RECAP & REVIEW: Castle Rock Episodes 3-5: Rises High, Slips And Stumbles, But Sticks The Landing

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What am I talking about this time: Hulu’s Castle Rock

Executive producer: J. J. Abrams

Created By Sam Shaw & Dustin Thomason

Characters and settings by Stephen King

 

Starring:

André Holland, Bill Skarsgård, Melanie Lynskey, Noel Fisher, Sissy Spacek, Scott Glenn

 

Overall Review: 3.5 out of 5 Kids

Is It Worth a Hulu subscription and 45min of Your time? Hells Yeah!

 

Spoiler Free Review: This review set was a hard sell. Each episode succeeds and fails in separate ways, creating my favorite moments in the series so far as well as some serious eye rolls. Episode 3 has one of the first big revels and is done beautifully, but the episode as a whole has some astonishingly lazy writing. Episode 4 is so flat until the last 20min that I forgot the first 2/3rds and I’m not sure it matters. Finally, Episode 5 has a great story, but is terrible at telling that story, leaving what could have been some of the best moments, flat and barely worth a shrug. While still a good show, elements in each of these three episodes dragged down the overall greatness in different ways that are better explained in the Spoiler/Recap section.

 

 

Spoilery Recap:

Castle Rock: S1, Ep3 “Local Color” 25 Jul. 2018

Directed by Dan Attias                     Writing by Gina Welch

My fav episode so far, focusing on Molly, and starting with a huge reveal that carried this flawed episode for me. A young Molly wakes up in the night, and with a strange, and uncharacteristically, half-smile on her face. She crosses the street to Henry’s house, putting on his sweater once inside. Than she dreamily walks past Henry sleeping next to his infirmed father, and pulls out the air tube keeping the reverend alive, and with that- we find out Molly killed Herny’s dad. Roll, credits, I’m done! The scene is shot with so much intensity, tension, and love- it is easily the highlight of the series so far. Cassady McClincy, who portrays Young Molly, is spellbinding emoting every emotion and none at once. She was a living ghost, and it works to underline the surprise of the reveal, leaving viewers in delighted shock.

Sadly, the rest of the episode isn’t as good.

Old Molly dreams of walking through Henry’s dad’s church where everyone has face bandages. It’s stock stuff, nothing great, but when she wakes up it’s not your usual TV- I woke up from a nightmare gasp, but a dreary, “another day another nightmare” look on Molly’s face. It’s a pretty great cap to an otherwise mundane dream sequence.

Molly gets ready for the day, Jackie is her executive assistant, taking the Model of the Town Molly made to the TV station for her big presentation on a local TV show that shares it’s name with the episode title. Henry shows up and asks her to help him sell his mom’s house. Molly turns him down pretending to barely remember him. In another flashback, we see a young Molly bring Henry up to her room and tell him she can “hear” him in her mind at night, the implication being that she knows he’s jerking off. It’s creeps.

At the jail, Zalewski sees The Kid glaring at a photo of the old Warden.

Back to Molly as she goes on a hunt for some pills to quell the voices in her head, a journey which leads her to cabal of kids holding court in homemade animal masks in a American Horror Story rip-off scene. The cops show up and Henry is coincidently there to bale her out. She confesses her powers and long-time crush on him. He doesn’t really believe her until, on her show, she tells the world (or just everyone watching the local show) about the Kid being unjustly held at the prison. Henry goes back to the prison and the Warden offers his client $300,000 to sign an NDA, protecting the prison from any lawful action or blame. And here, this show collapses into unreality as even the most basic knowledge of law gets thrown under the bus for story. Henry straight up just tells his client what to do, moving forward with his plan without getting any sort of approval for his actions. The scene between them is powerful and well written, but makes Henry look either incompetent or maniacal. The Kid simple asks, “Do you hear it now” and “How many years are you”, which hit Henry hard, but the entire time, I’m thinking, “Man, Henry is a terrible lawyer.”

Back to my girl Molly, seems like her place got broken into, she climbs the stairs with a knife looking for an intruder. The scene has no music and is creepy as hell, except the scare at the end is kinda telegraphed and turns out be a hallucination of some sort… maybe? The pay off doesn’t really work here. I re-watched the first 5min to reset my love of the show.