Castle Rock is located in Maine and for years has been central in all things Stephen King, all things wrong.
As described in the series, “God turned its back on this place”.
This series opens with local penitentiary, Shawshank, Warden Lacy, driving out to Castle Rock lake and committing suicide. Of course, in Stephen Kings world or Castle Rocks world even suicide is overkill. In this case Warden Lacy drives his car to the edge of the quarry, gets out, ties a rope around a tree, gets back into the car where the noose is tightened around his neck and then and only then Lacy drives of the edge. As in all things Stephen King, it would not do to somehow survive, extra care is always taken to ensure success. This is Castle Rock.
No more spoilers.
After the suicide it is discovered that Warden Lacy had a secret. He kept a prisoner, a young man, locked deep underground in a closed section of Shawshank. It is unclear who this person is, how long he’s been locked in the cage or why. The person is not listed on any prison logs, no one working at the prison had ever seen him or what crime if any had resulted in his captivity.
The young man only speaks a name, Henry Deaver.
Henry Deaver is a lawyer, specializing in death row cases, and fittingly grew up in Castle Rock. His early life in Castle Rock is also shrouded in suspicion. Henry as a young boy disappeared for a period of time, a suspected abduction, only to reappear days later with no recollection of events.
Henry is summoned back to Castle Rock where he represents the discovered prisoner while coming face to face with past demons. At the same time Henry will be again immersed in Castle Rock, its continuing strange, horrifying events and the equally flawed residents. It’s obvious, in Castle Rock, somethings never change, but in fact can get worse.
Is Henry the catalyst for worse, is it the newly released prisoner or is it the very fabric of Castle Rock.
This series is 10-episode series with a season two confirmed. This doesn’t mean you are left hanging at the end of the first season. Many questions are answered, but yes, a few nuggets remain.
For the Stephen King fan this series provides many looks back and is fun to see these connections. A bus that stops in Salem’s Lot, references to Cujo, Needful Things, the Glicks, characters that demonstrate abilities seen in The Shining and The Dead Zone and Castle Rock woods that are “thin” as in the Dark Tower series, the list goes on.
There are even figurines carved in Shawshank that made me wonder if the inspiration to create was connected to Andy Dufresne another former resident of Shawshank.
Again, the list goes on.
Of course, even if you are not a Stephen King reader this will not impact the series or leave you lost.
The series stands alone, the hints just make it a little deeper, a little darker for the rest of us.