On the latest Castle Rock, Ruth Deaver struggles to accept the fact that Alan Pangborn is dead. The Kid makes yet another mysterious and terrifying proclamation and Henry’s past comes back to haunt him. Can the Deaver family ever be safe? Find out in our recap below.
“Thought I knew how the world worked,” laments Henry Deaver (André Holland) to Molly Strand (Melanie Lynskey) early in the episode. Since Castle Rock doesn’t work like the rest of the world, they’re forced to accept that reality and come to terms with it in Episode 8 of Hulu’s Castle Rock.
Molly Strand’s attempts at getting real estate sold in Castle Rock has unintended consequences—an unassuming couple who moved into the late Warden Lacy’s home have come for a peculiar purpose. And just as expected, they’re suffering from the ill effects of life in Castle Rock.
Gordon (Mark Harelik), a quiet sociologist savagely beats a man who he accuses of having relations with his wife, Lilith (Lauren Bowles). This is the start of worse to follow.
Gordon and Lilith’s plan in Castle Rock is to set up a bed and breakfast. They spend time sprucing up the house, though Lilith finds Gordon’s devotion to the project a little disturbing. During the clean-up, Lilith finds hundreds of pictures by Warden Lacy in the basement. They all feature one subject, The Kid (Bill Skarsgård). It isn’t long before Gordon becomes obsessed with the paintings, hanging them all around the house. The good news is that Gordon’s dedication seems to prove worthwhile and their little slice of heaven/hell gets its first booking.
The interested couple is taken aback by the presence of a mannequin with an ax in its skull but Lilith assures them it is because Gordon has always had an “interest in the macabre”. The bed-and-breakfast is meant to attract people fascinated by the numerous true crimes that have taken place in Castle Rock, visualizing what happened themselves. Gordon’s plan is to realistically recreate the murders using mannequins for aficionados to enjoy. Unfortunately, the couple has no interest in the house’s history, they’re simply looking for a place to shack up.
While Lilith sleeps soundly, Gordon is kept awake by the sounds of their guests—that is until their passionate moans turn to shrieks of horror. Lilith awakens to find Gordon in the guests’ room, covered in their blood. More victims have been claimed by Castle Rock tonight.
Meanwhile, Molly Strand can feel her connection to Henry Deaver has its uses. She uses it to find Henry in the woods and rescues him from the soundproof room. As for the kidnappers, Odin (Charles Jones) and Willie (Rory Culkin), we see Odin’s dead body lying in the woods. Whatever happened to him? And where is Willie?
Molly brings an exhausted Henry home. The hours he was there felt like years and Molly partly shared the experience with him, though she is confused about what exactly they both went through in the room. The bad news is Henry’s trials are far from over.
Inside the Deaver home, he finds that his son, Wendell (Chosen Jacobs) is missing. The Kid has made himself comfortable in the house and Henry is ready to accuse The Kid of doing something to Wendell, but then the boy returns.
The Kid leads Henry to the garage and Alan Pangborn (Scott Glenn)’s body. Henry accuses The Kid but he sets Henry right—putting the blame on Henry’s mother. Of course, The Kid, in his inexplicable way, tries to convince Henry that Ruth was confused and frightened and that she now needs their protection. He suggests they bury Pangborn in the woods. Henry refuses to act on The Kid’s idea.
But, out of the blue, The Kid asks Henry if he “can hear it” and Henry hesitantly acquiesces. The Kid is relieved but Henry is distraught. “Why did you ask for me?” he demands. “I waited for you. I waited 27 years,” The Kid says, as the Maine police department arrives. A frightened Wendell had alerted them to The Kid’s presence. The Kid turns to leave but not before dropping another bomb on Henry—he rescued Henry from ‘the basement’. Could Henry have met The Kid in a basement owned by Warden Lacy? What could they have been there for?
Back at the B&B, there’s a lot of cleaning up to do. Gordon works on sawing up the bodies for easy disposal. He then tries to explain to Lilith that he doesn’t know what came over him; Lilith is incredibly understanding about the whole situation. But to make matters worse, Jackie Torrance (Jane Levy) arrives in her taxi service. She offers a partnership with the B&B to make a few extra bucks but winds up taking an interest in the B&B’s macabre decorations. The couple really want her to leave so they can dispose of the bodies but she keeps talking about the history of the town, which she knows extremely well.
