Andre Holland in "Castle Rock" Credit: Courtesy of Hulu

Editor’s note: Spoilers ahead. If you haven’t watched the episode yet and don’t want to know what happens, go watch it before reading this.

Episode four of Castle Rock begins with Henry Deaver (Andre Holland) experiencing disturbing, disorienting visions, likely related to his traumatic experience when he went missing as an 11-year-old.

I don’t know about you, but if I had a mysterious, violent past, was plagued with disturbing hallucinations and had come home to a town like Castle Rock to represent a terrifying prisoner found in a literal hole, I’d start to question the reality of my surroundings.

Not Henry, though. Despite the blatant creepiness around him, he’s going to play by the rules. He’s going to assume everything that’s happening can be explained rationally — even if most of it clearly cannot.

Henry seems to feel a bit antagonistic toward Alan Pangborn (Scott Glenn), the retired sheriff of Castle County, who appears to be loyal and loving toward Henry’s mother, Ruth (Sissy Spacek). When Henry tells Alan he’s going to take his mother, who suffers from dementia, back to Texas with him, Alan’s not too happy. Later on, when Ruth finds out about Henry’s plan to move her, she’s pretty mad too. She’s staying in Maine, dammit. Man, nobody seems to be a fan of Henry, do they?

Henry discovers through some research in the local library that Vince Desjardins and his family were linked by police in Henry’s disappearance. He drives (in a Subaru Outback, of course) to the Desjardins property — which is creepy, falling apart, strewn with debris and features a scary shack out back — and encounters not Vince, but Vince’s brother, a barber at the world’s scariest barbershop.

The brother, upon realizing that it’s Henry Deaver and not someone just looking for a haircut out in the woods, leads Henry into the house, and hands over Henry’s police file, which he’s kept for years. The brother maintains his innocence, though that doesn’t exactly explain the absolutely-a-torture-chamber shack in the backyard. Did Dale Lacy hide the prisoner in there, before taking him to Shawshank? I bet we’ll find out.

Upon returning home, Henry’s finished arranging for his father’s grave to be moved from an unmarked plot outside of town back to the graveyard at the Castle Rock church where he preached. Fed up with everything, Henry decides to tell the prisoner to take the deal that Shawshank offered him, so he can leave as soon as possible.

But Henry’s not going anywhere. The prison guard, Zalewski, who has been Henry’s man on the inside regarding the prisoner, starts to go off the rails. He tells Henry earlier in the episode that “Bad s*** happens here because bad people know they’re safe here” — as if Castle Rock draws evil to it like a moth to a porch light.

It seems Zalewski’s not immune to that evil, either. Something in his interactions with the prisoner knocks a screw loose in him, and at the very end of the episode, he snaps and murders a whole bunch of other prison guards before being gunned down himself, right in front of Henry. The viewer sees the carnage unfold mostly on the prison’s closed-circuit TVs, to a soundtrack of Roy Orbison’s “Crying” — just to add to the overall impact.

But no, Henry. There’s nothing that’s disturbingly, supernaturally wrong with Castle Rock. You keep telling yourself that.

Easter Eggs

Book/movie reference: Vince Desjardins is mentioned as the brother of the Desjardins barber that Henry goes to visit. Vince was one of the bullies that harassed the kids in “The Body” and “Stand By Me,” both set in Castle Rock. Tough family to grow up in, huh?

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.