Two thoughts on this episode.
- “The Laughing Place” is such a Stephen King name.
- There’s something odd about Annie Wilkes having a kid.
And for this episode, we get The Secret Origin of Annie Wilkes. We can see who her parents were, who Joy’s father is, and a whole host of other things.
See, it seems weird that Annie would have a kid because, having read the novel Misery (I have not seen the movie as I type this), that the idea of Annie Wilkes having sex or a relationship of any kind. She’s not like, say, Carrie’s mom who thought sex was the ultimate sin and puberty was a sign of evil. Annie is just so…pure? Pure sounds like a good word. Annie’s only words about men to Joy thus far is the basic suspicion that many if not all of the men she’s met are rapists. How could someone like that, someone who can’t bring herself to swear, who looks too tightly wound to enjoy, oh, anything, possibly have had any sort of relationship, even a one night stand, to produce a baby?
And the short answer is, she didn’t.
Joy isn’t her daughter.
Joy, originally named Evageline, is Annie’s half-sister.
Annie was pulled from school as a little girl when she responded with violence to some schoolyard taunting. She had trouble reading, and her father had aspirations to write a great Western novel. Her mother was a nurse and had the same sorts of ideas on cussing and “good vs evil” that Annie has now, and her father was a dreamer who Annie idolizes as he supposedly homeschooled her, but the only reading they did was his manuscript.
Eventually, he got a job, and they hired a reading tutor named Rita. And Rita, well, she liked his work as she made Annie a competent reader, enough that Annie could get her GED. But Annie had those rigid ideas of who was good and who was evil, and a line got crossed that she didn’t see coming, such as who the father of Rita’s child was.
Annie only figured it out when first, her mother tried to kill the both of them by driving a car into a lake (Annie alone got out), and then when Rita came to live with her and her father with a crying baby.
And then her dad finished the book….dedicating it to Rita. Annie…did not take that well.
There are…a lot of ellipses…there.
Anyway, Annie got in an argument with her dad and knocked him down some stairs, accidentally killing the man. She then attacked Rita and stabbed her before taking the baby off for both of them to drown.
But then the baby started laughing, probably reminding Annie of the whole “Laughing Place” her dad told her about from the Joel Chandler Harris stories of Brer Rabbit that Disney likes to pretend they never made a movie about. So, she renamed the kid Joy and off she went.
That…explains a lot.
But this is only the halfway point of the season, so there needs to be more. For one, Joy finds her father’s manuscript and manages to put a call through to Rita. Yeah, she’s not dead.
Annie, meanwhile, went to drown her sorrows at a bar. And Ace sat down next to her…