The Mist - Season 01, Episode 03: "Withdrawal" TV Episode Review TV Episode Review
Written by John Colianni
Directed by Nick Murphy
Written by Stephen King (based on the novel by), Christian Torpe (developed for television by), and Peter Biegen (written by)
2017, Rated TV-14
Episode premiered on July 6th, 2017
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
I’ve always respected a series that can establish itself quickly and advance a plot without becoming stagnant. Speaking honestly, I don’t always have the best discipline when it comes to keeping current on television. I can usually binge my way through something given the right amount of time and attention span, granted that characters and plot can justify the time spent. Watching The Mist episode by episode so far has been interesting since, for starters, it’s one of the first TV series I am reviewing here on HT. I also must stay current with what has happened week to week, going against my usual leisurely reviewing methods. With three down in a ten episode first season, story arcs are moving along nicely, albeit somewhat predictable for being this new.
In “Show and Tell”, we bounce back and forth yet again between the groups in the mall and those still stuck in the church. With nothing to do but wait, those who aren’t restless in the pews are sleeping away what might be the end of the world. Not much differs with Alex and Eve back at the mall. However, the two soldiers that committed suicide are discovered to be military personnel. One man tries to walk away when confronted and admits to being with the others, although he doesn’t seem to be as aware of the situation as they were. A couple of awkward loner types decide to see if they can coax whatever is in the mist by using the dead soldiers as bait. As Eve and others come up with a plan to reach for help, Alex is awkwardly confronted by Jay, who still says he never assaulted her as she has claimed. He urges her to stay with the rest of the group instead of leaving. Eve then pulls a gun on him, sending a clear message. Balloons with leaflets “We’re in the mall. Please help us.” are made.
Back in church territory, Kevin tries to convince Connor to let Bryan and Zoe leave with him to get help, even though they were both arrested and under his custody earlier. After a small bout between them, Kevin in locked away in the basement with the others. While all of this is going on, Adrian is having a crisis of faith. Being the odd duck that he is, he has never believed in a god. The totality of the circumstances seems to be influencing him, as he asks Father Romanov to baptize him. Kevin escapes and hatches a plan for him, Bryan, Zoe and Adrian to make for a car outside and find help away from the church. Breaking further from reality and still grief struck, Nathalie decides that she no longer wants to live and wanders outside. With her is a man she noticed at the start of the episode with a giant moth tattooed across his back. As he urges her back inside, a bug flies in his ear. It quickly gestates into something much larger and hatches from his back, killing him and releasing a new horror.
Much of what the previous takes on The Mist (novella and film) have going for them are their ability to explore the visceral nature of human beings when the world is being overrun by otherworldly creatures. An intimate group of characters allow for more meaningful interactions when faced with horrors outside in the mist and within themselves. This is an aspect that the third episode of this television adaptation is struggling a bit with. As the body count continues to rise, this may resolve itself. The immediate power struggles seem a bit forced when so little time has been spent between characters. As for internal dilemmas, the entire progression of Adrian wanting to be baptized feels painfully forced. He is an apathetic character in the pilot and last episode, so for this transition to take place within him in such a short amount of time seems ingenuine.
Accompanying the rapid character progression, there seems to be at least one overly-gory scene per episode. The dead guy in the security office and the back-bursting bug are well done on a Spike TV budget, but I hope that doesn’t become a force of habit. In the pilot, there are a handful of shock moments, but with the amount of seemingly disposable cast members, too many people are getting unnecessary screen time when they would serve better being ripped to pieces. Let’s see if the next installment can freshen up with a new location or reuniting those who will add something to build the momentum back up.