Season 1 – Episode 3: “Local Color”

While the secrets that murk the waters of Castle Rock are still hidden beneath the surface, there is still much revealed. In Castle Rock episode 3: “Local Color,” a few of our questions are answered but so many more crop up in their stead.

Molly Strand

Young Molly

In the days following the disappearance of Henry Deaver in 1991, Pastor Deaver was at home recovering from his injuries. A young Molly Strand walks into the Deaver household and begins to make herself at home. She takes a red checked hoodie that we can only assume belonged to Henry and moves about the house. She goes upstairs to the room of Mr. and Mrs. Deaver and looks over the asleep Pastor. With no reasonable explanation Molly takes the intubator tube allowing Pastor Deaver to breathe and unlatches it. Pastor Deaver dies right there, by Molly’s hand with Mrs. Deaver asleep only feet away.

After much speculation in episode 2, we now know who Molly Strand is and her role in things thus far. She is a psychic and an empath. Molly has the ability to hear thoughts, experience feelings both emotional and physical. She killed Pastor Deaver. We can infer that she either killed him because he did something to her or (more likely) he did something to Henry and she knew. Young Molly walks upon Young Henry burning a tape and cursing his father. Molly also explains to him that she can hear what he is thinking and feeling.

Present Day

The scene changes to the present day, adult Molly. She is at the local church and for some reason it is cold, snowing inside. Upon entering the chapel she sees a casket laid at the foot of the altar. Molly approaches but is startled by Pastor Deaver at the pulpit. He is asking her why she did what she did. He then turns to the congregation, “Friends, we have let a sinner into our house,” Pastor Deaver addresses the group. This is no ordinary congregation though. All are wrapped with gauze, masked, hidden. What he says next is an excerpt from 1 Corinthians 15:51-52:

“Behold, I will tell you a mystery: Not all will sleep, but all will be changed in a moment – in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will all be changed.”

Haunting in word, but even more haunting that this came to her in a dream. Stephen King is known for his links to biblical verse. He also tends to create worlds in which the monsters are within, and reality is but a beginning. The continuation of the verse only creates more haunting intrigue: “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” “Put on” is a phrase meaning a hoax or deception. So the corrupt must deceive us with incorruption, and this mortal (Molly) must create a hoax of immortality? Or maybe I am reading too far ahead of myself.

A Series of Odd Occurences

Molly later comes home to find her house broken into and trashed. The unease Molly feels grows and she finds herself in need of more medication to ease her troubled mind. Especially if she is going to be interviewed on tv the next morning.

Molly tracks down her dealer and he instructs her to seek out someone else for her needs. She goes in search of this person and finds a group of children in masks holding a mock murder trial. According to a child source, their fathers are at Shawshank. The entire thing is deeply unsettling and spooky. It is also unfortunate when Molly is arrested by police when they come to the property.

Post Bail

Henry is at the Castle Rock police station inquiring into the death of Warden Lacey when he hears of Molly. He bails her out of her cell and upon hearing of her Local Color appearance, gets her to the studio. While filming, Molly struggles to maintain her composure. She cannot rid her mind of the thoughts of others. Particularly those of a certain Henry Deaver. With Henry’s worries and thoughts swirling around in her brain she has no room for her own. Instead of discussing the revitalization of downtown Castle Rock, she bursts out about The Kid. Molly informs the public of his existence, his predicament, and how his rights have been violated. All this from the thoughts of Henry Deaver.

Shawshank Prison

Things at Shawshank Prison have only become more tense. Corrections guards are offered a “bonus” which is not a bonus as much as it is a bribe. Hush money, if you will, to keep The Kid mystery quiet. And The Kid is nothing if not a mystery. He doesn’t sleep, hardly eats except for plain bread, and still doesn’t talk much. Words were not needed though to communicate when he was caught staring intently at Warden Lacey’s photo.

The Meeting

Earlier in the episode Molly recalls a memory from the night Henry went missing. He is with his father in the woods and his father asks him, “Do you hear it? Do you hear it now?” What he is to be hearing is not clear, but that is not the only time Henry is asked that question in this episode.

Henry receives a phone call to meet with the new Warden of Shawshank. When he arrives he finally gets confirmation that his client exists, but then is slapped with a deal. The deal is for a wrongful conviction charge, to which Henry fervently denies as adequate under the circumstances. Henry and The Kid then finally have their first meeting. The interaction is incredibly off in that both seem to be having separate conversations. Henry is discussing their strategy for the case instructing The Kid to maintain his position of no name. While The Kid’s inquiries are unfounded and appear eccentric.

“Has it begun?”

“Do you hear it now?”

Henry pauses when asked this question and the look he gives is one of slight recognition. Whether he recognizes the phrase or something else entirely is unclear.

An Intruder

Molly goes home again after a full day to find her house once again ransacked. The door was locked this time, not left ajar. A suspicious affair. Molly either actually hears something or senses something upstairs and goes to investigate. I know, my horror film senses were tingling too, making me want to shout something akin to, “don’t go in the closet!” What she finds is another dream-like ghost rendition. A man in a mask made of gauze comes after her: Pastor Deaver. He again quotes 1 Corinthians 15:51-52.

A ghost or her mind playing tricks on her? After all, King is known for writing tales where the monsters are within us all.

Episode 3 Big Questions:

  1. What is on the tape that Henry burns?
  2. What is the relevancy of Molly’s dream?
  3. Is Henry remembering or is it something else?
  4. What is Henry to be hearing?
  5. Has what begun?

Watch Castle Rock on Hulu.

Check back for more on Castle Rock. Here is a sneak peek at Episode 4:

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