Episode 2 of Lisey’s Story begins with Lisey going for a swim in the pool. The same pool, if you’ll recall, Amanda claimed was dangerous.
Well, Amanda is seemingly consumed by her thoughts too, seeing visions of a sunset with a ship floating by. Kids aboard, including Lisey and Amanda’s younger self, they begin singing “boyfriends and gold.” On the dock, a strange faceless figure is shown twisting and creaking as it looks toward Amanda.
Meanwhile, Lisey phones Dashiel and confronts him about Jim’s threatening phone call. The Professor apologizes for the man’s brash attitude and claims he wasn’t responsible for this. However, Lisey is not in the mood for rational talking and demands he call off Jim. If not, a police visit and more will be on the table.
Darla tries to piece together Amanda’s fragmented memory. The Doctor picks up on her claims surrounding the “Longboy”, which caused Amanda to exhibit some fearful reactions. This Hollyhocks reference seems to be linked toward Amanda’s memory too; the ship floating away and threatening to leave her behind forever.
However, there’s a lot more going on here that’s being hidden from us. Some of that comes from the past flashbacks, which we see more of across this episode. Scott managed to sell his book for $2500 but also forgot Amanda’s birthday in the process. This leads to Darla and Lisey falling out, with the former unhappy with her sister’s apparent lack of attention to their family.
Scott showing up and missing dinner is the final straw for Lisey, especially after learning he’s been out drinking beer until the early hours. Even worse, he’s been out with someone she doesn’t even know.
There are a series of different flashbacks here, all linked together through Scott repeating the mantra of “two minutes” to Lisey during their heated argument. Scott heads out the house as echoes of his childhood bleed through. Sitting at the dining table, Scott witnessed his father berating him while weakly claiming he’s doing this because he “loves him.” With a needle in hand and slumped in the chair, Scott’s father prepares to do drugs.
Scott heads down to the launderette and punches a hole through the window, showing Lisey his bloodied arm and telling her he’s done this for her. It’s something called a blood-bool, which is special in letting out the bad parts hidden within. After this weird conversation, the pair eventually head to bed together, with Scott promising to do better from now on.
As they face each other in bed, Scott ominously retorts that “when the door closes, we’re eye to eye. It’s just you and me Lisey.” This seems like foreshadowing to be honest, but we’ll have to wait and see for now.
Still sticking with these flashbacks, Scott goes for a walkabout in the middle of the night. Or so it seems. It’s difficult to tell with this show but Lisey pulls the plug out the sink, which is full of running water, and turns back to the once-empty bed to find her husband there.
In the morning, Scott makes eggs for breakfast. His arm seems to be healing up a lot more than it was the night before. Anyway, they decide to make plans and get married.
Back in the present, Lisey phones the doctor and decides to pick his brains. Specifically, she asks about Scott signing his books. It seems like he left a message for Lisey there, with the words “fourth clue”, “Cedar Box” and “Bool” written on a post-it note hidden under the binding. This gives her those crucial clues to solve the next riddle.
The police decide to stay alert and put tabs on Dooley. Given what Lisey has done for the community, they’re more than happy to help and actually encourage her to keep a firearm a home. Lisey quickly rejects that idea though, telling them she hates guns.
Something is definitely going on though and it’s made worse when Lisey finds a dead bird stuffed inside the mailbox. This, however, is part of Jim’s plan, and even worse he’s left a note threatening her again.
When the police find out, Darla encourages Lisey to leave. Or, at the very least, keep a gun on her. Amanda, as it turns out, has a gun too. When Lisey finds out, she and Darla come to blows. Given a gun is linked directly to her husband being killed, it’s perhaps unsurprising that she’s affected by this.
Speaking of affected, Amanda continues to experience those strange, distorted memories down by the docks. She panics, pleading to leave but the strange figures around her refuse to listen. “I need to think about why I did it. I need to think about why I killed them. I killed them all” She utters, as the camera pans out and shows numerous figures around a pool.
As we cut one more time to Lisey, we see her holding a shovel as a small flicker of a blue-eyed demon-like creature shows up on the screen.
The Episode Review
This cerebrally charged thriller continues to weave in intriguing threads of mystery throughout the show. There’s a lot of interesting ideas being pedaled here and the way this story weaves its timelines together is certainly engaging – and quite confusing too. However, the tone and mystery feels very close to what was shown in the first season of Castle Rock, and it’s all the stronger for it.
There’s a lot to like with this series though and as someone who loves King’s work but hasn’t read Lisey’s Story, it’ll be interesting to see where the plot goes from here.
Either way, the show definitely has some enough of a hook to keep you watching for the long-term. This is a difficult one to predict in terms of future story beats. The final shot in this episode though – with the strange blue-eyed demon – seems to hint that we’ve got a supernatural demon of some description pulling the strings.
And what of Scott’s mention of the other side and controlling things? His “romantic” moments talking to Lisey seem to hold one of the clues, potentially foreshadowing what’s to come. Then again, that’s still unknown at this point so we’ll have to wait and see.