So…The Kid’s name isn’t Matthew Deaver Jr, but he is Ruth and Matthew’s son, the alternate timeline counterpart of the baby who died in this timeline. Instead, he’s named Henry, and has lived a life that mirrors the Henry Deaver from this timeline in many ways. We were given both Kid’s memories and the other Henry’s missing experiences this episode, though not because Andre Holland’s Henry remembered them. Our Henry is exceedingly stubborn. I’m beginning to think he might never accept what he remembered in the anechoic chamber as his real memories.
And I’m beginning to think we might never find out for sure who the girl on the rooftop in the series main graphic is, though we were given some good clues in this episode. Is it Ruth? Is it the 200 year old ghost of a French settler turned cannibal? Is it Ruth possessed by a cannibal ghost? Is it some version of Molly? Or the girl who was slicing her own wrists inside the portal? Stay tuned for the season finale.
Much of this episode is narrated by alternate timeline Matthew Deaver’s voice from the recordings he made over the 27+ years he kept our Henry captive in a cage in his basement in the spooky Victorian house the Deaver’s call home. He recorded at least 1,437 mini cassette tapes of his thoughts on God, the devil, Castle Rock, and Henry. One a week for all of those years. He must have continued writing and delivering sermons after he left the church, even though there was no one to hear them but Henry and the recorder.
Matthew’s thoughts often mirror Dale Lacy’s letter to Alan Pangborn, sometimes word for word. This Matthew didn’t die when Henry was 11. He was abandoned by his wife and son, left alone for his insanity to grow unfettered. But, like Lacy, he still had an early, defining brush with death, he still prayed for God to use him as a faithful servant, and he was still instructed by God, or so he assumed, to build a cage to keep a young man in a dark hole for decades instead of helping the traveler find the portal that would take him back to his own timeline.
For the last few episodes, I’ve been contemplating the issue of whose voice Lacy, and now Alt Matthew Deaver, are hearing, and Alt Matthew’s thoughts confirm it for me. He and Lacy aren’t hearing the Voice of God. They’re hearing the voice of something evil. God or any other benign entity would send instructions on how to use the schisma portals to get everyone who’s out of place back where they belong.
It’s an evil energy or entity that’s telling them to lock the lost travelers in the wrong timeline. That’s telling these men to put them underground so that the out of place Henry’s aren’t sending out massive amounts of disruptive energy. But the Henry’s are still causing low level disturbances, since their innate life energy vibrates on a different frequency from the timeline they’re in.
The energy that vibrates on a different frequency would clash with the vibrations around it. It would be out of sync with everything else in the alternate timeline, so anything from the wrong timeline will feel wrong, and cause psychological and physical symptoms eventually, just like other sorts of energy waves do. That’s why both Lacy and Deaver eventually off themselves.
The two Henry’s are trapped in a time loop, stuck together, forced to alternate between each other’s realities. They trade between timelines every 27 years and the disruptive, wrong energy each brings from the alternate timeline drives people to madness and murder. Up until now, our Castle Rock has felt the worst of the madness brought on by the portal in the woods. I have a feeling Molly’s death and Kid’s disappearance will trigger terrible things there. We don’t know if this is the first time around the loop, but things Ruth has said suggest it isn’t.
Ruth is part of the key to solving this. Kid/Henry knows she needs to be protected. She’s a timewalker and the chess queen, who can move in any direction. Can she move easily between the timelines, and in and out of the portal, once she opens herself to it? She’s been so closed to the schisma up until now that she can shut it off completely. What if she tries to open it up wide?
Odin is dead, but what happened to Young Willie? Did he enter the portal the same way Henry did? Now it looks like Matthew could have been injured by one of the many murderers in the portal instead of pushed by Henry. Maybe Willie was also able to open the up portal when he got scared enough, before the correction, and one of the murderers killed Odin as well. Is Willie stuck in the portal itself, in another timeline, or hiding in the woods?
Odin said that the timelines are trying to realign themselves. Does that mean that they want to vibrate into a place where the timelines merge into one? Is that what the evil entity is trying to stop?
Or is our Henry really the problem? We still don’t know his true origin. He was adopted by Ruth and Mathew from a foster home when he was 5 years old. Where was he before that? Could he have come through the portals before? Could he be from a third timeline and be out of place in this timeline too?
He has the power to open the portal at will, unlike anyone else so far. Molly said that he’s a loud broadcaster unlike anyone else. How many times has he been through the portal? How many loops has he been through? How many realities has he been stuck in? Is he the real time walker, but he doesn’t know it?
