I’ll be honest right here. I wish I hadn’t watched. From the heady heights of above average horror mediocrity last week, The Mist has crashed and burned in a mess of foggy murder, mistimed sexual encounters, and truly, truly horrible characterisation. Episode 8, The Law of Nature, has seemingly effortlessly taken the season back to the dreary levels of episodes three and four. Yes, it can really get as bad as suicide victims dropping into shopping trolleys with all the grace of a sack of potatoes. Who knew?
It’s honestly disappointing. I was willing to ride out the third season act of horror that last week’s episode tantalisingly promised but instead, The Mist’s obsession with its garbled rape plot has reached its predictable conclusion in probably the most depressing way possible. The terrors of the fog swirling through the streets once again have to take a back seat to characters going through the motions of having an arc but who are actually just ticking boxes on an age old trope list. Oh, and if you haven’t watched already, spoilers abound but do yourself a favour and watch something else. Anything else. I’d suggest . Again.
Missed an episode? Here are our recaps below…
1. Why did it have to be Adrian?
Because it was so obvious and The Mist just loves obvious. Alex only ever had her ‘bestie’ Adrian’s word on what happened at that party. Waking up with drugs in her system and an awareness of what happened, she was fed the line about her rapist being the high school’s most eligible bachelor. It was happily glossed over in the first episode but Adrian’s one line about being bisexual was no accident. The more we knew about Adrian’s possessiveness over Alex, the clearer it got that he wanted her for himself.
And it’s so sad because when it comes to the last few episodes, any genuine emotion in the show has actually stemmed from Adrian’s admittedly weird sexual encounter with the high school jock. Them holding hands in the hospital corridor felt like genuine emotion from Adrian. His realisation of his desire to hold hands with whomever he wanted while walking down the street. A simple desire we all want. Here were some actual feelings arriving out of the mist and they were more than welcome in a sea of leeches and apocalyptic horsemen.
Episode 8 effortlessly unpicks all that in one foggy swoop. Not only does Adrian admit to his own father that he raped Alex - he also turns feral on Kevin when the date rape drugs are discovered in the cabinet, proving that he is the guilty party.
All of this would be bad enough but the fact that he descends into utter psychopathy after the first confession, shooting his own father - potentially allowed given what a prick he was - and then attempting to murder Kevin when he discovers the truth just ruins everything. Magically, Adrian has gone from a somewhat mixed up kid to yet another disastrous LGBTQ representation armed with mental illness and a shotgun. And just to top things off, his running back to the car and lying about Kevin’s fate has officially labelled him A Villain(™), meaning the show can now legitimately kill him off in the final two episodes. It’s impossible to facepalm hard enough.
2. Is Kevin alive?
Of course he is. While Adrian has left him for dead in his parent’s house while the mist audibly hisses in the door like a demonic air diffuser, Kevin looks like he’s just knocked out cold rather than actually dead. This means he’s perfectly ready to pop up in the third reel somewhere just when a member of his family is about to be skewered/eaten/pushed outside/turned into a human butterfly exhibit. Tying in with the last question, I’m also fully expecting a wordy lecture about how disappointed he is in Adrian before potentially he does exactly what he swore to do to his daughter’s rapist and stick his hand down Adrian’s throat and pull out his intestines. I predict all of this will take place in the mall at the same time the police officer arrives to sacrifice his son for exactly the same thing.
3. Was it the abuse of Alex that called down the mist after all?
Maybe I’ve spent a little too long in the church with crazy Nathalie but is it possible that Alex has actually caused the mist to arrive and not a failure at the Arrowhead Project? If that was the original cause of the event back in 1860 and the monsters of the mist won’t touch Alex with a bargepole, could this actually be the punishment of the witch hunt for the wrong man?
This is actually potentially the most fascinating of all the issues in The Mist, even if it’s all been so mishandled. Is nature punishing the world as Nathalie says, or does she just have a habit of linking up coincidences? I can see an attractive storyline each way - especially if the abuser of Alex, so Adrian needs to die to restore balance - but I’m sure The Mist will make me angry about it somehow in the last two hours of the season.
Regardless, I’m going to say it wasn’t particularly realistic to turn a grieving police officer who was all for saving humanity two episodes ago into a murderer who will torch a church where innocent people have decided to shelter from the mist. Not only that but the fact that he’s on his way to kill his own son is an extra step off the plausibility plank that I just can’t get on board with. Oh, and don’t forget to block the doors with a crucifix on your way out. Subtle, guys.
4. Was stealing petrol really the time to pull a quick Jack and Rose in the back of a car?
Mia and Jonah still hadn’t officially got together so of course it was time for a quickie as they went to get fuel from Adrian’s parents' garage. I mean, it’s not like a teenage boy was going into his house to potentially find his ‘rents dead or that Kevin was tapping his fingers on the steering wheel waiting in murderous mist for them to come back and help save his potentially dead family. No rush, guys, You guys just do Titanic on a deadline while the world falls to bits around you. At least no one said ‘to the stars.’
5. Why has EVERYONE just turned into murderers?
So it turns out that the dead little girl’s mother was the one who tried to turn Alex into charcoal a few episodes ago but she’s not the only wannabe killer. The previously calm mall manager got so desperate when it turned out people might find out about his secret stash of custard creams in the office that he clonked her on the back of the head and then strangled her for good measure. Right. Good. Once again The Mist being about as subtle as a moth sprouting out of someone’s similarly shaped tattoo. To add insult to injury, the mall dwellers appear to believe his insane claims that it was Alex, a teenage girl who looks like she might be made of Blu-tac and sticks, who managed to overpower two grown adults and manage to kill one of them. The stupidity here is absolutely next level. Speaking of levels...
6. Why did the gamer boy have to reference a game when he talked about the mall?
Because even though he’s been out in a mist full of terrors for days, he’s still a lazy character trope and he still has to make references for absolutely no one’s benefit. Hello previously thought to be dead man who only has the narrative purpose of telling the team that it’s all going to hell in the mall. Plus, of all the things he could have said “It’s going full Lord of the Flies in there” for example, or “It’s like The Road went shopping” he instead references a Flash game that requires him to explain his own comment. Sure The Last Stand references King slightly and is a game that actually exists but it felt a bit like yet another misjudged comment that jars with the flow in an attempt to create a character. HE PLAYS GAMES REMEMBER?! Yes. We know. And we wish we didn’t.