Spoilers for Episode 7 of Castle Rock: 'The Queen'

After a shocking cliffhanger last Wednesday, Castle Rock takes a detour in its seventh episode, "The Queen." The episode centers entirely around Ruth Deaver (Sissy Spacek) and her deteriorating memory.

"The Queen" walks us through Ruth's memory and her detached place in reality. Throughout the season, she seems out of it, trapped in a different time or place. Everyone around her sees her illness from the outside: her forgetfulness, her strange behavior and her poor memory: all the signs of an old woman with memory problems. In "The Queen" we are invited inside Ruth's mind to see the world as she does.

As the series progresses, we learn more about Ruth's Alzheimer's and her methods for staying grounded in reality. In the last episode, Ruth's grandson, Wendell, is the first person she reveals this secret to. Ruth leaves chess pieces around the house as "breadcrumbs" to act as triggers to her memory whenever she is lost in the past. "One for every room in the house," she says. Wendell calls her a "time hopper."

In many ways, the way the narrative of Castle Rock is structured in the same way as Ruth's "breadcrumbs." Often, the audience feels lost in the story, unsure of where it's headed. When a new detail is introduced it throws us off a predetermined path, but a detail from past episodes will remind us of where we are in the plot line, even if we don't yet understand the big picture.

Throughout the episode, Ruth follows her "breadcrumbs" and viewer is meant follows behind her as the trail leads her through her tumultuous marriage with Reverend Deaver, her loving relationship with Henry as well as the beginnings of her affair with Sheriff Pangborn. By following the system Ruth has set for herself, she revisits different moments throughout the season.

Ruth Deaver in Castle Rock
Memories haunt Ruth Deaver (Sissy Spacek) in Episode 7 of 'Castle Rock.' Dana Starbard/Hulu

Through Ruth's scattered memories, we also learn Reverend Deaver was a more sinister man than the townsfolk were led to believe. First, she tearfully remembers how he killed Henry's childhood dog. This memory was just the beginning before she hops into a memory with the Reverend and a young Henry as the family picnics in the woods. The Reverend pulls out a gun and begins to postulate about the absence of God.

Another problem with Ruth's illness is that she often confuses the faces of people with those who are alive and those who are dead. In real time, the Kid has escaped from the psychiatric institution. When Ruth sees him, she sees her long-dead husband. Terrified, she grabs the same gun from the closet.

In a sequence of memories, Ruth ends up attacking the Kid with a kitchen knife. Ruth is lost in her own mind and, thinking she was protecting her son against her dead husband, ends up fatally shooting Alan Pangborn by accident.

As the episode ends, Ruth hops to the memory of when Alan first came back after their years apart. In the present, Alan is dying from a bullet wound, but in Ruth's reality, she jumps into the arms of the man she's always loved and begs him, "Please don't leave."

"The Queen" leaves us with this heartbreaking reality that Ruth herself is not ready to face.

"The Queen" will be available for streaming on Wednesday.