And what about Kid? There are a few off details in his story, mostly to do with numbers and dates. I think most of the story is the truth, but there’s something he’s changed about it, too. Could he be adopted, as well? Is he also out of place, even in his “home” timeline? Or was his life not as peachy as he leads us to believe? Alt Matthew taught both Henry’s to carve figurines, at least one while he was locked up in the basement. He told us that while Kid was investigating the cage. Did Alt Matthew lock Kid in a cage or a closet sometimes, too? Or is Alan the issue? He was both Lacy and Matthew’s accomplice in terrorizing the Henry’s in this timeline. What happened in that timeline? Where is Odin Branch in the alt timeline, another terrorizer of young men?
The episode begins with Matthew Deaver echoing Dale Lacy’s words about the unspecified evil that resides in Castle Rock and drives its residents to commit unspeakable acts. Dale Lacy described the suicide of his brother as the point at which he felt the darkness invaded him. Matthew Deaver was infected much earlier.
When I was a boy, my mother told me a story about resurrection. She was young, alone and convinced the devil had ahold of me. And maybe he did. Or maybe he had ahold of my mother.
A baby is crying in a mid 20th century home. His mother takes a wooden coat hanger and presses it to his neck to choke him to stop him from crying. When the baby is quiet, she goes back to bed.
But then, a miracle happened.The Lord had saved both of us that day. Like his only son. I dedicated the rest of my life to his grace, to fight this great battle, to hearing his voice. “Let me stand athwart the door,” I told him. But God, he doesn’t take requests. So, I waited. And then, on that day, on that terrible day, God answered.
The man we’ve known so far only as “The Kid” is running down a street in Boston. There are police sirens nearby, but they ignore Kid. Nice fake out. At home, Kid dresses in a suit and tie. He discovers a note from “M” telling him to “Break a brain today!” I think it’s safe to say that he will. Several brains, in fact.
M has also left him 3 donuts, because she knows her man works too much and doesn’t eat enough, so she’s trying to fatten him up.
The music that plays over this scene sounds like piano played over the schisma. Remember when Kid’s memories returned because he played the Deaver piano?
Kid is giving a presentation at work today for a new product he’s developed:
Continuity. It’s hard work. We don’t know we’re doing it, but we are placing events in sequence so that our lives make sense. When continuity is interrupted, everything starts to slide. Higher order functions become challenging. Reason and judgement erode. Can’t manage finances, drive a car, planning and problem solving gone. And, ultimately, confusion with time and space. That is the story with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Or how to become a timewalker.
Or rather, it has been, until now. This here is Puck (turns on cat video). Now, Puck here was born with a strong genetic predisposition for FCD- Feline Cognitive disfunction. Very similar to Alzheimer’s pathologically. Apathy, confusion, spatial disorientation. That was before we put our hippocampal implant in his brain. But now, Puck here is a miracle. (Turns off video, takes out live cat.) He remembers where his food bowl is, what time the sexy tabby next door is basking on the patio. Puck is finally in command of his arch narrative again. You see, Alzeimer’s jumbles your story. And um… well, it turns off the lights. We turn the lights back on.
Puck was the name of our Henry’s childhood dog, the one that Ruth thought Matthew took out into the woods and disposed of. Ruth kept confusing the stray Truck, with the family pet Puck. Maybe in our universe, Truck and Puck are the same dog, a dog who wanders in and out of time. In this universe, Puck is a cat with memory issues instead of a timewalker dog, because neither the cat nor Ruth has needed to use their timewalker skills yet.
After the presentation, Kid shares his victory with Marren, his partner. They chuckle over his inability to keep track of numbers and dates. Foreshadowing that he has timewalking potential? Marren is slightly annoyed that their conversation is interrupted by a phone call.
The call is from Alan Pangborn, who lives in Sarasota, FL with Ruth. Now we know that this isn’t our universe, since Ruth apparently willingly moved someplace warm. In our universe, when Henry planned to move her to Texas, she was dead set against it and preferred to stay in the land of ice and snow until she died, like the Viking shield maidens.
Alan tells Kid that Ruth is fine. He’s calling about Kid’s estranged father.
Kid travels to Castle Rock. He takes a taxi to the town center, where a fall festival has brought out crowds of people. Like our Henry, he gets out and walks the rest of the way home from that spot, stopping to look at his father’s former church, wheeling his single suitcase up the hill to the crumbling Victorian that belongs to Ruth in the usual timeline. We soon discover that the house belonged to the recently deceased Matthew Deaver in this timeline.
And, as we suspected, Kid is Matthew and Ruth’s son in this timeline.
Alt Castle Rock is the kind of place that Molly hopes to turn our Castle Rock into, a quaint New England village filled with trendy shops and restaurants that brings out the leaf peepers on a nice fall weekend. The town isn’t a murder theme park and the Mellow Tiger Gastro Pub isn’t the only bar or restaurant for 30 miles.
