CASTLE ROCK: 'The Queen' is the Best Hour of the Series So Far - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

CASTLE ROCK: ‘The Queen’ is the Best Hour of the Series So Far

August 22, 2018 by  

Castle Rock Preview

Castle Rock — “The Queen” – Episode 107 – Memories haunt Ruth Deaver. Ruth Deaver (Sissy Spacek) and Bill Skarsgard, shown. (Photo by: Dana Starbard/Hulu)

[This post contains light spoilers for the August 21 episode of CASTLE ROCK.]

CASTLE ROCK, at its core, is an ambitious series. Yes, the Hulu show is telling its own story in the Stephen King universe, but it’s also shouldering the history of what has happened over the decades in the small town. But Wednesday’s episode, “The Queen,” is the most daring hour yet.

With the fate of Ruth Deaver (Sissy Spacek) very much up in the air at the end of the “Filter,” the answer of what went down between her and The Kid (Bill Skarsgård) wasn’t the real priority of the episode. Instead, viewers followed a disorientated Ruth as she fumbled around through time (in her own mind), as memories and reality collided—with only her chess pieces to anchor her back to reality.

CASTLE ROCK has already established itself as the best television “adaptation” of the King world—and it has a pick-up for a second installment—but “The Queen” is a masterpiece. (And one of my favorite hours of television so far this year.) It’s by far Spacek’s best work in the series; what she’s able to do even solo is absolutely stunning. And there are a few notable scenes for Spacek with Skarsgård and Scott Glenn/Jeffrey Pierce (both men play Alan Pangborn, Ruth’s love/one of the few canon King characters in the series, in different time periods), separately, that are particularly haunting. (This is also my early warning that if Spacek doesn’t get Emmy recognition for this episode next year, I’m going to be very mad.)

But it’s not just the performances: the writing (by co-showrunner Sam Shaw) and directing (by Greg Yaitanes) are perfectly unnerving. You never quite feel settled or safe in the hour…which puts the viewer perfectly in Ruth’s mindset.

Given its twisted focus, “The Queen,” arguably, could also work as a standalone hour if you’ve never seen CASTLE ROCK. (Which is part of why I’m not going to be talking about any of the bigger twists of the episode here; if this intrigues you enough to watch the episode, fantastic…and then go catch up on what you’ve missed.) But the weight of the six hours we’ve already spent with these characters—and this installment filling in some of the blanks from what we previously saw—makes this an episode I’ll be thinking about for a good amount of time.

What did you think of “The Queen”?

CASTLE ROCK, Wednesdays, Hulu


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