Wednesday, October 30, 2019

REVIEW: 'Castle Rock' - Nadia Learns a Shocking Secret About Pop While Trying to Save His Life in 'Restore Hope'

Hulu's Castle Rock - Episode 2.04 "Restore Hope"

Nadia learns a dark truth about her past.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Hulu's Castle Rock.

"Restore Hope" was written by Guy Busick & R. Christopher Murphy and directed by Phil Abraham

How did Ace Merrill come back to life? That is the profound question at the moment. Annie killed him. She buried his body and did her best to cover up her crime. When she confesses to it though, Joy only sees it as her mother experiencing a psychotic break. One that will tear this family apart for good. And yet, Annie isn't the only killer on the loose in Castle Rock. Evil lurks in Marsten House as well. That threat is coming fuller into context now. This season has been discussing the group of satanists that once lived in this community when it was first settled. There was even talk about turning that into a tourist attraction to drive business. Some locals understand the danger that brings because the past never stays buried for long in this town. And yes, all it seemingly took was Annie crashing though that crypt in order for this evil to be unleashed once more. It has taken over Ace's body. He is now killing in order to amass an army. He is doing so efficiently at the moment as well. No one is concerned about the strange things that are happening. They are simply trying to keep the Merrill family together as they are about to lose their patriarch. Pop is wandering through his life content that he is dying. He no longer wants to fight the cancer. He is so appreciative of everything that Nadia has done to keep him alive. There is just no way to beat this thing. He has resigned himself to that fate. However, it's incredibly unlike that he'll die from complications of cancer. That's not the way stories in this town naturally unfold. He wants his children to put aside their feud in order to celebrate the life he has lived and the impact he has made. He does so not knowing that Ace has changed and will only further divide this town. Ace is gone. An evil spirit has taken hold of his body. It's one with an eagerness to kill. Some of these deaths may present as random. It's truly startling when Timothy is run over by a car. But it's all part of a coordinated effort to raise this army once more. Ace is leading the charge and manages to defeat his brother in battle as well. That too comes with the reveal that the local pastor has also been converted. The church can be used as a base of operations in addition to Marsten House. Annie presents as the only person who has survived descending into this evil environment. She may have to kill even more in order to make it out of all of this alive. That would be the narrative fundamentally embracing who she truly. She is a psychopathic killer with obsessive compulsions. She demands Joy return home. She is furious at those keeping her from her. Joy may see innocence within her mother. However, every image of a prospective novel is paired alongside death and destruction. Here, she realizes her mother has had a gun for a long time. That weapon probably won't stay buried. The threat has already arrived at Nadia and Abdi's doorstep once this season. And now, Nadia is furious that Pop lied about why he wanted to foster them in the first place. He wanted to unburden his lifelong secrets but chose not to knowing the damage they would cause. Nadia still eventually found out that he was the one who killed their mother in Somali. It's so tragic and twisted. He is still full of so much remorse for that action. The citizens of this community are distraught over their own personal issues. That leaves them very much vulnerable to this supernatural threat that none of them truly know about just yet. Annie is depressed eating ice cream on the couch while Pop is holding a wake and even giving the eulogy for himself. The threats of this world aren't done with them just yet no matter how much they see the harm as being irrevocable right now. Ace has come back to life on a mission. Some memories may remain. But it's all in service of this new character trajectory. Sure, it's still somewhat shrouded in mystery. However, the show has earned the mysteries this time around because it spent the first episodes establishing the characters and why they are so distraught as they experience the many traumas that are now happening to them and their loved ones.