In episode 6, the title, Filter, refers to the filtering of information and the filters we perceive things through. Half-truths abound and information is withheld, dispensed only on a need to know basis. Sometimes, as in the case of Molly, Ruth and Henry, it’s the person’s own mind that provides the filter. Alan sadly becomes so desperate to help Ruth that he forgets his usual common sense and uses a different filter when he accepts the Kid’s offer of help. Henry takes a walk in the woods to try to understand what he and his father were up to before his father’s death, and meets someone with a whole new perspective on filters.
The Kid begins to settle into the town, which goes about as well as it went at the prison. No one is taking warning signs, like dead birds dropping out of the sky, seriously. This looks like the beginning of the horror story mass hysteria that the Kid’s powers will induce.
The episode begins with Matthew Deaver’s reburial funeral, attended solely by Henry and the new pastor. The town must have gotten over their decades long obsession with Matthew’s death, with Henry as his assumed murderer. You’d think the return of the prodigal preacher, with his scandalous son standing by, would be something they wouldn’t want to miss.
Pastor reads 1 Corinthians 15:51-54: Behold I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, and we will be changed. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised, imperishable, and we will all be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable put on the imperishable and this mortal put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written- Death is swallowed up in Victory.
Pastor: Lord, we commit…recommit this vessel to the earth. Matthew, wherever you are, our hearts will visit you here.
Then he asks if Henry has anything to say. Henry simply adds, “Bye, Dad.”
Henry can’t come up with any flowery words for a father he doesn’t remember. He’s also hearing a loud ringing in his ear off and on. Two men watch the funeral from a distance, then take off in an RV before Henry can talk to them.
Intercut with the funeral are shots of Kid going through everything stored in the barn. He finds old video recordings of Henry and boxes of Matthew’s old clothes. He puts on one of Matthew’s old suits.
Alan visits Kid in the barn to tell him that whatever Kid wanted has been sold to a yard in Syracuse. Kid tells Alan to go to Syracuse, and says that
Alan’s too stupid to understand why Kid needs this item he can’t put his plan in words Alan would understand. Kid tells the sheriff to hurry along, because, “Time is Ruth’s enemy.”
Once he gets rid of Alan, Kid takes some vinyl up to the big house to play on Ruth’s record player. He puts on The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore) by The Walker Brothers, and goes up to Ruth’s bedroom to play house. He looks at himself in the full length mirror and lies down on the bed. Is he soaking up Matthew’s essence, or preparing to take over the house?
Ruth gets asked regurgitate five words in her hospital evaluation, just like Kid and Henry, but we don’t get to hear her words. Then Alan drops her off at home, alone with Kid, and runs off to Syracuse, which is an 8-10 hour drive away, depending on traffic. Gosh, could Kid be trying to get rid of the sheriff for the day? If you were Kid, what would you have said when the desperate, drunk guy, who left you in Lacy’s trunk, was pointing his gun at you at point-blank range?
If I were Kid, I think I’d have a little rage to work out.
When Alan drops Ruth off, he tells her that after he gets back neither of them are going anywhere. Ruth says that she just needs a system, then goes inside and contemplates her chess set. Someone will die from that chess set eventually. Or the answer to the meaning of life is hidden inside, or something. They get more attention than Jane Levy, who was supposed to be one of the stars.
Henry picks up his son, Wendell, at the bus stop. Wendell barely looks up from playing games on his phone long enough to acknowledge Henry. He also criticizes the Grant Fuhr hockey poster hanging on the wall in Henry’s bedroom, which is NOT OKAY. Henry retaliates by being clueless about Wendell’s games. Clearly these two have nothing in common and barely know each other. The point is further driven home when Henry thanks Wendell for coming to visit his grandmother. They are coldly stiff and formal with each other, without any sign of affection.
Henry decides it’s time for lunch. They stop to get Ruth from her bedroom on their way. When they open her door, she’s standing in the middle of the room, looking to the side. She turns to look at them with a strange, almost guilty, smile, then turns back to the side again after they leave. Is Kid still in the room? Maybe he’s napping on the bed and she doesn’t know how to handle it? Maybe she thinks he’s a hallucination.
