Castle Rock has given us some answers.
Finally. After almost two months of relentless questions, we finally have some answers. They aren’t as sexy as some of us hoped, but that’s okay. The Kid isn’t Pennywise, he isn’t Randall Flagg or Walter o’Dim. He isn’t evil incarnate, or the actual capital-D Devil, or anything else that we may have pulled from the void to fill the holes left in our brains by this first season of Castle Rock. You see, the answers we did receive this week may not be as wild as some of us wished, but they are is absolutely perfect.
The Kid is Henry Deaver. Henry Deaver is the Kid. They are, in the same instant, both Henry Deaver and no-one at all. What we were shown in this episode is not the underworld where the devil came from, but an alternative Castle Rock where things turned out differently than in our world. Matthew and Ruth’s child never died during her labor, and he grew up to be a doctor specializing in Alzheimer’s research. He grew up to be the Kid. He grew up to be Henry Deaver, M.D.
“God turned his back on this place. ‘He abandoned us’, that’s what people say.”- Reverend Matthew Deaver
In this parallel world, Ruth was able to save Henry’s life by fleeing the toxic insanity Matthew was beginning to display. Our new Henry receives a call one day while walking with his partner from Alan Pangborn letting him know that his father had finally done it. He killed himself out by the lake, leaving Henry alone to pick up the pieces. When he enters the home, we are attacked by how cluttered and disgusting it is. It’s nothing like when Ruth inhabits it alone in our world. This is a house filled with anger, a home consumed by madness. In the basement we see something that goes beyond the insane. We see a cage, and in that cage is a young boy named Henry Deaver.
We can now start to connect the dots. That is what the Kid meant when he told Henry that he “saved him from that basement” and that he “never asked for any of this”. We see Matthew as he meets our Henry for the first time. He is incredulous, obviously. I mean, this is a kid, from a different race, that is claiming to be your son who has left with your ex-wife for Boston. He knows how you like your eggs, what you call the bend in the woods, that Ruth used to try to trick Matthew about the sounds in the woods, everything.
At first, Matthew saw this as a sign from god and an answer to his prayers. Unfortunately, Matthew realizes that god doesn’t answer prayers in that way. There is only one entity in the universe that gives you exactly what you want, and we must do anything we can to cage that deity when it manifests.
“Or, they say that He is punishing us for our sins like Sodom and Gomorrah. You remember the helicopter crash? How about the school bus?”- Reverend Matthew Deaver
So how did our Henry and the Kid end up where they were when we first met them? To answer this question, and to explain how this ties so perfectly into the universe of Stephen King, we need to go to a different where, a different when. We need to join a different ka-tet, leave our homes in Gilead and head to Mejis, where the nefarious Good Man John Farson is gathering oil to fuel his army. You see, just to the northwest of the town of Hambry, there lies a canyon.
This isn’t any normal canyon that you might find in the Southwest, though. At one end of this vicious crack in the earth, there is a narrow opening. This is where the people of Mejis burn brambles every year to quiet the entity at the other end. In this where and this when, Roland Deschain and his ka-tet of Cuthbert Allgood and Alain Johns used this entity to trap and kill Eldred Jonas and the Big Coffin Hunters. It is mysterious. It is something that few have seen and even fewer have survived. You see, Castle Rock and this Eyebolt Canyon have more in common than you may think. They both have a thinny.
Instead of diving head-first into my nerd and subjecting you to a 16-hour lecture about the events of Wizard and Glass, the fourth novel in The Dark Tower series, I will give you the SparkNotes version. A thinny is a place in the universe where the fabric of reality has worn thin (Get it? Thin/Thinny? Nobody will ever say that S.K. stinks at naming things). Through these thinnies, one can travel to the different wheres and whens in the universes. You can enter a thinny after leaving Lud and find yourself walking the highway in a Topeka, Kansas that has been ravaged by a super-flu, like Roland and his ka-tet do.
These tears in reality are described as being mis-colored, like looking through stained glass or a mist, and having a ringing or whine-like sound that emanates from their core. Sometimes there are things inside the thinny. Hungry things from the Todash darkness that reach out and pull you into their mouths. Most of the time, however, thinnies annoy you, drive you mad, or tell you exactly what you want to hear. Sound familiar? It sure sounds like the woods outside of Castle Rock to me.
People say ‘It wasn’t me, It was this place’, and the thing is, they are right.”- Reverend Matthew Deaver
The thing about thinnies is that they can manifest and alter reality in different ways. It all depends on which when and where you encounter it in. In Castle Rock, it appears that the thinny is a place where the evils and pain of the town are stored. We see the French girl who ate her fellow settlers over 200 years ago. We also see some escaped prisoners, and a girl cutting her wrists by a tree. Everything is tainted a wavy color and there are crows flying above. They are flying in one direction, almost as if they are following some sort of path. It acts as a bridge between the years 1991 and 2018, and whispers the voices of god and the devil into the ears of the residents of Castle Rock.
As we navigate our way through this new world, we can see that the Kid is not evil. He is no more an agent of destruction than our Henry is as a child in 2018. Sure, evil and destruction follow them wherever they go, but it isn’t due to malicious intentions or evil thoughts. It’s because they do not belong where they are. Both Henrys set fire to Juniper Hill, killing several patients, but they didn’t do it intentionally. The universe where they currently are residing is rejecting them. It is trying to reconcile their existence in a world where they are not supposed to be. In our original universe, the natural-born Henry Matthew Deaver did not survive his birth. Therefore, when this person enters the timeline, his existence causes chaos. We can no more blame the Henrys for what happens around them than we can blame a bullet shot from a gun.
With one episode left, all that we know is that there is going to be a fateful meeting in the woods. Molly, Ruth, the Kid, Henry and Henry’s son Wendell all have a role to play in the upcoming episode, but what will it mean for their survival? Will the Kid be able to travel back to his 2018 and reconnect with his loved ones? Will the replacement of the Henrys to their correct Castle Rock fix Ruth’s mind? If both Henrys are able to travel through the thinny to the alternate Castle Rocks, what else might find its way into the woods from the other side? All the we can do is wait another week and see if the season finale answers these questions for us. Stay secure in the fact that no matter what happens, all things serve the Beam, we say thankya.
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