It has been weeks since The Kid was found. Still no name, still no further information on him and a mess for the Warden to clean up. The new Warden has no reason to hold The Kid and has been trying to keep the entire ordeal under wraps since it occurred. There is no logical reason for Warden Lacy to have kidnapped The Kid and locked him in a cage. Since his appearance, the already crazed and haunted town of Castle Rock has seen an influx in sins committed. The most recent of which has left the townspeople in a state of shock and awe. If it is a Harvest that is about to happen what or whom is being harvested?
In a town perfuse with sin, danger, death, and pomp corruption the news of the Shawshank massacre is more than a stun. In the days that follow, the death of numerous Shawshank prison guards via the hand of one of their own, Officer Zalewski, the town also deals with another devastation. Over the past few weeks, what started as a small fire has turned into a state of emergency for Maine. Wildfires have spread throughout the surrounding forests forcing many from their homes. The blaze has progressed to such extremes that prisoners from Shawshank have been tasked to dampen the blaze.
In the days following the aftermath of the Shawshank State Prison massacre Henry struggles with his hearing. In 2016, Henry went to the doctor with complaints of tinnitus that he has suffered with since he was a teenager. He now is struggling with the same issue. This time, however, he believes it is from the flash bag grenade thrown into the room by SWAT to stun Zalewski.
Since the destruction and the fires have created a tension within the townsfolk, it is only natural Henry feels the need to protect his own. He installs cameras, motion sensors, lights, and alarms throughout his mother’s house in an attempt to protect and monitor his mother. Alan Pangborn does not entirely agree, but I think he understands. After all, he too wishes to protect Ruth.
Henry receives two phone calls. The first is from the current pastor of the church. Something odd is happening to Pastor Deaver’s casket. Not entirely normal but not necessarily abnormal either. Exploding Casket Syndrome is when air cannot get into the casket to properly aerate the remains. As a result, they decompose slower and become more of a putrid rotten goop than human remains.
The second phone call is for The Kid: he is about to be free.
Catch & Release
The Kid is about to be released. With the Public Relations nightmare that is already occurring after Zalewski’s shooting rampage, the news of an innocent, nameless kid is the last thing Shawshank needs. The Warden releases The Kid into the hands of his lawyer, Henry Deaver, in hopes to save at least a small amount of face.
The Kid hasn’t seen daylight in who knows how long. He hesitates when his time comes to step fully into freedom and the rest of the world. Without more information, we still are wary when it comes to The Kid. It appears as though Warden Lacy was as well. In a flashback to an earlier time, Warden Lacy remarks that he is unsure. He does not know who or what exactly The Kid is and he hopes he did not make a grave mistake. He moves to touch the kid, caressing his hand while also grazing his cheek.
Is it a good thing or a bad thing The Kid is out? And was Warden Lacy right in taking him, trapping him, and touching him?
With The Kid out and still with no name or recollection of who he is, there is not much to do with him. Henry takes him to see a head doctor and is informed The Kid has retrograde amnesia. Whether he actually does or is just playing possum is unclear. One thing is clear though, he has nowhere to go and no one to go to.
Molly has space in her real estate office and a blow-up mattress and clean water will have to suffice for the first night. Henry is glad he got The Kid out of Shawshank, but he is not without hesitation when it comes to The Kid shacking up in Molly’s office.
On the first night of his release Ruth alludes to an eerie future. Alan remarked earlier that nights were hard for Ruth. In this particular instance, she is up late into the evening and is worried. She has worried the boy has a fever, where has he been, she needs him. It can only be her memory playing with her mental timeline to explain her words. But then, there’s more:
“Something terrible’s gonna happen.”
A foreshadowing of what is to come? Can it have anything to do with The Kid?
Meanwhile, despite the strict instructions to stay put inside the office The Kid strikes out on his own. He wanders through town to a large Victorian-style home and, without bothering to announce himself, simply walks inside. He goes unnoticed by the family within, celebrating a young lad’s birthday. The party quickly escalates from a joyous celebration to an argument, domestic violence, and even a possible stabbing.
The Next Day – Part One
This day is filled with more than one character is capable of handling. As such, it is only fitting the burden is spread amongst the group. Jackie goes to the Strand office and discovers The Kid. They hang out for a bit, Jackie smokes some green grass and tells the tales of Castle Rock. Molly is summoned to the office by a frantic and worried Jackie. He is on the roof, The Kid, just standing there. He is looking out at the expanse of Castle Rock, the red halo from the blaze of wildfire creates an inauspicious backdrop for The Kid. The voice-over includes a mash of voices, screams, and terrors. All of which we experience vicariously through Molly Strand.
