“Behold, I will tell you a mystery.”
That’s the closing line of episode 3 of the Stephen King-inspired Castle Rock, but it’s a good way to preface this recap.
We open in the past: The radio is reporting on the wounds of Rev. Matthew Deaver, recovering at home in stable condition after a fall by the snowy lake. His son Henry remains missing.
Young Molly awakens in the night and crosses the snow in her pajamas and bare feet. She is picking up on a different broadcast. She finds a key hidden by the doorstep, slips on a red hoodie, and walks quietly upstairs to where the reverend lays on a ventilator.
She unplugs his breathing tube and he wakes up struggling. Suffocating. In the bed nearby, Henry’s mother tosses in her blankets but doesn’t wake up.
His father never will.
Molly is grown up now. Dreaming. Inside the church, it’s snowing, and the bandaged reverend is giving a sermon to a congregation of others whose faces are hidden by white bandages.
“Why?” he asks her. “I was saved. My body fell to earth. My bones were broken. I asked my Lord for mercy and he saved me. Who are you to overrule the will of my Lord?”
He tells the congregation: “Friends … we have let a sinner into our house.”
Then there is a prophecy before Molly awakens from this nightmare: “All will sleep and all will be changed in a moment in the twinkling of an eye at the last trumpet.”
At the Mellow Tiger bar, Henry Deaver reads the newspaper, where he sees an ad for Molly Strand Real Estate. “Live Like a King” is her catchphrase.
Over at the yarn mill she’s using as a headquarters, Molly is preparing for her appearance on the Local Color TV series. Jackie Torrance is loading her model of Castle Rock into her car for transport to the TV station.
Then Henry appears in her door. He wants to see her again, his old childhood friend, but he also wants her help selling his mother’s house. He has plans for moving her that don’t involve Castle Rock.
Molly stammers out that it would be a conflict of interest, since she owns property near his family home. And Henry leaves annoyed. “Did I say something wrong?” But she doesn’t give him a satisfying answer.
Molly has a flash of memory – Henry burning a video cassette, and cursing out his father.
The two go to her house, talking in her room about music. Then Molly makes a confession: She can feel what others feel, and she hears and sees him. Henry isn’t sure how to process this information.
Back in the present day, the mystery man in Shawshank is scraping away everything from his lunch platter except the white bread.
Henry has a conversation with Dennis Zalewski, the prison guard. “Earn his trust. Get him to tell me how he got there,” Henry asks.
Back at Molly’s house, everything is torn apart. Ransacked. Jackie shows up to piece through the wreckage.
In the basement, Jackie finds her Henry Deaver box with the missing poster, and Molly hurries away, saying she has to practice her Local Color presentation. Really, she needs her painkillers to stifle the rise of voices in her head.
She has a vision of Henry as a boy, lighting a jack-o-lantern at Halloween. He burns his finger and she feels it. Later, she watches as his father pulls up in front of the house and takes Henry away in the middle of the night.
His father asks him: “Do you hear it? … Do you hear it now?”
But Henry runs away.
Molly goes to the Timberland Motor Lodge, where Derek, her new drug dealer, is holding a bizarre mock trial with children in handmade animal masks. One of the children whispers to her that their “mothers are out drunk, but our daddies are at Shawshank.”
The trial witness declares that the person who murdered is in this courtroom. And all eyes turn to Molly. She runs, but before she can leave the property, police arrive.
The next day, Henry is at the police station, asking about the content of Warden Lacy’s car when he committed suicide: A duffel bag, a collapsible walking stick, a Bible, and rubber kitchen gloves. (Remember this last one. It’s important for a future episode.)
Before he leaves, Henry hears that Molly is in the lock-up and helps coordinate her release.
As they leave together, she continues telling him about the power she first described when they were young. “I feel what other people are feeling, and some people are louder than others. Like when you get a song stuck in your head and can’t think about anything else. “
“Yesterday you didn’t know who I was,” he says.
“That was a lie,” she confesses.
Molly is reading things off of Henry, hearing what’s inside his head. When her moment on TV finally arrives later that day, she can’t bring herself to boast about the revitalization of Castle Rock. Instead she says:
“There is a young man in a cell right now at Shawahnk state prison. His constitutional due process was never respected. He was locked in a tiger cage. No trial. No arrest.”
Molly has just blown open the biggest secret at that prison. The host isn’t sure what to say, so he just says: “Uhhhh….”
Afterward, Henry tells her: “I don’t know how you know all that about my client, but I appreciate you trying to help.”
“I know,” she says.
Then Shawshank calls. Henry goes to meet Warden Porter, who is offering a settlement for the mystery man’s release: $300,000 and no admission of wrongdoing.
“Let’s see what he says,” Henry tells her. Finally, he gets his face-to-face.
“Listen. I’m your lawyer now,” he says to the thick glass between him and the mystery figure. “Your lawyer is telling you we have a brand new strategy as of this second. Don’t tell anyone your name. No charge. No story. I won’t ask, you don’t tell. Understand?”
He thinks he can not just get a larger settlement, but expose abuses at the prison that would help a lot of other people.
All the kid says is: “Has it begun?”
Henry doesn’t know what he means.
“How many years old are you?” the kid asks.
“39,” Henry answers
“Do you hear it now?” the kid asks, echoing the strange phrase his father said to him in the woods.
Back at Molly’s house, she walks into the darkened, destroyed home and pulls a knife. Someone else is here. That someone is the reverend with his bandaged face.
“Behold I will tell you a mystery,” he says. And then he’s gone.