Hulu’s Castle Rock
Season 2, Episode 4: “Restore Hope”
Directed by Phil Abraham
Written by Guy Busick & R. Christopher Murphy
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Ties That Bind” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Laughing Place” – click here
1993 in Mogadishu, Somalia.
Choppers flew overhead as young Abdi and Nadia played in the streets. Soon there were explosions across the way from their home. Abdi came home with an assault rifle for protection, but his mother wasn’t going to have it in their house. Later, their mother had to leave for a while. This left the kids alone when a couple soldiers found them. This led to mom returning, holding a rifle, and getting shot dead. Today, in Castle Rock, Dr. Nadia watches as her adopted father is slipping away from her, in several ways. Not the least of which is his cancer. She worries lots about her brother and Pop.
At a bus stop, Joy sits alone in the night. She’s passed by the returned Ace, who stops to see if she wants a ride. The girl refuses, and the bus arrives just in time to get her out of there. What exactly is the reanimated Ace up to, anyway? In the meantime, Joy ends up down at the shelter, where it just so happens Dr. Nadia is checking on people.
Back at home, Annie discovers Chance there trying to get Joy’s things for her. This is not going to be good for anybody. Then she gets a call from Nadia. The two women meet to try figuring things out. Annie says her daughter has “quite an imagination” and is probably making up stories. She mentions running from “a violent man.” Nadia explains the nurse can’t come back to the hospital, not while all this is happening. Annie goes to the doc’s house to look for Joy, confronted by Abdi putting a gun in her face.
Dr. Nadia can’t seem to concentrate on her work with everything that’s going on, so she goes to see Reg. He wants to apologise. She’s only there to talk about the shitty results from his latest tests. The chemo isn’t working. Nadia hopes to do more, but Reg thinks it’s all over. She tries to get him into new trials, going through the vet’s healthcare system, which may bring up Pop’s military history.
That night, Ace goes back up to the Marsten House to see his resurrected friends.
At the church, Pop’s talking about how his sins are “written in blood.” He knows how to stop it— tell the truth. However, the truth will clearly shatter somebody. He’s talking about Nadia. Did he have something to do with her mother’s death?
Reg decides to burn a letter he wrote to Abdi and Nadia. For now, truth remains buried. Then he goes to visit Chris. He’s planning a “big, sloppy, Irish wake” for himself before he’s actually gone. He’s done pretending he’ll live. He’d rather accept death.
Chance actually sneaked out more than Joy’s things from the house. She also brought along the locked box Annie keeps. Inside are all the secrets, if only Joy can open the thing. (Cute to see her and Chance flirt around each other.) After Joy gets to work on the box’s combination, she manages to unlock it. There’s a gun, along with a bunch of different license plates and files, like a computer disc. Joy puts the disc in a laptop, and discovers a PDF file titled The Ravening Angel. It’s a book. Simultaneously, Annie’s home watching The Wizard of Oz and eating endlessly, spiralling into depression.
When Nadia gets a call about Pop getting into the trial, she has to look for his discharge papers. She takes it upon herself to go down to the Emporium Galorium. She goes through the desk. Eventually, she discovers army papers. She also happens to run into Ace’s cronies. They’re looking to send a message to Abdi. She gets her hands on a gun stashed behind the desk, stopping their disgusting plans quick.
During the wake, Pop gives his own eulogy, speaking of the “debt” he owes that will never be paid. At the same time, Nadia is reading his army papers. She sees he served in Somalia during Operation Gothic Serpent, which occurred in 1993, like the opening scene. There are pieces falling together Nadia never knew actually existed. The adopted family is about to blow up. She confronts her adopted father with what she’s uncovered, facing the truth of Reg’s past. He admits he was the one who killed her mother.
While the other resurrected people start to do nasty things around Castle Rock, Ace talks to Chris about his new change of heart. He mentions how 400 years ago, Jerusalem’s Lot was called New Jerusalem. It was settled by “brave souls” who defended their promised land. Ace says they remain in that town— they never left. He takes Chris to the church, where they head downstairs, and he stabs his brother in the gut. They fight a bit. Ultimately, it’s undead Ace who overcomes his living brother, as even the priest is under the spell of whatever lurks in the Marsten House.
Another amazing, intense, and wild episode!
It’ll only get wilder from here, too.
“The Laughing Place” is next time.