Eventually, they manage to talk her out of the house, but Jackie remains suspicious. When she steps on a piece of bedding covered in blood, her suspicions are confirmed and she high-tails it out of there.
Outside of Henry Deaver’s house, it’s crawling with policemen as he tries to assess his conflicted feelings about Pangborn. Wendell is feeling guilty for leaving his grandmother and he wants to know where Henry was. He can’t answer properly and it upsets Wendell.
Ruth finally awakens and calls for her son. She tries to explain how scared she was the night before—of her husband, Reverend Deaver. She apologizes for not protecting Henry better but is proud of the fact that she finally stood up to his father and protected him. At this point, she doesn’t realize that she killed Pangborn.
Henry is being questioned by the police—the policewoman in charge is not impressed by his lack of information about The Kid. However, she goes easy on him, and Ruth, because her daughter went to school with Henry. He doesn’t remember her but Henry is unforgettable. She recalls the nickname the bullies in school called him—The Black Death. She insists his moniker has a lasting effect seeing as how another dead body in his home.
Henry is tired of the nonsense in Castle Rock and decides to send Wendell away. Henry promises to go to Boston after his work is done but Wendell pleads with his father to leave with him at that very moment. But even he knows its in vain—Henry cannot leave yet. The bus is set to leave when it is suddenly hit by a bird and a painful high-pitched ringing takes up residence in Wendell’s ears. The same ringing Henry suffered from before going into Odin’s device.
Henry talks to Molly on the phone, acknowledging that wherever The Kid goes, death follows. The thing is, The Kid doesn’t actually do anything to kill people, “other people do it for him”. Henry tells Molly what The Kid told him about the basement. He asks Molly if she had ever gone to Warden Lacy’s basement but Mrs. Lacy said she had never found the key.
Henry goes to the B&B but nobody answers the door so he breaks into the basement. He finds dismantled mannequins there which surprise him but he is looking for something else. He finds a way into the B&B from the basement and goes exploring. He sees the pictures everywhere and starts looking at the dates—2005, 1999, 1997. The Kid looks the same in all of them—all except one. This particular picture was dated 1991, the same year Henry disappeared.
Molly is reliving Henry’s memories but they are mixed with more sinister images of death—her death. She tries to take her ‘medication’ to stop her racing mind and calls Henry. She cannot be alone at that moment and panics.
Henry takes a photo with his phone of the 1991 painting but is discovered by Gordon. He tries to explain that he is a lawyer who represents the subject of the paintings but Gordon only glares at him. It is best to leave but as Henry moves out of the room, Lilith creeps up from behind and stabs him. Gordon tries to stop her but Lilith flails wildly, stabbing him in the shoulder and then she accidentally stabs herself. Henry barely escapes but Gordon races after him, yanking Henry out of his car, knife in hand. When all seems lost, Jackie arrives.
Out of nowhere, Jackie pulls an ax and delivers a killing blow to Gordon—becoming loyal to her namesake. She manages to save Henry but that doesn’t change the fact Gordon and Lilith are the latest victims of Castle Rock.
When the police arrive, Jackie explains to them that she thought the couple was creepy and that’s why she came by to check up on them. Killing Gordon was not on her agenda, even though her connection to Jack Torrance would probably make the deputies think otherwise.
Henry gets a call from the Reverend—Ruth came to the church asking if Pangborn was dead or alive. According to the Reverend, he tried to keep her around but she left suddenly in a state of confusion. Deeply concerned, Henry races off in search of her.
Molly goes to her house only to find The Kid waiting inside. “I don’t think he’s ready yet,” says The Kid, referring to Henry. “Ready for what?” Molly wonders but The Kid doesn’t elaborate. He wants her to help him because she knows who he is. Molly can’t understand how but he recounts her childhood to her; he knows more than she would have liked. The Kid says he knows all this because he was there. And then he says something truly chilling— “Out there in the woods. That’s where you died.” Molly is shocked and the episode ends with her learning of a grim fate, her own.