'The Mist' recap: 'Withdrawal'
The Mist has officially descended upon Bridgeville, but this week’s episode sees the show split its time between three different locations (the police station, the church, and the mall) before settling on just the last two. So let’s dive into this geographically.
THE POLICE STATION
Following the now-dead Officer Pundik’s weather-related maladies last episode and a cockroach crawling out of his mouth this week (hope no one decided to have dinner late tonight), Kevin, Adrian, Bryan, and Mia have a few theories for what happened to the cop. They suspect a monster, but Bryan posits that it could be some kind of acid cloud. Not that he knows. Poor dude doesn’t know even know who he is. In any case, Kevin makes a case for them to head to the mall. His reasoning? There’ll be food, supplies, and, most importantly, his family. It’s sound logic on all accounts and hard to argue with, which is probably why no one puts up a fight. (Side note: Anyone else have Robin Sparkles’ greatest hit stuck in their heads? Just me? Okay.)
Before they leave, Mia tries to steal drugs from evidence, only to be caught by Bryan, who IDs her as an addict — not that it’s hard — and then promises to keep her secret from Kevin. On their way to the police car they’ve decided to take to their intended destination, Adrian manages to trip and fall. Classic. Nevertheless, they all get into the car in one piece.
As they slowly make their way through the dense fog, Kevin questions why the Mist has gotten thicker (yeah!), and Mia starts getting the shakes. Bryan stops her from hitting a guy on the road, but the man then pulls out a gun and tries to hijack the car. In a panic, Mia straight-up floors it, hitting him and driving wildly into the Mist. Despite everyone’s attempts to get her to slow down, she swipes another car, and the whole police car goes flying, flips over, and lands upside down. While everyone panics about their general well-being, Adrian is more concerned about his hair. After all, teenagers gotta teenage. (Though I suspect this is an Adrian-specific case.)
They all get out of the car and decide to run toward the church bells they heard, thus combining our two groups. On her way in, Mia sees an older woman she knows, who says, “Let me see you, Babydoll.” Before anything else can happen, they’re interrupted by Bryan, who grabs her and gets them to…
They burst in and find Father Romanov (Dan Butler, a.k.a. Bulldog from Frasier. I know. Take a moment) and a few other members of the congregation who’ve miraculously made it to the church — including Natalie (or Mrs. Raven) and Chief Connor.
Romanov was counseling the recent widow on the traumatic loss of her husband when the errant police officer made his way in. Connor shared his suspicion that the Mist is toxic and suggested that it would be safer to stay here, but he said nothing about the Police Station Gang, whom he left behind when he drove off into the Mist — where he then hit a moose that had alsobeen ravaged by the weather. R.I.P. That’s why it’s a big shock when Kevin’s group meets up with him.
First, there’s anger. (Mia gets mad and accuses the chief of leaving them to die.) Then there are accusations and even an arrest. (Connor handcuffs Mia to something near the altar.) Then there’s even more anger, as Kevin points out that Connor, a police officer,left behind a 17-year-old kid. In no way was that protecting or serving. Connor’s argument is that he waited, called for Kevin, and even honked the horn a few times before he drove off after possibly seeing/hearing something. This tidbit surprises Romanov, who asks why Connor wouldn’t tell him about that. The chief replies he didn’t want to “start a panic.”
Kevin tries to comfort Natalie, but she’s not having it. (“There is no spirit. There’s just nature… There’s here, and not here. He’s not here.”) Meanwhile, Mia gets another bout of the shakes when Bryan comes to check up on her. She tells him she’s hallucinating — she thought she saw someone she knew, but that can’t be because they’re dead.
Father Romanov is scrounging around for some food when one of his followers comes up to him with the bright idea of holding a service that night. But the priest says they should be focusing on finding food to feed everyone. They’re a little successful, as they pass out crackers and other dry goods. Romanov advises Adrian not to start eating until they’ve said grace, to which Adrian asks what he should do if he doesn’t believe in God. (I’m trying not to dislike Adrian, but he just seems to harbor every negative stereotype in the book, and it’s not fun to watch. Also, I won’t be surprised if the Revelations superfan tries to elect the priest as their leader a few episodes down the line. Religious folk becoming leaders in a dystopian setting is classic Stephen King.)
Natalie eventually returns, holding two bottles of wine she found. She asks if they can all have a drink: a toast in honor of her dead husband. Another member of the congregation agrees, and Mrs. Raven tells them a sweet story of how she and Benedict had a tradition of buying cheap wine and eating spaghetti because that was what they’d done when they were poor hippies, and he didn’t want to forget their roots. Bryan takes one of the bottles to Mia, and she gulps a fair amount down, while Kevin says Adrian can have a drink despite being underage. Connor nixes the idea, saying that of “all people,” he should know better. For a second, Kevin looks like he’s going to fight physically him for that terrible bit of victim blaming, but he and Adrian walk away to go and try to sleep.