But the economic boom passed Matthew Deaver by. Kid finds the spare house key under the frog on the flowerpot, just where our Molly said it would be. Inside the house, he discovers that his father was a hoarder who left food rotting in the kitchen when he went out to Castle Lake to commit suicide.
Kid sits down in Matthew’s recliner and remembers the sermon that Matthew preached when Alan and Ruth looked at each other a little too long in church. It includes the line from Corinthians 15:54 that was in our Matthew’s funeral redux, “Death is swallowed up in victory.” This verse has come up so often that I’m wondering if Castle Rock will be raptured next week. Or turned into zombies.
Kid spooks himself, sitting in his father’s crazy chair, so he continues looking around the house. He notices that there’s life at Molly’s house across the street, and remembers when they played flashlight tag between them like our Molly and Henry did.
He goes over to talk to Molly, but first runs into Brigid, Molly’s sister, last seen in episode 2 having lunch with Molly at the Mellow Tiger and insulting her in every way possible. Except Brigid was nameless in our universe, because we see things from our Henry’s detached, distant perspective. Kid is present and engaged in his life, taking in every detail, so minor characters get names, and characters like Marren are more than disembodied voices on the phone.
Brigid assumes that Kid is a real estate speculator and starts babbling. She tells him that she heard the old guy actually did it (she pretends to shoot herself in the head) out on the lake, not in the house, which is an echo of what Molly told her prospective customers when she sold the Lacy house.
Two other speculators have already been by the Deaver house. Our Molly was right that the Main street redevelopment would send property values through the roof.
Kid tries to correct Brigid’s misperception, but before he can tell her his name, Alt Molly appears and says it for him. “Henry Deaver?” Ruth and Matthew liked the name Henry so much, they gave it to both of their sons.
Molly and Kid/Henry take a good long look at each other, then go get a drink at the Mellow Tiger Gastro Pub, which is crowded and looks like a thriving business. Molly says hi to everyone in the bar as she brings the drinks to the table. Kid/Henry says she’s like the mayor. She corrects him, saying she’s only the city council chair.
Like Castle Rock, Molly is thriving. Without the encumbrance of our Henry’s overwhelming mental broadcasts and the guilt from pulling the plug on Matthew, she’s been able to live the life she wanted and become the person she was meant to be. She uses her power judiciously, to gain extra insight into people and situations. If you watch the episode closely, you’ll notice her touching people here and there as she’s speaking to them, trying to get a better read on them.
Molly also still lives in her parents’ house, since she didn’t have horrible memories to escape. Some of that is thanks to Ruth and Alan, who, Kid/Henry says, took him away from Castle Rock when he was 11 or 12. Since Alt Ruth wasn’t as beaten down by life from losing a baby, she was able to muster up the courage to leave Matthew in this reality.
Kid says that Moly’s changed. She used to be shy. But Brigid hasn’t. Molly says that Brigid cheated on her husband at a conference and has consequently been sleeping on Molly’s couch for a year. That’s the opposite from the smug busybody in the original timeline.
Molly asks about Ruth, so Kid tells her about Ruth’s star-crossed love with Alan. He says that Alan convinced her to leave Matthew, then showed up at their apartment in Boston soon after. Now he takes care of Ruth in Florida. That was a massive time jump in the story.
Kid explains that Ruth got Alzheimer’s at a young age. She started forgetting her Norse demigods. He went into Alzeimer’s research because of her. He says it’s, “One more thing I owe her.”
Molly tells Kid that Ruth was right to get him out of Castle Rock. As they’re walking home, Kid asks Molly if she knows why Matthew chose now to kill himself. Molly says that Matthew kept to himself after he left the church. Then he asks her if she remembers the flashlights. It seemed like she always knew when he was awake. She does remember the lights, but explains the whole thing away by saying she’s always been a busy body.
Inside Matthew’s house, Kid talks to Marren. The lights blow a fuse, so Kid prepares to go to the basement to check the fuse box. Marren is slightly late getting her period, so Kid wants her to take a pregnancy test, even though it’s their first month of trying.
They hang up when he finds the box. When the lights come back on, we get the cheap thrill of loud, crashing musical tones and bright lights telling us that it’s scary for Kid to discover our Henry in a cage in his dad’s basement. Thanks guys, couldn’t have figured that one out on my own.
The police arrive during the commercial break, or the black out if you don’t have commercials. This timeline is confirmed to be superior when Dennis Zalewski steps into the frame as the lead investigating officer on the case. He’s survived another 27 years and is a cop instead of a prison guard. Did he quit the prison instead of shooting it up in this reality?
