You know, I was noting how much of these episodes are made up of flashbacks. An episode will start at some point in the narrative, then flash back to some earlier events, often showing different characters getting to Boulder.
I have a theory about that.
Essentially, and as odd as it seems given how freakin’ long the book this mini-series is based on is, I get the impression there may not be enough narrative to somehow cover this story over nine roughly hour long episodes. I mean, they could have just told the story chronologically from start to finish. But no, they did this flashback thing.
So, here we are with another episode that may be picking up where the last one left off–Nadine ordered by Flagg to seduce Harold into killing Mother Abigail and her Council of Five–and she does by promising anything sexy short of sex because she’s saving herself for Flagg. And the jealous little incel that he is will do it because Stu is on that Council. Sure, so is the very pregnant Frannie, but she rejected him…in a flashback!
Yeah, we got one of those. Man, that scene was…icky.
But then we met the trucker taking women for himself, and he kept calling Harold a “snowflake” as he beat the snot out of the boy, so you know this mini-series won’t age well.
But really, we got some character work here as Nick defended developmentally challenged Tom Cullen from a fairly crazy woman before they found Mother Abigail in a nearby nursing home that had Stephen King sitting at a table on a billboard advertisement. Then we had Stu and Glen meet up with Frannie, Harold, and one of the kidnapped women, and no one really noticing that Harold apparently isn’t dreaming of the old woman in or near a cornfield.
Glen does have a nice speech about accepting faith as a man of science.
But beyond the five–Larry, Stu, Glen, Nick, and Frannie–choosing some spies, including Tom, to go look around Vegas, there didn’t seem to be much in the way of actual plot. Heck, you’d think Flagg sending Nadine and Harold to find some explosives might end with them blowing something up. Nope! The episode ends with Nadine shooting a guy, a friend of Harold’s, who found them picking up the explosives. That’s bad, but not what I think should have ended the episode. It felt like it ended about fifteen minutes too early, truth be told.
So, that should mean something goes boom next time, right? Um, I guess so. But we’ll probably get a nice, long flashback scene first.
I don’t necessarily have an issue with flashbacks done right, but this mini-series hasn’t done enough work to let me know who these people are supposed to be enough to care about them before we flashback to their time on the road and whatnot. There’s character work there, but it always feels like The Stand just keeps tossing me into the deep end of the pool and hoping I know enough on how to tread water.