Castle Rock Season 2, Episode 5: Top 4 shocking moments

CASTLE ROCK -- "The Laughing Place" - Episode 205 -- In the beginning.... Teen Annie (Ruby Cruz) and Tall Man (John Hoogenakker), shown. (Photo by: Dana Starbard/Hulu)
CASTLE ROCK -- "The Laughing Place" - Episode 205 -- In the beginning.... Teen Annie (Ruby Cruz) and Tall Man (John Hoogenakker), shown. (Photo by: Dana Starbard/Hulu) /
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Castle Rock Season 2, Episode 5, titled “The Laughing Place,” takes us to where it all began, confirming theories and delivering new surprises. Here are the most shocking moments.

“The Laughing Place” rewinds time for Castle Rock viewers, taking us all to Annie’s childhood. We meet her parents and learn where her problems and worries stem from. Annie seems to have been a victim of bad parenting. Instead of addressing Annie’s issues at school, her parents, Carl and Crysilda, pull her out of school and try their best to educate her. But before we go any further, please note there are significant spoilers ahead if you have yet to watch the latest episode!

At school, Annie’s main problem is reading. Carl tries to teach Annie to read by having the young girl type in his books on the computer, it helps, but not much. Crysilda then hires a tutor, Rita, and Annie quickly begins to read. Almost as quickly, Rita and Carl hit it off and begin a relationship. This is all behind cameras, but audiences are able to put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Oblivious to Carl and Rita’s relationship, Annie is crushed when her father leaves the house. They keep in touch and talk often, though. The one who is crumbling after this betrayal and separation is Crysilda.

CASTLE ROCK — “The Laughing Place” – Episode 205 — In the beginning…. Crysilda (Robin Weigert), shown. (Photo by: Dana Starbard/Hulu)
CASTLE ROCK — “The Laughing Place” – Episode 205 — In the beginning…. Crysilda (Robin Weigert), shown. (Photo by: Dana Starbard/Hulu) /

Let’s break down the most shocking moments of “The Laughing Place,” below: 

1. Crysilda: I’m not sure if Crysilda always had mental issues or if she was going through a mental breakdown due to the divorce, but she decides killing herself and Annie is the best option — and that is absolutely mental. Crysilda hits the gas pedal and drives into the lake. Annie is able to escape, but Crysilda dies.

After her mother’s death, Annie sinks into a deep depression and is in need of medication, but Carl decides Annie doesn’t “need that stuff.” He’ll regret this later.

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2. Rita: Carl finally decides to introduce Rita as his girlfriend (or wife?) and the baby Rita was pregnant with while tutoring Annie turns out to be Carl’s daughter, so Annie’s sister. Annie is furious, but she comes around to the idea soon enough and even begins to show interest in the baby.

3. Joy’s identity: As soon as Rita becomes pregnant, I knew her baby is Joy. Sure enough, this is revealed when Annie accidentally kills her father and stabs Rita. Let’s back up here for a moment, though…

Carl finally completes his book and dedicates it to Rita, crediting her as his “laughing place.” The laughing place is something Carl and Annie have talked about long before meeting Rita. Not to mention, Annie has been helping and supporting her father’s book from the start. To dedicate the book to Rita is a slap in the face. I feel for her. Carl and Annie argue and she pushes him away, he falls down the stairs and is killed when a piece of wood goes through his body.

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A horrified Rita appears and Annie stabs her in the stomach with a pair of large scissors. Annie grabs her baby sister and runs away, planning on killing her, too. When the baby giggles at Annie, she decides to keep her and raise the baby as her own.

Castle Rock
CASTLE ROCK — “The Laughing Place” – Episode 205 — In the beginning…. Annie (Lizzy Caplan), shown. (Photo by: Dana Starbard/Hulu) /

4. Rita is alive: Rita is a tough one! She’s alive and has been searching for her daughter ever since. As fate would have it, Joy is reading Carl’s book she found in Annie’s secret belongings and finds Rita’s name there. Joy finds Rita on Facebook and gives her a call. It’s not that Joy suspects any of this, but she does want to know who her father is and believes this is a step in the right direction. Rita picks up and asks who is on the other line. What an ending!

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Even though this episode took a step back from the supernatural horrors, it was necessary to learn more about Annie. And a huge chess piece is now in motion now that we know Joy’s real mother is alive. Where do you see the season heading next?

Castle Rock premieres new episodes each Wednesday only on Hulu.