This week was the season finale episode of Castle Rock entitled ‘Romans’. Last week, we got the answer to the most asked question on Castle Rock. The Kid is the biological son of Ruth (Sissy Spacek) and Matthew Deaver (Adam Rothenberg) from an alternate reality, that is much better than the one we’re in. When Henry, biological (Bill Skarsgård), found Henry, adopted (André Holland), in his father’s basement, that set him on a path to Castle Woods. In those woods is a portal to other realities. The schisma is keeping those realities in check. When the portal closed, Henry, the Kid was transported to adopted Henry’s reality. And he’s been there for the last 27 years. A lot of bad things have happened since the Kid got out of Shawshank. The only way to stop this chaos is for the Kid to go back to his reality. Or lock him back up in the cage.
We’re time walking with Ruth here on this one. So much to refer back to in hopes of getting more answers.
Henry (Holland), the man we’ve always known as Henry Deaver is a lawyer. So he knows how to assess his own doubt…Right? In the opening scene, Henry asks, how much doubt are people comfortable with.
Let’s go back to the last day that Henry Deaver, the man we know as the Kid (Skarsgård) saw Dale Lacy (Terry O’Quinn), Lacy told him several things. For one, he never had kids because he was so bothered by the identity and reason for this man appearing in Castle Rock. He’s been waiting for instructions from God on what to do with him. Lacy points a gun at the Kid. The Kid sticks his head out of the cage for a good shot. Lacy changes his mind though.
Back to the present, in case you forgot, Jackie (Jane Levy) and Henry were being questioned after the new couple in town tried to kill Henry. They stabbed him pretty good and while the EMTs check him out, he gets a call about Ruth. She’s walking around town, disoriented and looking for Alan (Scott Glenn), who died the night before. At the same time, Wendell (Chosen Jacobs) exits the bus at Jerusalem’s Lot, 24 miles away from Castle Rock. Oh and Ruth…she’s standing out in the cold.
As for the Kid, he has just told Molly (Melanie Lynskey) who he is and where he comes from. Molly is confused and scared. The Kid tells her there is a door in the woods to other worlds. He needs Henry to go with him to open the door so he can get home. When he goes to the woods alone, nothing is there. He asks Molly to convince Henry to meet him at Harmony Hill. He wants to remind him of something. Before she leaves, Molly asks the Kid what she was like in his world. He say she was happier.
Molly has a message from Henry, asking about Ruth’s whereabouts. She calls him back saying she hasn’t seen Ruth, but they need to talk. Henry drives around Castle Rock looking for Ruth. A swarm of black birds fly towards his car, causing him to crash into a pile of bricks on the side of the road. Henry is knocked unconscious.
Molly is also driving around town and spots Ruth, standing on the Pangborn Bridge. She stops and tries to talk her down, but Ruth says she has to get to the hospital. She says she loves Alan. And if she stays 3 more days, Alan will be by her side. Molly reminds her that Alan is dead. Ruth remembers, but she says he’s still alive in other times. She says that she and Molly have been here before, and they will again. Molly always says the same things to her. Molly asks if Ruth ran away with Alan in one of those times. Ruth looks at her strangely and says that’s the first time Molly has asked that.
After Dennis Zalewski (Noel Fisher) shot up the prison and the Kid was discovered by the press, the prison parent company decided to shut down Shawshank. Warden Porter (Anne Cusack) is sending the prisoners to nearby institutions. As she looks over the prison roster, one of the guards mentions that Shawshank has been open for 100 years. There is also a news update about the fire at Juniper Hill. The police are conducting a county wide search for the Kid. Warden Porter returns home and sees a small figurine carved out of soap on her coffee table. She picks it up and looks around, but she is alone.
Flashback: Matthew and young Henry (Caleel Harris) trek into the woods to listen. Henry pretends to hear it, but Matthew knows better. He blames Ruth for Henry’s deceit, saying she forced him to lie. He tells Henry that his mother is a deceitful woman. She is having an affair with the sheriff and she will be called home. And when she’s gone, they will live in a cathedral of His voice. Henry asks what he means by gone. Matthew answers with Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin is death. Henry gets scared and asks what Matthew plans to do to Ruth. Matthew says Ruth left him no choice. Henry breaks away from Matthew and starts running.
The next morning, a man, following the trail of dead birds, finds Henry in his car. He wakes him up to make sure Henry is okay. Henry acknowledges him and then drives away. Meanwhile Wendell finds himself in Castle Woods. He comes across Odin’s (Charles Jones) camper. The police are there, investigating Odin’s murder. Wendell sees Willie (Rory Culkin) looking back at him.
