New Jerusalem delves into the past of Jerusalem’s Lot and the Merrill family. As Annie stumbles into the graves beneath the Lot, we stumble into the bodies buried in Pop Merrill’s past. This may not be Pet Sematary, but nothing stays dead for long.
New Jerusalem – Built on The Past:
Annie awakes in the catacombs under the Somali construction site. Coffins from the 1600’s are all around her. She cannot climb her way out, but water leads her to tunnels. She follows one to a large wooden staircase. She winds her way up and through the floorboards of a basement. She is in an old house filled with squatters. As she runs from the house, we see it is the infamous Marsten house from Salem’s Lot. It seems that Abdi is trying to build a New Jerusalem over the literal bones of the old one.
We have seen in both episodes this season that large bugs are spreading out from the site and they seem to follow death. The construction continues at the site, they hole to the catacombs is not visible, because Annie somehow covered it over. But one of the workers finds Annie’s necklace. Abdi think’s it is from the squatters in the Marsten so he sends Jamal to clear them out. He finds two squatters burned to a crisp. He is hit over the head with a cain and dragged down into the catacombs. It seems as if something or someone has awoken in the Lot!
Annie is ready to leave and escape her trouble, but Joy is not having it. Joy storms off toward’s Chance’s and re-injures her hand. At the hospital, Joy asks to be seen alone and since she is 16 she can. Nadia questions Joy as she stitches her back up. Under the influence of anesthesia and upset at Annie, Joy searches for Ann Ingalls and herself and finds no record. She questions her mother on it, but her mother will not answer. Annie is in the Jeep with the bugs landing on the windows and sees ace behind her.
New Jerusalem – Pop’s Guilt Builds A Future:
Pop was a soldier in Somalia and he is haunted by the things he did there. To make up for it, he has pushed for the people of Castle County to take in and make a place for the refugees. The sibling duo of Abdi and Nadia catch his eye. They don’t speak any english, lost their mother in the war, and made it to the U.S. on their own. He agrees to be their foster father and he takes them in. He is also caring for his nephews Ace and Chris and Ace resents the attention his new family members are getting. Abdi is smart and cunning from the get go and Pop sees it. He gives management of the mall over to him and says one day his business empire will be Abdi’s. He suggests legal adoption for Abdi and Nadia to make things easier business wise.
Things are looking up when Ace gets in the way of Abdi’s ambitions. People are saying that Ace disappeared and Abdi and his men were behind it. Pop is at the Star Gazer Lodge. Ace’s dog Bobby leads him to cabin 19, Annie’s place. There is no sign of Ace, but Annie’s bags are packed. Pop confronts Annie in the hospital. Annie says that Ace came over and wanted Joy because she saw something. Annie tells him Ace talked about the firebombing and threatened them. She then lies and says Abdi came and chased Ace into the woods.
Pop has his crooked Castle Rock cops capture Abdi and he questions him. Abdi says he knows why Pop took he and his sister in, but he will not admit to anything about Ace. Pop threatens Abdi with Bobby and then collapses due to the side effects of the chemo he is taking.
The tunnel Annie runs through reminds me of the ones below Derry in IT. Annie is wearing a yellow rain slicker and following something in racing water just like Georgie. Pop feeds Abdi and Nadia food from Nan’s Luncheonette (mentioned in The Dark Half and Needful Things among other books).
Salem’s Lot is clearly referenced in this episode with the introduction of the Marsten house and the things that lie beneath it. It looks like a threat has been awakened by the construction on the site and Annie & Ace’s fall into the catacombs beneath. The Castle Rock series seem to be a different level of the Dark Tower tail, since the house and town were burned in the book. But we will see how things play out as the series moves forward.
Wow New Jerusalem gave us a lot of back story. That is what I like about shorter run series. They keep the writing tight and powerful and the action comes quickly. We get to see many sides of Pop in this episode and it just shows the complexity of the man. Tim Robbins is doing a wonderful job and it is great to see him back in the Stephen King universe. I love that we see Joy questioning her life and Annie’s motives. There is a great dynamic there. Over all I’m really enjoying this series.
Here is what we know about the first 3 episodes all dropping on 10/23/2019 and the rest drop every week on Wednesday. You can find photos and descriptions in our Facebook group.
2 x 3 “Ties That Bind” Annie tastes her own medicine.
2 x 4 “Restore Hope”
2 x 5 “The Laughing Place”
Season 2 Game Plan:
Wayne and I will record shorter podcast about the first 3 episodes. Record your feedback and we will do a special feedback podcast. Then starting with episode 4 we will go week to week with Feedback being due by Friday’s at 2pm.
What did you think of “New Jerusalem”? What King Connections did you spot in the episode? What theories do you have about the show? Be sure to join our facebook group and get updates on upcoming shows!
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You can find Wayne on the Electric Dreams podcast and Geoff doing the Flashes from the Underground segment on Maid of Steel and Gotham Undercover.