Why Castle Rock ended the way it did in ‘Romans’


Hulu’s Castle Rock has a strange ending in “Romans,” but there are interesting theories regarding how it all ties together. Let’s try to make sense of it!

Castle Rock has seldom been a normal show, and it’s gone from slow-burner to explosive, then back to slow-burn again. Also, some people got lost along the way – and not just some of the show’s tragic characters.

While the disjointed feel of “Castle Rock” throws some off, there’s strong evidence that this aspect is intentional. It seems there are supposed to be unanswered questions and unanswerable ones.

Any show involving alternate realities will have loose ends, and the season finale intentionally gives up on tying them all together.

It’s not a satisfying conclusion for everyone, but it’s kind of not supposed to be.  It’s up to us to craft our own theories of what happened.

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A Closer Look at a Season’s End

The end makes sense from the character’s perspective. In a way, it’s a realistic move on Henry Deaver’s (André Holland) part to return “The Kid” (Bill Skarsgård) to his original cell.

From the very beginning, we learned Henry Deaver was in over his head. He’s a well-meaning man, but when it comes to solving inter-dimensional rifts, where would he begin?  Where would anyone begin?

It’s a daunting problem, and no one seems to have the tools to address it. The Kid himself seems to lack answers, and, of course, seems to transform into a demon-esque Matthew Deaver toward the end (or something like that).

It’s apparent that, so long as The Kid is seen, he will continue to influence. For example, we see crows strangely attack Henry’s car. Then, of course, Ruth Deaver (Sissy Spacek) is standing on the bridge again, ready to jump (again).

Molly talks her down, but Ruth’s rhetoric about “zigs and zags” suggests that, so long as The Kid’s near her, she’ll steadily lose sanity. Basically, everything about him’s a mess. So, when it’s revealed that Shawshank is actually closing, it’s an even better opportunity to lock The Kid up for Henry.

In addition to bringing death and destruction (like the jail deaths in this episode), The Kid is also inconvenient. At one point, “Kid Deaver” tells Molly Strand (Melanie Lynskey) that the alternate reality Molly is happier. Who wants to hear that?  There’s a hint that, regardless of what The Kid is, the people of Castle Rock no longer want the truth.

Is The Kid Actually Matthew Deaver, or Even the Devil Himself?

Bill Skarsgård, looking ominously Skarsgård-y.

(Castle Rock, Hulu)

One theory about The Kid is that, somehow, he’s a dark force linked to Reverend Matthew Deaver (Adam Rothenberg). Ruth alludes to this numerous times, and it serves to frustrate the storyline a bit as a result. What we do know is that, after learning of Ruth’s possible infidelity, Matthew Deaver was homicidal.

After rambling on about “the cathedral of his voice” and how “the wage of sin is death,” he indeed threatens Ruth. The young Henry isn’t having it, though, and lures the Reverend to the Castle Lake cliff, where he tricks his father and pushes him over the edge. The Kid apparently witnessed this event, so may have assumed portions of Deaver’s identity.

There are other reasons to ask, “Is The Kid the devil?” For example, if The Kid is just an alternate universe Henry, why would his face change like that in the woods? Why would Ruth link him to her psychotic ex-husband?

She’s said to have dementia, but it appears The Kid really is linked to him regardless. At the same time, there are reasons to doubt this theory. If he’s el diablo, why would The Kid have the alternate universe Henry Deaver backstory?

One theory is that – perhaps – he was just playing a trick on Molly and the others. In Molly’s case it would have been a psychic trick, but for others verbal. The stereotypical Devil is known for deceit and is most successful when blending it with the truth.

Indeed, Castle Rock heavily suggests there’s more to the story than the characters let on, and The Kid’s a little too willfully mysterious to be a mere passive victim of circumstance. After all, if he sees the chaos he brings but essentially yawns at it, doesn’t that by itself makes him borderline evil at best?

There’s further evidence for this devil stuff. When the former Shawshank Warden (Ann Cusack) brings the queen chess piece to Molly, the Warden says The Kid’s the devil. She then gets creamed by a bus! There are other possibilities, of course. Maybe The Kid’s just a trickster demon, for example.

The most fun theory of all: The Kid is actually normal, and everyone else in Castle Rock is going crazy (maybe there’s something in the water supply?). In any case, there’s reason to think he’s not just an innocent creature after all.

Henry Deaver seems to know this as he instructs Molly to take Wendell (Chosen Jacobs) to Boston, then keep driving away from Castle Rock.

Deaver the Disbeliever

Maybe The Kid delivers a key line at the end: “After a while, you forget which side of the bars you’re on.” No matter how his presence is interpreted, everything has multiple potentials, and possible explanations for everything abound.

The Kid may be the devil himself, but maybe there’s always more to his puzzle, and the trick is to move on and no longer attempt to solve it – which is exactly what Henry Deaver concluded. No matter what The Kid tells him, Henry Deaver is bound to no longer trust it.  That’s how (kind of) wins.

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Perhaps The Kid’s true evil is his own confused nature, where he originally spun a lie and now believes it as the truth. After all, wouldn’t evil and chaos be inflicted upon themselves as well?

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