There is a lot to unpack in the latest episode of The Stand. We are getting past the introductory phase of the series and moving into the story that will take us to the end.
Before we get into the story there are a couple of character introductions that we are given.
First is the right hand, and voice of Mother Abagail, Nick Andros. Nick has been present during most Mother Abagail scenes but we get a bit more back story into how he came to be in Boulder, Colorado. Flagg had also contacted Nick in a dream and tried to tempt him into the darkness but Nick showed more restraint than any character had yet. This could be why he was chosen by Mother Abagail to be her voice.
Our other character introduction is that of Glen Bateman, a hippie teacher played by Greg Kinnear. While making his way to Boulder Stu Redman comes across Glen and bunks with him for a few days. During that time Stu discovers paintings done by Glenn that depict Mother Abagail and Fran. They discuss the dreams that they have both been having about Mother Abagail and this leads them to the conclusion that Glen should go to Boulder with Stu.
The story begins with Stu and Larry walking the perimeter when they come across and a man driving a fancy sports car, who almost hits the two. The car comes to a halt and the man spills out of the driver’s seat to the pavement. Stu and Larry immediately notice that the man has puncture marks on both of his wrists making it appear that he had been crucified. The man tells Larry and Stu that he is here to deliver a message, “He’s Coming” croaks the man before he passes on on the roadside. They bring him to their makeshift hospital where, once Mother Abagail arrives, he becomes possessed by Randall Flagg who warns Mother Abagail that he is coming for them.
This is a terrifying scene and it fills us instantly with a feeling of dread. It shows the depth of Flagg’s power and it makes us think that the survivors in Boulder may be up against a power more than they can handle.
Another important story point during the episode is the backstory we learn about Nadine. Nadine’s character had not been flushed out before this point in the story but we find out she may be more than meets the eye. Since she was a child Nadine has had a connection to Flagg and that has continued until now.
At the end of the episode, we discover that Flagg had recruited Nadine to his cause. He meets with her in a dream and demands that she eliminate the 5 people that Mother Abagail has put in charge at Boulder. Flagg refers to a weapon that he has in place and that Nadine only needs to pull the trigger. One assumes he means a gun by this statement but when the show dissolves into a scene with Harold Lauder we get the uneasy feeling that Harold might be more than just another character.
Once again another great episode in The Stand story. Randall Flagg made a larger appearance in the episode and we got to see the depth of his power and darkness. He is the embodiment of evil but the charm with which Skarsgard plays him is mesmerizing. You almost want to like the man as he is just offering a better life for those he visits, but this will more assuredly come with a terrible cost.
Outside of getting to know Flagg better we also get to see that this story will have major religious tones to it. From the survivors realizing they are all part of a bigger plan, to the questions of faith and the outright mention of God we see that religion is going to play a huge part in the story.
Now that the groundwork has been set for the struggle to come the anticipation for the remaining story is almost too much to handle. Tune in next week for episode 4!
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