‘Castle Rock’ Recap: Episode 1×04, “The Box”

Castle Rock recap: Season 1, Episode 4, “The Box,” Aired Aug. 1, 2018

“A serial strangler died in my house, and I still sleep like a baby.” 

Shawshank is not a place you want to work, that’s for sure. After multiple previous wardens committed suicide, Zalewski was honestly doomed from the start. In the fourth episode of Castle Rock, titled “The Box,” our moral prison guard gets pushed too far, and his desperation turns homicidal.

Though he’s still focused on getting the Kid out of Shawshank, Henry spends this episode delving into his past. He’s been having strange daydreams that seem a lot like memories of when he went missing. As he looks through old newspapers, he sees that Vince Desjardins, a man who lived near Castle Lake around the time of the event, was one of the suspects questioned in 1991. Nothing came of it then, but Henry goes down to his house to see for himself. No one’s there at first, and while exploring, Henry finds a big wooden crate in the backyard. In a frenzy, he breaks it open. Inside, he finds a bowl and a spoon. What was in there, and is it related to when he went missing?

Instead of Vince, his brother Josef comes home. When he realizes who Henry is, he brings him inside to reveal that he has his entire casefile. Josef also tells Henry that he has always lived in the house, not his brother. Henry gets a weird vibe from him, so he questions Pangborn about it, accusing him of not doing his job on the case. Pangborn gets exasperated with the questioning, saying to “cut the shit.” He says that the day before he died, Henry’s father wrote the words “Henry did it.” But of course Henry has no memory of that time. Despite what everyone else believes, he can’t confess to something he doesn’t remember.

This revelation drives him into the arms of Molly, who has been talking him through a lot. Molly most likely knows exactly what happened when he went missing. But apparently her guilt still hasn’t driven her to tell him yet. While sleeping at her house, Henry decides that he has to leave town. He’s been trying to get his mother to come to an assisted living home near Houston, but both Ruth and Pangborn don’t agree. Along with that, his past is getting completely dug up, both figuratively and literally. While he’s looking through his old case, Henry also has his father’s grave brought up to be reburied back at the church.

When Henry decides to leave Castle Rock, he calls Dennis Zalewski to tell him. Deaver wants to take the settlement for the Kid and be on his way. But now Dennis is desperate. He wants to rid the prison of the evil he sees, and get out of there himself. But just like Lacy, it seems like Zalewski was never meant to leave Shawshank.

In the intense final scene, Zalewski goes into the security room, and uses an expo marker to mark a number of cameras with an “X.” Earlier in the episode, right after doing a fist bump with the Kid, he did the same, but instead drew smiley faces. He seemed to be in a trance. But now, instead of just that, he’s taking action. We see Zalewski take his gun and go on a murder spree, killing every person who he saw mistreat prisoners. He ends up in the office, where Henry is waiting to accept the settlement. After killing a prison guard right in front of him, Zalewski looks up at Henry and says he wants to testify. But he barely gets the words out before being shot dead by prison guards.

Favorite Moments

-The piano that fell completely through the ceiling in the Desjardins house is a cool visual. Gave me a really ominous feeling.

-When Henry is talking to Ruth about moving her away, all while she’s butchering a fish.

-Showing the Lacy house to a potential buyer and hiding the urn in the freezer. Nice try, Molly.

-I like how they decided to show Zalewski’s spree through the security cameras. I was really hoping he would survive a while longer (Noel Fisher is great here), but it’s not really a surprise that such a good character was corrupted.

-The title has multiple meanings in this episode. There’s the coffin, symbolizing how everyone’s bringing Reverend Deaver and his death back into conversation. Then the wooden cage in Desjardins’ backyard. And of course, Shawshank, which really proves it’s enclosing nature here.


-Did the physical contact with the Kid cause Zalewski to commit murder?

-What do Henry’s dreams mean? Are they memories from his childhood?

-What really is going on with Josef Desjardins? Did he actually have nothing to do with what happened? Because that house is reallllyyy creepy.

-There are a lot of parallels going on with Henry and the Kid. Maybe they are more connected than it appears?

Need a refresher of the first 3 episodes? We’ve got you covered.

New episodes of Castle Rock air Wednesdays on Hulu

(Featured Image: Hulu)


Devon Forward

Devon is an artist, writer, and current student of film/television development. She loves anything science fiction or fantasy, and her favorite show is Charmed, which kick-started her obsession with powerful yet imperfect female characters. You can usually find her somewhere analyzing a tv show or reading a good book. On Twitter @dev4wrd

Related Articles