Annie Wilkes (Lizzy Caplan) is in Castle Rock for one week and she’s already in trouble. First, she got caught stealing her medications. Dr. Nadia Howlwadaag (Yusra Warsam) took pity on her and gave her the medications the legal way. Then Annie killed someone.
The business tension between Abdi Howlwadaag (Barkhad Abdi) and Ace Merrill (Paul Sparks) led to a fire at the Howlwadaag house. Joy Wilkes (Elsie Fisher) saw Ace fill bottles with gasoline that he later used to set the fire. Then he threatened Annie to keep Joy quiet. Annie shoved an ice cream scoop down his throat. She took him to Abdi’s construction site to bury him and the ground caved in on her.
Annie woke up in a cave under the construction site with a lot of coffins around her. She sees Ace’s body landed on one and opened it up. Ace is covered in some kind of gooey substance, but she leaves him there. She finds a set of stairs that leads to a house nearby. There are squatters inside, so Annie runs away as quickly as she can.
Annie covers up the hole to the cave and goes home before the sun comes up. When she gets there, she realizes that her necklace is gone. Joy is glad to see her, but curious about where she’s been. Annie is freaking out about the necklace, on top of killing Ace. She tells Joy that they are leaving town, inciting an argument.
The next morning, Nadia tells Pop (Tim Robbins) about the house fire that Ace caused. Pop is furious and goes looking for Ace. He tells Nadia to make sure Abdi doesn’t retaliate. Chris (Matthew Alan) is looking for Ace as well. He goes to Ace’s cabin where his truck is still parked. Pop calls Ace’s phone and Chris answers. They both think it’s strange that Ace left his truck and phone at home. His dog Bobby was in his kennel and hadn’t been fed.
Chris takes Bobby outside and the dog goes nuts. He sees Annie and Joy, they are still fighting. Joy leaves the cabin with Annie following closely behind. Joy turns to tell her that she’s not leaving and trips over a bicycle, cutting her hand.
In the last episode, Ace called Pop, Sergeant General and Pop didn’t like it. Pop has flashbacks of being in a foreign country. A desert location, but it’s not clear where. When he came back to Castle Rock, Somalian refugees had arrived. He opened space in one of his warehouses to help them start their own businesses.
In the present day, Pop goes to the local bar to look for Ace and collect the rent. A council woman is presenting her proposal for Castle Rock’s 400th celebration. She mentions the town’s history of witches, but Pop corrects her saying the people were satanists, not witches. He says those people made a bad deal with the wrong guy and they burned for it. He says he’s been making bad deal with the wrong guy for a long time.
Ace’s guys go around the town and Jerusalem’s Lot asking if anyone has seen Ace. No one has any answers. The Somalians don’t like Ace’s guys lurking around and ask them to leave the mall.
Annie takes Joy to the clinic and Nadia tends to her personally. The nurse takes Joy to the examination room and Joy tells Annie to stay in the waiting room. Annie is shocked, but Nadia says Joy has the right to ask for privacy because she’s sixteen, leaving Annie lost and alone in the waiting room.
Nadia and Joy start talking about Joy’s home life. The doctor comes to the realization that Joy has been lied to and sheltered by Annie. She tells Joy that anything she says will be held in confidence. Meanwhile, Annie is getting so anxious, the mention of ice cream makes her relive killing Ace. She takes her medications to calm down. She starts reading a book to keep her mind occupied.
Abdi and his friend Hasan (Faysal Ahmed) discuss Ace’s disappearance. People think Abdi killed him even after Ace tried to burn his house down. Abdi says if he was going to kill Ace, he wouldn’t do it himself. He’d hire from out of town so Nadia would never know. Jamal asks what is the deal with Nadia and Merrills.
