As the credits rolled, and then stopped for a Marvel-esque teaser, and then continued, I sat on my couch scratching my head. What had just happened in the last fifty minutes on my television. Did I get the satisfaction I needed to close this book? Well before I go on, let me just warn you:
Okay, now that’s out of the way.
Castle Rock is an anthology series, akin to American Horror Story. That means that each season, in essence, should be self-contained. That means that each season, the story should be wrapped up enough to provide a level of satisfaction to the reader (whoops, I mean audience) that they can close this book (shit I did it again, turn off the TV) and move on to the next epic tale of thrill and horror that only the likes of Stephen King and J.J. Abrams can bring to the small screen.
That wasn’t really the case with this finale for me.
As a refresher, the inaugural season is about Henry Deaver (André Holland) who has a homecoming of sorts when he is summoned to Castle Rock when a creepy and mysterious man – or as he’s credited, The Kid (Bill Skarsgård) is found caged in a long-abandoned cell block in the infamous Shawshank Penitentiary. Henry’s arrival home opens a can of crazy worms as he has to deal with family drama on top of his taking The Kid into his care. The Kid is a creeper, they actually couldn’t have cast this more perfectly. Skarsgård is just the perfect amount of male model and character actor that he can pull off strange like it’s nobody’s business. Through a series of cliffhangers and head-scratchers we find out in the penultimate episode that, like in many King stories, there’s an alternate world where we find out that The Kid is from a different universe in which HE is Henry Deaver. Crazy right? Oh, and that Holland’s Deaver is the key to going back and forth through these universes. Are you keeping up with me?
Throughout the finale, Skarsgård is just trying to tap into Holland’s powers to get back to his own timeline and Holland doesn’t want anything to do with it. Ultimately the series wraps up with Holland’s Deaver locking poor Skarsgård Deaver back into the cage in the now closed down Shawshank. For safe keeping obviously. In retrospect the finale reminded me of a Edgar Allan Poe story more than anything. Ending where it all began. Locking our fears and insecurities back up where we found them. All that good turn of the century, atmospheric, thrill stuff.
Castle Rock didn’t exempt themselves from the world of teasers and mid-credit surprises. Jane Levy’s Jackie Torrance (Easter Egg) is found writing a novel about her uncle Jack’s breakdown at a hotel in Colorado. As she’s thinking out loud she comes to the conclusion that she has to go back there to finish her story.
If I were a betting man, and there was a line on this in Vegas, I’d lay down ten-to-one that next season we’ll find ourselves back at the Overlook.
How cool would that be.
Overall, the series was entertaining. Being from Maine, seeing these shows that take place there (and nail the setting) makes me homesick sometimes. Plus, King can’t do any wrong in my eyes.
Four stars for good measure.