Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Mist Season One, Episode Ten: The Tenth Meal

I don't know about you but at this point, I feel entitled to an award for surviving The Mist. Who could have thought that ten short episodes could be filled with so much homophobia and rape culture?  I have to hand it to the writers for outdoing themselves on this one.

So everything this season has been building up to dealing with Alex's rape and discovering the origin of the mist.  It's a sign of just how virulent rape culture is that Alex's rape is juxtaposed to the mist. At any rate, it's sort of fitting that the mall is the site of the confrontation because the mall is the first location where people lost their minds, long before there was a reason to.

When we last left Adrian, he was placed into a room with Alex, Eve and Jay. Adrian watches the interaction between Jay and Alex and once again his jealousy kicks in.  Eve is adamant that she has to protect Alex from Jay and Adrian uses that as his excuses to beat Jay down with a fire extinguisher. Adrian yells that he has proof Jay raped Alex and promptly lies, claiming that at the hospital he saw the results of the rape kit.

Kevin has made his way into the mall and seen some of the ensuing chaos for himself. As Kevin makes his way through the mall, he runs into Mia, who is looking for Bryan. Mia is happy to see Kevin and explains that the only reason they left is that they were told he was shot in the head.  Kevin reveals that it was Adrian who raped his daughter.  Kevin and Mia decide to split up to continue to search the mall and then regroup.

When we last left Bryan he'd been restrained and saluted by Wes.  Wes explains that he was told to be careful and that's why he chose to restrain Bryan.  It turns out that Bryan is Wes's commanding officer and so he pulls rank in order to get Wes to free him. Wes explains that they've got to get back to the base and that Bryan will learn who he really is then and exactly what is going on with the mist. While Bryan really wants to know who he is and why he was tortured, he's conflicted by his budding relationship with Mia.  It's Wes who points out that he's known Bryan for 8 years whereas Bryan has only known Mia for 5 days.  Mia walks in and tells Bryan that Kevin is alive and that they need his help to find Alex.  Okay, it's decision time for Bryan.  Promising that he will find her somehow, Bryan says that he has to leave with Wes to find out who he is.  Bryan backs out of the room slowlym apologising the whole way.

Connor has made it to the mall with Nathalie and they agree that it is Connor who will approach the residents of the mall because they don't know that Nathalie survived the Mist.  Connor's appearance initially raises the hopes of the residents of the mall because they think that he's there to rescue them. Connor disappoints them all when he says that he's just looking for his son. Gus takes Connor to his office and the tension between the two men is palpable. Gus talks about wanting Eve and Alex our of the mall and how when this is over they may all have to confront doing some horrible things while taking note of Connor's bloodied knife.  At this point all Connor wants is to get to Jay and so he makes it clear that whatever has happened is not his concern.

Gus takes Connor to the room where Eve, Adrian, Alex and Jay are locked up. Eve immediately begins to plead with Connor for his help but Connor is only interested in Jay.  Connor leads Jay to a waiting Nathalie. Jay wants to go back and rescue Eve and Alex but Connor keeps telling Jay that they cannot do that and that Jay has to trust him.  Jay is clearly suspicious but he loves his father and so does not flee.  Connor tells a crying Jay how much he loves him and that whatever happened wasn't his fault.  Finally, Connor pushes Jay outside and locks the door behind him.  Jay bangs on the door and pleads but when he gets no answer, he runs into the mist.  Connor and Nathalie wait but of course, the mist doesn't disappear.  Nathalie says that maybe the Mist hasn't take Jay yet and that they just have to wait. Connor begins to cry and Nathalie comforts him by saying that she's so proud of him and that grief is a beautiful thing.

It finally happens, Kevin has his big confrontation with Adrian in a paint shop. Kevin reminds Adrian about what he said he would do when he found the person who raped his daughter.  Kevin continues to beat Adrian, as Adrian begs him to stop.  Finally, Adrian plays the only trump card that he can - Adrian knows where Eve and Alex are being kept.  Mia arrives and draws Kevin's attention away from Adrian momentarily. Mia reports that Bryan has left with the military to figure out his identity. I guess we are not supposed to question how it is that Mia knows that Wes is a soldier.  While Kevin is distracted, Adrian uses the paint to start a fire, creating a barrier between him and Kevin. Kevin still wants to go after Adrian but Mia encourages to stop worrying about Adrian for now.

