Hulu’s Stephen King-inspired horror series Castle Rock has no shortage of peculiar, oftentimes unnerving personalities — not the least of whom include “The Kid” (Bill Skarsgård) and conflicted former Castle Rock Sheriff Alan Pangborn (Scott Glenn) — at the core of its storyline. But it’s the psychic connection of two of the anthology series’ central figures, Henry Deaver (André Holland) and Molly Strand, that has proven to be one of the show’s most perplexing threads.
Melanie Lynskey, who plays drug-addicted empath Molly Strand on the J.J. Abrams-led series, tells Inverse that part of what makes their dynamic compelling is that Henry “just sort of seeps into her.” Lynskey, who herself was an avid King fan prior to taking the role, went on to describe their “powerful” psychic bond.
Mild spoilers for Episodes 1-4 of Castle Rock follow below.
“She feels everybody she comes into contact with. But for whatever reason, he is just a lot stronger than most people, and you would see in some later episodes where she talks about her reaction to other people, and it’s completely different,” she says. “It sort of freaks her out.”
Molly describes the phenomenon as similar to having a particular song stuck in her head, but one Lynskey says Molly would “do anything to stop thinking of.” However, Molly’s apparent fondness for and connection to Henry only serve to further complicate her plight, and her sensitivity to his psychic broadcast is hardly a two-way street.
“It’s not like a two-sided thing,” she says. “I think Andre’s character responds to her because they grew up together, and he has a history, and he cares for her, but it’s not … He’s not feeling what she’s feeling. She’s kind of consumed by him in a way that she doesn’t feel safe about.”
That uncertainty will no doubt prove great fodder for showrunners Dustin Thomason and Sam Shaw over the course of Castle Rock’s 10-episode run, particularly as it relates to the apparent murder of Henry’s father. While it’s still too early to make sense of what really occurred the night of his death, viewers have been led to believe Molly had a hand in it.
That, says Lynskey, is what makes their friendship so loaded and potentially dangerous.
“I think it’s like the root of her character. It’s her childhood trauma,” Lynskey says. “It’s the reason she’s so afraid of Henry — because she felt something from him that led her to take this crazy action.”
Castle Rock airs Wednesdays on Hulu.