Our Henry is the 11 year old boy who disappeared for 11 days. He’s out of the cage and outside. Alt Molly watches him with a strange look on her face. Does he come across as a loud broadcaster to her, too, or is she just getting the sense that he’s wrong that our Molly gets about Kid?
Our Henry won’t say anything but his/Kid’s shared name, Henry Deaver, causing the same confusion it will eventually cause on our side of the portal. Dennis asks Kid if Matthew ever “touched” him, code for sexual abuse, as we all know. Kid says no, his father was messed up in other ways. The same way our Matthew Deaver was messed up. He thought he heard the Voice of God, and took Kid out to the woods to listen for it in all sorts of inappropriate conditions. Dennis asks if Kid ever heard it.
Our Henry hears it, and makes a run for the woods and the portal. He’s quickly caught again by the police, who think he’s just scared, so they reassure him that he’s safe now.
Later, Kid finds Matthew’s mini tape recorder and listens to his last recording. Then he searches the barn for the rest of his father’s recordings. This is what he was looking for when he searched the barn in our timeline. Our Matthew made videos, where Alt Matthew made audio recordings, but both recorded their thoughts and experiences. Kid was watching the videos to get his bearings in the new timeline.
There are more than 1400 tapes in boxes scattered around the barn’s attic. Kid listens to bits and pieces of them.
This town has been a curse since the beginning, since those original French settlers froze and starved 200 years ago. The only survivor a young girl reduced to cutting up and eating the corpses of her own family. Is that when it began?
Someone’s history is off here, or the alt timeline is different. In our timeline, the French settlers would have been in Maine in the 1600s -early 1700s, which is 300-400 years ago. Kid is bad with numbers. Did he mess up the story here?
God turned His back on this place. Abandoned us. That’s what people say. Or they say He’s punishing us.
If God has turned His back on this place, then the schisma is not the Voice of God.
What if it’s not just one voice, but a choir?
If it’s a choir, then not only is this a multiverse, as this episode seems to confirm, but it’s highly probable that more than just the Henry’s are wandering in and out of the portal.
Eventually, he finds the tape with the story of our Henry’s capture.
Toward the end of the worst of it, the bad patch that we had that spring, oh sweet Lord in heaven…
Kid takes the recorder out to the woods and uses the recording to trace Matthew’s footsteps, just as our Henry did with the video.
Spent hours every night in those damn woods praying. Thought if I could hear Him again just once, He’d tell me how to end this. End the bad patch. But, He didn’t. Or, I couldn’t hear Him. I just wasn’t listening hard enough.
Kid finds a decaying anechoic chamber in the woods. Which one of the Henry’s was it built for, and did he put either in it?
But then I did hear something. I heard something at the back door. This scritch-scratching, trying to get in. This being a bad patch, I pull my Lousville slugger out of the closet, throw open the back door, and there he was. He looks at me. He looks at the bat, just as scared as can be. Looks caught. Can you blame him? He’s between a man with a bat and those woods he just came from. Well, I’ll tell you, he wasn’t the only one scared. I reached for the phone. I was gonna call the police, Child Service, the cavalry, and then he starts saying, “I heard it, Dad. It was so loud, Dad. It was all around us and in my head. Then it was too much. Then you were gone and then I was gone and I woke up in the forest. But suddenly there was no more snow and I walked into town and it looked different. Castle Rock, but different. And not one person in town knew me.” And that’s what he said, not making a lick of sense.
And then he tells me a story. He says he’s my son, Henry. Adopted. He tells me the story that the two of us went to pray in Castle Woods. That we were out there, he says, to listen, for Him. And he heard it. He said he’d really heard it. No foolin’ this time. None of his mother’s trickery and deceit. And there, right there he caught me. Because who would know that? Who could possibly know that woman tried to trick me?
Did I test him more? Of course I did. I asked him how I liked my eggs cooked over the propane stove. The name we gave to the bend in the view. He knew it. He knew it all. It felt like redemption. Like he’d been returned to me, changed but the same. Restored. My sweet Henry, back to me at last.
Kid uses a large chef’s knife to cut the yellow crime scene tape from over the basement door, then goes down into the basement. (The knife is overkill.) He sees one of the little white soap figurines our Henry carved, just like the one that Kid carved in the yarn mill. Then he goes into the cage and sits down, trying out what living in there would feel like. He sees flashes of what Henry saw while he was in the cage, the same flashes we’ve seen multiple times before.
And it was then I realized what I’d done. I’d wished- not prayed, wished, desired, for this. And here it was like I’d ordered it off the damn TV. Well, we know just who that is, don’t we. Who gives you what you want, when you need it most, with a string or three attached. I’d been bought and bought cheap. This was no son of mine.
Alt Matthew grinds up a sedative tablet and mixes it with a drink that he gives to our Henry. After Henry drinks it, he passes out on the couch. Matthew takes him to the cage.
