Last September, we were left with an unsettling, head-scratching finale for Castle Rock season 1. It was confounding then, and it's probably pretty tough to remember now — so here's what you need to know ahead of season 2.
What Happened To The Henrys
In the penultimate episode, “Henry Deaver,” we learn from The Kid (played by Bill Skarsgård) that there’s an alternate universe in which The Kid is actually the “real” Henry Deaver. He tells Molly (Melanie Lynskey) that in another parallel universe, Ruth Deaver (Sissy Spacek) never lost her child with Matthew Deaver (Adam Rothberg). Their biological son is Henry Deaver, but Skarsgård’s Henry Deaver. Skarsgård’s Henry is a successful scientist who’s on his way to finding the cure for Alzheimer’s. He lives in Boston with a wife, and they just learned that they’re having a baby. In this reality, Ruth Deaver left Matthew and lives with her true love, Alan Pangborn, in Florida. Molly is even thriving as a real estate agent. Everyone seems to be in a much more positive space, living their best life in this version of Castle Rock.
Except it’s a Stephen King-inspired series, and we know that nothing is what it seems. Skarsgård’s Henry is called back to Castle Rock because he learns Matthew, his estranged dad, has commited suicide. Skarsgård’s Henry goes to his house, and while trying to fix a broken fuse, he encounters... the other Henry Deaver (the younger version of André Holland, played by Caleel Harris) who’s in a cage. He’s been kept prisoner by Matthew and the only words he says to Skarsgård’s Henry is: “Henry Deaver.” (These are the same first words The Kid uses in the first episode.) We learn that Young Henry Deaver showed up to Matthew’s house one day, telling him he woke up in a forest alone, in the same town, but the town was different. Young Henry Deaver says that he, too, has been hearing the noises Matthew has been hearing.
Matthew takes him in as his son, but then the voice of God tells him that this child is evil. He locks him up and keeps him there for years... but Young Henry Deaver never ages. Sound familiar? That’s because both Young Henry Deaver and The Kid don’t age since they’re both displaced, living in the wrong universe at the wrong time. According to The Kid, that is.
Am I making you confused all over again? It gets more confusing and complicated! The police are called over to Matthew’s house, and Molly comes over too, because she still lives next door. Suddenly, Young Henry Deaver makes a run for it into the forest. Molly and Skarsgård’s Henry find him, and Molly uses her telepathic powers to learn that they need to bring Young Henry to “the sound,” aka, the portal Young Henry came from. Skarsgård’s Henry and Young Henry make it, and there’s a cosmic blast of sorts, and suddenly Skarsgård’s Henry is in the snow, and he sees a young Alan Pangborn finding the missing Henry Deaver we saw in earlier episodes. That’s right: Skarsgård’s Henry was zapped into a parallel universe.
“I wandered around for days. I was trying to get back. I couldn’t. Then Lacy found me, took me to Shawshank. Said I was the Devil,” The Kid explains to Molly, and then asks her if she believes him. Does The Kid’s story check out? Do we believe him? The season finale doesn’t exactly give us satisfying closure, but we do learn everyone’s fate.
What Happened To The Kid
In the season finale, “Romans,” Holland’s Henry Deaver goes with The Kid to the forest and he points a gun at him. In The Kid’s face, he sees a horrifying flash, a glimpse of a demon that takes over for a split second. That’s enough time to convince Holland’s Henry Deaver that The Kid is actually the Devil and that he belongs back in a cage, where he can cause no harm to the people of Castle Rock. So, that’s where we leave off with The Kid.
What Happened To Everyone Else
As for everyone else? Holland’s Henry Deaver is living life in Castle Rock with his son, Wendell; Molly moves to the Florida Keys; and Ruth has died by that point (we learn she’s buried next to Alan). The balance of good and evil seems to be restored for now, thanks to Holland’s Henry Deaver’s decision to keep The Kid locked up.
And yet! Just when we were able to start processing all of that, Castle Rock gives us one last scene. It’s Jane Levy's Jackie Torrance (possibly in homage to The Shining’s Jack Torrance?) writing a book called Overlooked (okay, definitely a reference to The Shining’s Overlook Hotel). Jackie says, “The best place to finish a book is where it started.”
What could that possibly mean for Castle Rock season 2? We know that it focuses on a young Annie Wilkes (yep, the Annie Wilkes from Misery) who gets stuck in the demented town of Castle Rock. Cue bad, bad things happening. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Jackie Torrance is coming back (Levy’s IMDb page doesn’t list any season 2 episodes). That doesn’t mean you should sleep on references to The Shining (or other Stephen King works) — this new season will be full of them.