Castle Rock's first season delivered on all the promises a series based in Stephen King's brain-child universe could make. It was all at once a thriller and a revelation, both a serious drama and a mind-bending mystery.
Because it is one of those shows where close attention to detail is paramount, several WTH moments were left unaddressed by the finale. There are spoilers for the season. You have been warned.
Since the series is touted as an anthology, it is unlikely any of these questions will be answered next season, so this will be a crazy exercise in speculation.
But, to be sure, these questions are anything but rhetorical. Let's hear YOUR theories on what The Kid really is, how many dimensions Castle Rock traverses, whether Dale Lacy thought God manifests as a sheepdog, and whether Jackie has superpowers or not.
Did Dale Lacy Have a Dog?
On Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 1, Dale Lacy makes a very dramatic exit before we even get to know much about him. As he hesitates to hit the gas pedal, a sheepdog appears from out of the woods which seems to bolster his resolve.
On Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 2, the same(?) sheepdog again appears in the woods to dig up Lacy's head which apparently flew out of the car window and buried itself(?) under a pile of leaves. In both cases, the dog seems unaccompanied by an owner so is it just Lacy's spirit guide or what?
Could He Have Found a Bigger Lock?
On Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 2, Henry notices a MASSIVELY HUGE lock on the door to the basement when he's visiting the Widow Lacy.
However, on Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 8, he has very little trouble gaining access to the same basement through the OUTSIDE storm cellar doors. So obviously Dale Lacy wasn't as worried about someone outside the house getting into the basement as someone inside the house.
Considering he only kept his portraits of The Kid down there, and the only other person in the house was his wife, and his wife is BLIND, who was he trying to prevent from going into the basement?
They Burn Tapes, Don't They?
On Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 3, Young Molly finds Young Henry setting fire to a VHS tape in his front yard. Not sure HOW Young Henry was able to do this although it looks like it could have been doused in an accelerant to start. Of course, it could be a reference to Stephen King's "Firestarter" as well.
I can kind of understand WHY, after learning about his dad's special brand of crazy, but ultimately it was a weird thing to do in full view of the house. Was this tape, in particular, offensive or was it just representative of all the recordings that Matthew made of the forced marches through the woods?
What Is With Those Motor Court Kids?
On Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 3, Molly Strand ventures into the crazy Lord-of-the-Flies-esque realm of the Timberland Motor Court where the children of Shawshank inmates spend their nights acting out court cases of grisly crimes while wearing grotesque masks.
Possibly a producer's homage to Stephen King's "Children of the Corn," possibly an oxycontin-withdrawal-induced hallucination on Molly's part, it is probably the most surreal experience in Molly's life... until The Kid tells her about the night she died.
Who Doesn't Lock Their Front Door At Night?
On Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 5, The Kid goes walkabouts in the town in the middle of the night and hears the sounds of a family celebrating a child's birthday. He walks up to the house and then right in the front door to watch the party from the shadows of the foyer.
Of course, his presence causes the event to go horrifyingly wrong, an occurrence that is never followed up on by the way. You'd think that, even in Castle Rock, a family massacre involving small children would at least make the news.
So why wasn't the door locked? And, if the door had been locked and The Kid forced to spy on the party from outside, would it have resulted in the same tragedy?
Why No Clothes?
While it's refreshing for a male character to be unexplainably naked, it's still unexplained. On Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 5, The Kid is completely nekkid when he comes across Jackie making herself at home on his air mattress in the upstairs of Molly's office building.
Earlier, Molly had stated explicitly that there was no shower so WTH? Was he just wandering around freebird in broad daylight?
Follow-up question: How, exactly, did Jackie react to this appearance?
Who Killed Odin Branch?
The obvious answer is Willy, but is it true? Do we know for sure?
And if it was Willy, the question becomes why? When the characters got introduced on Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 6, Willy seemed to have divested himself of any personality, acting solely as Odin Branch's interpreter and mouthpiece. What changed?
Is Jackie LITERALLY (not just literarily) Bloodthirsty?
On Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 8, Jackie Torrance gets the bum's rush out the door of the newly-opened Castle Rock Historical Bed & Breakfast (previously the Lacy House) because Gordon and wife are more preoccupied with disposing of the dismembered bodies of their first guests.
On her way to her taxi, Jackie finds a metal bracelet (which, presumably, fell off one of the victim's limbs) on the dirt driveway. She picks it up and notices something wet and sticky on it, so she dabs her finger on the substance and TASTES it. Blech.
She seems to recognize the flavor and casts a suspicious glance at the house. Okay, ignoring the fact she did not hesitate to put unidentified goop she found on the ground into her mouth, how the heck does she know what human blood tastes like?
Also, Is Jackie the Flash?
On Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 8, Jackie comes to Henry's rescue by planting an ax in the skull of Gordon, the history-professor-turned-innkeeper-turned-murderer.
The last we'd seen said ax, it was sticking out of the mannequin in the living room, and Jackie was critiquing it's authenticity to the referenced historical crime.
So, how did Jackie manage to roll up the driveway, run into the house AFTER Gordon had chased Henry to his car, grab the ax, and get back in time to save Henry?
What Is The Kid?
It is the question that everyone asks throughout the season. And, just when we thought we had an answer, Henry gets a look at him in the moonlight while the Schisma's going nuts around them and we realize that everything we learned in Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 9 was told to Molly by THE KID.
Which means we only have his word that it's the truth. So maybe he's NOT the child Matthew, and Ruth lost in this world? Or maybe he started out as that world's Henry Deaver but was turned into something else?
When he first starts interacting with people in Shawshank and Castle Rock, there is an assumption that he can't control his effect on people, inadvertently causing them to give in to their worst potential merely through proximity.
However, in the Castle Rock police station on Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 10, it is clear that he has every individual in the building (except our Henry) under his thrall whether they had been in contact with him or not.
So is he a conduit for evil? Can he direct his powers to make things happen to his benefit? I suspect Henry thinks he can but harbors just enough doubt to choose the path he does.
How Did They Get Back To Shawshank?
I totally get the need for expedited action, and I'm the first to laud Castle Rock for some brilliant editing and pacing, but the season's conclusion left a LOT of plot-holes to maneuver.
How in the world did Henry get The Kid back into the Shawshank water tank? The bluff is a walkable distance from the town of Castle Rock (as evidenced by the many, many people we have seen hanging out there at various points this season) but Shawshank is 40 (FORTY!) MILES from town.
How was Henry able to keep The Kid subdued for that entire trek?
If he kept him somewhere else until he was able to move him back to the prison, how did no one notice?
Furthermore, where did Henry get another cage? Zalewski informed him at The Mellow Tiger on Castle Rock Season 1 Episode 4 that the cage they found The Kid in had been removed and vanished from Shawshank. So did he build a new one?
Granted, a year passes between the fight on the bluff and the epilogue, but it's pretty hard to believe that Shawshank is going to be left vacant and without some sort of surveillance forever. I am eager to hear how people think that year played out to get to that final scene.
Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.