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Castle Rock Season 2 Episode 8: Dirty-Review- All The Questions Remaining

The most action-packed episode of the season leans hard into horror as Amity and her disciples take over the entire town.

The entire town is under the spell of Amity and her angel. An army is growing, and very few appear to be immune. Those that are left are running for their lives. Castle Rock season two has melded the two stories that deal with Jerusalem’s Lot. Those being the short story Jerusalem’s Lot published in Night Shift and Salem’s Lot the novel. The bad guys in the two stories come from a similar universe but are very different. Vampires harass the town in Salem’s Lot, where a cosmic evil akin to H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu possesses anyone it desires in the other. They are both terrifying, and both control vast sums of people. This iteration takes the mythos of The Kid from last season and overlays it on top of a cult of Satan worshiping cultists from the 1700’s.


The few citizens in town who have not been affected by whatever is controlling the town are being hunted down like animals. Pop’s adopted daughter Nadia included. Chris, under the influence, is the person sent to corral her. Ace/Augustin offer protection to Annie and Joy, but at what cost. Those that predicted Joy would be the actual vessel were rewarded when her drawings were discovered. She is a clean vessel.

Joy Castle Rock season 2 Episode 8
Courtesy of Joy

Nadia tried valiantly to protect Chris but ultimately was unsuccessful. One positive thing that came from Chris’ demise is proof the bad guys can be killed. Nadia killed her share, and Annie took out several more with a knife and a sledgehammer in a delightful callback to Misery. Abdi and Pops were curiously absent this week so here’s hoping they are ready to take on their own fair share.

Why Nadia, Annie, and Pops are immune to the statue’s trance?

It’s possible they aren’t, they just haven’t looked directly at it yet. The statue acts as a Pied Piper of sorts that once seen compels the viewer to follow. Pop turned away before the statue was unveiled so he is unaffected for now. Annie was focused on escaping with her daughter and did not see the statue from her vantage point. Nadia has been in her house and avoided looking at it. The statue has massive range and seems to control those who see it indefinitely. With so few left not controlled by the spell they will need to figure this out quickly and Bird Box Jerusalem’s Lot and the surrounding area.

Why do the Weavers need a clear mind to displace the host minds?

Chris’ interaction with Nadia explains just how tenuous the dead’s grip on the host mind is. The original mind and soul are still in there just suppressed. When Nadia gives Haldol to Chris, she allows the original personality to come forth if only briefly. Haldol is traditionally prescribed to patients with schizophrenia and certain forms of Tourettes Syndrome. The disruption of the brain hyperactivity is likely what severs the connection to the parasite. With Annie off her meds and most of the town possessed, this information is less than helpful. It isn’t possible to drug everyone until the troubles pass or the 400th year anniversary is over.

How did Ace/Augustin know Joy was the one who actually killed Rita?

It’s unclear if Augustin is omniscient or just really plugged into the town’s power players. With members of his group all over the police station, he would have access to their investigation, which had to show something was seriously wrong with their account of the events. Likely, he just used her innate goodness and innocent fear against her. They take her just as Annie finds the basement full of dead people and locusts. Augustin may have thought he was preparing Annie to be Amity’s vessel, but he was actually preparing her to defend her daughter at any cost. The very thing that makes Joy a great vessel makes Annie a dangerous foil. There is nothing she won’t do for her child. She has been seriously underestimated. If the events of Misery are still to come, the battle for Joy could tip her over the edge.

Why doesn’t Ace/Augustin fear Annie more?

If Nadia’s drugging of Chris showed anything it is that the person being possessed is still in there somewhere. Ace alludes to this as well when he tells Annie he has distant memories of the man he once was. If that is the case he should be far more concerned with Annie. She has already shown her ability to improvise with kitchen utensils. Among her other talents is a penchant for wet work and the unbelievable ability to justify it. This is not a woman to be trifled with.

Why does Stephen King have an obsession with psychotic mothers?

Between Carrie’s fanatically religious mother who warns Carrie about her “dirty pillows” and Annie’s mother and her “dirty birds” there are way too many bad mothers fixated on unclean things. Then there are those who harm in less overt ways. Eddie Kaspbrak’s mother from IT is devoting to the extreme. So much so, many of the things Eddie says about her lead the reader to eventually conclude she has Munchhausen by proxy. There is nothing wrong with King’s own upbringing. Annie may be a little off her rocker, but at least she is willing and capable of protecting Joy. In this case, I am team Momma Wilkes all the way. I predicted long ago that Annie would be the protagonist. Turns out, I was right, and Ace and Annie are about to square off.

What are all the people in the trance waiting for and why do they hear the schism?

They aren’t waiting for a circus, so the next possible candidate is The Kid. He made a brief appearance last week and he isn’t done yet. The more people he controls the more powerful he becomes. Similar to John Carpenter’s classic The Prince of Darkness, the devil wants conversion in as high a numbers as possible.

Where is Pops?

That is the million-dollar question. Even dying from cancer he will be formidable. Hopefully, he’s just making plans and preparing. Annie and Nadia need his help!

For our heroes, things look bleak. Now that Joy is under his sway Annie, Pops, and Nadia may be the only people left to stop the coming apocalypse. In Maine, the world doesn’t end with a bang but the low pitched tones of pure evil. Read all our Castle Rock coverage here.

4 thoughts on “Castle Rock Season 2 Episode 8: Dirty-Review- All The Questions Remaining

  1. Then, we have Nadia, the town doctor, with access to Haldol and other anti-psychotic meds and the knowledge of how to use them. Annie too is a nurse who knows how to use these drugs. With Joy being transfixed by The Angel statue by the end of the episode, Nadia and Annie are the only ones with the know-how to save the town and its people from whatever the body snatchers and The Kid have planned.

  2. While Nadia is still free, Annie is captured by the end of the episode. But Annie has shown herself to be a resourceful fighter, especially when she is pushed into a corner and Joy is in danger.

  3. The only ones left are the ones who didn’t step out to look at the parade, which includes Nadia (Yusra Warsama), who is too busy getting ready for work to bother. She doesn’t suspect a thing when possessed Chris Merrill (Matthew Alan) walks into her house.

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