They talk about what Zalewski can gather for evidence to help at the hearing, and what he needs to get Kid to talk to him about. Zalewski brings up a legal term, Burden of Proof, meaning the necessity of providing enough evidence to prove the claims that have been made in a court of law. He says that he’s considering going to law school when they’re done with this and hopes Henry will write him a reference. Henry seems lukewarm on the idea.
There could be a lot of reasons for Henry’s reaction that have more to do with Henry or with being an attorney than they do with Zalewski, but Zalewski takes it as a rejection. If it was a rejection, it was a lousy move on Henry’s part.
When Molly returns home to her big, old, country farmhouse, the door is open and the house has been trashed. Jackie comes over to help clean up. Molly goes to her basement, to check on the Stalker Box. It’s been assaulted, but it will live.
Jackie follows her and picks up Henry’s “Missing” poster. She’s excited to discover that Molly was such a close witness to the action and tries to question her, but Molly encourages Jackie to go home.
Later, Molly tries on outfits and practices for her Living Color interview, but she’s still haunted by the memory of Matthew’s death. When she goes to take another pill, her envelope is empty, so she’s off to the
pharmacy teenage drug dealer, Dean, who’s currently using a mini blow torch to make s’mores.
Dean is having supply issues because his supplier/grandmother had a gout flare up and couldn’t make her scheduled delivery. Always good to see a multigenerational family operation. Dean is a good guy and suggests that Molly try a rival child-run organization at the Timberland Motor Court. Ask for Derek.
This is usually the time when I remind characters that they’re in a horror story.
Henry walks home, again, up the hill past Molly’s house, to his family home, which manages to look more derelict and evil each time we’re shown the same exterior shot.
Either Molly or Henry remember a time when Henry carved and lit a jack o’lantern. When he burned his fingers on the match, Molly felt it too, from across the street.
Molly remembers what she experienced through Henry when he was out in the woods with his dad the night Matthew was injured. They are walking through snowy, moonlit woods, with Matthew in front of Henry. Matthew turns to Henry and says, “Do you hear it?” A few more steps. “Do you hear it now?”
Get the phone commercial out of your head.
Molly is so in tune with Henry that her breath is frosted, as if she were breathing frigid air, too. Next, Matthew has disappeared and is calling Henry’s name, while we see Henry running. Matthew’s voice sounds sharp, but not injured. Matthew’s voice always sounds sharp, though.
Molly pulls up at the Timberland Motor Court for a little Lord of the Flies adventure. It’s very dark out, but a little blonde girl, of the sort who’s required to appear in these productions and either become dead or evil or both, is playing alone in the front yard. Molly asks where Derek the dealer is, and the girl points.
Molly finds a child-run night court with all of the participants wearing crude masks. If that doesn’t give you the creeps, you have no soul. We all know these scenes exist to put all adults to death. Sure enough, they quickly force Molly to sit down and shut up, then find her guilty of murder. The children all chant, “Guilty, guilty, guilty!”
It’s a great sales tactic for Derek’s business, I’m sure. It turns out he’s the judge. Molly is sentenced to the Death House, which is coincidentally where Derek lives and keeps his stash.
The other kids don’t know about the drug business. They’re in fake law enforcement for personal fulfillment. Also, their dads are all at the prison and their moms are all drunk. It’s not clear how many dads are guards and how many are inmates. That’s probably somewhat fluid anyway.
It’s just not Molly’s day to stock up on alternative treatments for her undiagnosed psychic affliction. Police sirens can be heard before Molly and Derek have a chance to complete their transaction.
Henry visits the police station the next morning to investigate the contents of the warden’s car and whatever DNA samples were found in the car when it was found in the lake. But the police didn’t bother to take any samples or do any investigating, because it was a suicide. No one is interested in investigating a case like the Kid’s, which might implicate the prison, the town’s only major employer, so Henry will have to attempt to get a court order.
Before he leaves, Henry hears the officers discussing Molly, who’s been held overnight. He takes her case and bails her out. As they walk to the impound lot to get her car, he explains that she’ll have to pay a fine and whatever it costs to set her car free. His fee is normally $700, but he’ll let her talk him down to paying for his breakfast.
