The Stand “Fear And Loathing In New Vegas”

Alright, so the previous episode showed Nadine and Harold stealing explosives to take out the Council of Random People Mother Abigail (Or God) Selected.  The episode did not end with an explosion of any kind.

How about this one?

Nope!

When are they gonna get to the fireworks factory?

Oh wait…maybe they did.  We get to see what Flagg’s Vegas is like!  It’s a place with, uh, slavery, gladiator pit fights, and somewhat tame public orgies.  Flagg tells the crowds who came there willingly that…

…wait a minute, they have slavery?  People who didn’t go there willingly?  Doesn’t this story end when God nukes Vegas and kills all these people?  Does that mean a lot of innocent people in the slave pens will get nuked too?  That is a bit more problematic…

..OK, that digression is over for now, but then we have Flagg telling the crowd that the dead society told them violence and war were wrong, and the people who followed him were the people who disagreed.  So…we have a city full of people who think real world violence and war is awesome, and now they can revel in it.  It’s not just that these people are mostly unpleasant assholes.  Because what little we see of them is they are mostly unpleasant assholes.  There’s Lloyd, acting like a pimp!  There’s that unpleasant blonde who went after Nick and Tom!  There’s…people who get really frustrated when Tom gives his standard introduction and who don’t notice that Boulder spy Danya just asks a lot of questions in the most obvious she-is-not-a-spy-no-really sort of way.

Really, New Vegas felt like an 80s cartoon’s idea of evil with a bit more blood.  It’s not even remotely subtle.  Like, why not show the place just giving off a creepy vibe and not just people dispensing with the most obvious sins on full display of, oh, everybody?  Are there kids here?  Do they have a day care?  Could we see some rotten brat just biting people on the hand when shown basic kindness?  Show a bunch of men just leering at any woman they see?  Someone kicks a dog for no reason?  That’s a lot more subtle and could make for a more interesting look where this place could be just a lot like Boulder but a little…off.

Instead, naw!  People make out on the street in skimpy leather outfits!

Of course, Flagg’s big move is to try and corrupt Danya, someone who thought she could end the mini-series about four episodes early by stabbing the man in the neck.  It doesn’t quite work, but he doesn’t know who the third spy is.  The second is being held up by the worst of all sins from the sounds of things…bureaucracy!

Oh, the horror!

Now, Danya knows its Tom, but Tom didn’t seem to recognize her.  And rather than submit to Flagg, a jolly fellow who can fake his own death and then laugh it off, even if that death was a pair of scissors to the neck, Danya does the only thing a god-fearing woman would do and slits her own throat.

Huh.  Maybe Mother Abigail was right about not sending spies.

Then again, the Brain Trust in Boulder figured out Harold was acting squirrely over the death of a friend of his, but this is Harold and he’s pretty squirrely already, but they get caught breaking into his house.  Or Larry does and Frannie and Stu don’t notice that their efforts to distract Harold were also allowing Harold to bug their house.

Also, if Larry had just slept with Nadine when she offered, things might have gone better, but he’s off to break into Harold’s house.  Now, I am pretty sure that Larry’s being the one to break into Harold’s house is from King’s novel, and I was generally happy the casting here went for more diversity…but did they stop to think it was kinda wrong to make the one African American guy on the Council of Learned Types the one to break into someone’s house?  Sure, we could argue Glen and Nick are not good choice because Nick wouldn’t be able to hear the walkie talkie and Glen is probably too high to do much of anything right, but the point stands.

I’m starting to think Mother Abigail made the right call when she decided to skip town for a while.

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