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'Castle Rock' recap: The mystery man's identity is revealed

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September 05, 2018 at 09:44 PM EDT

Go then, there are other worlds than these.

This line from Stephen King’s The Gunslinger, the first in The Dark Tower series, isn’t spoken aloud in this penultimate episode of Castle Rock, but it’s the foundation of everything we see.

The show has already stated that the “Voice of God” that Henry’s father claims speaks to him from the woods is the sound of friction between multiple universes.

“Other years, other nows. All possible pasts, all possible presents. Schisma is the sound of the universe trying to reconcile that.”

So explained Odin Branch a few episodes back, and here we get an episode focused on one of those alternate worlds. We also learn the real name of the mystery man played by Bill Skarsgård: Henry Matthew Deaver.

But he and the character played by André Holland are not one in the same, although they share the name. They don’t really share the same universe, or shouldn’t.

Skarsgård has spent decades locked below Shawshank prison, but he hasn’t aged a day. That’s because he’s a man from another time, another place. His body is not part of the chronology of the place he’s inhabiting.

The same thing happened to the young version of Holland’s Henry Deaver, played by Caleel Harris. At some point, while exploring the woods and searching for the Voice of God that his adoptive father described, the boy ended up in another time and place himself, one in which the Reverend Deaver and his wife Ruth never lost their biological child.

That child grew into Skarsgård’s Henry Deaver, a doctor researching a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. His mother is still suffering from it, but she has led a different life than the Ruth we know from the original Castle Rock timeline.

This other Ruth left her abusive minister husband and took her son to live with her and Alan Pangborn. They had a happy life and raised a happy son, who learns during his trip home that he may soon be a father himself.

He’s summoned back by a call from Pangborn. His father has committed suicide, out at the lake, just like Warden Lacy in the other timeline. And just like Warden Lacy, Reverend Deaver has a prisoner in the basement — the child Henry, the adopted Henry, played by Harris.

Here’s where the story becomes a kind of loop — or a wheel, in the parlance of The Dark Tower. Child Henry was swept back in time, landing sometime after 1991, when Skarsgård Henry would have left Castle Rock with his mother and Alan Pangborn.

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