Castle Rock dives into Stephen King lore in first three episodes

CASTLE ROCK -- "Severance" - Episode 101 - Photo by: Patrick Harbron/Hulu, Image Acquired from Hulu Press
CASTLE ROCK -- "Severance" - Episode 101 - Photo by: Patrick Harbron/Hulu, Image Acquired from Hulu Press /
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Castle Rock
CASTLE ROCK — “Severance” – Episode 101 – Photo by: Patrick Harbron/Hulu, Image Acquired from Hulu Press /

Castle Rock kicked off its premiere with three episodes. Get ready to dive into the Stephen King universe in a new way.

Castle Rock starts off in 1991, where we hear that a search for Henry Deaver is called off. Alan Pangborn finds Deaver shortly after and we cut to 2018. Present day Deaver is played by André Holland and he’s a new character in this universe. With Castle Rock, we’ll be getting a new story in a familiar town that ties into various Stephen King stories.

We’re introduced to Dale Lacy, but we only see him for a brief amount of time. He also acts as the narrator throughout. After he commits suicide, we learn that he’s the warden at Shawshank. If you follow Stephen King’s stories at all, you’ve probably heard of this place.

After a new warden (Ann Cusack) arrives, one of the corrections officers finds footprints that lead him to an underground cell, but it feels like more of a cage. The inmate down there has no records and is played by Bill Skarsgård. All he says is Henry Deaver’s name, so the guard gets in touch with him.

Deaver is an attorney who specializes in death row cases. It’s anything but glamorous, but at least he was able to leave Castle Rock. Bringing him back sets up the introduction to his adopted mother, Ruth Deaver (Sissy Spacek). His presence in town isn’t well received since some residents think he killed his father.

When Henry gets to his mother’s house, he finds Alan Pangborn staying with her. Even though he’s the guy who found him all those years ago, he’s not too pleased. When Henry visits the prison, the new warden lies straight to his face and since there’s no death penalty there, they don’t need him for anything.

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The end of the episode is where things get bizarre. Molly Strand (Melanie Lynskey) has Henry’s old jacket. Then Dennis Zalewski (Nole Fisher), the guard who called Henry, is on monitor duty and sees the unnamed inmate on the cameras and it looks like he killed all of the guards. Henry also goes to where Dale died and we now know that he was missing for 11 days. Plus, Dale told the prisoner to ask for Henry specifically and things leave off there.

I’ll admit, to start, the show drops a number of Easter eggs to let us know that we are in fact in that Castle Rock. You have the prison right away and you also have the mouse in the prison that harkens back to The Green Mile, even though the mouse meets a different fate. Luckily, though, you don’t have to wait to see how episode two goes.