Friday, November 29, 2019

REVIEW: 'Castle Rock' - Pop Learns Some of Ace's Plans While Amity Sees the Face of Her Savior in 'The Word'

Hulu's Castle Rock - Episode 2.07 "The Word"

An Angel watches over this place.

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.

"The Word" was written by Guy Busick & R. Christopher Murphy and directed by Loni Peristere

The Satanist plot has been meandering throughout this season. Former priest Pere Augustin has taken over the body of Ace Merrill. He has then resurrected the rest of his community in preparation for the return of their prophet, Amity. That soul is preserved for Annie's body. As such, there was always the assumption that all of these plot threads would connect together in some explosive ways. This hour just intensifies that to the extreme by also having it connect back to the events of the first season. That is a shocking and unexpected development. The two seasons have told largely separate stories. But now, the events of the first season are being referenced here with the audience possibly having some explanation for what could be happening. And yet, the first season was pretty mystifying in the end. So, the inclusion of those elements here may just help inform the science behind the terror that seems destined to take place in Castle Rock no matter what. This season has extended that terror and dread to neighboring town Salem's Lot. Four hundred years ago though, it was known as New Jerusalem. It was the place famous for having witches as well. But it's much more complicated and sinister than that. In fact, this tribe of Satanists have been planning on returning to life after 400 years. That specific anniversary is when their prophet is slated to return to them. Pere has been working hard to ensure that their previous community is just as strong as before while welcoming a new crowd to their worship. At times, all it takes is a simply glance at the statue of their God. This figure is the one whose smile brought Amity back to life all those years ago. As such, her journey mirrors Annie's. They were both destined to be in Castle Rock. This land may have caused both of them plenty of pain and despair. Annie is willing to accept responsibility for murder even though the local detective isn't buying her story at all. That's really the only glimpse of her throughout this hour. The rest of the time is spent on the Satanists and fleshing out what has been motivating them. That's so important. Again, they have just been this lingering threat everyone had to be aware of even though they weren't driving the story forward. But now, everyone has to pay attention to the terror they are bringing to this community. When Pop and Abdi investigate what's going on at Marsten House, they are terrified by what Ace has been planning. It baffles any sense of reasonable logic as well. And yes, that means there is the potential that none of this will make sense in the end. It's baffling how a group of people from four hundred years ago could be revived. That's the point of entry for this story though. And now, it's revealed that their God is actually The Kid from the first season. That's completely unexpected. It's more than likely the same character as well. It's not Bill Skarsgård returning to this world in a new role. The creative team does like putting in various Stephen King Easter eggs for the diehard fans. It's thrilling to watch Tim Robbins return to Shawshank for example. However, this hour makes direct references to the isolated cell in Block F where The Kid was mysteriously held for all these years. Pere likely knew that he could be found down there. No one is there now. That creates a sense of mystery as to what has actually happened in the time between the seasons. These towns want to celebrate the past and come together as a community. They may remain divided though. It's not along the racial lines that seemed to define all the conflicts at the start of the season. Now, Pop and his adoptive children may have to face off with the extended family members they have loved for so long but who have already been killed to serve a completely different purpose. Pop stands in the crowd horrified by the effectiveness of the devil's influence. He is seemingly the only person not susceptible to the sound. That makes him special. But again, it's an army of soldiers who have already proven eager to kill if the people of the world don't comply with what their God wants. That makes them such a chilling and effective threat while the return of The Kid is a stunning cliffhanger that should make the audience want to see the next episode right away.