In the blindness of desire and my naked want, I’d invited in the Deceiver.
Kid plays the recordings for Molly. She feels terrible for tuning out Matthew all these years, thinking he was just the crazy old guy down the street. Kid tells her that our Henry told the truth about family secrets, just like Matthew said. Molly points out that the tragedies Matthew refers to happened a long time ago. Castle Rock isn’t like that any more.
There he stayed for years. So many years. And I grew old and even lonelier. There were moments when I was weak. We shared Christmases in that basement, Red Sox victories. I taught him to carve perfect figurines from soap as I once did with my own boy. And yes, of course I almost let him out, many times. Almost surrendered to his story, his charms. I suppose if someone is listening to this, maybe even Henry, my Henry, then you know I finally did surrender. But you listen to me son. As long as that devil walks the streets of Castle Rock, tragedy after tragedy will pile up, and men will turn on their own. Blood will run in the streets until he is back in a cage.
Molly offers to find out where the police are holding our Henry. When they get to the Juniper Hills facility, it’s on fire. Seven people are dead, 10 are still missing. Henry’s been moved to another location and is suspected of starting the fire.
Molly and Kid talk their way into an interview with our Henry at the police station. He’s nearly catatonic, but they’re able to get him to talk a little. He tells them his full name, Henry Matthew Deaver, but he doesn’t know how old he is. The bright light in the room is bothering him after years in the dark, so Molly puts her sunglasses on him. He admits to starting the hospital fire, because the boy in the next bed got too close to him and Henry couldn’t stop him.
Kid also warned his first roommate not to touch him when he came up out of the tank, and the guy quickly died of cancer. Does the wrong feeling from different timelines go in both directions? It makes sense that it would.
Our Henry hears the schisma, so loud it hurts his ears. He tells Molly that they have to hurry to the woods because time is running out. She puts a hand on him to comfort him, and sees his history in our timeline.
Molly uses her council chairperson superpowers to get custody of our Henry for the night. Dennis is in his police car and follows behind Molly, Kid and our Henry. Molly decides that it’s imperative that they help our Henry get back to the woods. She loses Dennis at a train crossing and makes a run for it. When the car reaches the right spot in the woods, Henry hops out and runs, with Molly and Kid following.
Dennis gets lucky, and is stuck behind the shortest train ever. He’s only about 20 seconds behind the others, and catches right up to them in the woods.
Seriously, I’ve waited 20 minutes for trains that are miles long to pass. Was that even a real train? Does backwoods Maine have tiny, fast little commuter trains now?
Anyhow, our Henry runs straight to the portal and stands at the edge, just inside the distortion shell. To Kid, on the outside, it looks like Henry is just standing there. Molly stands next to our Henry and touches his shoulder, so she sees what he sees. What he sees is a place that’s in daylight, with the sound distorted by the schisma and the light bent and distorted almost as if it’s going through water or a prism.
A teenage girl stands in front of Henry, wearing a dress from the Colonial period and holding a bloody butcher knife, just like the one Kid used earlier. She’s panting. A flock of ravens flies overhead. The girl runs away. Our Henry and Molly run after her.
Zalewski overreacts just a bit, since our Henry is an unarmed 11 year old boy who’s only guilty of starting a fire. Does Zalewski think he’s going to murder them all by throwing lit matches at them? Or that he’s acquired a flame thrower in the last 2 minutes? At any rate, Dennis orders Kid to get on his knees and fires a warning shot in the air to stop Molly and Henry.
Molly and Henry follow the girl with the knife for a few minutes, then Molly stops to rest. She sees two suns or two big fiery balls/openings low in the sky. Just then, she hears Dennis say, “God d–n it, Molly, stop!” He said that when he fired his gun straight up in the air minutes earlier outside of the portal. Just as she hears him, something hits her in the back with a penetrating sound, the front of her upper abdomen is covered in blood, and she collapses. She drops back into normal space-time in her own timeline.
Dennis and Kid find her. Kid goes to her. She’s in bad shape, but tells him to help Henry. Molly passes out. (Or dies? That what Kid seems to think.) Kid is immediately bounced into the portal with Henry. Did Molly do that?
Another teenage girl is leaning against a tree, slicing her wrists. Her clothing is late twentieth century, but I’m not sure what they’re going for. Since we didn’t wear leggings in the 70s or fleece in the 80s, I’m going to say they meant late 90s or early 2000s, which was an odd time for fashion.
A chain gang of escaped prisoners in old timey striped uniforms is running by, with the police and a bloodhound chasing them. Kid looks straight up and sees a bright circle in the sky overhead like the two that Molly saw in the distance. Suddenly, he drops out of the portal, into normal space-time. He’s kneeling in the snow.