Henry returns home and finds Ruth, safe and sound. She’s looking for the Queen in her chess set. Henry hugs her tightly before being interrupted by Molly. Jackie called Molly and told her about what happened at the B&B. Henry says he’s okay. Ruth leaves them to talk alone. Molly says she found Ruth on the bridge, trying to jump again. They both wonder what is happening in this town.
Molly then tells him about the Kid and fills in Henry on his origin story, including the part where she dies. She says terrible things happen around the Kid. And it was the same for young Henry when he was in the Kid’s world. She says the Kid knew everything about Henry and his family. The Kid wants Henry to help him get back to his world. Henry wants to turn the Kid into the police. He’s reason is, if the what the Kid says is true, then Molly ends up dead…someone always ends up dead. He asks where to find the Kid, but Molly stays silent.
The phone rings in the other room and Ruth answers. They hear her talking loudly, concerned about something. The police have Wendell. Henry goes to pick him up. Wendell tells him about the high pitch hum and how he had to find it. They start to leave, but Officer Reese (Jayne Atkinson) wants to question Henry about Odin. She has Willie in her office. He says they had an argument and now Odin is dead.
The Warden’s Fate
Warden Porter goes to Molly’s office, looking for the Kid. Molly says he’s not there and she’s not sure where he is. The warden hands the soap figure to Molly. It’s the same figure he left in Molly office. The warden says Lacy was right…the Kid is the devil. Molly can see she is disoriented and invites her in to sit down. The warden turns around, walks out into the street and is hit by a prison bus.
Officer Reese goes over the evidence with Henry. She says his DNA is in the Odin’s camper. And he also left the scene of a crime at the Bed and Breakfast where two people were killed. Everywhere he goes, there’s bloodshed. There are questions about him that never got answered. He comes back to town and more questions are raised. Henry asks for a phone call.
The police arrive to the bus accident. The prisoners get restless on the bus. Molly receives a phone call from Henry. She goes to visit him at the station and shows him the soap figure. She’s getting confused. Henry asks her to drive Wendell to Boston and from there just keep driving. He tells her to start over somewhere far away from Castle Rock and from him. She points out that he doesn’t even live in Castle Rock. Henry thinks he’s going to be around for awhile. An officer comes in to end their visit. As Molly leaves she tells him where to find the Kid. Harmony Hill Cemetery. The cops put Henry in a holding cell.
The Kid is at the cemetery waiting for Henry when the police show up. They tackle him to the ground. He looks at the head stone on the grave in front of him that reads, “Deaver Boy, Born to Heaven.”
Molly picks up Wendell and they leave town. She assures him that Henry did nothing wrong. Castle Rock is a messed up place and it always has been. Wendel asks if it has anything to do with the noise coming from the woods.
The police bring the Kid to the holding cells and put him in the cell across from Henry. Henry told them where to find the Kid. The Kid says he doesn’t know how much time they have. He could be stuck in this world if they don’t get to the woods. And as long as the Kid is in this world, bad things will continue to happen and people will continue to die. He’s not supposed to be here.
Henry questions the Kid’s identity and the Kid says he’s a victim…just like Henry. Henry doesn’t believe him. So The Kid tries to jog Henry’s memories by mentioning the cage in the basement. Henry doesn’t remember, but the Kid says Henry’s memories will return in time. He didn’t remember at first, not until he got to the Deaver house. Everything fits together. Henry asks what would have happened to Ruth if she had stayed with Matthew in the Kid’s world. He says Matthew would have killed her because of her relationship with Alan. He recites Romans 6:23
Speaking of Ruth, she is at home, complaining because Henry asked Jack to watch over her. Jackie gives her a cup of tea and Ruth goes to bed. She picks up a chess piece off her night stand. It’s a Knight. She thinks of Alan and holds the chess piece to her heart.
Henry starts remembering Matthew talk about living in the cathedral of His voice. The guards enter the area and move Henry from his cell to the Kid’s. Shortly after, Shawshank prisoners are moved into the empty cell. They start taunting the Kid, calling him Nick Cage. It’s not long before the prisoners start fighting among each other and one of the guys is stabbed. Two guards with shotguns rush in to stop the fight. They tell the injured man to exit the cell, so they can assess his injuries. Once outside the cell, the prisoner rushes the guard and grabs his gun. He shoots the guards and grabs the keys. The prisoners escape their cell, throwing the keys to the Kid. The inmates take the police weapons and start shooting their way out of the precinct.