Molly interrupts him and tries to make it just business again. She assures him that she’ll compensate him for his time, but they can’t do this. He’s still confused, so she tries to explain her undiagnosed psychic affliction to him.
Molly: I have a medical condition.
Molly: I feel things.
Henry: People do that.
Molly: No. I feel things that other people are feeling, And some people are louder than others. OK, you know when you get a song stuck in your head, and you can’t think about anything else? What you were doing 5 minutes ago, what you wanted for dinner. All you can think about is the f**king Bee Gees or whatever. When we were kids, you were that song for me. And I’m not saying you’re a bad song. You’re a very handsome song, and charming and smart and you dress better than the rest of the songs in this town. But…
Henry: Yesterday you barely remembered my name.
Molly: That was a lie. I was lying. Things happen when we’re together and it can be overwhelming. And sometimes I lose track of myself. And I cannot afford to do that again. I had a very important day today.
Somewhere in the middle of that speech, Henry interjected, “When we’re…?” He doesn’t remember them being close at all, so their friendship ended when he lost his memories. By the time she’s admitting that she loses track of herself, he has the same look on his face that he did as a kid. He might not believe what she’s saying, but he’s all in for having her attention.
Meanwhile, Molly’s still talking, explaining about the yarn mill and Local Color and revitalizing the town and taking over the world and prostitutes who can unhinge their jaws like pythons. Which has got to be a lucrative skill, even if it’s just for winning bar bets, just saying. It seems that as long as she keeps talking and keeps her eye on the prize, Molly can keep him out of her head, but she hasn’t noticed that yet.
Henry finally hears some actionable information and gets her down to the TV station in time for Living Color. You thought I meant he’d do something about the python jaw, didn’t you?
While Molly’s in hair and makeup, Henry talks on the phone with a contact about Kid’s case. Molly hears it all, and more, on their special channel, so she can’t think about what she needs to say in her interview. Henry stands just off camera to watch while she’s on the air, still overwhelming her mind.
She puts on her blue blocker glasses to get a little clarity, which allows her at least get something out. But what she says is that Castle Rock needs to change because there’s a kid being held at the prison without due process, plus there’s been a pattern of abuse there that’s lasted decades. Thanks to Henry’s proximity, she doesn’t get much of her own message out at all.
As she drives him home, Henry admits that Kid could actually have a criminal record they don’t know about. Talking about his case in the press was a risky move, but he appreciates her trying to help. Molly says she knows.
Henry also says that he doesn’t know how she knows so much about his client. He didn’t believe anything she told him about his effect on her, of course. There’s a lot that he avoids thinking very hard about because he doesn’t want to know the answers he’d have to face.
Henry gets another call from the prison, asking him to meet with the warden again. She saw Molly’s interview and knows she needs to cover her butt. Or make another first impression. Henry notes that she’s acknowledging his client exists. In response, she hands him the expected settlement offer ($300k, the state maximum allowed, according to the warden) with a non disclosure agreement and statement that the corporation, the prison, and their employees don’t admit to any wrongdoing and that by accepting the check Kid gives up the right to sue them in the future.
Henry looks it over, and says that it’s an indemnification instead of a settlement- a compensation for losses according to an agreed upon contract, rather than a negotiated legal agreement to settle a lawsuit. In other words, the warden wants to pretend that we’re all friends here and no one has done anything wrong or needs to be compensated for intangibles such as pain and suffering. This is just a business arrangement to compensate Kid for his time. No hard feelings.
Then she basically says that Lacy was acting as a private citizen and had nothing to do with the prison. Funny how the Kid was held captive on their property, within their facility, though, and no one ever noticed. Pretty sure that’s some kind of negligence at the very least.
Porter ups the ante by telling Henry that the longer they have custody of Kid, the greater the odds that they can prove he’s actually a criminal who belongs there. She finds that there are very few people on the inside who don’t belong there, no matter how they got there.
Does that include the employees?
It’s an obvious threat to create a criminal record.
Henry let’s her know that the toothpaste commercial reference she made at the beginning of the conversation was actually a dandruff commercial. And now he’d like to finally speak directly to his client, thanks.
