Castle Rock season 1, episode 9 recap: ‘Henry Deaver’


In “Henry Deaver,” Hulu’s Castle Rock deals with all possible pasts, all possible presents and 2 possible Henry Deavers.

As “Henry Deaver” begins, Castle Rock is compared to the Biblical Sodom and Gomorrah — cities said to be destroyed for the wickedness of their inhabitants.

In that regard, we catch glimpses of a helicopter crash, and even a school bus creamed by train. The voice is of Reverend Matthew Deaver (Adam Rothenberg), via old tape recordings, and it makes Castle Rock sound like a dark tourist destination.

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We also learn that Matthew Deaver almost died as a child, when his mother pressed a wooden hanger on him to shut him up. The question is, was he lucky to survive?

The Alternate Universe, or the “Deaver-verse”

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This episode has a big reveal: The man we previously called The Kid (Bill Skarsgård) is actually an alternate universe version of Henry Deaver. This is revealed pretty early on in the episode, and both clarifies the story and adds layers of mystery.

I will call this version “Deaver-Skarsgård,” for obvious reasons.

When we first see Deaver-Skarsgård, he is running and smiling, and looking significantly less creepy than the one we’ve seen before. He even gives a presentation on Alzheimer’s disease, which is a field he’s interested in because his mother Ruth (Sissy Spacek) has it.

Deaver-Skarsgård then mentions a cat named Puck, which has an implant in its brain for research. Why is this important? Recall that, in previous episodes, Ruth Deaver’s pet dog was named Puck. This makes the alternate universe seem like a classic “bizarro world,” where everything’s different yet vaguely familiar.

If there’s an inter-dimensional crossover (or whatever one wishes to call it), it could theoretically cause a rift in what Dr. Emmett Brown calls the space-time continuum.

We’re also given a different, seemingly more cheerful Alan Pangborn (Scott Glenn), who calls Deaver-Skarsgård about his dad, who apparently blew his alternate universe head off. When the Reverend’s property is examined, they find a young Henry Deaver (Caleel Harris) in his basement.

We get to see Zalewski (Noel Fisher) again, who appears to be a regular cop rather than a prison guard. Zalewski asks if Henry was being abused (though, honestly, being put in a cage is arguably abuse).

It’s revealed that — like in the other universe — Matthew thought he heard the voice of God in the woods.

While snooping around, Deaver-Skarsgård discovers boxes and boxes of his father’s old micro-cassettes, wherein the Reverend says things like, “This was no son of mine,” and calls him “The deceiver.” It’s also mentioned that the young Deaver is accused of setting fires, similar to The Kid in the other world.

Escape Into the Woods

Molly Strand (Melanie Lynskey) is a little different here, too, as she’s a Chairperson of the Castle Rock City Council. However, she’s still hanging around with a Henry Deaver (albeit of the Skarsgård variety).

Here the CPS (Child Protective Services) is supposed to be picking young Henry up. However, Molly and Deaver-Skarsgård are fascinated by Henry’s talk about god in the woods. So, in a key moment, the two pass in front of a speeding train to elude their police escort, as the young Henry runs off into those spooky woods.

Molly and Skarsgård then become Deaver retrievers.

When they catch up with him, Molly touches young Henry’s shoulder and they share a vision of a lady with a knife, and other ghostly images. Before long, Molly is accidentally shot by the alternate reality Zalewski, which may further interrupt the balance of the Deaver-verse.

It suddenly becomes winter and Deaver-Skarsgård sees Henry running. A theory is that, at this point, Deaver-Skarsgård enters the original Deaver-verse to see Henry escape into the woods free of frostbite (or something like that).

Obviously, it’s a confusing episode — so confusing that, honestly, I won’t even feel bad for getting details mixed up in my Castle Rock recap. In fact, that almost seems to be the point.

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Everything’s mixed up, as there’s a rent in the fabric of reality itself, and multiple universes are streaming together into a possible cacophony. Still, to the best of my ability, I believe I’ve gathered up what happened reasonably well. If you have any further questions, you may wish to consult a therapist.

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