Molly’s in her yarn mill office trying to lease a house to a client over the phone when Matthew Deaver’s ghost appears to her, standing outside the window. She notices that she’s getting low on pills again. Every client we hear her work with is worried about the town’s reputation for violence and supernatural events.
Could Matthew be trying to warn her?
The Deavers are preparing their lunch when Kid appears outside the kitchen window. Ruth is spooked, confusing him with Matthew. She’s sure they buried Matthew in the suit Kid’s wearing. Henry goes outside to talk to Kid, calling the hospital to check on the wait list status as he goes.
He finds Kid back in the barn, watching old videos of Henry’s childhood. The tape switches from innocuous play to a recording of Henry and Matthew in the woods. Henry swiftly turns it off, then tells Kid there’s an opening for him at Juniper Hill.
When they arrive at Juniper Hill, a bird dive bombs them as it drops dead a few feet away. Somebody mentions that this is the second time that’s happened recently. Kid stares at Henry, willing him to understand the signal, but Henry has spent his entire life honing his ability to ignore the creepy signals in Castle Rock.
That evening, Wendell asks Henry how old he was he was adopted, and about his “real” parents. Henry says that he was 5. The Deavers had a stillborn baby who died during labor and decided to adopt rather than try again. He shuts down the questions about his birth parents by saying that Ruth and Matthew are his “real” parents. He shuts out Wendell at the same time, who was actually trying to get to know his father better, and learn something about himself and his family. Henry would rather maintain a perpetual distance from everyone than face whatever the monsters are in his past. Plus, Henry only knows what he’s been told about these memories. It’s odd that Wendell apparently doesn’t know that.
Henry checks on Ruth next, making sure that she took her pills. He asks her what he and Matthew did in the woods. She genially lists normal activities like camping and fishing, then laughs that she had to teach him how to do half of it. Henry asks if his father ever talked about listening for a sound in the woods. Ruth, who’s been lucid up to this point, becomes defensive and confused, then says Henry should go ask his father. Henry gives up and leaves her.
The next morning, Henry stands in the backyard and looks out into the woods. He has flashes of memory. Matthew tells him, “Now we have to try really hard this time. Really hard, son. Lead the way. Do you hear something? Do you hear something?” Henry walks ahead of Matthew, presumably following the sounds in his ears.
Henry hears Jackie putting up a realty sign in front of Molly’s parents’ house. He asks her if Molly’s there. He finds Molly on the back porch and tells her about his confusion. Molly tells him that he hated his father. She says that she could feel his feelings that night in the woods. He was afraid, then relieved.
Henry is skeptical. Molly explains that Henry wanted Matthew dead, so she went to his parents’ room and pulled out Matthew’s breathing tube. She says that it felt like she was in Henry’s dream. She doesn’t remember going over to the room, and for a long time she thought maybe it was a dream. But it was real.
Henry doesn’t want to believe it. He insists that Matthew died from his injuries. Molly tells him, again, that Matthew died because it was what Henry wanted. They killed him together. He killed Matthew through her. It was as if both of their hands were there that night.
Henry was not ready to hear her confession. He tells her she’s crazy and storms away.
Alan goes to the junkyard in Syracuse. Why a junkyard in Syracuse, when there are probably a minimum of 10 cities closer to Castle Rock with junkyards? You’d have to ask the writers, then ask why Alan didn’t find it odd that the car isn’t in a junkyard in Maine. Maybe it’s a special model Lincoln that someone in Syracuse had to have.
Henry leaves Ruth and Wendell alone at home. Ruth is contemplating her chess pieces again. Wendell asks what her deal is, and she offers to share a secret, if he’ll keep his mouth shut. Who could resist that offer?
