‘Castle Rock’ delivers an episode full of drama and jump-scares, just before the finale.

By: Lakshana Palat | Updated On: 4:58 PM PST, Dec 4, 2019

                            'Castle Rock' Season 2 Episode 9 Review: Annie Wilkes embraces her diabolic ax-wielding personality from 'Misery' in this episode

Gloom and death is spreading through the doomed town of Castle Rock, as the Angel looks on. Annie Wilkes’ (Lizzy Caplan) daughter Joy (Elsie Fisher) has joined the possessed crowd that is following the Angel’s call, and Annie is in a desperate tizzy to get her back.

But is that possible that she can get her daughter back, the way she was before? Yet, thankfully for Annie, she isn’t the only one who has not been affected by the Angel’s call. She has found herself some unlikely allies.

The latest episode of ‘Castle Rock’ sees the precious few survivors in the town, including Nadia (Yusra Warsima), Pop Merrill (Tim Robbins) and two others, band together and try to save themselves from being brutally murdered by Ace Merrill (Paul Sparks) and his army of the dead.

It’s a Herculean task and involves a heartbreaking sacrifice on the part of one of the hapless survivors to save the others. Annie commits a murder that is almost as epic as her ice-cream scoop murder of Ace in the first episode, by jabbing injections in a man’s eye. The scene is brutal and ugly, but Annie does it with much panache.

Another interesting aspect of the episode is that Annie slowly embraces her ‘Misery’ diabolic characteristics, and doesn’t seem to be rattled by the killing she has been doing lately. She has a couple of zinger dialogues to share as she does her grim job as well.

Not just that, she quickly grows accustomed to the ax as a weapon. Clearly, she’s preparing well for her gruesome kidnap of Paul Sheldon. But there’s still time for that.


Ace Merrill wants Pop Merrill’s body as another vessel, and Pop wants to put up a good fight against him, and not let his plans succeed. Ace wants to fulfill the rituals that he has elaborately been planning for 400 years, which will finally come to fruition.

Meanwhile, Pop Merrill is on his last legs, but yet has the energy to have a fully-fledged conversation with Augustine (The man possessing Ace), and some unpleasant revelations are made about Ace’s relationship with Pop.

Pop has a hard time hearing this, and this readies him for his final moments. The episode embodies the theme of flawed and twisted love, the craven desire for redemption and forgiveness.

Nadia makes it clear to Pop that if in case she survives the night, she wants nothing to do with him. Abdi has a couple of harsh words to share with Pop as well. And that’s when Pop realizes that he has nothing.

He ruined the lives of four children, in his words, and he does not have their forgiveness, let alone love now, just when he is teetering at the precipice of death. 

There are threads connecting this season to the Season 1, and we see a familiar character make a brief return. Augustine wants those letters Dale Lacy (Terry Quinn) had written, which explained the evil that was controlling Castle Rock.

This evil was in the form of the Kid (Bill Skarsgård), who had been locked away in The Shawshank Redemption. In the first season, he had been released, only to be put back later. Yet, one thing is certain, the Kid is the Angel, who causes doom and destruction in its wake.

And that’s why the town is following the Angel and is ready to commit murders at the drop of a hat.

The episode provided its share of horror, jump scares, as well as balancing it out with the family drama that seeps in occasionally. It’s clear that Season 2 is heading to a bloodied finale and most questions will finally get the answer.

This season’s ‘Castle Rock’ has focussed on the themes of flawed love between parents and children, the absolution that never comes and the demons that choose to consume us from inside. ‘Castle Rock’ released on Hulu, on December 3.