Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 6: Filter Recap

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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.

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Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 5: Harvest Recap

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In episode 5, Harvest, the Kid is released from Shawshank Prison, thanks to Dennis Zalewski’s heroic efforts shooting spree, which has left the prison exposed and liable for much more than just a prisoner held without due process. Kid’s suddenly a free man, living on the outside, as much as living in Castle Rock can be called free or living in the normal world.

Kid doesn’t know how to handle it at first, but he gradually reacclimates over the course of the episode, and even seems like he gets his memories back. Molly spends some time with Kid and doesn’t like what she finds in his head. Henry attempts to remain oblivious to anything unusual happening. He’s got a plane to catch, and nothing is going to stop him.

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Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 4: The Box Recap

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Me, at the end of the episode. Why would you take away my Ninja Turtle less than halfway through the season, when a Power Ranger is still being useless after a whole season on Stranger Things?

This is a disturbing episode that leaves the audience with a lot to think about. We lose some characters, gain some characters, and begin to learn who some of the others really are. We also learn some things we wish we didn’t know.

It’s hard to say which box is meant to be the titular box in this episode full of sinister and confining boxes. There’s the box containing Henry’s police file, which Pangborn tried to conveniently lose many years before as part of a deliberate cover up. There’s Matthew Deaver’s coffin, which makes a grand entrance through town on the back of a truck, straight past his widow, who definitely didn’t want to see him back in town.

There’s the many boxes that make up the prison, from the cells to the surveillance room to the camera monitors to the watchtowers. There’s the boxes that Zalewski and the other guards will be buried in. And the wooden box that Josef Desjardins has in his backyard with a cereal bowl and spoon locked inside that could have held Henry, Kid, or both at some point.

Then there are all of the mental and metaphorical boxes that the characters put themselves and each other in. Zalewski asked how one town can look the other way so much. The answer is partially that they all live in boxes with high walls and no windows. They avoid climbing up high enough to look over the top to check on anyone else.

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Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 2: Habeas Corpus Recap

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In episode 2, Henry investigates Lacy’s suicide, hoping it will lead him to his missing client. He stops by the church again and connects with Jackie Torrance, a local history buff who helps with the local church program to minister to the prisoners. Henry also connects with Zalewski, who helps him get his first look at the Kid. The Kid is having adventures in the regular prison population, as the Warden agrees to put him into solitary, doubled up with a roommate. Pangborn is playing his own complicated game using inside information.

More of what the town put Henry through when he was a child begins to come clear. It’s obvious that he was convicted in the townspeople’s minds as soon as his father’s injured body was found, while Henry himself was still missing. Being black and adopted was enough for the town to use their imaginations to come up with a story that they found believable. The truth was irrelevant, and still is.

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Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 1: Severance Recap

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I was undecided about whether to recap Castle Rock because I was afraid it might be too scary for me, but we had a request, so here we are. Be prepared to hold my hand, dear readers!

The show takes place in the Stephen King universe, using some of the locations and characters from his books and some actors from Stephen King’s other filmed properties, but it tells an original story. Castle Rock itself is a small rural town in northern Maine, home to several King books, including Cujo, The Dead Zone and The Dark Half. Shawshank State Penitentiary, from the novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, lies outside of town and is one of the town’s main employers.

Hulu released the first 3 episodes this week, but I’ve only watched the first, so no spoilers for the other 2 here. I’m also not going to spend much time looking for Stephen King Easter Eggs or referencing the stories that are the foundation of this one. I’ve read some of Stephen King’s works and seen some of the films/TV series, but I’m not the kind of fanatic who’s tried to keep up with everything he’s ever done.

King also has a tendency to either forget to include female characters or be misogynist toward the ones that are there, so by about the 1990’s I’d had enough of that and haven’t read/seen much that’s new since then. Castle Rock should be able to stand on its own in the modern world if its going to survive, not depend on nostalgia for old works, and it shouldn’t stay stuck in King’s past mistakes.

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The Defenders Season 1 Analysis and a Bit of Speculation

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Disclaimers: We can’t speculate much about the next Defenders season, since the continuation of this season’s storylines will be picked up in the individual series’ seasons that will be released long before we get season 2 of The Defenders. So my speculation is about where the story might go for individual characters or organizations, regardless of which show in the Netflix Marvel Universe they might be appearing on at the time. Also, there are a few previously published spoilers sprinkled throughout this post, such as casting news for the various shows. Spoilers are marked [Spoilers].


