Castle Rock season 1, episode 5 recap: “Harvest”


In episode 5 of Hulu’s Castle Rock, The Kid seems to be a bad influence and Ruth Deaver goes for a ceremonial leap.

“Harvest” is brimming with small details and big events for Castle Rock. For those who thought the show started too slow, fear not. As the show moves along, it definitely gathers speed, almost to a gallop. The strange thing is, it’s still an ethereal gallop, and a lot of the horror manages to retain its subtlety. Plus, little by little, new facts about the characters are unveiled.

For example, here we learn that Shawshank’s new Warden’s first name is Thersa — a fact that some might have missed, possibly because it wasn’t revealed before. Also, we learn that she’s in trouble over the shooting rampage committed by Shawshank Prison Guard Dennis Zalewski (Noel Fisher).

Read. Castle Rock season 1, episode 4 recap: ‘The Box’. light

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The Kid is Freed

Henry Deaver (André Holland) thought he did the right thing in freeing The Kid (Bill Skarsgård) — a mystery prisoner caged in a deserted block at Shawshank. However, as we viewers know, things are a little more complex than that. As a strange sign, when the two meet on the outside, The Kid doesn’t shake Henry’s hand. While it could be seen as disrespectful, fearful or a sign of germophobia, Deaver seems to recognize it as something else. Like most who meet him, Deaver knows The Kid isn’t normal, even if he can’t quite grasp what’s wrong with him. Also, previously, those who’ve physically touched The Kid ended up regretting it (though Henry doesn’t know that).

Shawshank’s previous Warden, Dale Lacy (Terry O’Quinn), knew something wasn’t right about that boy. He’s the one who locked him up. In fact, during a flashback sequence, Lacy says he doesn’t know what The Kid really is, or if he did the right thing in incarcerating him. However, now that he’s freed again, Henry and Molly Strand (Melanie Lynskey) give the kid a place to stay, believing they’re doing the world a favor.

As it turns out, they’re doing the world a disservice. Because he can freely roam, The Kid can now freely harm, which he seems to do sometimes by his mere presence. In a dramatic example, he visits a family’s home at night, during some kid named Gordy’s birthday party. When the kid wanders into their home, the family goes nuts, and we hear scenes of violence unfold as The Kid somberly leaves to perch on their rooftop. While there he seems alternately empty and contemplative. Is he to blame for the violence? Most certainly — but how?

Ruth’s Leap Into Chaos

Henry Deaver’s mom, Ruth (Sissy Spacek) is known to have mental difficulties. She doesn’t remember everything, and at times seems to almost lose control behavior-wise. So, when she says aloud that something terrible’s going to happen, it could easily be seen as a “senior moment.” However, nobody actually doubts her prescience, given the strange events at Castle Rock.

In fact, Alan Pangborn (Scott Glenn) seems to regard her as mentally competent, and not just because he loves her. Instead, his opinion is that her mind is great, if not powerful. So, when Henry Deaver discusses her mental condition, Pangborn defensively quips, “Why not just put a chip in her like a golden retriever?” It’s a rather funny line, but it hits home to Henry, who is very sensitive in his dealings with others and always wants to do the right thing (even if he fails). Still, both Pangborn and Henry Deaver are put to the test as the episode unfolds.

At a ceremony honoring Pangborn, Ruth seems entranced. She wanders out of her seat, looking vacant, and leaps off the bridge freshly named after Pangborn. Henry heroically leaps to her rescue, saving her from a drowning death, but the scene functions as an omen (in fact, most things in Castle Rock seem like omens, and ominous).

Moments of Clarification

This episode reveals a few key things. For one thing, we learn that Jackie Torrance (Jane Levy) isn’t that character’s real name. Her real name is Diane, but she calls herself Jackie to drive her family nuts, as they’re in denial about her uncle, the crazed Jack Torrance (which we’ll know from Stephen King’s “The Shining”). It’s an interesting little reveal. Although Jackie has been a relatively minor character, it’s almost certain that her past will be illuminated upon more before season’s end.

Also, Molly Strand elaborates on her psychic abilities (or disabilities, as they sometimes are). She says things indicating that she can read Henry’s mind, which makes him less skeptical of her. She also says there’s something wrong with “that kid,” and that she can hear the entire town’s pain in him. Given the twisted history of Castle Rock, it’s no wonder that The Kid and Molly might be messed up. Indeed, The Kid himself tells Molly he should still be “in the hole” at Shawshank.

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On top of that, we learn that Alan Pangborn is feeling jaded, afraid and confrontational. He removes his own memorial plaque from the bridge named after him, both because of Ruth’s leap and because there’s little pride in celebrating Castle Rock. That’s not all, though. We see that, when he was still Sheriff, Pangborn actually let Dale Lacy drive off with The Kid in his car trunk!

Now, when he sees The Kid in the woods, Pangborn remarks that he hasn’t aged at all in 27 years. Pangborn then asks him if he’s the devil. The Kid answers “No,” but adds, “You have no idea what’s happening, do you?”  He also says he can “save” Ruth, which is the one thing that may stop Alan from firing his gun, which is pointed at him by episode’s end.

That’s it for this Castle Rock recap. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!