Ruth runs into the shed, gets a gun, and loads it.-----
Alan gives Ruth the chess set. She lets the dog out and Alan pours champagne.
Alan comes into the house, gets a knife, and leaves. Ruth goes outside and finds the dog dead on the street. Alan is kneeling by it, holding the knife, and tells Ruth to wait in the house. She asks him if he called the vet, and the utility truck driver that hit the dog said that it came out of nowhere and that a vet won't help. Ruth walks away and Alan kills the dog.
Alan comes back inside and finds Ruth waiting with a packet suitcase on the floor. She says that it's for their dog, Puck, and Alan reminds her that Puck was Henry's dog and the one that died was a stray. Ruth figures that Matthew killed Puck with poison, and tells Alan that he had no idea what Matthe was capable of.
That night, Alan puts the dead stray in the suitcase and buries it in the back yard. Ruth wakes up and finds blood on her hands, and then wakes up and it's daylight and Puck is on the bed, having brought her a dead squirrel. She goes downstairs as she hears Henry and Alan talking about how Alan has been taking care of things for Ruth. Ruth looks at them and they look at her, and then she runs back to the closet to get clean sheets, and sees the gun on the shelf.
Dr. Vargas has Ruth repeat back the list of words that she read her. Ruth looks at the carnations in a vase behind Vargas, and Alan tries to prompt Ruth. When Vargas asks Alan to leave, he refuses. Ruth tells him that she has Alzheimer's but nobody will use the word. The doctor says that there's no way to confirm Alzheimer's except with an autopsy, and warns that as the condition progresses higher-order functions become more challenging. Vargas suggests that Ruth consider other liviong arrangements, and Ruth looks at Alan.
As Alan and Ruth go home, Alan tells Ruth that he doesn't care what Vargas thinks. He reminds her of telling him "Don't leave" when he returne dto Castle Rock. Alan promises that he has some business to take care of and when he gets back, they'll fix her up. Ruth tells him that she just needs a system and goes inside.
Once she's alone, Ruth takes out the chess set and looks at the white queen. She then pockets several of the pieces, and looks over and sees herself reading to a young Henry. The two Ruths look at each other, and then past-Ruth goes back to reading. Ruth sets a piece on the table, goes to the diner, and sees past-Ruth talking with an adult Henry. Ruth puts another piece sin the cupboard to walk the instant in time,, and continues putting pieces around the house.She comes to her past self in bed with Alan as he shows her a magic trick.
Henry brings Wendell home and Ruth hugs her grandson. Later, Wendell reads from Matthew's funeral program, and Ruth finds herself in church with young Henry, listening to Matthew preach. Another Matthew sits in a pew and smiles at Ruth, and she sees a chess piece in the hymn rack in front of her. Ruth finds herself back at the house with the chess piece on the kitchen table. As Ruth looks out the window, she sees the Kid out on the lawn, dresse dn the suit that they buried Matthew in.
Later, Henry takes the Kid to Juniper Hill. Before he gets in the car, the Kid looks back at the window where Ruth is watching them. She finds the floor covered in leaves, and finds herself out in the forest with Matthew and young Henry. out on a picnic. Matthew picks a spot and smiles at his family, and then takes out the gun from the picnic basket. He says that he wants to share a beautiful experience that he had with them, and talks about a Japanese soldier who hid out in the Philippines and continued fighting until 1974. Matthew says that he wondered if God was there, then puts the gun to his head and says that when he did it earlier, he heard God's voice. Ruth suggests that they go see Dr. Peters, but Matthew insists that there's nothing wrong with him and that he was transformed by the voice.
Ruth sees a chess piece on the ground and looks at the gun, and Matthew asks if they can hear God's voice. He tells them that they'll sit there and be quiet so that they can hear it, and Ruth picks up the chess piece.
Ruth looks at the chess piece, and Wendell asks her why the board is missing so many pieces. She explains how she uses them as breadcrumbs to tell when she is. Wendell says that she's a timewalker and shows her his video game of the dead walking around the house on the phone app. Only a timewalker can kill them permanently.
Later, Ruth throws her medication away and spills her pills on the floor. As she picks them up, the Kid/Matthew comes in and hangs up his coat. He tells Ruth to go to bed and walks past her, and Ruth sees the Kid for who he really is. Ruth hears a TV report about the fire at Juniper Hill, and a photo of the Kid as the primary suspect. She gets the gun from the closet and confirms that it's unloaded, and looks for the bullets.
Matthew finds young Henry and Ruth in the bathroom, engaged in riddles. He asks Henry if he said his prayers, and Henry finally goes off to say them. Once they're alone, Matthew tells Ruth that Henry is a little old to watch her taking a bath. He takes some pills, and Ruth asks him what he did with the gun. Matthew says that they can't rely on the sheriff to protect them, and assures Ruth that he locked away the bullets and Henry will never find them. Once Matthew leaves, Ruth looks up and sees a chess piece on the shelf.
Ruth looks at the security monitor and sees the Kid on it. She goes to the shed and gets the bullet, and sees the Kid outside. Ruth tries to hammer open the safe holding the bullets, and hears the doorbell ring. She goes downstairs and sees Molly outside. Molly asks if Henry is there, and says that he's lost. Ruth opens the door and asks when they are, and Molly says that something terrible is going to happen. The older woman tells her that it already happened and she saw a young Molly in the bedroom. Molly apologizes and Ruth tells her that she did right but it didn't take and he's back in the present but she's going to fix it.