The Kid opens the cell door and they both go upstairs. There are bodies everywhere. One of them is Willie and he’s still alive. Willie tells Henry not to go to the woods. Henry wants to help Willie, but the Kid pulls a gun on Henry. He tells him to start walking as Castle Rock starts to burn.
The Kid leads Henry into Castle Woods, assuring him that he doesn’t want to hurt Henry. Henry has heard those words before. Matthew said those words the last time Henry saw him alive. Henry hears the high pitch humming and birds start flying above them. He stops and looks up. Henry remembers something.
Young Henry runs away from his father, just as the sun is coming up. He runs to the bluff overlooking Castle Lake. He stops and panics a little. Matthew is calling for him, so Henry knows he is getting close. Henry steps backward, into his own footsteps to throw Matthew off. When Matthew catches up, he’s made to think that Henry jumped over the bluff. Matthew sees a flock of black birds fly in a strange pattern over his head. The birds distract him long enough for Henry to jump out of nowhere and push Matthew over the cliff. After Matthew lands, Henry hears the high pitch hum and disappears.
Back in the present, Henry hears the hum again. The Kid asks if the noise is getting louder. A helicopter flies over the woods, causing the Kid to look up. Henry catches the Kid off guard, hitting him in the face and taking the gun. The Kid is on his knees with his face in his hands. Henry hears a growl. The Kid looks up, but it’s not the Kid’s face! It’s the face of a monster. The Kid hisses and growls at Henry, scaring him. And then he returns back to normal. Henry points the gun at the Kid
One year Later
Henry is at the Castle Rock courthouse, giving advices to a citizen about Property Law. He goes home, to the Deaver house and Wendell is there waiting for him. It’s Christmas Eve, so the two sit down for a game of chess. While Wendell is thinking about his next move, Henry goes to the window to look at the Strand house, that is still empty.
Henry narrates the epilogue. “Some people get away and spend rest of their lives trying to forget the town. And maybe they do forget for a while.” Molly took Henry’s advice and left Castle Rock. She visits her grandmother who lives by the beach. Molly smiles when she sees her real estate commercial playing on TV. She leaves, promising to see her grandmother the next day.
“Some never leave, no matter how hard they try…most are trapped in here for a reason.” Henry visits the cemetery to put flowers on a grave. The headstone is for Ruth and Alan, buried next to Deaver Boy.
“Everyone in this town has some sin or regret…some cage of his own making. And a story about how we got this way. It wasn’t me, it was this place. That’s what we say. But that’s a story too that doesn’t change a thing. Maybe something turned you into a monster. Or maybe you were one all along. It doesn’t matter, you’re here now…this is who you are, this is where you live…this is where you’re from”
Henry drives to Shawshank prison. He walks through and down to cellar where the Kid sits in a cage. He gives the Kid some food and tells him that it’s Christmas. The Kid asks how long they will do this. He says after a while, you forget which side of the bars you’re on. That’s what Warden Lacy used to say. Henry says Merry Christmas and walks to the ladder. The kid reminds Henry how things turned out for Lacy. Henry stops and thinks for a just a moment. Then he climbs the ladder to the top and shuts the hatch. The Kid sits in his cage…grinning.
Jackie Torrance reads an excerpt from her writing about killing the professor at the Bed and Breakfast. A townie asks if she’s writing a horror novel…of course she is! The title of the book is “Overlooked.” She explains it comes from her family history. She is planning a trip out west to finish her book. She read somewhere that the best place to finish a book is where it started.
WAIT! WHAT!? I still have questions!
Did the schism make Henry believe that the Kid was the Devil? Or did Henry just see what he wanted to see?
On one hand, I think this has been a great first season for this anthology. On the other…It has no resolution. Well, it has one, but not the one I wanted. So what happens now? The Kid just lives forever in that cage? And what about Wendell? He heard the hum…he could also lead the Kid to the doorway. I guess that’s just something I’m going to have to speculate, because now I’ll never know. Oh and why was the Kid grinning at the end? Is he really the devil? ARGH!
Let’s just give Sissy Spacek the Emmy right now. She was amazing as Ruth. Her story had me feeling so many emotions. I was really rooting for her and in the end, she was with Alan. It’s so bittersweet and makes me want to cry everytime I think about it.
I really hope Season 2 answers some of my remaining questions. But then again, like most Stephen King stories, not everything has an answer.