She explains that she’s become unstuck in time. She no longer simply moves forward. She never knows what memory she’ll find herself in. The neurologist told her to find a coping mechanism. The chess pieces are part of her system. If she’s lost in a memory of the past, but finds one of the pieces, then she knows it’s now, not then. They’re her breadcrumbs back to the present day. She keeps one in each room of the house, so she doesn’t wander too far.
Henry takes his father’s old camcorder and uses it to play the tape of himself in the woods that Kid was playing. He follows the same path, until the battery runs out on the camera. Then he wanders, lost, in the woods for hours. He has no cell signal and has forgotten everything he was ever taught about navigating outdoors. While he wanders, he hears more of the haunting, moaning sounds that sound like tinnitus when they’re softer.
Alan finds what he’s looking for in the Syracuse junkyard, Lacy’s suicide Lincoln, but it’s been sold to someone else. When he can’t convince the manager to sell to him instead, he pulls out his gun and forces the guy to make the transaction. Shades of Zalewski.
On the car radio, a news report announces that there was a fire at Juniper Hills which has killed 6 patients and 8 staff. Four patients escaped in the chaos and are considered dangerous to themselves and others. Back in Castle Rock, Ruth drops a bottle of pills on the kitchen floor. While she’s collecting the scattered pills, Kid returns to the house. He walks in the back door like he lives there, hanging up his jacket and leaving his shoes by the door.
Henry eventually stumbles upon a young man sitting at a campfire. There are two pokers heating up in the fire. The man startles and grabs one of the pokers, using it to threaten Henry. Another man comes out of the shadows, clapping to get the attention of the other two. He signs, and Willie translates, “Willie frightens easily.” The older, deaf man is Odin Branch, while the younger man is Willie, Odin’s interpreter and protegé. Odin signs that if Henry speaks carefully, Odin can read his lips.
Henry tells them he remembers seeing them at the cemetery. Odin says that the funeral should have been in the woods, since this was Matthew’s real church. Henry asks how they knew his father. Odin explains that they shared an interest in spirituality, philosophy, physics, and acoustics. They are in the woods tonight listening, and to correct Willie.
When Henry asks what they’re listening to, Odin speaks, using his voice for the first time, saying, “The Voice of God.” That’s the way Matthew thought of it. It’s a phenomenon that is heard by some people, to varying degrees, in some places. The ancients called it the music of the spheres, but Odin calls it by its scientific name, the nature of the schisma.
Odin has advanced degrees in bio and psychoacoustics. He believes the schisma is caused by “nanoscale turbulences caused by cochlear quantum totalities abrading in parallel. Other ears, other nows. All possible pasts, all possible presents. Schisma is the sound of the universe trying to reconcile them.”
Odin asks if Henry has ever had a ringing in the ears, since that’s what the schisma sounds like to most people. People’s perception of the schisma can come and go, like ringing in the ears, but the schisma itself is eternal and permeates all of space-time. It’s been getting louder, rising to levels that it hasn’t reached in decades. Even when the schisma is loud it can be difficult to hear amidst the noises of the world, so some people correct their hearing to block out all other sounds but the schisma.
Odin: During the last amplitude crest your father conceived a device…He compared it to the schematics Noah was dictated from God. He called it the Filter. Of course, he never got the chance to build it. Fortunately, I did.
Odin brings Henry into the RV to show him the Filter. It’s a closet with textured foam acoustic panels all over the walls, ceiling and floor. Odin says that it’s an anechoic chamber with custom modifications. “The wedges are a low density polyurethane foam. This shape provides an optimal impedance gradient for sound waves. Inside this chamber is total silence, perhaps the only total silence on earth.”
Henry questions why the soundproof booth would be necessary, since he can already hear the schisma. Odin tells him that he can barely hear the schisma now. What can be heard in the Filter is pure truth. He encourages Henry to try the Filter out, but Henry refuses.
Odin tries again, suggesting that Henry doesn’t know who he really is as a person, and is searching for something. He says that Henry’s relationship with his son is shallow because of this. But the schisma will allow Henry to know himself more deeply. This makes Henry curious, and he goes closer to the booth.