Kid runs through the woods, trying to get his bearings. He stands on the bluff where all the bad things happen and watches Alan find our Henry in the middle of Castle Lake after he was missing for 11 days. He stands the same way that he stood on top of the shirt factory before, when Molly talked him down.
Back in the present day, in our timeline, in our Molly’s bedroom, Kid tells our Molly that he wandered around for days trying to get back to his timeline. Then Lacy captured him and locked him up, believing he’s the devil.
Kid’s had his face pressed to the window as he’s said this, looking at her reflection. He turns to look straight at her, and says, “You believe me, don’t you?”
She’s still very high, and looks confused, concerned and a little scared.
What do you believe?
Over the course of the season, Adam Rothenberg, who plays Matthew Deaver, has done an impressive job showing a slightly intense guy descending into dangerous obsession, then moving on from there into delusional hermit. His voice work has been especially nuanced, full of a variety of shades, depending on whether he’s in Ruth’s memory, Kid’s story, the series supposedly omniscient narration, Molly’s memory of Henry’s experience, or his own videotape recordings.
Despite being a character who’s been long dead in the story’s main timeline, we probably know more about him than anyone else at this point. Almost every character has told us, in detail, what they thought of Matthew Deaver, and given us a version of their relationship with him. Much of this story hangs on what you believe about Matthew Deaver and what he was capable of.
He took Henry to the woods and tried to get him to hear the schisma. Matthew became so obsessed with it that he ignored Henry’s physical needs while doing so. Matthew even thought that extreme discomfort might push Henry into the right frame of mind, the way being suicidal had with Matthew. He considered using an anechoic chamber with Henry, which becomes torturous after about 40 minutes. But did he have it in him to keep a child in a cage for decades? Everything we’ve seen tells us that he loved his son and wanted to share a powerful experience with him.
Kid’s story could be a lie based on what he knows about our Castle Rock and Henry’s story. He didn’t mention Matthew’s brain tumor, for example. Shouldn’t he care about that, or note that it might be what caused Matthew’s delusions about our Henry? Or maybe Alt Matthew didn’t have a brain tumor.
Kid came from somewhere, and there’s something supernatural about him. I believe that most of what he said was close enough to the truth, but he tweaked it here and there to avoid making himself look bad or offending Molly’s sensibilities.
Someone has died, or at least been gravely injured each time Henry has passed through the portal: Matthew on his first pass through into the alt timeline, then Alt Molly on his return trip to his home timeline. Is that a necessary part of portal travel? Young Willie disappeared the night Henry was locked in the anechoic chamber, and Odin was murdered. Did Willie pass through to another timeline?
“Other ears/heres, other nows. All possible pasts, all possible presents. The schisma is the sound of the universe trying to reconcile them.” —Closed captioning lives in two different timelines in which sometimes Willie says other ears and sometimes he says other heres. Both have interesting implications.
There is also some confusion between universes and close captioners as to whether the Henry’s partner is Marret or Marren. I’m going with Marren across the board for now, virtually ensuring that it’s really Marret.
There’s one interesting issue with substituting Kid for our Henry- Bill Skarsgård is 28, while Melanie Lynskey is 41, André Holland is 39, and Peta Seargent, who plays Marren, is 38. Why is he 10 years younger than everyone who should be his contemporary in his timeline? Then he’s a lot older than the other three in this timeline. Just having a partner who’s older than him is no big deal, but the age difference is across the board.
As with our Henry’s ultimate origin, there’s something a little strange here. Why not at least make Marren closer to his age? Could both Henry’s have been adopted? Could both be something other than what they seem?
Each Henry grew up with the other one in a cage in their timeline. It makes you wonder which one of them the cages were really for. Kid was in Boston, possibly in Florida for a while, then back in Boston. Henry was in Castle Rock and Boston. Now he’s in Texas and wherever his work takes him. Is there something in them that draws them together or pulls them apart, like magnets? Kid makes sure that he doesn’t touch our Henry, but Henry is oblivious, and has attempted to touch Kid multiple times. Do they put out a stronger vibrational field around the people they have in common that has a protective effect?
And who was the Desjardins box for? When was it occupied? Nothing in Kid’s story had anything to do with them. Maybe he ran into Josef while he was wandering in the woods right after he’d come through the portal, and Josef was the first one to put him in a box? Kid could have left that out of what he told Molly, just for simplicity’s sake. Or maybe either Kid or our Henry were rescued from the Desjardins box before they were adopted by the Deavers.
