Castle Rock season 2 episode 5 recap: The rise of Annie Wilkes

CASTLE ROCK -- "The Laughing Place" - Episode 205 -- In the beginning.... Annie (Lizzy Caplan), shown. (Photo by: Dana Starbard/Hulu)
CASTLE ROCK -- "The Laughing Place" - Episode 205 -- In the beginning.... Annie (Lizzy Caplan), shown. (Photo by: Dana Starbard/Hulu) /

In the best episode of Castle Rock so far, we learn more about the past of Annie Wilkes.

Last week’s Castle Rock didn’t have a lot more story for Annie, luckily this entire episode is all about Annie. More specifically it’s about how young Annie grew up, and the events that unfold to make her who she becomes. In fact, this episode isn’t even in the town of Castle Rock that much.

The year is 1994 and little Annie has trouble reading. She’s dyslexic but that’s left without a diagnosis.  When being teased leads to a violent altercation her father decides to home school her. Her father is an aspiring author and her mother is a nurse. When Annie’s mother decides to hire a tutor instead of continuing to let her husband teach Annie, things go south.

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The Wilkes marriage slowly begins to deteriorate as well as Chrysida’s mental health. Annie’s tutor Rita becomes pregnant. After the inevitable separation, Chrysida drives herself and Annie into a river. Chrysida dies, but Annie survives.

She goes to live with her father where she learns of her father and Rita’s relationship. After a bit of quick math, Annie realizes her father and Rita’s baby was born before her mother’s death. That’s when she snaps for the first time.

When Annie reads the dedication page of his book that things really go off the rails. He dedicated the book to Rita, instead of his “number one fan” Annie. She pushes her father down the stairs where he ends up breaking a banister and gets impaled.

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After accidentally killing her own father she attempts to kill Rita and the baby. She leaves Rita for dead, but it’s unclear what she does with the baby.

This episode of Castle Rock is by far the best and most compelling of the season so far. It raises a very big question. Is Joy actually her half-sister, her father, and Rita’s baby? Perhaps the best part of this season is the casting of Annie at different ages.

Teenage Annie is just as believably a younger version of Lizzy Caplan’s Annie as Caplan is as believable as Kathy Bates’ Annie. I know it’s only in its sophomore season, but this could be the best season of Castle Rock yet.

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What did you think of the fifth episode of Castle Rock? What do you hope to see from the rest of the season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.