Characters & Relationships

I enjoyed The Defenders and its focus on the characters. The interplay between the various Defenders was fun, interesting and deepened each character. The interactions between the Defenders and the members of the Hand and other side characters also gave us some entertaining moments, and challenged the characters. Gao and Hogarth, in particular, are played by incredible, talented women, are well-written, and generally provide a challenge to whoever is on screen with them. The addition of Sigourney Weaver as Alexandra was genius, and it’s sad, in a way, that she seems to be definitively dead, so we can’t see more of her. It was also entertaining to watch the supporting casts from each show come together and play with each other.

But the Defenders themselves are the main attraction, and they deserve the attention. Watching Danny and Luke develop from two alpha males who didn’t like each other and stood in their corners snarling, to a big and little brother camaraderie and respect was tons of fun. Seeing the two damaged, suspicious orphans, Jessica and Matt, slowly let down their guard enough to trust each other and discover their matching sarcastic senses of humor was also good fun.

[Spoiler: Danny will be visiting Luke, Claire, and Misty on Luke Cage, season 2, so the bromance will continue. Maybe we’ll get a chance to see Danny supervise Misty’s fitting and rehab with her new cybernetic arm.)

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The Defenders Season 1 Episode 6: Ashes, Ashes Recap

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This episode continues the color desaturation begun in episode 5, as the Defenders begin to question each others’ loyalty again. Their animosity is sparked by the chaotic, homicidal influence of Stick, who has to be the worst army leader in the history of armies.

If there is a theme to this episode, it’s best summed up by the famous Vietnam War quote (which is often misstated), “It became necessary to destroy the town to save it.” Everyone runs around destroying or threatening to destroy whatever they’re sworn to protect, all in the name of some perceived greater good.

Alexandra sits alone and listens to classical music on a gramophone. The needle begins skipping, repeating the same few seconds over and over until Alexandra lifts the needle up to stop the play. The record and the gramophone are old, damaged, stuck, and nearly obsolete, just like Alexandra.

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The Defenders Season 1 Episode 5: Take Shelter Recap

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This episode is all about the Defenders vs the Hand, as the Defenders begin to define themselves as a team, while the Hand lets infighting and old grudges continue to drive them apart. The visual style of the show changes to reflect this.

In the beginning of the episode, the Defenders signature colors of green, yellow, blue and red fuse into soft mixed colors, like peach, chartreuse, gold and lavender. They gradually give way to industrial grays made of metal and concrete, and the cold whites associated with Alexandra, as the Hand becomes more prominent in the episode.

Elektra also shifts through being surrounded by Alexandra’s white and wearing Matt’s red, to wearing her own color, black, with just a hint of Matt’s red, and placing herself in Matt’s apartment. Interestingly, Matt’s apartment has art and other prominent accents in Jessica’s blue. A hint for the long-term future?

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The Defenders Season 1 Episode 4: Royal Dragon Recap

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This is my favorite episode of the season. Most of the episode takes place in the Royal Dragon Chinese restaurant, which is filled with neon light, like above, that’s used beautifully. The four defenders, and their signature colors, are brought together to hash out whether they’ll work together or not, and to compare notes to figure out what the heck is going on.

The restaurant itself adds noir elements like a certain grittiness, deep shadows and Venetian blinds. The party is eventually joined by the darker, more ambiguous members of the cast, Stick, Alexandra, and Elektra, to fill out the range of shadows and colors along with the range of possibilities the characters can choose to go.

The camera pans down the dragon sign and into the restaurant in a single shot, showing a quiet, empty place with an owner who’s closing up for the night. Suddenly, the camera movements become fast, jerky, and unpredictable, as the Defenders burst in through the front door. They take over the restaurant as their temporary hideout from the Hand.

As the camera jumps and swings between characters, we get to know each Defender, their relationships with each other, and they get to know each other a bit more. Danny is impressed with Jessica’s strength as she tips a bureau up on end in front of the door. Jessica is surprised that Danny knows Chinese. Luke can’t figure out how someone can hear neon lights (I have that superpower too!). Matt is mostly just paranoid and authoritative. He’s the one who secures all of the entrances.

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The Defenders Season 1 Episode 3: Worst Behavior Recap

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In this episode, all 4 Defenders’ finally come together and cross streams… Um, that didn’t come out how I meant it. All 4 Defenders are finally in the same place, at the same time, blending their signature colors, which should make brown, but mostly just makes Elektra turn up again.

But that’s not until the end of the episode. Let’s start at the beginning, with the sublimely cultured Alexandra. In a scene from months ago, She’s dining alone, as always, in a little out of the way Turkish restaurant. Alexandra tries the food and asks the proprietor to tell his wife that she makes the dish even better than they did in Constantinople. He informs her that she must mean Istanbul. Constantinople is the ancient name. Alexandra smiles her enigmatic smile and says, “Of course.”

Just how old are the members of the Hand?

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