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Habeas Corpus | ‘Castle Rock’ Recap

This is the recap for Episode 2 of Castle Rock. We have recaps available for the entire season, starting with the first episode.

Season 1 | Episode 2 | ‘Habeas Corpus’ | Aired July 25, 2018

This episode feels very different from the first. In good ways but also in some that make it clear that this is the very beginning of a series. There are more references to King’s multiverse in this episode as well but not many that add any substance to the show yet.

This episode features the first look at the shows proper title sequence, and it is full of  King references. We see torn pages from Misery, IT, The Green Mile, and most exciting both the novel and the film version of The Shining. With notes changing the room numbers on the pages to the room numbers used in the film and not the book.

The episode opens where the first one left off. With prison guard Zalewski seeing on security monitors the secret prisoner leaving his cell and killing the prison’s guards. He hits the alarm and leaves the room, gun drawn. In what are the shows first reveal of actual supernatural horror we, along with Zalewski, see that this was all in his head and the prisoner never left his cell.

That’s one thing that was missing from episode one, and I’m glad it is already showing up supernatural horror. The episode has a voice over throughout of former prison warden Dale Lacy. In the narration, he talks about the evils of the town, and we get nods to King’s multiverse through this conceit. We see that Lacy’s brother killed himself in a mascot suit by jumping off the school during a football game. Apparently, every house in town has a dark history behind it and is “stained with someone’s sin.”

Lacy’s own house with a shot of a body in a bathtub with blood on the floor and doorway. This means that Dale Lacy could be living in the Dodd house from King’s first novel using Castle Rock as a setting, The Dead Zone. Also, in the voice over there is mention of a body being found on old railroad tracks. Another reference to The Body or Stand by Me.

We then get a scene that is an excuse to reference as many King works as possible while also showing that Dale was keeping up with the track record of evil in the town of Castle Rock. Henry Deaver visits Dale’s blind widow and lies about why he is there so he can search Dale’s office.

Henry looks through a manila folder with newspaper clippings. We see one with the headline ”Shopkeeper Missing After Oddity Store Fire” a reference to Needful Things. Another reads “Anonymous Tip led to Boy’s Body” a reference to The Body or Stand by Me. The last says “Rapid Dog Tears Through Townwhich is Cujo. He also finds many prayer cards and verse-a-day bible calendars that Warden Lacy stopped using when he hit the same verse in each one. Acts 16:33 “Even at the hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household was immediately baptized.”

At a bar, the new warden is drinking a glass of wine when Alan Pangborn sits next to her and orders a beer. He sees her Shawshank badge and begins to talk to her about law enforcement and the differences between corrections work and being a cop. She gets the check to leave, but Pangborn starts telling a story that she has to sit back down for. Warden Lacy was pulled over by Alan one night, and Lacy explains to Alan that he finally figured out what was wrong with Castle Rock. “He said he had always thought the devil was just a metaphor, but he knew the devil was a boy.” Dale says that he caught him and had, “locked the devil in a box.”

And according to Alan it worked, the town was alright after that. The warden, alarmed at the story and the idea that someone knows about the boy outside of Shawshank, asks how long ago this was. Alan only responds with “Don’t let that fucking kid out.” This is the series most intriguing scene so far and convinced you that there is a plan in place.

The warden the decides to take care of the prisoner by locking him up with a convict that she hopes will kill him. This doesn’t happen, and the convict is found the next day dead and riddled with cancer.

Henry makes it into the prison again, this time with a church group and sees the unknown prisoner, he shouts at him and takes pictures to prove his existence before the boy is lead away.

We are then shown a flashback of a young Molly who lives across the street from Henry. She is obsessed with him and keeps tracks of him from her bedroom window while writing his name in her notebook repeatedly. Even though she sees Henry and his foster father drive away together, she doesn’t tell the police.

We find out that the narration has been from a letter written by Lacy to Alan, who burns it. Meanwhile, the shaggy dog from the first episode digs up Dale Lacy’s decapitated head.

In the opening monologue, Dale says something that could be the crux of the entire series. When these evil things in Castle Rock happen, he says people claim, “It wasn’t me. It was this place. And the thing is they’re right.” The two towns most often used or referenced in King’s work are Castle Rock, Maine, and Derry, Maine. Derry is the setting of IT and twenty other stories by King. But the evil things that happen in the town of Derry are explained in IT. There is a cosmic being living beneath the town itself, affecting the people who live there and causing terrible horrors. Castle Rock has never gotten an explanation. I think that’s what this show will try and do. Explain why Castle Rock, like Derry, is a hotspot for horror.

Castle Rock is available Wednesdays at 12 a.m. on Hulu.

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