Castle Rock’s latest episode finally converges both our storylines together as Salem’s Lot and Misery clash in a suspenseful episode, offering up crucial answers around just what’s happening in Castle Rock. While Annie barely features in this week’s episode, seeing more of the past and how this ties into Annie’s fate with Marsten House is certainly enough to keep things interesting and the cliffhanger ending sets things up nicely for next week.
We begin in New Jerusalem 1619 with a woman named Amity standing up in church and telling them the place is cursed. Pleading with the others to testify, she suddenly falls on the ground and starts fitting, seemingly possessed. Tied up in a room alone, the other villagers contemplate what to do with her before eventually coming to an agreement; they cast her and her lover out and banish them from the village.
Alone and out in the woods, Amity appears to be called to the cliff-edge and as she turns, she sees a hooded figure standing before her during sunrise. This brings us back to modern day as we see Ace looking upon a picture on the wall depicting that very same scene. However, it turns out the man from the past is the one possessing him in the present.
On the 400th anniversary of Castle Rock, the town prepare for a big celebration while Annie admits the truth to the police. They ask her about the pills before allowing her and Joy to spend time together. However, it’s only a temporary as the police take them down to the station. Meanwhile Pop heads into Shawshank and after some teasing glimpses of a grim cellblock, (one that certainly feels very similar to that of The Kid’s in the first season), learns Ace tried to pay off the guards to get in there.
Desperate for answers, Ace heads up to Marsten House but finds nothing but a cold and unforgiving Ace, whose surrounded by possessed townsfolk that tell him to leave. Instead, he heads to see Abdi and warns him about Ace. These warnings are certainly justified too, as Ace briefs Marsten House about “The Vessel”. That vessel happens to be Annie and it looks like her body is going to be used to bring Amity back.
It’s here we see the bloody ritual firsthand as we jump back in time and see Amity saying goodbye to her lover, promising that in 400 years she’ll return. The celebrations get underway in town soon after as we return to the present while Abdi heads off to Marsten House alone. Stepping out into the open from the woods, he sees three upside down burning crosses; the flaming corpses causing thick clouds of smoke to curl ominously into the air. As he staggers back in shock, we cut to the town’s celebrations as Ace unveils a gift to the town. That gift being The prophetic statue from the past. It entrances the town while Pop has his back turned and the townsfolk watch on in silence, drawn to its evil presence.
As the episode closes out, Ace addresses the crowd and tells them this story begins and ends in Castle Rock.
While not everyone will be happy about the direction the show is taking, personally I’ve loved the way Castle Rock has taken its time to build up to this moment, and seeing the truth around just what’s happening at Marsten House spells serious trouble for Annie going forward. It also explains a lot about why Ace was so interested in her over the past few episodes and quite what the future holds for her remains to be seen. I’d imagine Pop and Joy will play a pivotal role in the upcoming finale too but Abdi’s fate remains hanging in the balance.
Quite how this one will finish is anyone’s guess but for now, Castle Rock bows out with another strong episode, one that certainly leaves things wide open for the story ahead.