Ruth closes the door and runs back to the dining room, and sees a picture on the wall. Continuing on, Ruth finds Matthew at the record player. He says that he found the picture in the shed and put it where it belongs, and reminds her that they played the song on the record player at her wedding. The Kid walks over and holds her tight, dancing with her. Ruth asks him what the combination is to the safe, and the Kid tells her that it's her birthday. Wendell watches them from the stairs, and Ruth asks the Kid to make her something to eat.
Once the Kid goes to the kitchen, Ruth tell Wendell to go to the mall in Chester's mill and buy a present with her money. Wendell wonders if he should leave her with the Kid, and Ruth insists that she doesn't need a babysitter. Once Wendell leaves, the Kid comes out and asks where Wendell went. Ruth feigns ignorance, and the Kid suggests that she lay down on the sofa where he can see her. Ruth has no choice but to lie down.
A young Ruth takes young Henry's temperature, and figures that he's feigning illness to get out of school. Henry worries about what Matthew will think, and Ruth assures him that she's going to take Matthew to Boston for another scan. The boy figures that Matthew won't go because he doesn't think that he's sick. Ruth wonders if Matthew sent Henry out into the rain, just as Matthew comes in and asks if Henry is okay. She says that Henry has a fever and after a moment, Matthew leaves. Once they're alone, Henry explains that Matthew was teaching him. Ruth tells Henry to tell Matthew what he wants to hear.
Ruth goes to the police station and meets with a young Alan. Alan wonders why she's really there and wonders what he is to her, and Ruth says that he's her friend. He tells her that there's no legal avenue since Matthew has never raised a hand to her, but as a friend he has some other ideas. Ruth warns that the two of them together will get gossip. Alan doesn't care, takes her friend, and says that they'll make a fresh start somewhere else. Ruth tells him that she can't leave Henry, and Alan tells her that she doesn't have to leave her son. Deputy Fran comes in, interrupting them, and Ruth excuses herself.
At home, Ruth finds the box of poison in the trash, goes outside, and calls to Puck. She sees turkey vultures circling over a spot in the forest, but is too afraid to investigate. As Ruth turns to go, she sees a chess piece on a tree stump where she left it, and reaches for it.
The Kid, still pretending to be Matthew, makes Ruth eggs. She sits down to eat them, and the Kid takes out her pills and says that he found them in the garbage. He offers one to Ruth and repeats Matthew's words about God helping those who help themselves. Ruth swallows the pill and the Kid tells her that it's better with just the two of them. He remembers that she always took a bath before going to bed, and offers to draw one for her. Ruth agrees and the Kid goes to do it.
Once she's alone, Ruth puts down the pill that she palmed, confirms that the Kid is in the upstairs bathroom, gets the gun, and goes to the shed to open the safe with the combination the Kid gave her.As Ruth searches for the bullets, the Kid calls to her asking where she went.
Ruth finds herself standing in the bathtub, the water overfloing onto the floor. She watches the Kid on the monitor and waits, screwdriver in hand, hiding behind the shower curtain. The Kid comes into the bathroom and Ruth asks who he is. He repeats young Henry's riddle and pulls aside the curtain, and Ruth stabs him in the side with the screwdriver before running out.
Matthew's wake is going on, and Ruth shoves her way through the crowd of guests. The wake turns into the wedding party celebration, and Ruth pushes her way through the people and locks herself in Henry's room. She turns and sees herself packing after Alan tells her to leave Matthew. Past-Ruth picks up the gun, and Ruth begs her to leave it.
Ruth finds herself clutching to a chess piece during a wake at the Deaver house, unaware if she's in the past or the future. Alan is standing at the coffin, and Ruth asks him if she's in it. He offers his condolences, and Ruth sees her younger self sitting on the sofa, crying. Ruth goes to the kitchen to get a drink, and Matthew returns with Young Henry. Matthew says that Henry heard what he heard, and asks if their son is sick as well. Ruth tells him that Henry told Matthew what he wanted to hear because she told him to, and Matthew asks Henry if he gave false witness. Henry insists that he heard it, and Matthew sends him to his room. Ruth refuses to let Matthew hurt Henry and says that she's packed to leave and is taking Henry with her. Matthew tells her that she never does, and asks who Vargas is. He tells Ruth that he can't help her find the bullets because he's her delusion and only knows what she knows. He tells her that she never shot him to help young Henry because she's a coward, and she put the clothing from the suitcase back. Ruth remembers that she packed the bullets and never unpacked them.
Running out to the grave where Alan buried the stray, Ruth ignores Puck digging at the ground, opens the suitcase, and takes out the bullets. She sees the Kid watching her from the upstairs window, and runs to the shed. Going inside, Ruth loads the gun and shoots at a figure coming in the door. Sighing in relief, Ruth collapses back into a chair and then realizes that Alan was the person coming in. Ruth puts her head on his chest, crying, and watches as he dies.
Ruth leaves the shed and goes to the house. She washes the blood off of her hands and takes a shower, puts on her best dress and makes herself up, and the doorbell rings. Ruth answers it and finds Alan there. He says that he's been back from New Hampshire a few months, and someone called and said that they heard gunshots. Alan came to check, and then says that he came back to Castle Rock because of her. Ruth hugs him and begs him not to leave, and Alan assures her that he's not going anywhere. Two chess pieces sit on the endtable.
Written by Gadfly on Aug 25, 2018