Abdi remembers being fostered by Pop when he and Nadia were teenagers. Nadia didn’t understand why he wanted them. The caseworker says they lost their mom in the war and got to the US by themselves. Pop takes them home and buys them cheeseburgers and milkshakes. They don’t know a lot of English so they have to rely on their instincts. Abdi understands Pop better than Nadia and they share a laugh. Pop calls for Ace and Chris to join them, but they are already watching from the next room. Ace doesn’t like the situation already.
Chris checks with Nadia to make sure Ace didn’t show up in the ER. There’s something going on between Chris and Nadia. He asks her if she got his message and apologizes for calling her when drunk. Nadia says with everything going on, ‘it’ is not a good idea.
A worker on the construction site finds Annie’s necklace. He shows Abdi and Hasan. Hasan says it probably belongs to one of the squatters in the house nearby. They come to the construction site to steal stuff. Abdi tells him to get rid of them.
Hasan goes to the house and finds tents, trash and two burned bodies. Someone comes up behind and hits him in the head, killing him. They drag Hasan’s body down the stairs into the cave.
DIVERTING THE TRUTH
Pop confronts Ace’s guys for bothering the tenants at the mall. They say Abdi has been talking about retaliating against Ace. They think Abdi killed Ace. Pop calls Abdi asking to talk immediately. Pop goes inside Ace’s cabin, letting Bobby out. Bobby runs to Annie’s cabin and barks at the door.
Joy searches the web for any information on Annie and herself. Annie gets nervous again, thinking about Ace’s body laying in the cave. She goes looking for Joy, but they moved her to a private room. She runs into Pop in the hallway.
Pop knows two things. Ace’s dog keeps barking at her door and her bags are packed to leave even though she paid for another week. So when Annie tries to act like she’s never met Ace, he knows she’s lying. Annie admits that Ace came to her cabin the night before and threatened to hurt her and Joy. She says Joy saw something she shouldn’t have, something to do with a fire.
Annie tells Pop that Ace left her cabin when a car pulled up. Ace ran into the woods and a man chased after him with a gun. Pop asks what the man looked like and Annie gets nervous. At first she says she’s not racist. She doesn’t clearly describe anyone, but Pop knows she’s talking about Abdi.
Flashback – Pop and Abdi meet to talk about the mall. Pop decided to give it to Abdi to manage and own. He also says he wants to officially adopt Abdi and Nadia to make business things easier on down the road. Abdi likes the idea and they shake hands to seal the deal. Ace stands on the other side of the door, listening.
Abdi is at the construction site waiting for Hasan to return when Ace’s guys jump him. They put a bag over his head and throw him in a truck. Pop had Ace’s guys grab Abdi. Pop asks where Abdi buried Ace. Abdi just laughs because he knows Pop won’t hurt him. He threatens to tell Nadia the truth if Pop doesn’t let him go.
Abdi says he didn’t kill Ace. Pop doesn’t believe him and asks where he buried Ace again. Abdi says Pop talks too much. If he’s going to torture him then do it. Or kill him. Those are things he should have learned in the army. If the tables were turned, they wouldn’t be talking.Abdi calls Pop a hypocrite, saying Pop hopes he killed Ace. Then it’s even, it’s just business. They will never be a family.
BACK TO LIFE
Chris locks up the Emporium and hears his car alarm go off. He checks the parking lot, but no one is there. When he gets to his car, someone walks past Chris that looks like Ace.
Abdi tries to get out of his bonds when Pop returns with Bobby. Abdi doesn’t like dogs and Bobby doesn’t like Abdi. Pop tries to force Abdi to tell him where Ace is. He gets disoriented and collapses. He has a flashback of shooting a gun and a girl screaming.
Annie and Joy get home. Annie says everything she does is to protect Joy. Joy asks if they are running from something, or the police. She looked them up online and found nothing. Annie is more upset that Joy broke her rules about the web. Joy goes inside and Annie stays put. She hears something hit her window and sees a bug. More bugs hit the car. As Annie looks around their car at the bugs, she sees Ace standing behind her car.