Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Mist, Season One, Episode Seven: Over the River and Through the Woods

There are only three more episodes left in The Mist's freshman season and at this point I think that the whole damn show just needs to be euthanized.   It's clear that The Mist has become incoherent and riddled with so much BS that the writers themselves might actually be lost in the fog.  For my continuing perseverance in writing this up, I think I'm due a stiff drink or at the very least, some high quality chocolate.

The Church

From almost the beginning, a war of ideology broke out at the church. On one side we have Nathalie, who I'm assuming is a pagan and of course the very catholic Father Romanov. Last week, the mist drew religious blood for the first time when Link, the alter boy, for some reason decided to become a religious zealot and attempt to put a stop to Nathalie, who he felt was corrupting the faithful.  Things didn't end well for Link.  Nathalie of course played up her injuries which hit a nerve with Connor, who having tossed aside his badge still has a strong urge to be protective.  As a cop, Connor has seen the worse of the worse and he deems that anyone who would beat an old woman to be vile. For once, I agree with Connor on something.  With Link now dead, Connor decides to take his pound of flesh from Father Romanov, whom he believes talked Link into physically abusing Nathalie.  The residents of the church look on with horror as Connor punches and kicks father Romanov repeatedly.  A knowing Nathalie only hums.

Having taken a beating, it's time for Father Romanov to lick his wounds.  Father Romanov heads up to the room that Link was locked in and speaks to the now dead Link about seeing the light and thanking him for his sacrifice.  On the other side of the door, we are shown Link's remains and they are suitably horrific.

Having made his peace with Link, Father Romanov sets off to save his people by challenging Nathalie to see which one of them can survive the mist. Romanov suggests that the residents will know for sure who to follow based on who survives and since he's confident that God will save him, he's happy to take this test. When the residents of the church are informed of this decision, they rightfully balk but both Nathalie and Father Romanov are determined to see this through to the end.  Father Romanov gets dressed in his best vestments and Nathalie strips down.  Together, Romanov and Nathalie leave the church. Nathalie is calm and stands with her eyes closed, whereas; for all of his faith, Father Romanov is clearly nervous. It's not long before the four horseman of the apocalypse show up and after a momentary pause, set their sights on Father Romanov.  Romanov is shot with an arrow and dragged away through the Mist. 

When Nathalie returns to the church, she talks about hearing Romanov die and how beautiful it was because everything sounds differently in the mist. Nathalie explains that she had her eyes closed and wasn't worried because she knew that Nature wouldn't see her as a threat. 

The Mall

Of all the settings in The Mist, the people at the mall are the ones who have over reacted the most and the fastest.  It seems that the writers are determined to carry on this trend.  They people in the mall have only been trapped there for a short time and they're already panicked about a food shortage.   

Gus isn't as worried about food because he has his own private stash in his office. I know that The Mist is set in a dinky ass town but how could they possibly run out of food so quickly? Gus has no problem snacking on his own sweet treats while hiding away in his office but when Gus is informed that the mall cop is helping himself to extra rations because the mall cop believes that the military is going to rescue them soon, Gus is quick to put a stop to it, rationalizing that they don't know when the military is coming. Shelly of course sees this as an opportunity to rile up people about Eve and Alex.  Shelly is particularly incensed when Eve shows up to request some of their board games to help pass the time for the people she is holed up with. Proving just how smart she is, Eve leaves behind a baby monitor so that she can spy. 

Alex is still cuddling up with her potential rapist which makes Eve very unhappy. Eve would love to give Jay the boot and quite rightfully so; however, Alex actually goes on the defense, claiming Jay should stay with them because he's afraid of the other mall resident because they exiled the kid who accidentally let the mist in.  Eve tries to say that the other residents aren't that bad but Alex ups the ante and questions if her mother would be fine with her joining Jay to be with the other residents.  Why the hell is Alex standing up for the boy who may have raped her? I suppose this round goes to the very misguided Alex.

