To be fair, I had pretty low expectations of this series when I first heard that this story was going to become a television series, even though Frank Darabont gave us a movie based on the source material a decade ago (I know, naive me, given Hollywood’s tendency to revisit, to put it nicely.)
And has this show been perfect?
Far from it, to be sure. It has its issues, with a plot line that seems to meander off the path sometimes, and with characters whose actions don’t always make sense.
But its not terrible. Far from it, actually. The show actually seems to be finding a footing of sorts, especially in the latter half of the season.
It is introducing some interesting ideas, such as what is the nature of the mysterious Mist, and what people will do when resources begin to run low, and they must confront something that no one really understands.
Overall, I had low expectations going in regarding The Mist (almost no expectations, really), but I have been at least somewhat pleasantly surprised, especially over the last couple of weeks. And I hope to continue to be surprised, as the show builds on what it has established over the past few weeks.
So, without further ado, here is my recap and review of episode 6, titled The Devil You Know.
And, as always:
Bryan encounters the other man named Bryan, and kills the other man. He runs from the room, and does not tell the others what he did.
Kevin speaks to one of the doctors, who asks him about his brother. Kevin does not answer, but offers the doctor a pained look. Kevin then discovers that Mia has taken the car, and decides to look for another car.
While Kevin is searching for another vehicle, he stumbles upon one of the doctors (Dr. Bailey) experimenting on people. Dr. Bailey is deliberately placing people in The Mist, to find out what happens to people when they are placed in The Mist. The doctor describes the fates of several people, and then injects Kevin with something to render him unconscious. The doctor places Kevin on a gurney, and wheels him into The Mist.
At the mall, Alex is still feeling guilty for surviving her previous encounter with The Mist. Eve takes her on a shopping trip to help Alex get her mind off the encounter, and Alex picks out some clothes and models them for Eve. Lila’s mom watches, in the shadows.
Alex then decides that she will try to brave The Mist again, in an attempt to reunite with Kevin. She separates from her mother, and picks up some supplies at the camping store. Alex then somehow becomes locked in a break room, and the break room catches on fire.
Alex realizes she is trapped in the break room and panics. However, she is rescued by Jay, who hears her cries and breaks down the door, freeing Alex. Alex accuses Jay of setting the fire, but he denies her accusations. He requests to join Eve’s group, as he does not like how Gus is running things. Eve agrees, but tells Jay that she will shoot him if he touches Alex.
At the church, one of the survivors, a young man named Link, expresses his concern for Nathalie’s behavior. Link attacks Nathalie, but Nathalie traps him in a room with The Mist and escapes.
Adrian expresses his concern for Kevin to Bryan. Bryan and Adrian then look for Kevin, who is trapped on the gurney and exposed to The Mist. Kevin begins to see things in The Mist, such as a version of himself, and the owl from the children’s story that he wrote.
Mia finds her way to the house where she had previously stashed something important. She realizes that The Mist has made its way into the house. She enters the bedroom, and encounters something that appears to her as her deceased mother. The apparition tells Mia to kill herself so that she can join her dead mother, but Mia is able to resist, and flees the house, making her way back to the hospital.
Bryan and Adrian track down Kevin. Bryan stabs Dr. Bailey, and he and Adrian and able to free Kevin from The Mist. The generator at the hospital then dies, which means that none of the doors will open or shut, and people become trapped by The Mist. Adrian, Bryan and Kevin reunite with Mia, and follow Mia’s advice to take shelter in the psych ward, where the doors are not powered by electricity.
At the mall, Eve and Gus make fake flyers that advise people to take shelter and that help is on the way. The flyers are distributed, and many of the survivors begin to feel hopeful.
So, one takeaway from watching The Mist:
This goes back to a statement I have made many, many times.
Stephen King is known for writing horror stories. Stories like It, Pet Sematary, ‘Salem’s Lot, The Shining and countless others are known as scary stories. They will continue to be known as scary stories for many, many generations to come, and are the horror story metric of how to scare people into a change of pants.
King is able to create memorable monsters. That is what he is known for: unleashing the monsters on us, forcing us to make sure that we have clean underwear on hand.
