The Laughing Place was a powerful look into Annie Wilkes, the people who shaped her and how she became the woman we see today. This episode is the peak of the season so far. You do not want to miss it or our discussion on it.
Annie’s First Laughing Place, Her Father:
Annie has dyslexia, her teachers don’t understand, her peers bully her and she lashes out against them. But Her father Carl, played by John Hoogenakker who has been in Annies visions as the Tall Man, knows a way to help her learn. He will home school her and help her read by having her take his hand typed pages and type them into the computer. Annie’s mom Crysilda, played by Robin Weigert, has strong reservations and she doubts Carl’s ability.Through the years Annie grows and helps her father write his story. Early on Carl tells Annie that anywhere can be her laughing place. To her it is her dad and he is her number 1 fan.
Crysilda puts her foot down when Annie is a year away from her GED. She hires Rita K. Green, played by Sarah Gadon, to tutor. Rita has the ability to gain the trust of each one of the Wilkes clan. Annie thrives and learns techniques to help her read. Rita recognizes Annie’s inteligence and plays to it. That along with an appreciation for Carl’s writing wins Carl over. As the time comes close for the GED, we see Rita is pregnant. She sees Rita as a good and the baby’s father is good or bad not complicated. Her views on morals are based on her mother. Carl has moved out of the house. Annie passes her GED and calls her dad to tell him.
The Laughing Place Of The Wilkes Ladies:
Crysilda realizes she is going to loose Annie to the world and men like her husband. So she knows a way to get away clean. She locks Annie in the car after a college visit and drives them both into the river. Annie escapes but Crysilda does not. Annie is beyond grieving she has broken with reality. Her Dad movies back in. But he cannot get her to break from her apathy.
That all changes when Rita and baby Evangeline come for dinner. Annie is happy. Carl wants to fill her in, but Rita objects, but he pushes forward. Carl and Rita were together before Crysilda died and Evangeline (bearer of good news) is Annie’s half sister. Annie picks up her knife saying she was not good at reading not math. Later, Rita and Evangeline move in it forces Annie to her attic loft.
Annie’s mother has been replaced, her father’s attention is divided, he is writing again without her help and she cannot connect with Evangeline. Her father finishes The Ravening Angel and they throw a cookout to celebrate. Annie reads the book and sees her dad changed the evening and dedicates it to Rita K. Green his laughing place. Her screams awaken Carl. She is furious and cannot be comforted. She pushes her dad away and he falls down the stairs. Crashing through, he is impaled and she cannot save him. The noise wakes the baby and Annie goes in the room. Rita confronts her and Annie stabs her saying she was not good. She grabs her dad’s Ravening Angel file box and puts Evangeline in it. She hears the river and heads toward it. She repeats back her mother’s words and intends to drown the baby and herself. That is until Evangeline starts to coo and laugh at Annie. Evangeline or should we say Joy is now her laughing place.
A Future Laughing Place, Rita And Joy:
Joy has been reading The Ravening Angel and cannot put it down. But Abdi has to do some work and he takes Joy along. Annie follows them and Joy allows her 5 min. She gives her a chance to get help, Annie refuses because it would bring Joy into it. Joy wants to know about her dad, but Annie refuses. So Joy with Abdi’s help send Annie away. She heads to the Mellow Tiger and starts drinking her mother’s favorite, vodka. By the end we see Ace is sitting next to her.
Joy finishes the book and sees the dedication. She begins searching the internet and finds a Rita K. Green in Bakersfield on Facebook. She Calls Rita. It seems Rita survived Annie’s attach. We can see behind her there is a map, most likely tracking sightings of Annie and Joy across the nation. Rita is about to hang up when Joy asks her about the book.
Their are obvious ties to Misery with Annie’s Laughing Place, killing of her father and the number 1 fan phrases. This week we met Rita K. Green played by Sarah Gadon. she stared as Sadie Dunhill in Hulu’s adaptation of 11.22.63. For that reason 11/2263 is our pick of the week.
The Laughing Place was a true standout episode, much like The Queen from last season. Ruby Cruz does an amazing job playing the younger Annie. She has big shoes to fill and she does a great job. I loved the cinematography in this episode as well. The close up shots of Annie, her reflection in her dad’s study window, and so many other shots give you a great feel of her decent into madness. It makes you feel for Annie even when you shouldn’t. This is my favorite episode of the season because it gives so much insight into Annie’s visions and character.
For the rest of the seven weeks, a new episode will drop every week on Wednesday. You can find photos and descriptions in our Facebook group.
2 x 6 “The Mother” the synopsis is as follows: “?”
2 x 7 “The World” the synopsis is as follows: “?”
Season 2 Game Plan:
Starting with episode 4 we will go week to week with feedback being due by Friday’s at 2pm.
What did you think of “The Laughing Place”? 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.