The Kid appears to only hear pain and suffering. Molly attempts to talk The Kid down from the ledge where he replies with something akin to Stockholm Syndrome:
“I shouldn’t be here. I should still be in the hole.”
Why does The Kid think he belongs in the hole? Is it just his brain acting towards his captor with understanding and reasoning or is it more?
Later that evening Molly goes to the Deaver household to meet with Henry. She tells him about what occurred earlier that day. She also shows a fear for what is to come.
“He Feels wrong . . . It was like I was listening to the pain of everyone in this town all at once. I’m telling you, there is something wrong with that kid.”
In light of the day’s events Henry suggests it might be best if The Kid stay there for the night. He puts him in the shed out back where his father used to stay sometimes. The Kid shows us a side of him that gives the impression that he may actually be somewhat human: he can play the piano. From memory. Memory, something from “before,” something that makes sense in the human world. Does he really not remember who he is?
The Next Day – Part Two
The Deavers make themselves presentable to head to the prestigious ceremony of retired officer Alan Pangborn. The Castle Rock bridge that goes through the center of town is commemorated and named for the long time hero of Castle Rock. During the event, Ruth makes eye contact with a dog that begins barking at her ferociously. In a panic she disappears. In her absence, both Alan and Henry panic when they follow the direction of an attendee’s finger: the bridge. The very bridge they are here to honor and name after Alan Pangborn, a town hero, is now the platform to which Ruth leaps from. Into the waters below she goes with Henry right behind her. No security system could protect her from herself.
Alan and Henry have an emotional conversation in the waiting room regarding Ruth. Alan tells Henry that he gave up on Ruth once, and when he came back he was determined to never do that again. He expresses his fears for Ruth, and why he is so protective of her. He let her go once, and now that he has her, she is slipping away again.
The bridge commemorating the honor and heroics of Officer Alan Pangborn is a smear on his conscience. Alan rips the plaque from the wall and tosses it into the water. He rues the bridge and what is stands for. His great love leaped from that very prized bridge earlier that day. He is ashamed and distraught. The emotion only grows when a buzzing alerts him to his phone. The screen flashes an alarm from the new security system informing him of movement outside. It is The Kid.
While The Kid awkwardly trudges through the woods Alan arrives quickly. He must have drove like a bat-out-of-hell because he seems to arrive quickly. After what he tells us, I am amazed he did not teleport.
Alan Pangborn is angry. He is angry at The Kid. Angry at the world. He is angry at Warden Lacey. But mostly, he is angry at himself. Twenty-seven years ago on a dark winter night, Alan pulled over the Warden (Warden Lacy) driving home under the influence. When he spoke to him he learned the Warden had a boy in his trunk. Warden Lacy told Alan the story of the devil and why the kid was there. When he opened the trunk he saw The Kid, EXACTLY the same as the kid stands before him at that very moment. He has not aged a single day.
The Kid is not a ghost from the past, no, he is something more. Alan asks him flat out, making no mistakes by not showing his hand (literally) with a gun pointed directly at The Kid: are you the devil. The Kid says no. He also tells Alan that he can help Ruth, he can make her better.
Episode 5 Big Questions:
- Should The Kid be out of still in the cage?
- Was Warden Lacy wrong for kidnapping him?
- Who/What is The Kid and why has he not aged?
- Can he really help Ruth?
- Is there more to Ruth than meets the eye?
- Does Molly have an intuition about The Kid others do not?
- Does The Kid remember more than he leads on?
And the new big, big question of the series . . .
“You have no idea what’s happening here do you?”
No, actually. No one knows what is happening here. And, as if the mystery isn’t enough, it seems the only person who knows what IS happening is a Kid found in a hole who has been there for roughly 30 years and has not aged at all in that time. Furthermore, he has no name and remembers nothing except piano concertos. Okay, weirdo. No one has a damn clue what is going on and the fact that The Kid apparently does is what is most unsettling about the entire show to date. It has only strengthened the one, singular question that has been the undertone, foundation and backdrop of Castle Rock. Who or what is The Kid?
Check back for more on Castle Rock. Here is a sneak peek at Episode 6: