Cracking Castle Rock – Episode 8: “Past Perfect,” Or Trying To Pull A Sixth Sense

by Rachel Bellwoar

After an episode spent filling in the gaps of Ruth’s timeline, Castle Rock proves unwilling to break the habit and scrapes the bottom of the barrel for its newest subjects, Gordon (Mark Harelik) and Lilith (Lauren Bowles).

Mark Harelick (Photo by: Dana Starbard/Hulu)

Raise your hand if you were itching to know what happened to the couple who were interested in buying Warden Lacy’s place? “Past Perfect” lets us in on what they’ve been up to and it turns out that running a murder history B&B isn’t a great fit for a couple who have strong opinions about cheating.

Pulling minor characters out of the woodwork can produce unexpected results, and it doesn’t get more unexpected than guests being sawed apart and killed with axes. Castle Rock has tended to save its bloodiest moments for last, but “Past Perfect” spreads out the violence so the episode feels less bottom-heavy. The violence is different, too, because we’re not close to the killers. If Dennis can become a blip in Castle Rock’s past, these two surely can, and that’s the other side to this unexpected interlude. Does Castle Rock really have time to be devoting to Gordon and Lilith? The show is allowing itself to take all these self-contained detours, but we’re past needing evidence that Castle Rock’s cursed. Even locking Henry in the camper was anti-climactic, which maybe was the point (Willy’s devotion didn’t last).

Henry continues to be self-absorbed with his past. He doesn’t go with Wendell to Boston but it’s not because he wants to be around for his mother (who gets left unsupervised after killing the love of her life) but because he wants to find out what’s in Warden Lacy’s basement. His sense of urgency, that he thinks he should break-in rather than wait, makes no sense, since he’s never met Gordon or Lilith.

The only important thing to come out of Henry’s timing is his discovery of the dated portraits of Skarsgård. It’s a timely reminder that, whether or not he’s responsible for Castle Rock’s woes, there’s something supernatural going on with Skarsgård’s aging. Forget that and there’s an argument to be made that Castle Rock’s projecting its problems on Skarsgård. Remember that, and the possibility seems less likely.

Other thoughts on “Past Perfect”:

Lauren Bowles (Photo by: Dana Starbard/Hulu)
  • At the end of the episode, Skarsgård tells Molly she died in the forest. A Sixth Sense explanation seems untenable, since multiple people have talked to her, but if she’s not a ghost, does that mean Castle Rock’s all in Molly’s head? Or did she die like Buffy (the first time), and it was only temporary?
  • Why did Wendell get off the bus at Jerusalem’s Lot instead of Boston? Like Henry, we see him hear the ringing in his ear. Was he able to understand the “voice of God” more clearly?
  • Regarding our murderous couple’s names: Lilith needs no explanation (she’s the devil) but again with Gordon, after episode six’s birthday boy was named Gordon, too.
  • Sure, this episode’s chock full of trash bags filled with body parts, but one of the creepiest moments has to be Gordon and Lilith watching Jackie leave the house from the front door window. Their obviousness makes the whole moment extra creepy.

New episodes of Castle Rock stream every Wednesday on Hulu.

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