Castle Rock season 1, episode 3 recap: ‘Local Color’


Episode 3 of Hulu’s Castle Rock is mostly about Molly Strand, a psychic linked to Henry Deaver’s past. What role will she play in his future?

As “Local Color” begins, it is very quick to drop a bombshell flashback. While young Henry Deaver (Caleel Harris) is still missing, young Molly Strand (Cassady McClincy) unplugs Henry’s father’s breathing tube in his home, killing the Reverend (Adam Rothenberg). What’s amazing is that it’s not a particularly startling scene for Castle Rock, as Molly does it so absently that it seems 100% natural.

Now, Castle Rock has established that Molly has psychic abilities, and is particularly linked with Henry. When Henry returns to town all these years later, the older Molly (Melanie Lynskey) can read Henry (André Holland) very strongly. Still, it’s not a two-way street. Henry doesn’t know that she killed his father years ago, for example. Still, we at home know, right?

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Molly’s Losing It

Just as she’s preparing to appear on “Local Color” — a local TV program — to promote her real estate business, her life starts coming undone. For one thing, someone had broken into her home while she was away, apparently looking for information.

Molly comes home to a wrecked house — drawers open, fridge destroyed, property ransacked. Still, she avoids the issue to plan her spiel. She rehearses to a mirror, saying cute things like, “I’m a proud, 5th generation Maine-iac.” Still, her mind powers are starting to drive her crazy, and she feels she needs more drugs.

When her usual source of illicit pills fails, she is directed to another dealer in town. Things get a little weird when she visits, though. She sees a bunch of kids hosting a weird mock trial. Though he tries to approach thing smoothly, they dramatically point to her as “The real murderer,” and they start chanting “Guilty!” at Molly Strand. If that’s not enough, Police soon swarm in and arrest her for attempting to buy drugs (which implies someone may have tipped them off).

In order to get out, she has to pay a fine. Luckily for her, none other than Henry Deaver bails her out. Almost as if confessing, she mentions her psychic abilities to him and suggests they are increasing in frequency and power. Henry is skeptical, but not totally dismissive about it. While we don’t yet know their full relationship, there’s a sense that Henry bailed her out for a reason. In fact, he even arranges for a cab ride to Local Color.

Local Color

Things get real for Castle Rock when Molly appears on Local Color. The show — which looks like a poor man’s cable access program — suffers a minor setback when, out of the blue, Molly goes on a bitter rant against Castle Rock authorities. Specifically, she mentions The Kid (Bill Skarsgård) — who’s essentially been kidnapped by Shawshank Prison with no trial and no formal arrest. It’s obvious that she got this info from Henry’s mind. Due to this outburst, the cat’s out of the proverbial bag, and the stage is set for Henry to finally negotiate for The Kid’s release.

The Negotiation

Bill Skarsgård in Castle Rock (2018)

When Henry meets the new Warden (Ann Cusack), it’s a chance to show his skills. A Lawyer by trade, Henry has legal knowledge that the prison officials themselves lack. In fact, the new Warden’s quick to blame the previous one for their current predicament. While it’s somewhat understandable, it doesn’t quite absolve the new boss from blame.

When she offers a settlement deal, she attaches too many strings and incorrectly refers to the problem as wrongful imprisonment. Henry corrects her, noting that it’s actually a kidnapping. This implies, of course, that they have a legal and moral obligation to release the prisoner immediately. After all, if they have no formal charges against him and don’t even know his identity, how can they rightfully hold onto him?

To gain more details, Henry arranges to meet The Kid himself. However, the meeting doesn’t quite go as planned. Being smart, Henry advises him to keep his identity a secret so he’ll be set free. The Kid doesn’t seem to care about his freedom, though. He seems to care more about freaking Henry out. Rather than speak of his own situation, The Kid asks things like, ”Has it begun?” and “Do you hear it now?” At least one of these things was said by Henry’s father before falling into Castle Lake. It’s an ominous warning sign, and Henry seems to sense it.

Next. Castle Rock season 1, episode 1 premiere recap: ‘Severance’. dark

Molly is Haunted

Near the episode’s end, Molly is home again and just can’t get a break. In addition to her embarrassing rant on Local Color, there’s apparently someone in her home again. Grabbing a knife, she ascends the staircase to slowly investigate the scene. And what a scene it is! It is Henry’s father, all bandaged up as he was when she murdered him, and he’s yelling at her: “Behold! I tell you a mystery!” The ghost does disappear, but there’s no reason to think it’s gone forever. In fact, it seems nothing’s gone forever in Castle Rock.

That’s it for this Castle Rock recap. Feel free to discuss it in the comments!