But, I cannot stress this enough: Stephen King is more than “just” a writer of horror stories (not that there is anything wrong with the horror genre, I consider it an essential part of a civilized society, thankyouverymuch.)
King writes about people. Believable people at that.
Ordinary people placed into extraordinary situations and all that jazz.
But also people placed into…well ordinary situations. Or at least believable situations.
And this is what The Mist is capitalizing on, in its own, somewhat bumbling but still kinda charming way.
Ordinary people who are trapped in close quarters, with no understanding of what has trapped them or how to escape.
It is true that these people are trapped by a supernatural entity simply known as The Mist, but the situation is still somewhat believable, as people constantly battle the beast known as “Mother Nature” in “reality” all the time.
And it seems that The Mist is something than preys on peoples’ fears and even their hopes and dreams. I do believe that this a theme, and it will be interesting to see where the show takes it, in the few episodes we have left.
This week, we saw people being…well, monsters…to each other. And a lot of this had nothing to do with The Mist, even though it was also a player.
One of the most frightening scenes was the scene where Alex became trapped by the fire. This fire was likely set by a person, and no supernatural assistance was needed (I will take Lila’s mom for $19, Alex!)
Now, I knew that Alex would probably make it out alive (she is a main character, after all) but it was still hard to see her trapped in the fire and unable to break out. And if it hadn’t been for a lucky break, she would have been burned alive.
A chilling thought (irony intended.)
Kevin also fell prey to the human monsters, thanks to Dr. Demento.
I think my favorite part of that scene was actually the doctor describing what had happened to his other patients.
And yes, the part about the woman seeing her dogs come out of The Mist, being overcome with joy and then being eating by her dogs was the part that got to me the most.
Yes, I am a sucker for dogs and animals in general.
Kill the humans all you want, but don’t mess with the animals! They are sacred!
Well, unless you are watching anything horror or even based on something written by Stephen King.
Then all bets are off…
Again, a moment of silence for poor Rufus…
And for that lady and her dogs, who didn’t get to have their reunion after all.
Kevin’s visions in The Mist were also interesting, and I am curious to see how that will play out in the series.
He saw an owl, and the owl said “what” instead of “who.”
Part of me thought this was actually kind of funny (I mean, an owl? What’s next, a killer penguin?)
But it is also kind of disturbing, now that we know that The Mist can get inside people’s heads, and seems to know their hopes, dreams and fears.
Obviously, the owl is a creation of Kevin’s, and it is something near and dear to him. He wrote a children’s book about it, and it likely ties into Alex, who he loves very much, despite the fact that there is no biological tie to Alex.
Kevin wants to be the good guy, wants to fix everything, as evidenced by his relationship to his wife and daughter.
So far, this mentality has caused him nothing but heartache, and forced him to witness his brother being eaten by flying leeches.
And speaking of getting into people’s heads…
Let’s talk about that scene with Mia for a moment.
Now, some of this was slightly contrived, in my opinion.
It still does not make sense to me that Mia ran off the way she did, into the arms (or tendrils) of The Mist.
However, the payoff was actually pretty good, as we got to witness Mia fight The Mist. We did not really see this with Alex, as The Mist ignored her for some reason in favor of Lila.
But I do believe The Mist had no intention of ignoring Mia, and had its sights set on her.
Again, see the part about it playing on people’s emotions.
The Mist presented Mia with Mommy Dearest.
It wrote her nickname on the wall.
And then it impersonated her mother, trying to get under Mia’s skin.
Mia was pretty close to taking the suggestions of The Mist and committing suicide.
But somehow she was able to fight it, and make her way back to the hospital (which she was foolish to leave in the first place, but I digress.)
However, the hospital may not be the best place now, due to that pesky generator shutting down, causing the doors to malfunction.
And this will get interesting, I am sure…
The Mist…er…the plot thickens…
So that’s it for The Devil You Know.
Tune in next week, as I review and dissect episode 7, titled Over the River and Through the Woods.
Tune in next week…
Same bat time, same bat channel!