In the town of Castle Rock nothing is as it seems. The reverend down the street is keeping a boy in a cage in his basement and he’s been there for 27 years. On the other end of town where the prison is, the warden is keeping a young man prisoner in the basement in a cage. He’s kept him prisoner for 27 years. The dead don’t stay dead and the living want to kill themselves. Nothing is right about this town.
Castle Rock is a series made for TV by Hulu. The series takes place in the Stephen King multiverse where parallel universes lie side by side and the woods are the key to passing between them.
6 out of 10 stars for a series that’s watchable, but leaves a lot of unanswered questions until the very last episode and then the plot holes become apparent.
Dale Lacy is the Warden of the Shawshank Correctional Facility, a privately run prison. What no one knows is that he’s been keeping a young man captive in the basement of the prison for 27 years. The day after his retirement, he kills himself and that makes everyone curious. The day of his death, the new warden discovers that a section of the prison isn’t being used and since the board wants to squeeze every last cent of profit they can from the prison, she orders it inspected so they can fill it with prisoners and charge the state. The unlucky guard tasked with checking out this place is Dennis Zalewski and what he finds horrifies everyone–a young man in a cage.
Not wanting to ruin the corporation’s reputation, the new warden hides the young man and puts him into a cell with a serial murderer, hoping he’ll be dead by morning and her problem will be solved. Instead Zalewski calls attorney Henry Deaver and tells him about the young man.
Henry currently lives in Texas, but his mother still lives in Castle Rock, Maine so he comes to see the unknown prisoner who he’s called about. When he gets there the new warden claims there is no such person. So Henry goes to stay with his mother and her live-in boyfriend, Alan Pangborn, the former sheriff. The backstory is that years ago Henry and his dad disappeared into the woods one night. His father was found with his back broken and in a comatose state. Henry was missing for 11 days. When he was found he was in a state of shock and could remember nothing. You don’t find out what happened to him until the 10th and last episode.
Through flashbacks you learn that Henry’s father, the Reverend Mathew Deaver, heard the voice of God and was constantly dragging Henry into the woods so that he too could hear the voice of God.
As soon as the young man is found in the cage in the basement of the prison, terrible things start happening to the town of Castle Rock. Suicides, murders, accidents, and people doing odd things to themselves like making themselves deaf. Then one evening just as the new warden is about to release the young man, Alan goes into the bar where she’s drinking and tells her a true story. One night he caught Warden Lacy speeding through town so he pulled him over. The Warden told him that God spoke to him and told him to capture this boy and put him in a cage or evil would come to the world. So Alan, who was the sheriff at the time, looks in the Warden’s trunk, and there is the young man. He trusts the Warden so he lets him go. Twenty seven years later when he sees the young man Henry is representing, he has not aged a single day in 27 years.
This all sounds interesting and that’s what drives the viewer to watch for 10 hours. Unfortunately more and more disinformation is dropped in until finally the truth is revealed in the last episode. There was really just too much going on in this series. Entire episodes are devoted to tourists who happen to get caught in town. So it moves very slowly. By the end of the first season, episode 10, there are still gaping holes in the storyline and you’ve already invested 10 hours. 🙁
6 out of 10 stars. It’s watchable, but in the end you may regret wasting 10 hours for so little reward.