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The second season takes place through a strong drama. The chain again follows the direction of what a nurse is trying to get on the road in Castle Rock. Merrills, on the other hand, makes a series of efforts in his life by trying to get the answers needed. Over time, Annie finds herself heading for a new taste in medicine.
[Caplan's] performance is masterfully physical, from her carefully impassive smile to the way she holds her arms stiffly at her sides as she walks; the actress embodies a woman who is struggling to control a constant surge of inner turmoil.
Despite all its high drama, season two feels a little more conventional in its narrative, and that'll likely make for a more satisfying story arc, especially with all the horror-fantasy elements to come.
There's still plenty of King paraphernalia floating around for eagle-eyed viewers to latch onto, but Castle Rock is no longer so insistent of its importance to the overall story. Instead, the series mercifully lets the narrative speak for itself.
Castle Rock Season 2 does a wonderful job of borrowing reoccurring themes from King's massive body of work and splicing them together to make something that appears, at least on its surface, wholly original.
In its first half...Castle Rock keeps the supernatural elements lurking on the periphery, focusing instead on characters and family melodrama, anchored by Lizzy Caplan's commanding performance at the center.