Castle Rock (S02E01) “Let the River Run” to (S02E03) “Ties That Bind”

A slow start of the new season.

Castle Rock is back for a brand new season. Just as promised, with a completely different story. This time one that is more centered on “Misery”. But unfortunately, from what we’ve got so far, it looks like it won’t be as good as the first season.

CASR 201 MJL  21RT f - Castle Rock (S02E01) "Let the River Run" to (S02E03) "Ties That Bind"
CASTLE ROCK — “Let The River Run” – Episode 201 (Photo by: Maura Longueil/Hulu)

I was shocked when I found out that Hulu was going to premiere not one, not two, but three episodes of the show, but now I totally get it.

Right of the bat I can tell you that this season isn’t as compelling as the last one. I don’t know if it is because it was new or because it had Bill Skarsgard but something made me gravitate to that season more than this one. That is kind of odd since this is based on “Misery” and I read (and quite enjoyed) the book. And unfortunately, I can’t really tell you why I didn’t like this that much. The acting is great, the setting is great and the cinematography is quite good. Well, I feel like the issue here is the passing, which is very noticeable in the first episode.

The first episode is basically a set up. We get to meet the new characters, the new timeline (since this is set in present time) and, to be honest, the new town, since this isn’t really based in Castle Rock. That was also an issue for me, I guess.

This season, so far, is a lot more centered on Salem’s Lot. Although I do know about the town and I know roughly what the book and movie are about, I haven’t read or seen either of them, so I feel like I miss a lot of references. I believe the ones that are familiar with one or the two are going to enjoy this a lot more, but if we really think about it, that’s a bit of an issue. You can’t expect that your viewers know the source material so you have to captivate them with what you got. I still got mildly invested, but I truly feel like I’m missing stuff.

As for episode two, I feel like the Easter eggs are even stronger. With Annie waking up in Marten House (which, after some research, I found out it’s huge in the book) and dealing with killing Ace. And once again, the passing affected the episode a bit, with only the last part to give a bit more of an impact, when Ace comes back to life.

Episode three, however, was a lot better, in my opinion. That’s why I think they were right in premiering three episodes right away. The first two where an introduction, but this was gave us actually something.

Annie’s daughter, Joy, realizes that something is wrong and she starts her own research. That’s when she turns on her mother and ties her to the bed (a great nod to Gerald’s Game). Joy makes Annie take the pills which, obviously she doesn’t, and that’s when Annie starts to try to escape. Eventually she tells kind of the truth to Joy but that’s when the daughter realizes Annie isn’t taking the pills. When she gets free, Annie attacks Joy and the latter runs away. Annie goes after her daughter and that’s when we actually get something – the man that she’s running from (or his apparition) telling her that she’s going to kill her again. This raises a lot of questions and, I can say, now I’m curious.

It was a rough start for me but I do believe it’s going to get better from now on. Let us know all your thoughts on the season premiere and I’ll catch you up on the next one – Wednesday, October 30 on Hulu.