Gus may have managed to calm people's fears about a food shortage but the tension is still very high in the mall. The mall cop questions Gus about his plans and of course, Gus hasn't created any. To be clear, they haven't been cooped up long enough to need a plan.  Gus's non answer is enough to start Shelly going again. Shelly is quick to point out that anyone who has gone into the mist has died except for Alex.  Shelly suggests that there's something wrong with Alex and Eve because the mist doesn't want them. Shelly takes it one step further and goes as far as to suggest that Alex lied about being raped.  Gus tells Shelly that he is sorry for her loss but she needs to keep quiet.  It's clear, something is going to have be done about Shelly soon. 

The Hospital 

Having little choice because of the quick advancement of the mist, Adrian, Bryan, Mia, Kevin and Tyler rush to the psych ward because it's the only ward whose doors won't open automatically when the power goes out.  Mia bangs frantically on the door and is only allowed in by Nash once she invokes her mother. Nash offers Mia condolences on her loss, explaining that her mother wasn't like the others in the ward.

After everything they have been through, Kevin and Bryan in particular are beat and so Nash suggests that they get some rest.  Bryan heads off to find an empty bed and is quickly followed by Mia, who wants to explain why she took off with the car.  Bryan is having none of it and closes the door in Mia's face. Because Bryan is her only friend, Mia admits that she met the real Bryan in the hospital and that Bryan's real name is Jonah. It seems that Jonah beat up the real Bryan and stole his ID and uniform.  Jonah is shocked to finally learn a little bit about who he is and he returns Mia's honesty by admitting that he also met the real Bryan and ended up killing him in a fight to the death. 

Tyler and Adrian end up together.  Adrian talks about being jealous of a guy who he used to see making eyes at Adrian.  Clearly, Tyler is talking about yet another closeted gay teen.  At any rate, one day, the guy decided to smile at Tyler and rather than reaching out to someone like him who he could have developed a relationship with, Tyler decided to assault him physically and to break his arm. The victim of Tyler's assault never reported him and this made Tyler gain a new respect for him.  Rather than calling out Tyler as the sadist that he is, Adrian actually forgives Tyler for his assault and I struggle not to be sick. 

Now that Jonah and Mia have made up, Mia decides that she has to get clean because of the threat that the Mist holds. Mia grabs some drugs which will suppress the opiates in her system and asks Jonah to tie her down and not release her no matter how much she begs.  Mia explains that the process is incredibly painful and people are usually anesthetized for it which is why Jonah has to promise to restrain her. It's not long before Mia starts to detox and scream and as promised, Jonah reminds Mia that this is what she asked for.  A desperate Mia claims that she knows more about Jonah's identity in order to draw him in the room. Seeing Mia tied to a bed screaming triggers a memory for Jonah. He remembers getting what looks to be electroshock treatment and the pain involved. A woman sat next to Jonah saying a series of words: "smile, bike, lamp, table, orange, pen, pear, stoplight, feline, mist." The words work as a focal point for Jonah, allowing him to get through the pain.  Jonah encourages Mia to listen to the sound of his voice and to focus on that rather than the pain. 

Kevin is resting when Tyler comes rushing to find him because Adrian has gone missing.  Kevin doesn't take it seriously at first, believing that Adrian is just in the bathroom.  Tyler presses the issue and so together, Tyler and Kevin go looking for Adrian. It turns out that Nash, the man who let them into the psych ward is actually a patient and in the confusion which resulted with the arrival of the Mist is off his meds.  Nash is so far gone that he has stuffed a bunch of his dead victims in a closet which predictably fall out of the closet and land on Kevin when he tries to get to the bottom of what is going on.  Nash explains that he saw evil in them, the same way that he sees evil in Adrian, before running into a room with a tied and gagged Adrian and locking the door. 

Kevin tries to talk logically to Nash, claiming that Adrian is not evil but Nash doesn't believe Kevin.  Nash thinks that he is the only one who can see evil because he set the evil free when he bashed in the head of a nun.  Realising that logic isn't going to free a terrified Adrian, Kevin then argues that he is the evil. Nash isn't easily convinced and so Kevin talks about how he would like to punish Jay for raping Alex and this comes with the most ridiculous looking mean mug you've ever seen. At any rate, once Nash determines that Kevin is suitably evil, he releases Adrian into the waiting arms of Tyler and allows Kevin into the room. Kevin says that they don't have to fight but Nash won't hear of it.  Kevin gets the upper hand in the battle really quickly and ends up beating Nash handily. Just before Kevin strikes the killing blow, Nash declares Kevin to be true evil.

