The Mist - Season 01, Episode 02: "Withdrawal" TV Episode Review
Written by Jersey John
Directed by David Boyd
Written by Stephen King (based on the novel by), Christian Torpe (developed for television by), Peter Macmanus (teleplay by), Christian Torpe (story by)
Episode premiered on DATE
Alyssa Sutherland as Eve Copeland
Isuah Whitlock as Gus Redman
Bill Carr as Howard
Holly Deveaux as Zoe
Gus Birney as Alex Cunningham
Luke Cosgrove as Jay Heisel
The pilot episode of The Mist left us with more questions than answers but such, is the purpose of a mystery sci-fi horror show originally created in the mind of Stephen King. Our first jump in brought us to a few central locations: a police station, church and mall. Whether these will become recurring places, only time will tell. Tension between key characters were already high as the mist rolled in, and claimed its first victims.
Officer Heisel fled the police station, leaving the others (Kevin, Zoe, Bryan and Adrian) without a means of escape. After crashing into a moose, he winds up at the church where town people think he is there to help, specifically with the murder of Nathalie's husband. Eventually those in the police station find car keys to a patrol vehicle, quickly thwart a carjacking and also crash to wind up at the church, where Officer Connor Heisel has already taken a deliberate authority role, treating the mist as just another emergency he can manipulate. Zoe sees a mysterious figure before taking shelter with the others. He immediately handcuffs Zoe and scolds Kevin for freeing her and Bryan. Zoe is going through withdrawals from her clear drug dependence. Nathalie and others bond over food as she starts to display more bizarre behavior.
Back at the mall, Eve Copeland and her daughter Alex, still shaken up, help to lock the doors to the mall. While making their rounds, they discover a dead man in the passage to the security hall, his arm ripped off and the closed corridor engulfed in mist. After using a drone (from the electronics store, of course), another dead man is discovered in the security wing. Those trapped in the mall draw names from a hat to see who will make a run for the radio. Eve and a few head to town get to the radio, where they attempt to hail anyone who may be listening. Here we discover the man is a soldier from a nearby facility called Arrowhead. After Eve tries to run and tell the others, a fight ensues between the two, resulting in Eve killing him. Eve lies to the rest of the group about his true identity and says she lost him to the mist. The episode closes as those in the mall get ready to spend their first night. Jay Heisel, son of Officer Connor and who has been accused of sexually assaulting Alex, goes to use the restroom only to find that two others who just arrived to town today have hung themselves.
With so much going on in only two episodes, I wonder which characters will stay relevant who will be built up just enough for them to be disposable as the season rolls on. Certain nuances of the film and book are mimicked well, dropping subtle reoccurring themes that fans of King will be all too familiar with. This episode brings the first interaction with an Arrowhead soldier, aside from Bryan, whose origin is still intentionally vague. Groups are forming that will have ripple effects throughout this season. Gus Redman (the head of the mall) has become a prominent voice among those stuck there. Nathalie and Father Romanov may clash as she becomes further unhinged by the murder of her husband. The pacing has been spot on from what I'd expect from a King adaptation. The right amount of character development mixed with suspense and some gore is enough to progress the story into its third episode without getting stale. This is my only concern moving forward; the mist is not a very flushed out story and stays specifically vague to leave much to a reader's imagination. With everything being laid out for viewers, we will see how this fresh take will hold up against King's timeless novella.