Odin explains that he can hear only the schisma now, since he corrected himself. Tonight, they plan to correct Willie, so that he can have the same profound experience.
That’s what the hot pokers in the fire were for. Willie has looked a little ill the entire time. This explains why. You have to wonder if Willie is doing this completely voluntarily.
Henry, now standing inside the Filter, looks at Odin and says, “You made yourself deaf?” Odin speaks out loud and says, “Not deaf, perfect!” Then he slams the door shut on Henry, locking him in the Filter.
The schisma becomes almost unbearably loud. Henry also starts having memory flashes. It’s not clear how much of his memory returns, but it looks like a substantial amount, including memories from before his adoption by the Deavers.
Alan pulls into Ruth’s driveway and finds Kid sitting on the front stoop with his arm bleeding. Kid says, “There will be a monument to Warden Lacy…To everyone who helped put me in that cage.”
Alan starts panicking and reminding Kid that he said he’d help Ruth. Then he notices the blood dripping from Kid’s hand. Kid says, “Why would you leave me in that trunk, sheriff?” He sits, staring straight ahead, with his hand shaking, as Alan races indoors. Inside Alan finds a disaster, with a hot pan on a still-lit burner and a path of destruction through the house.
The bible verses from Matthew’s funeral redux are ironically the zombie verses, which talk about Jesus’ return, and the dead rising to become immortal, while the living are also changed into immortals. When I see those verses, all I can ever think of is Hershel on The Walking Dead referring to them and saying that he didn’t think that this was what the Lord had in mind. However, most zombies do fit the criteria as laid out in the verses, and so does the version of Matthew Deaver that’s haunting Molly. Who knows what the show and Kid have in mind for the dead who rise again. They did just tell us that death and victory will be closely connected, so we’ll have the standard season ending blood bath.
Also, maybe Kid isn’t a devil. Maybe he’s a version of Death. Wendell repeats the line Death is swallowed up in Victory, just before Kid appears to Ruth in the kitchen window. I’m not sure what that verse will mean in this context, especially combined with the Count of Monte Cristo reference from last week. The Count does, in a sense, rise from the dead, and from the underground, just as Kid did. He devotes himself to achieving victory/revenge over his enemies, while learning that victory can be hollow, when it’s placed above everything else in life.
Henry fits in here somewhere as well. He also came back from the dead when he returned after being missing for 11 days, and there are those flashback images of him being held, caged, in a basement. He and Molly achieved victory over his father. But his father also comes back from the dead to haunt Molly. And it looks like Henry is facing another death in the RV closet, either symbolic or real. If his captors think he killed Matthew, they may try to kill him out of revenge.
Henry and Kid have a strong connection, we just don’t know what it is yet. Is it supernatural, or a shared history? Were they in the basement cages together? Kid goes to great lengths to avoid touching Henry, while he’s absorbing everything he can about Matthew. I’m starting to wonder if Henry’s touch would be damaging to Kid, or if Kid is just saving Henry for last.
Matthew called the schisma the Voice of God, but in the quote from Corinthians, it’s the trumpet sounding, the sound that will blend the timelines and change people, bringing souls back from the dead. The ancients called it the music of the spheres, and Kid is becoming associated with music, especially Matthew’s old music.
Lacy and Matthew seem more and more like John the Baptist or Noah figures, sent to fulfill God’s instructions, but not particularly special themselves. Noah paved the way for an apocalypse and John the Baptist prepared the world for the Messiah. So- Lacy as Noah and Matthew as John the Baptist? Both compared themselves to Noah while they were living. That goes back to the theory that the former kids are really the horsemen of the apocalypse.
Kid hasn’t aged in 27 years, and keeping him underground, away from the sun, weakened his power and took away his memories. Is he something akin to a vampire?
Is the “remember 5 words” test part of some amazing new assessment or therapy method I’m not aware of? This show is obsessed with it. I wouldn’t have been able to do it even when I was young, since my auditory memory has always been terrible.
