‘Castle Rock’ Season 2 Episode 8 ‘Dirty’ reveals anti-psychotic drugs are key to breaking the hold of the body snatchers on townspeople
This week's episode of 'Castle Rock' left us with more questions than answers. Primary among them is, where is Pop Merrill (Tim Robbins)? And second, what do the resurrected Satanists aka the original town founders have in mind for the transfixed town people? What purpose do they serve, since all the founders have been resurrected within new "vessels", save their prophet Amity Lambert?
Continuing the story after The Kid revelation, in this episode his likeness, "The Angel" statue, is being carried around town transfixing anyone who looks at it. Early on, there is an eerie aerial shot of hundreds of people walking like zombies behind the statue with more joining in. The town empties out as The Angel parade rolls by on its way to Jerusalem's Lot.
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.
But she does realize something is very wrong when Chris tries to choke her to death. In a great use-what-you-have maneuver, she strangles Chris with her stethoscope till he loses consciousness. Then she takes him to the now-deserted hospital and pumps him full of Haldol because she thinks he is having a psychotic break.
And here is the clincher. With the medication in his system, Chris is able to wrest back the control of his body from the body-snatching entity inside him. He is lucid enough to help Nadia take down two body snatchers before dying tragically.
Earlier in season 2 episode 6, we saw how the woman butchered by the body snatchers came back with her senses intact through the "possession ritual" gone wrong because her body was full of anti-psychotic meds too.
Ace (inhabited by pastor Augustine) even calls medication "poison", while his followers question his choice to make Annie Wilkes (Lizzy Caplan) the vessel for their prophet Amity Lambert because she is on anti-psychotic drugs too.
Ace takes great pains to replace Annie's medication with placebo pills to flush her system out to make her body a good host for Amity in this week's episode - the reason why Annie couldn't stop seeing the ghost of her dead mother egging her to "clean" Joy (Elsie Fisher) by killing her.
When Ace realizes Joy is the actually the prophesized "vessel" for Amity, he slyly finds out if she is "on any medication" from Annie. Till now, anti-psychotic medication is the only thing that seems to break the hold the body snatchers have over their host bodies, albeit temporarily.
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.
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.
And then there is the missing Pop Merrill - who knows what he has been up to? With the town's power, phone lines and cell network being taken down by the body snatchers, there is no hope for outside back-up forces arriving any time soon. So now, it is up to Nadia, Pop and Annie to turn things around in the last two episodes.
'Castle Rock' drops on Hulu Wednesdays at 12 a.m.