And now, let us emphatically praise Melanie Lynsky. I believe in my last review, I inexplicably spelled her character’s name “Mollie”, and I can’t for the life of me imagine why, but it is, of course, spelled the sane way, “Molly”. Let us here to for refer to her thus, and never speak of it again.
This is truly her episode. We begin by seeing that young Molly is, in fact, the one who killed Henry’s father. After he was recovered in the cold with a broken back, he was kept alive on respirators – which teenage Molly unhooked. Her reasoning is unclear, but given that we learn this episode that her – and let’s call it what it is here – shining is particularly in tune with Henry, we can safely assume that it has something to do with the father-son relationship. To try and adhere with strictly one timeline, let’s walk through all we have about young Molly. We learn that prior to killing Henry’s father, she pretty clearly had a big, honking crush on Henry. She invites him up to her room, and explains to him how she can hear his thoughts and feel his feelings. She also watches him react to his father calling his name. Both teenagers clench their hands into a fist; I got the impression that she did first, and I am interested to see how the implications of that might play out. Another psychokinetic person, perhaps?
Adult Molly is a bit more of a mess. She is preparing to go on a local television show to explain her plan for revitalizing Castle Rock, a town that exists almost exclusively on the profits of the prison industrial system. Molly hopes to make the town thrive, and she has assistance in the person of Jackie Torrance, who is still a bit of a question mark for me, based solely on my knowledge of her lineage. Henry comes to Molly’s business to ask her to assist in selling his mother’s house, and we see her become overwhelmed by the sounds of his thoughts. She gets predictably cagey and weird, and refuses (politely, to her credit) to help him. Henry is non-plussed, but accepts.
Molly discovers that her house has been broken into, and during the course of clean up, Jackie finds the old missing poster of Henry that Molly has been holding onto. Molly avoids answering any questions, but c’mon, we know.
Our dear Molly, frazzled by earlier interactions with Henry, and how weird her life is in the process of becoming, sets out to score some oxy from her high school drug dealer, but no go, his grandmother hasn’t brought any into his realm lately. He redirects her to a motor park, where she can find someone who will sell it to her. What she finds is much stranger.
The motor court is full of children in creepy paper masks, holding some sort of mock trial. The language is… graphic. And weird. Intensely weird. In fact, I cannot possibly stress enough how weird this sequence is. The children all point to Molly, identifying her as the murderer in their scenario. Molly is taken out by the “judge”, who turns out to be the teenage drug dealer, who will sell her oxy for an exorbitant fee and a peek at her tits. Molly is in the process of negotiation, when the cops arrive. She is not having a good day.
Her luck, however, turns when Henry, who happens to be at the police station, trying to figure out why the hell these small town cops hadn’t tested for DNA in Lacy’s suicide car, springs her from the clink. He is charming and adorable, and finally Molly cracks and explains that she hasn’t been cold because she doesn’t like him – closer to the opposite. Henry takes in the information she disseminates – that not only is she clearly very into what he’s selling, but she can hear his thoughts and feel his emotions – with the correct degree of skepticism and suspicion. Still, because he is fundamentally good and kind, he helps her make it to her television appearance on time. It does not go well.
There is an interesting under current of reality and illusion throughout this episode. Molly seems to move in waking dreams… we are led to believe that many of the visions she has throughout – of a congregation in an icy church, faces bandaged, accusing her, of interacting with Henry’s father – are dreams. Yet those interactions are no stranger than her stumbling into a room full of masked children, describing vicious murders and calling her a murderer. It unfolds like a nightmare, one where the seams are too effectively blurred to tell where reality begins. Which leads me a bit back to my previously stated over-lapping time lines theory. I could be onto nothing, but I’m simply not sure.
On a much more surface level, it’s worth nothing that Andre Holland and Melanie Lynsky have pretty amazing chemistry, and I’m on board for Molly and Henry. I ship it, as the kids might say.
And finally, the obvious greater connection to the Kingaverse… Molly has the shining. I’m not sure why she does instead of the Torrance girl, but I’m intrigued.