Things in the center of the mall have moved to a dangerous level. The mall cop has gone full on rogue and with the gun in his possession, he's determined to get Eve and Alex out of the mall. Gus has no choice but to comply. Eve does her best to protect Alex, particularly after the mall cop shoots one of the residents.  In a desperate bid, Eve reveals that Alex is Connor's daughter, before begging Connor to help them.  This admission does Eve and Alex no favours and results in the residents slut shaming Eve and Alex.  Fortunately, this is when Kevin shows up. A fight breaks out but is ultimately stopped by mall cop.  The Copelands are informed that they are going to be exiled and Kevin begins to beg for the safety of his family. Kevin's begging only earns him ridicule, as the people point out that he has no family because they believe that Eve is the town slut and now they know that Alex is Connor's daughter.

The Copelands are pushed out of the mall and decide to make a run for it to the vehicle.  Inside the mall, Nathalie makes an appearance talking about being nature's emissary and finally her spell on Connor is broken.  How Conner ever fell for Nathalie's nonsense to begin with is beyond me.

As Eve, Alex, Mia, and Kevin race through the fog to the car, Kevin yells that they are to stay together.  Alex gets grabbed by what looks like a mist tornado and since none of the adults can see her in the mist, they keep racing forward. Everyone stops when they notice Alex missing and Kevin tells Mia to go and grab the car and bring it back for them while he and Eve search for Alex. Alex's eyes begin to go white as the mist envelops her. Fortunately for Alex, Jay arrives to pull her out of the mist.  Jay and Alex race towards Eve and Kevin as Mia pulls up with the car.  The mist reaches out and grabs Jay. Alex tries to go back to get him but is pulled away and stuffed into the car by her parents.

Kevin starts to pull away from the mall but pauses when he sees the people in the mall in the doorway. Kevin orders all of the passengers to put their seatbelts on and then he promptly puts the car into reverse. Kevin crashes into the mall, letting the mist in.  When Kevin tries to put the truck into gear, he discovers it's stuck. It's Connor who frees the truck.  Alex opens the door and encourages Connor to join them. Connor pauses to look at the destruction already starting in the mall and hops in.  Kevin pulls away, leaving the people of the mall to their fate.

The creatures come out of the mist. The mall cop finds himself surrounded by snakes. Gus retires to his office and nervously fixes the papers on his desk after locking the door. Nathalie's husband shows up carting their dead baby. Nathalie takes the corpse into her arms and starts breastfeeding it. The corpse baby desiccates Nathalie. The director chose to play Lou Reed's Perfect Day during this scene and it's a perfect choice.

Bryan and Wes are also leaving town but they're heading to the military base. What they don't know is that they've picked up a stow away. Adrian is hiding in the back of the truck.

Having brought destruction to the mall, Kevin drives away with his family, Connor, Mia and Vic. Alex reveals that Jay saved her again and that he's dead, causing Connor to tear up. They're not sure of where to head next.  Kevin pauses when he sees a train coming into the station.  Mia advises that they turn out the lights to see what's going to happen, even though Vic wants to rush to the train and beg for help. When the train stops, armed men push people who are wearing prison outfits off the train.  It's Kevin who figures out that the armed men are feeding the mist.

With that, I really do hope that The Mist has been cancelled. There's no justification for the homophobia that The Mist engages in.  It went from throwaway nonsense comments about Adrian using his male privilege to gawk at football players, to him forgiving a self hating gay basher. From the very first episode until the last, Adrian's character is subjected to homophobic violence. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about his character.

The Mist's treatment of women is absolutely awful.  Did anyone else notice how easily women seemed to die in this first season? Then we had the constant slut shaming of both Eve and Alex.  No one stood up to say that any of the slut shaming was at all wrong.

The last episode gifted us with some incest.  It turns out that Eve had more than one reason to keep Alex away from Jay - they were siblings.  Just ewww.  Eve should have told her daughter the truth and I suspect that if this show gets a second season (gods forbid) that it will become fodder, especially given that Connor is now travelling with them.

Then there was the ableism.  We had the mental health ward in the hospital with a violent murderous patient. I am sick to death of the violent mentally ill person, especially given how harmful this trope truly is.  Of course, to sweeten the pot, we have the mentally ill man declare Adrian to be evil.  When Adrian returns home for the first time, we also learn that he is mentally ill, so ill that his mother has to take medication to deal with the stress living with him causes. Really?

I think I'm done and would be happy to see this entire hot mess killed with fire.