The two Henry’s seem to have a psychic connection, which then loops through the two Molly’s and our Ruth. Both Molly’s and both Henry’s have had flashes of our Henry’s time in the cage. Ruth had to check to see if Henry’s birthday had changed, because Kid’s birthday is undoubtedly different. As I suspected, she mixed Kid up with Matthew because he’s Matthew’s son, and he probably has physical similarities to young Matthew.
IN EPISODE 7, RUTH TOLD SHERIFF ALAN THAT SHE COULDN’T LEAVE TOWN WITHOUT HER SON, HENRY— SHE MEANT THE KID IN THE CAGE IN SHAWSHANK. She did her best to protect our Henry while staying in Castle Rock. She and Molly took out Matthew so Henry would be reasonably safe, but she never left town because one of her sons was in Shawshank. She was together enough to keep it to herself in this timeline. That means she was already a timewalker when Puck disappeared, before Henry’s disappearance, Matthew’s death, and Kid’s capture.
As a timewalker, I think she can obfuscate her presence in events so that she can’t be found if she doesn’t want to be. That’s why she doesn’t show up in many of the flashbacks as told from the perspective of other people in either timeline. Something happened at Alan’s bridge dedication ceremony to allow whatever she’s hiding from to get through to her, and influence her to jump off the bridge.
Kid tells Molly that Alt Ruth developed Alzheimer’s early. I wonder if she came to know, through her powers, that her 2nd son, our Henry, was in a cage in the basement in Castle Rock. Maybe she told Alan about what was happening and tried to go back to free Henry. She couldn’t get back because Alan, who is so sure of himself and so prone to misinterpreting anything to do with the Henry’s, mistook what she said as delusions and dementia. In our timeline, he refuses to accept reality. That’s likely true in every timeline.
Alt Ruth was left out of Kid’s story, other than references to her past and illness. She didn’t even call to tell her son that his father was dead. That makes me think that Alt Ruth is worse off than our Ruth. She gets left out of this timeline a lot, too. We know most of what we know about her from one episode, The Queen, episode 7, which was told from her perspective. Almost everyone else tells stories about her as they relate to the men in her life. Alt Alan talked her into leaving Matthew. Our Henry has power of attorney. Kid owes his career focus to her. Our Alan made the decision to allow Matthew’s body to be moved.
Kid glossed over the Alan and Ruth portion of his story to make it sound like everything was great there, maybe so as not to draw suspicion onto Alan’s death here. He hated our Alan so much that I find it hard to believe that he thinks of Alt Alan as a father. His mother did leave his father. But maybe Alan was a lousy stepfather who couldn’t stand having to raise Matthew’s son.
Kid talks about Ruth and Alan as being star-crossed back in the day, and Alan showing up on their doorstep in Boston. He says that Alan takes good care of his mom. But he doesn’t say Alan took good care of me when I was a kid. He doesn’t say he owes Alan for talking Ruth into leaving his father. He says he owes Ruth for leaving Matthew. There’s a good chance that Alan and Kid don’t get along much better than Alan and our Henry did. Alan was very territorial with Ruth and, I think, always thought of Henry as Matthew’s son.
Matthew and Ruth having two sons named Henry would get awkward in the church cemetery in our timeline, except someone already decided to move those bodies to a mass grave. Presumably the stillborn baby was buried there, in the family plot, too, and was moved with Matthew. Henry wouldn’t mention it because he wasn’t concerned with it. That adds an extra dimension to Alan signing off on moving Matthew (and the baby’s?) grave without getting the family’s permission.
Both Henry’s dealt with their father’s deaths when they came back to Castle Rock. Kid with Matthew’s recent death, and our Henry with Alan’s unilateral decision to allow Matthew’s grave to be moved. While Henry spent several episodes arranging to have his father’s body moved back to the church cemetery, we didn’t see Kid making any arrangements for his father.
Molly couldn’t have been responding to our Henry when she pulled the plug on Matthew in 1991, because Henry was in the alternate timeline. I still think she was picking up Ruth’s desires in that moment, but Ruth and Henry felt virtually the same about Matthew, so she couldn’t tell them apart. Ruth even said in episode 7 that she should have done it herself, but she was a coward and let Molly do it.
I think Ruth will be the one to navigate the portal and get everyone in the right timeline, if that’s how things end up going. Maybe she’ll even reset this timeline somehow, using the chess pieces as touchstones to remind her which moments need to be changed. Every one of those chess pieces was attached to at least one important memory, going back to her wedding and the death of Kid’s counterpart.
Each Henry has chosen to try to save people as a career, but our Henry tries to save people who’ve been wrongfully convicted of murder from execution. That situation has obvious similarities to his own life. Kid tries to save people with Alzheimer’s like his mother, bringing them back from an oblivion that leads to death and giving them back their history and their independence. Our Henry’s career saves people from the accusations Alan, in particular, placed on Henry. Kid is creating a device that would lessen Ruth’s need for Alan to take care of her. It would also help keep her from accidentally shooting someone (Alan), but there’s no reason to believe there’s a gun in her current home or that she could find it.
