Castle Rock is a great show and it’s only gotten better with each episode. This shouldn’t be a surprise as both J.J. Abrams & Stephen King are known for great stories that draw you in and keep you pinned to your seat with twists, scares, and unnatural worlds that grip your attention like a vice. However, both Abrams and King share another uncanny ability that puts their new show in jeopardy. Both artists have a tendency to drop the ball at their endings. Let’s face it, it’s highly possible that the last episode of Castle Rock will involve the entire town kicking a something to death or maybe Shawshank prison is a waiting room to limbo and everyone is already dead.
If you’ve seen Lost, Super 8, Star Trek: Into Darkness, or Westworld– than you know what I’m talking about- all great projects with questionable finales. There’s a lot more I can toss on the fire, but I’m trying to be objective here (I’m eyeballing you, Star Wars: The Force Awakens). Conversely, if you’ve read Stephen King’s… well, just about his entire body of work, than you know how disappointing getting to the end of one of his books can be. I’ve read The Stand over 10 times, however, I’ve read the end of The Stand only twice. And the second time was a last resort; I was stuck in Mrs. White’s Social Studies Class between a guy sucking his retainer and another kid humming the Captain Planet theme song- I’d already pulled all the elastics out of my socks and it was the only thing I had left…WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO?!!?!!!
To be fair, I’m first in line for any J.J. Abrams film and my extensive collection of Stephen King’s books are all dog-eared from being read to death. I was that kid in Jr. High who sat behind the gym at lunch learning what sex is from Gerald’s Game. I saw Regarding Henry three times… in the theater.
Thankfully, neither of them have a perfect record of ruining their properties, The Green Mile left me in tears and I’m sure if I look hard enough, there’s and ending to a J.J. Abrams project that didn’t make me groan. So, there is a chance, no matter how small it may be… that Castle Rock can end well. Well, not “well” like a happy ending, but not “good” either, cause that’s shitty grammar- even for me. Crappy endings included, I love these men and their work, and I’ll plop down any price for whatever they squeeze out. I’m just wary of their ability to wrap things up properly.
While we wait to see if the ending of Castle Rock is terribly awesome or awesomely terrible (2 hours and 4 revisions and that was best line we could come up with), I harken back to that big eared, foreign kid, who lent me his copy of It in the back of Mr. Hill’s History class and changed the course of my life forever. Today, I watched my daughter’s elated face as she related to a female hero igniting her lightsaber to take on the villain. Terrible endings or not, this show, like so many of J.J. Abrams & Stephen King’s works has been a meaningful and gripping ride so far and I’ll stick with it till the last credits roll.