The Mist - Season 1, Episode 5: "The Waiting Room" TV Episode Review
Written by Jersey John
Directed by Richard Laxton
Written by Stephen King (based on the novel by), Chritian Torpe and Amanda Segel
2017, Rated TV-14
Episode premiered on July 20th, 2017
Morgan Spector as Kevin Cunningham
Alysse Sutherland as Eve Copeland
Gus Birney as Alex Cunningham
Danica Curcic as Mia Lambert
Obezie Morro as Bryan Hunt
Character building is important to every type of story. Through subtle interactions and more flushed out scenarios, viewers learn what makes protagonists and antagonists do the things they do. This in turn creates a captivating narrative that brings people back again and again. Television has a unique opportunity to slowly introduce backstory and motives due to the amount of time that is spent on each installment. My favorite episodes are the ones that focus on one or two characters, which allows the writers and directors to establish motives and develop a story that matters. Episode five of The Mist titled "The Waiting Room" does just this.
After their run in with the man at the gas station, Bryan has been shot and needs immediate medical attention if he's going to survive. With a working car he, Kevin, Mia and Adrian are able to traverse the mist and quickly make it to the hospital that is still up and running. Bryan is taken for treatment as the rest of them wait around helplessly for news. Adrian has a run in with someone he remembers from Jay's party only days ago. Mia lashes out at Kevin, saying that if he had killed the man at the gas station then Bryan wouldn't have been shot. She also discovers that Bryan may not be who he says he is. Kevin, while looking to see if Eve and Alex are admitted, discovers that his brother Mike is in a room with a piece of rebar stuck in his abdomen, puncturing his liver. The doctor tells Kevin there is a way to save Mike's life but the equipment they need is in a wing of the hospital that the mist has overtaken.
"The Waiting Room" doesn't advance the story but adds important context to make audiences care about the actions and decisions that major and minor roles make. Through a series of flashbacks we learn more about he and Eve's relationship and how she is perceived by Mike and many others because of her wild past. We also discover that Alex isn't really Kevin's daughter, something not even Alex herself knows. This is important because the tension between Even and Kevin finally makes sense. While Kevin's attempt to save his brother does produce a great amount of tension and some of the best gore we've seen (because being devoured by other-worldly leeches before you're shot in the head is never a good time), the actual meat of the episode lies with Mia. As she goes to see how Bryan is recovering, she finds his room occupied by someone else claiming to be him. Whether this leads to more about the Arrowhead Project, time will tell. Mia sees the perfect way out and steals the keys to the car from Adrian while Kevin is attempting to save Mike and makes her getaway, further showing that she's still only in it for herself.
I don't think that the hospital will be as important of a location as the church or mall in the grand scheme of things but this pit stop is a much needed break from the jumping around the first few episodes have delivered. Mike is the prime example of an expendable character but it does show that Kevin is willing and able to some disgusting tasks and make difficult decisions for those he cares about. The fate of Bryan is still unknown but I doubt that surface has even been scraped. Mia is the only one that I'm growing tired of, as her motives still lack any explanation. Adrian hasn't done much for the group as a whole so I would imagine he's not too far from the chopping block. The next episode will probably have us location hopping again but scaling things down for just a moment is what The Mist needs to make us wonder what everyone else is up to while the world comes to its end.