Later, we see Natalie hold a picture of Benedict to her chest, and Bryan tells Mia he heard the lady outside call her “Babydoll.” He saw her too!
(Recap continues on page 2)
Following Mrs. Carmody’s gruesome de-jawing, mall manager Gus Bradley takes charge and decides they need to lock all the doors. (Smart man.) This is where we meet more of Eve and Alex’s compatriots, and boy, are they a colorful bunch. There’s Kimmy, who offers them a bottle of water and goes with them to lock the doors; Raj, a store owner; Kyle, the security guard; and my personal favorite, Lady Who Is Concerned About Eric as well as a whole bunch of other things. (“What’s going on?!” she asks, like we’re not all wondering the same thing. But she does it with such verve that I can’t help but nod after each emotion-laced exclamation. What is going on?)
On their way to lock the doors, Eve, Alex, and Kimmy notice a closed hallway full of Mist. That means it’s getting closer, as is anything it’s bringing with it. A dead person in the Mist (R.I.P., Leo the accountant) has been mauled by whatever got our buddy Officer Pundik. This introduces us to possibly the most important new character, Clint, a proactive dude who suggests they use the Homeland Security radio issued to every major outlet after 9/11. Gus agrees. But there’s a small problem… It’s in the administrative wing, which is down the hallway filled with Mist.
We also have a brief aside where Kyle accuses Raj of being a terrorist (!) after he too posits that the gas might be toxic. Oh The Mist, subtlety is not thy name. But Eve rightfully points out that she and Alex ran through it, so it’s definitely not poisonous — at least not immediately, anyway — and that poison doesn’t rip limbs. Yikes.
This is where Alex suggests they use the one drone with a camera that’s sold in the electronics store to see if what did this to Leo is still in there, which is surprisingly ingenious and such a good example of what a modern update can offer in terms of storytelling. Jay, who somehow has really good drone-piloting skills (not a phrase I ever thought I’d type about this kid) flies it through the Mist. All the doors are closed except for one. We go inside the room to find that the window was open. We also find a second dead body, but no one cares as much because this time, it’s next to some letters written in blood. We can see that they spell “a-r-r,” but because of the unclear writing, Jay and a few others think it’s “a-n-n,” which could mean Anna. Eve, however, does guess correctly, not that she connects it to Arrowhead. Before we can do any more investigating, the drone gets stuck. Of course it does.
This leads to a new plan: Someone needs to go use the radio. Concerned Lady instantly declares that it won’t be her, so they’re going to do a lottery system. The result, of course, is Eve, but she’s not going in there alone. Clint is going in with her.
After hugging Alex and telling her daughter she loves her, the older Copeland and her new pal “run for it” through the Mist. They get to that room and get the radio out, and thankfully, it still has some juice. Clint checks a bunch of channels before deciding to contact Arrowhead. Adding some more Mist-ery (I will nevertire of this joke) to the situation is his call signal: Shadow 4-1. Sketched out, Eve suggests taking the radio back to the group. Clint says no.
He starts to reach for something in his pocket, and she notices his gun, pushes the radio, and runs. Clint chases her. They fight, and he tries to strangle her, but Eve manages to get the upper hand, and she shoots him. She then runs out the doors. Everyone is waiting downstairs. They’re relieved to see her. She hugs Alex.
Where is Clint? his friends ask. Eve lies and says they lost each other in the hallway, and that she went back for him. She also mentions that the radio wasn’t working. Gus says they’ll find another way. Pulling Gus aside, Eve wonders who exactly Clint’s friends are. This is the first time any of them have ever been seen in town. Looking over, it’s clear they’re worried about something.
Later that night, we see that everyone’s made themselves cushy sleeping arrangements, with Alex and Eve close together. After she wishes her daughter a good night, Eve hides her gun, looking guilty and worried.
Meanwhile, Jay, who is using his varsity jacket as a blanket, goes to the bathroom to wash his face or his hands — and finds that two of Clint’s friends have hung themselves. Gulp.
Instantly, I can say the mall story line is my favorite of the two. As those have read Stephen King’s novella or watched the 2007 film know, those versions of the The Mist stayed in one location. While I applaud the decision to shift between locations, it’s not as effective yet here because what makes The Mist work — a lot of compressed human drama trapped with all varieties of unknown creatures — is only happening in one of the story lines so far.
Hopefully next week will see some Mist find its way under a door, because all the tension comes from what lies in the Mist. One thing I am disappointed by is that this is the last we’ll likely see of Clint; I liked the idea of a third story line that could reveal more about Arrowhead and how it’s connected to everything. This is the one thing both the book and movie were missing, and so far, it seems like Bryan may be our only source of answers. But like I said, dude isn’t even sure who he is.
Here’s hoping next week, things will be a little clearer, while the Mist itself gets even thicker.