Castle Rock “Restore Hope”

You know, it occurs to me that there’s something creepy and supernatural going on in ‘Salem’s Lot, not involving vampires, and there are two people in Castle Rock that could, if they need to, do something about it:  Pop Merrill and Annie Wilkes.

Too bad neither are in a position to do anything about it.

First, Pop.  Pop runs Castle Rock from the looks of things.  He’s a tough old man, someone who sees there’s something really wrong with his nephew Ace.  If he needed to, people listen to him and maybe even respect him.  If not, they fear him.  Pop’s something of a long shot for throwing a monkey wrench into things since he’s still sees things in a more, shall we say, rational manner who doesn’t go for the crazy because, well, it’s crazy.

And he has his own problems.  See, he’s dying.  And his hope for maybe beating the cancer is his foster daughter Nadia.  But, see, Nadia’s mother died in Somalia at the hands of a trigger-happy American serviceman.  And Abdi knows something about Pop’s past that Nadia doesn’t.  And if that set-up doesn’t clue you in on why Pop’s chances for survival that he’d all but given up on anyway weren’t already gone, well, they’re much worse.

So, Pop probably won’t be doing much.

But then there’s Annie.  Annie, well, Annie is a wreck.  Joy ran off, staying with Abdi and Nadia, and Abdi ain’t lettin’ anyone in to see Joy without Joy’s say-so.  Heck, Joy sends a friend to get her stuff.  And that stuff includes a locked box with a gun and a CD-ROM that Joy can check out.

Meanwhile, Annie just goes to pieces, unable to get back to work and a whole host of other problems.

But see, Annie knows Ace died and shouldn’t have come back.  She’s used to seeing things that shouldn’t be there.  She has a violent streak to her that surfaces at the worst possible times.  If you need someone to go nuts and take out something evil and awful, she might be the person.  At the least, she’s a wildcard that will be a problem for anything weird and creepy that’s looking to cause problems.

What is that weird and creepy thing that’s causing problems?  Oh, Ace more or less says something about some weird cult that founded ‘Salem’s Lot, and it looks like he’s bringing it back.  Or whatever is inside him is.  He and his people are killing folks around town, presumably to grow the cult, and he almost took out his brother Chris.

Chris was in a church at the time and managed to beat Ace badly before stumbling off, looking for help.  One problem there:  the local priest then kills Chris because he was in the cult, and we never saw him die, so it looks like Ace’s cult is a bit bigger than we might have thought…

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