Castle Rock 2: Will the REAL Annie Wilkes Please Stand Up?
NOTE: For future reference, this theory was written following the premiere of episode 8.
UPDATE 12.11.19: Well, shit.
As some of you reading this know all too well, the killer second season of JJ Abrams and Stephen King’s anthology series Castle Rock is currently streaming each Wednesday over on Hulu. I sincerely hope – for not only your own entertainment but the risk of giving away to much here – that you are watching each week. Actually, let me just come right out and get this off the bloody page right off the bat: If you haven’t been watching Castle Rock season 2 look elsewhere for your daily dose of fan speculation – here there be MASSIVE spoilers.
Okay, that out of the way, let’s get into the meat and potatoes regarding my theory of just who the hell the REAL Annie Wilkes is in Castle Rock season 2. First off, let it be known that what I mean by “the REAL Annie Wilkes” is that I don’t think Lizzy Caplan’s Annie Wilkes will – at the end of the day – emerge as the Annie Wilkes we all know and love from King’s original source material and director Rob Reiner’s original film starring Kathy Bates. So if not Caplan, who do I think will end up strapping good old Paul Sheldon to a bed one of these days down the road?
Well… I think Joy will end up being the “real” Annie Wilkes. Here’s why.
To begin, quite simply, I think Lizzy Caplan’s Annie is far too crazy to be the Annie we know from King’s book and Rob Reiner’s film. Sure, let’s not beat around the bush here, King’s Annie is crazier than a shithouse rat. We all know this. But when placed side-by-side with Caplan’s crazy-ass Annie Wilkes, King and Bate’s Annie has really kind of got her shite together – at least to begin with. Meanwhile, Joy’s growing crazy seems much more in line with King and Bates’ Annie.
I realized this may very well end up becoming Joy’s ultimate fate back in the third episode. You know the one. It was back when Joy ends up having to strap Annie to a bed. For her own good. And the image of Joy sitting by her sister/mother’s bedside reminded me of someone… Now I think she’ll do this again somewhere down the road. And being the daughter of a writer means Joy’s got the obsession of the written word deep in her blood. Hence her over-the-top love of Paul Sheldon’s books and Misery Chastain.
Plus, let’s take a look at what we know about Wilkes from King himself. In his novel Misery, he lets us know Annie was born in Bakersfield, California and graduated from the University of California at the Los Angeles nursing school. Okay, gotcha. Then while serving as the head maternity nurse, several infants in her care died under mysterious circumstances. While Annie is ultimately acquitted of the crimes due to a lack of evidence, the press dubs her “the Dragon Lady.” None of this has been mentioned in Castle Rock season 2. Because it hasn’t happened yet.
And speaking of things that haven’t happened yet, we also know that Annie eventually goes full-blown serial killer, knocking off several patients at other hospitals, killing her father (her mother in Castle Rock), her childhood neighbors and their father (the LaChance girl next door?), and a hitchhiker (who eventually gives her a ride out of Castle Rock at the end?). All in all King and Bates’ Annie Wilkes had a death total of almost 70 people – before meeting Paul Sheldon.
And for the record, let’s not forget, she’s going to get married to a physical therapist named Ralph Dugan at some point. Plus, the Annie we know from King’s book doesn’t have a daughter/sister.
At least she never mentions one.
So how does this all tie together? Well, in the end, I think Caplan will sacrifice herself to save Joy. Joy will then move to Colorado to escape not only her sister/mother’s past but the horrors endured during her time in Castle Rock as well. And to honor her sister/mother, Joy will take on her name and her profession as a nurse. After all, this still gives us the Misery prequel we were promised – and gives us insights into who Annie Wilkes was before Paul Sheldon infamously falls into her clutches. It just provides it in an unexpected way.
Now I know what you might be thinking – Joy doesn’t seem nearly crazy enough to become King and Bates’ Annie Wilkes. Sure. Not yet. But we still don’t know what horrors ultimately befall her during her stay in Castle Rock. I imagine there are not good. Even with just two episodes left. And whatever ends up happening to Joy during the course of the next two episodes, they might just be enough to bend her the wrong side of sane. I guess we’ll just have to watch and find out.
So after allowing me to spill my theories all over the place, now comes the big question – do you agree with me that Joy Wilkes will – in the end – become the Annie Wilkes we all know and love from King’s book and Reiner’s film? Let us know below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!
In the meantime, mark your calendar as the ninth episode hits Hulu today.