A resigned Kevin leaves the room with Nash's dead body on the ground quickly being surrounded by a pool of blood. Tyler is clearly traumatized from having watched Kevin beat a man to death. Tyler and Adrian hold onto each other on the floor. Adrian takes Kevin's hands and talks about a world where it no longer matters if they hold hands anymore. Once again however, Tyler rejects Adrian and he pulls his hand away.

Given everything that they've gone through at the hospital and the fact that Kevin is desperate to get to the mall, Kevin approaches the teens and announces that it's time to go. Rather than leave the hospital, Tyler decides to stay behind because it's close to his home, making it easier for him to return there once things go back to normal.  Kevin calls Adrian to him and reluctantly, Adrian gets to his feet and joins Kevin. Before the group leaves, Kevin offers Tyler once last chance to join them but Tyler is determined to stay put. Alone in the hallway, an overwhelmed Tyler starts to cry. 

I'm not buying the food urgency at the mall though the writers tried so hard to sell it by having Eve claiming that society is always only nine meals away from anarchy.  The problem with this assertion is that given where they are holed up, they should be a lot further away than nine meals. There should be plenty of food in the food court alone, especially because it's only been a few days.  I don't know if this is specific to Canada or not but a lot of malls also have grocery stores or Bulk Barns, thus extending the amount of food. It seems to me that this is an inflated problem to add drama to a setting that's already needlessly dramatic. 

The Mist has a homophobia problem.  First we had Tyler assaulting Adrian, only for the two to have sex.  Then we had Tyler admitting to assaulting another young boy whom he perceived to be gay, only to have Adrian forgive him. If that were not enough, it was Adrian who for some reason Nash decided is evil. Nash could have chosen anyone and yet it's Adrian he decided to fixate on. At this point, I really think that the writers would have been better off not having a gay character because all they seem to want to do is make them victims of violence or responsible for the crimes against them. Yes, there's such a thing as internalized homophobia but what The Mist is doing is playing up on stereotypes and abusing gay bodies for entertainment. 

Speaking of stereotypes, Nash's character was absolutely a hot mess. I suppose that I shouldn't be surprised that The Mist decided to engage in rampant disablism, given the fact that it seems to love homophobia and rape apologism. In a situation like this, Nash should be the vulnerable one, not the person running around killing people because of mental illness. It bears repeating, people who are mentally ill are far more of a danger to themselves than others but the media has no real interest in telling this story. 

There's also the issue of Mia choosing now to detox. Sure, being high and needing a fix is certainly not ideal; however, is it wise to be tied to a bed for five hours when anything could happen at any time which would require you to flea? There is such a thing as timing.  Mia's detox didn't make any sense and only served as a vehicle for Bryan/Jonah to recover more memories.  Can we please have characters start taking actions that make even a smidgen of sex? 

We also have to deal with Alex and Jay. This is a story line that is clearly not necessary to what is going on with the mist and only serves to add drama to an already overly dramatic show.  I could perhaps live with it if Alex was treated like a rape survivor and wasn't making friends with the person who has been accused of raping her.  In fact, not only is Alex making friends with Jay, now she's actively defending Jay to Eve.  All of this makes me sad that the Mist monster didn't just gobble Alex down and save me the disgust.  

The battle of religions was settled at the church this week. Having the four horsemen of the apocalypse show up was just a little too on the nose for me. So now, the mist is creating horrors out of people's worst fears and not just unleashing random monsters.  I kept waiting for someone to point out to Romanov that to go out in screaming red clothing while Nathalie went out naked only put a target on himself. Hmmm, what would be easier to see in a low visibility area, a nude woman or a man in screaming red vestment? It's simply common sense.