Kid appears in Ruth’s window wearing Matthew’s suit at the same time that Matthew appears in Molly’s window. Coincidence or not? Is Kid controlling Matthew’s ghost, or has he gotten inside Molly’s mind?
Did Matthew want to adopt Henry specifically because of his hearing issues? Was he looking for a child with tinnitus? Or did he get involved with the schisma after they adopted Henry and he learned about Henry’s ability?
Last episode, Lacy told Kid that God dictated to him how to build Kid’s cage, the way that He told Noah to build the ark. Lacy built the cage and kept Kid there for 27 years, until Lacy felt he was too old to care for Kid anymore, and he was being forced into retirement.
This episode, we discover that approximately 28 years ago, Matthew Deaver designed a small room with a door that locks from the outside using specifications given to him by God in a way that he compared to God dictating to Noah. Given his intense focus on Henry and the schisma, I think it’s safe to say that he intended to put Henry in the box.
Unlike Kid, Henry escaped his fate because he and Molly killed Matthew. Now, Lacy set Kid free and told him to ask for Henry Deaver. Kid made sure that Henry saw the tapes of himself and Matthew in the woods, and has been impersonating Matthew. Kid effectively sent Henry toward the Filter, on Lacy’s instructions, to complete Matthew’s mission from God.
Did Henry lose his memories because he was out of sync with the cycle of the schisma? Things must have gone so wrong in the woods when Matthew was injured and Henry was lost that no one could build the Filter and get Henry into it until this amplitude. Was Orin in the woods the night of Matthew’s accident?
Anechoic chambers are a real thing. Anechoic means echo-free or non-echoing. The Guinness Book of World Records has a designation for the Quietest Place on Earth, currently held by an anechoic chamber in a Microsoft lab in Redmond, Washington with a measurement of -20.6 dBA. The previous record holder, Orfield Labs in Minnesota, measures -9.4dBA. No one has been able to stand the extreme silence (and darkness) inside for more than 45 minutes. The brain and ears use environmental sounds for orientation, so people become severely disoriented the longer they spend in absolute silence. People have been known to hallucinate, become anxious, sick or paranoid after spending too long in extreme silence.
Never mind the schisma. The extreme silence and darkness of the Filter might be enough to send Henry over the edge or trigger the return of his memories. The Kid was also essentially kept in a dark, silent place for decades. That type of sensory deprivation sounds like the kind of event that could trigger the manifestation of latent powers.
In real life, schisma is a musical term for a very, very small interval. In the show, it seems to be the vibrations of the multiverse, with each timeline and universe acting as a string on a cosmic violin. There is a membrane between the timelines and universes that varies in thickness. The timelines/universes rest on top of and inside of one another, in different dimensions. When the membrane becomes thin enough, the vibrations are louder, and, in most mythologies, the membrane can be crossed, though we don’t know about this one yet. Odin seems to be suggesting that the membrane is exceptionally thin in those woods.
Are Henry and Kid drawn back to Castle Rock because the membrane is going through a season of exceptional thinning, or are they the cause of the thinning? Molly says that Henry is a broadcaster. When she listened to Kid, I’m not sure we heard any of his words, only the words of others. Is he a black hole, sucking in the energy that crosses his path, while Henry is a bright star, releasing energy, sometimes even too much energy? I just can’t get past the feeling that they’re two sides of the same coin, and Molly is meant to stand between them and modulate their power somehow.
Then there’s Kid’s statement of, “I remember” at the end of episode 5. But what did he remember? Right now, it seems as though he might have remembered Matthew’s life, rather than his own.
Some other sites have posted great articles on the schisma, including theories about what it means in the grand scheme of the show:
What Does the Schisma Mean in Castle Rock?
What’s Henry Hearing on Castle Rock? The Schisma Could Be Connected to Another Stephen King Work
Do the concepts of the schisma and the Filter and the science behind them qualify Castle Rock for the science fiction genre? What do you think?
Images courtesy of Hulu.
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