Kid wasn’t lying when he told Alan he could save Ruth. Why did he want Lacy’s car though? Was it just to get Alan out of the way so he could spend time with our Ruth to see how far her disease had progressed? Did he have his prototype device in a pocket when he came through the portal and know that Lacy put it in the car when he killed himself? Or did he just enjoy the chance to f–k with Alan for once?
Did Kid inherit some of whatever was affecting his father’s and grandmother’s minds? He does come across as intense and somewhat obsessive, even in his own reality. His witnessing of the birthday party turned family murder still hasn’t been explained. The little boy was named Gordy. Was he the younger version of Gordon the murderous B&B owner?
I believe both Kid and our Henry have powers beyond traveling through the portals and causing havoc by being out of place. Kid’s has something to do with memory, while Henry’s has something to do with bringing back the dead. My current theory about that birthday party is that the house is another haunted house that’s absorbed the memories/energies of the intense events that have occurred there, just like the Lacy house. Kid sensed the memory and went into the house to let it play out. Gordy/Gordon lived there as a kid, and that’s why he turned to violence as a solution so easily and how he knew about Castle Rock and its history.
When Kid was standing on top of the shirt factory, Molly listened in on his thoughts, and what she heard was a cacophony of broadcasts. I assumed he was picking up the people all over town, just like Molly does, but maybe he was picking up memories from the factory. Reading memories would give Kid an extra reason to hate Alan as well, because his treatment of our Henry helped drive Henry from Castle Rock, ensuring that Kid would be locked up longer. And it would give him another reason to work on Alzheimer’s research, since that’s where his personal gift lies.
Since both Henry’s were held captive for 27 years, the same interval as between the visits of Pennywise the clown, from Stephen King’s It, maybe the evil that hangs over Castle Rock has something to do with Pennywise. Maybe both versions of Castle Rock have Pennywise’s cousins living in the caves under the town and woods.
This is a very out there theory, but what if Jackie Torrance is the avatar of an evil entity that lurks in Castle Rock, and maybe feeds on murderous energy? She even said straight out that she wanted the murders to start up again. And she knows the history of the murders and gruesome deaths in town. Maybe because she was there?
There was no Jackie Torrance in the healthy version of Castle Rock, while our Jackie has a habit of popping up near Kid and our Henry at important moments to stir the pot. She told Henry that the town fetishized the story of his dad’s murder, upsetting him just before he talked to Zalewski in the Mellow Tiger. During that conversation, Henry told Dennis that they couldn’t change the way Shawshank was run, which ultimately led to Zalewski’s shooting spree.
Jackie took Kid out of the yarn mill when Molly and Henry told him to stay put, and got him riled up enough to stand on top of the shirt factory looking like he was going to jump. That incident resulted in Henry taking Kid to stay at his house, which led to Alan’s death.
Jackie was there in episode 3 when Henry visited Molly before and during Molly’s disastrous Living Color TV appearance. Molly’s interview directly led to the two Henry’s speaking face to face for the first time. Also in episode 3- Molly sees the priest in bandages in her house carrying an ax. She grabs a large kitchen knife to fight off the intruder in her home. In episode 8, Jackie shows up at the B&B, then our Henry does, and a large kitchen knife and an ax are used in the fight between Henry, Gordon, Lillith and Jackie. Then Jackie shows up a second time to save Henry.
There’s something strange going on with Jackie. Maybe Jackie is also from a different timeline? Or maybe she’s the one directing the evil somehow. But she’s not what she seems. She even told us that- she purposely changed her name to the name of a killer.
There’s still something missing from the story that has to do with the lake and boats. Gordon got excited when he saw the painting of the lake. Our Henry reappears in the middle of the lake, and Dale Lacy drives his suicide car into the lake. When the Henry’s talked for the first time for real in the prison, our Henry tells Kid that, by the time they’re done suing Shawshank, he’ll be able to use the prison as his boat garage. Kid gets excited and says, “Boats?” At this point he’s only said a few words before.
The lake, a chef’s knife, a boat, suicide, an ax, apocalyptic bible verses that lead to judgement and the dead rising/becoming immortal, dogs, parentless/lost/neglected children, and boxes/cages for humans are all themes running through this season. They will all likely have something to do with the finale.
Edit 9/15/18: Underestimated and overlooked women was originally in the list of themes for the season, but I took it out because I felt like the argument was weak and wasn’t adding anything useful to the post. I did get the Overlooked part right with Jackie. 😘
Images courtesy of Hulu.