Henry and Kid talk in a visitor booth with glass between them and a direct phone line to talk through. Kid says, “You’re Deaver,” again when he sees Henry. Henry tells Kid that their new strategy is for Kid to keep his name a secret so that the warden can’t “discover” charges against him. Kid shouldn’t tell anyone his name, even Henry.
Kid doesn’t respond directly to Henry’s comments. He stares intensely at Henry, then asks if it’s begun. Henry tells him that their new strategy has begun. I don’t think that’s the strategy Kid means.
Henry goes on to explain the rest of the legal strategy and status- the hearing, the settlement offer, the likely outcome and plan to sue the prison. He tells Kid that by the time they’re done, Kid will own the whole county and can use the prison as a boat garage.
Kids gets slightly excited and says, “Boats?” Then he asks, “How many years old are you now?” Henry answers, “39.” Kid says, “Do you hear it now?”
That’s what Matthew kept asking Henry the night of his accident. Were they listening for something on the lake?
The guard tells them that their time is up. In the surveillance room, Zalewski watches them both leave.
Molly gets home that night, and finds her house a mess again, or still a mess. She’s worried that someone is there, then hears noises upstairs. She goes up to investigate, carrying a large kitchen knife with her. The house is empty, until she turns around and sees a vision of a man with bloody bandages around his head and face, holding a giant executioners axe. He says, “Behold I will tell you a mystery.” Then he’s gone.
I’m going to guess that it’s begun, since Molly doesn’t seem used to finding ghosts in her house. Whether she’s creating them or the house is, this is a new development.
Jackie wishes Molly would hire her as a full time assistant. Does Jackie have a purpose in this story beyond eye candy and occasional plucky comic relief?
Kid asks about Henry’s age like he’s comparing the rates they’ve aged at or something similar. We really need a backstory on Henry beyond “weird orphan taken in by kindly minister and his wife who may or may not have turned on them and/or been abused by them.”
Molly’s house is so old that it has a fieldstone foundation. That’s at least 100 years of memories, ghosts and crimes stored in the house to haunt her nightmares. Matthew said “Behold, I will tell you a mystery.” in Molly’s nightmare. Was the ghost at the end of the episode Matthew? It’s probably related to Henry being with Kid, and Kid stirring Henry up. Both Kid and the ghost repeated Matthew’s words. And what was the deal with the boats?
I don’t think the psychic exchange between Henry and Molly is just Molly acting as a receiver. They’re stuck in a feedback loop, or communicating subconsciously. It may have been more overt before Henry lost his memories, and that’s what the look on his face in the flashback meant. They might have gotten together briefly, too, before Henry lost his memories. It doesn’t look like there was much time between when she told him her secret and when his father died, but it’s hard to tell with so little information and child actors who are the same age, no matter the scene.
When Henry suddenly lost his memories of her and their friendship/relationship, it must have been hard for Molly to lose the one person she could be herself with and be close to. We’ve seen that she’s not close to her family either. Henry took the part of her that felt safe and comfortable with him, when he ran away from his own mind.
That would also give her a motive to want to hurt Matthew Deaver and to be psychically open to the influence of someone else’s murderous thoughts toward him. Whatever else happened that night, we know that it was Matthew who took Henry out to the woods.
Matthews speech in Molly’s dream is made up of bible verses and references to bible verses, which argues for it to be memories or his ghost speaking to her. She doesn’t seem like the type to memorize long passages from the bible and then have nightmares about them.
The first half of the nightmare speech, where Matthew complains to Molly that she had no right to undo what he refers to as essentially a resurrection, uses language found throughout the New Testament, and especially in the book of Matthew, to describe the times that Jesus brought people back from the dead.
The second half, when Matthew scolds Molly in front of the congregation, is I Corinthians 15:51-52, referring to the end of days when all Christians, those still living and those who have died, will be brought back and made immortal.
So, more references to the dead coming back and being unkillable.
Is Matthew warning Molly?
Is Kid asking if the dead are coming back to life yet?
Season 2 will be centered on the Timberland Motor Court, for sure.
Images courtesy of Hulu.