Previously On “The Mist” – everyone was horrible to each other. A child got eaten. Kevin can’t kill and Alex lied. Nature loving Nathalie made a friend and upset a priest. There you go – fully caught up.
A Change of Pace
After watching the show for four weeks I’ve decided to give these recaps a slight change of format. I’ve been giving blow-by-blow accounts of the episode each week and while they’ve been fun to write, I’ve come to realize that they’re not necessary. As we reach the half way point of the show I think it’s time to give the recaps a slight change. So going forward there won’t overly descriptive accounts anymore but rather a review of the episode with a break down of the questions each episode has left me with.
After five episode, has the show improved any? In short – yes! Episode five “Waiting Room” picks up from the shooting of Brian last week. Kevin and co are the sole focus of the episode with the foursome going from being trapped in a garage to being trapped in a hospital. For an ensemble show, it was a clever decision to dedicate a whole episode to a singular group of the characters. Between flashbacks to the early days of Eve and Kevin’s relationship and attention to Adrian, Mia and Bryan’s characters this is a really strong episode.
Kevin has often been a dull character through the first four episodes but this week saw a huge change in him. Contrasting the new, hardened Kevin with the at first optimistic and loving Kevin of the flashbacks was a good way to show how the last four weeks have changed him. He is no longer the soft touch that first set out to find his daughter and wife.
It was a clever idea to use the flashbacks to show that Eve has never been fully content in the relationship. Although Kevin has loved her from the get go, Eve hasn’t always been as happy. This add’s depth to both their characters, especially after Eve’s confession that she is glad he’s not there in last week’s episode.
Who Is Bryan?
I called this weeks ago, but after watching Mia and Bryan’s relationship blossom, it’s revealed that Bryan isn’t actually Bryan. After a touching moment between the two at the start of the episode where the two actually address the sexual tension between them. Mia makes the unfortunate discovery that Bryan Hunt is already in the hospital. He’s just not the Bryan Hunt that she has been growing feelings for.
The real Bryan Hunt got beaten up at Arrowhead by a man named Jonah Dixon. Who matches the description of the man who has been shouting about things in the mist for the last five weeks. So who the hell is Johan? The amnesia story with Bryan/Jonah has been very convenient and even Bryan/Jonah believed his name to be Bryan. It will be interesting to see what happens now that both Mia and Bryan/Jonah know the truth. I’m sticking with my original guess that he’s going to be a royal bastard once he gets his memory back.
Do We need Monsters?
One of the best parts of the original movie was the creatures. I’m a huge fan of a creature feature and that is initially what drew me to the show. (Well that and my obsessive nature when it comes to anything Stephen King related.) However, the show has been very monster light. In fact, it seems that the nature of the mist itself is more psychological. Even Kevin’s ill-fated brother made mention that the mist KNEW the bad things that he had done. Making it seem that the mist is almost sentient.
While we’ve not had monsters to match the scale of the movie, we have been presented with various horrors. Moth-Man from episode four seriously traumatized me, the shadow eater from episode four was every parent’s worst nightmare and this week we get leeches. I know they don’t sound scary, but the sheer volume of them and the tension when they appeared (and subsequently tried to eat Kevin and his brother) was brilliantly handled.
Obviously, money is an issue, TV budget isn’t the same as movie budget. All things considered, the show is handling the monster side of things well. This isn’t the movie and they’re not even trying to match it. This is a different, meaner mist. A mist that gets into your mind and uses your own fears against you.
Who’s the Daddy?
Here’s a hint – it’s not Kevin. Through the use of flashback’s not only did we learn that Kevin’s always loved Eve more than she loved him but more importantly – Kevin isn’t Alex biological father. It was a good twist, although unless they do something with it, it’s going to be wasted. I have a feeling that this is going to tie into why Alex didn’t get eaten by the Mist-Monster last week. It was handled quite well, as almost all the flashbacks were. The reveal has added a much-needed level of depth of the character of Kevin who has until now felt very flat.
“Waiting Room” felt like a very different episode to the previous four and worked so much better because of it. The problem with the show so far has always been the characters. We were expected to care about quite a large cast very quickly. This was the first week that I actually did. The struggle of Kevin trying and failing to save his brother felt genuine. The moment when he chooses to kill Mike and put him out of his misery was genuinely sad. Mia’s obvious heartbreak at finding out Bryan/Jonah isn’t who she thought she was a great motivator for her character to go back to her roots. I still can’t take to Adrian but that’s because I’m waiting for him to be revealed as Alex rapist.
It feels like the show has finally hit its stride. The decision to focus on a core group instead of jumping between the characters worked so well. In this vein, it would be brilliant for the next two episodes to focus on the church and the mall. Giving us flashbacks and a character focus made the fear and tension real. It allowed you to grow to care about the character’s (not you Adrian) in a way that’s not happened before.
We’re five episodes in and for the first time this season – I’m excited to watch the next five!
What did you think of the new format of the show? Are you still even watching? Let us know in the comments below.