Warning: massive spoilers for The Mist lie ahead. Do not read if you haven’t watched this week’s episode. You have been warned.
Another week, another episode of Spike’s adaptation of The Mist. After the intriguing first episode it’s safe to say The Mist hasn’t exactly delivered, offering viewers death by boredom rather than a delightful, smart series of on-screen demises. Characterisation has been dreadful, there are plot holes everywhere, and the special effects are nowhere near special. However, good news! Episode 5 isn’t too bad. In fact, it’s a very watchable bottle episode that digs deeper into Kevin’s relationship with Eve and his brother Mark. It’s telling that the Church and the Mall don’t feature at all, highlighting them as the weakest elements by far. In ep5. ‘The Waiting Room’ we learn more about the most interesting characters, we see some nasty body horror, and we finally get a couple of plot twists that genuinely surprise. Read on for the questions I have after watching this latest episode.
Missed an episode? Here are our recaps below...
- The Mist season 1 episode 4 recap
- The Mist season 1 episode 3 recap
- The Mist season 1 episode 2 recap
- The Mist season 1 episode 1 recap
1. Who is Alex’s daddy?
Ok, we now know that Kevin isn’t actually Alex’s father. Sure, we were aware of some kind of secret between Eve and Kevin since episode 1, but few will have seen this one coming, given how fiercely the father has been seeking his family. If you’re being unkind, you’d say that his lack of concern for Alex’s partying in episode 1 is due to the fact he isn’t the girl’s biological father, but I think that’s unfair. So who is the daddy? Well, the most likely candidate is Mark, his brother, who dies horribly at the end of this very episode. The show heavily suggests this is the case. However, Mark himself admits that everyone at school was in love with Eve, and they were all jealous when Kevin came along and charmed her. So, really, it could be anyone. Imagine the sickening twist if it was the cop - that’d make Alex and Jay siblings and... oh my god I can’t think about that.
2. So, who is Bryan Hunt?
Well, this is awkward. It looks like the real Bryan Hunt has been admitted to the same hospital as the guy we - for the first four episodes - formerly knew to be Bryan Hunt. The main character we know as Bryan (who got shot in the leg in the last episode) isn’t him, but he probably didn’t know that until meeting the actual Bryan Hunt because - if you recall - he woke up at the start of the show with a dog and no memory of who he was or how he got there. Or did he? Imposter Bryan seems to have a very developed sense of self, which is a little strange for someone who is supposed to have amnesia or memory loss, and he does steal the medical records from real Bryan’s room at the end of this episode. We only assume he lost his memory because he woke up and said “So I’m Bryan...” Read a little more into that and you could conclude that this guy is actually accustomed to waking up with a new persona, and that he’s done this before. Perhaps he’s some kind of Arrowhead ‘back-up plan’ or sleeper cell. Or maybe he’s just been dressed in Bryan Hunt’s clothes and dumped into the woods for some reason. It’s all a bit mysterious and, for once with The Mist, I’m intrigued to know more.
3. What the hell was all that stuff in the bathroom?
I get it, I get it. The jock football player is confused about his sexuality, won’t admit that he’s gay, and reacts aggressively when Adrian highlights the truth. He’s a teenager, he’s been fed on a diet of manly aggression, and when his world view is challenged he lashes out. It was a very thoughtful scene from that perspective. However, it’s a touch unbelievable from Adrian’s point of view. I can understand him going in for the kiss first time round, but then after he’d had the shit beaten out of him? How horny / sympathetic is he? Until that point the whole bathroom scene was pretty well-considered and surprisingly observant for a show that has treated relationships with all the subtlety of an aggressive male gorilla attempting to mount a female gorilla. After that, it makes me think Adrian has ulterior motives, just like he did at the church with the fake baptism. Because I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t stand up from a savage beating and pucker up again.
4. Where is Mia going?
Deceived by her friend Fake Bryan, Mia steals the car keys from Adrian and charges out of the hospital, heading off to who knows where in the only working vehicle (with little fuel remaining, you should note). Where is she off to? Perhaps for that bag she was caught burying in the first episode, then out of town. Mia has nothing but bad memories in Bridgeville - including those of her mad, dead mother - so is likely heading far, far away. The question is… will she come back? Or will she bump into someone along the way?
5. How can the mist know your fears?
It’s again suggested in this episode that there’s a supernatural element to the mist. As Mike says, it shows people some of the things they fear the most. Maybe the ‘principle monster’ in the mist manifests itself as someone’s worst nightmares. Read into the deaths we’ve seen so far, and you could interpret them in that way. Way back in episode 1, Mrs Carmody has her jaw removed, therefore eliminating her ability to talk and put others down (which she loved to do). Natalie Raven was scared of losing her husband, and she does. The girl in the book store could have imagined it as a faceless black cloud because she didn’t have any conventional fears. Might even explain why it had no effect on Alex. Perhaps Moth Tattoo guy was secretly scared of moths… I dunno. It’s probably an overreaction to give the show too much credit after a single decent episode.
6. When is The Mist going to stop using characters as plot devices?
Let’s face it, Mike only existed in this episode to tick a couple of simple narrative boxes. He gave context to the fatherhood mystery of Alex, and showed Kevin that - yes - he is capable (and compelled) to kill those around him to survive. It’s not as black and white as absolving responsibility by saying “well, I didn’t pull the trigger”. Before that, the traumatised father in episode 4 existed merely to deliver a car to Kevin / Mia / Fake Bryan / Adrian. And before that, the Lazy Gamer Stereotypes existed purely to create artificial tension within the Mall group. The answer to this question is probably: never. However, by fleshing out the backstory of Kevin and Eve, we can at least hope.
7. Can we just forget about everyone in the Mall and the Church?
Sadly, this probably isn’t going to happen.