The Walking Dead
After the trio of episodes last week, Castle Rock returns for a much more subdued, methodically paced episode this week, one that fleshes out the background for some of our supporting characters but ultimately does little to progress the plot, with the exception of the last 5 minutes. With Annie reduced to the background and much of the drama revolving around Nadia, Castle Rock feels in danger of fizzing out its early season promise.
We begin in Somalia 1993 with Abdi and Nadia having fun in the streets. Unfortunately, soldiers arrive and after rounding them up, are forced to watch as their Mum is gunned down and killed for getting too close.
Meanwhile, Ace finds Joy out in the streets and offers her a ride home. She decides against it though and instead, scrambles on the bus as Ace watches on from afar. Chance heads to Joy’s house and packs up her things, while Joy herself speaks to Nadia about her situation. She begs Nadia to stay with her, prompting Annie to head to her house and try speaking to Joy.
After a fruitless effort, Annie heads home and immediately hides from Ace who’s outside his house pacing back and forth. His dog barks ferociously but undettered, he gets in his truck and heads up to Marsten Estate. Back at his office, Pop reminisces on an old letter and after swallowing hard, burns it, watching as it turns to cinders.
While Annie wallows in self-pity, Joy opens the lock to the chest she’s taken from home and finds a gun, the fake licence plates and a CD holding some files on. As she looks through the material, Nadis heads to Pop’s and starts looking around, stopped by Lance who tries to man-handle her, only to receive a gun to the face for his problems.
While Nadia leaves, Pop’s party gets underway but as Ace shows up, he receives the cold shoulder from his Father. As the night draws on, Pop gets up and gives an impassioned speech where he talks about the Somali refugees he took under his wing, Abdi and Nadia.
Ace meanwhile, brings Chris to a church midway through the festivities where he tells a story about Jerusalem’s Lot and its history. It appears that several different influential people around the town have been turned into cult members and as we see them kill unsuspecting victims, Ace plunges a stake into Chris’ belly and the two fight. Managing to break away, Chris stumbles out clutching his stomach, pleading for help from the priest outside. However, he grabs a spiked cross and stabs Chris in the neck with it.
As the episode closes out, Nadis confronts Pop around her adoption where she learns Pop was there in 1993, and the one who killed their Mother. As she storms out in disgust, Pop watches on helplessly.
Aside from the final scenes of the episode, Castle Rock delivers a much slower episode this week devoid of much plot progression. Instead, we get a much more atmospheric episode, one designed to build up the ensuing threat of the Marsten Estate from afar.
Seeing different influential people under some sort of spell in Castle Rock is a nice touch, but how this ties into Annie remains to be seen. Still, it’s early days yet and the episode does do well to set up some dramatic twists to come.