House Of The Dead
We begin episode 4 of The Stand in Boulder with all our characters gathering together in the town hall. With the power off, the attention turns to the visitor brought into town the previous day.
With hostilities high, Larry takes charge and tells them all power is coming back on. In order to appease the people, he encourages them all to give a round of applause to the key workers in town. Anyone else getting deja vu?
Anyway, we cut back in time slightly as Glen sits with the others and deliberates over whether to tell the truth to the people or not. Frannie and the others aren’t so sure this is the right way to go.
Nick is the moral voice though and along with Glen, tells him he should tell the truth – but be suitably vague about the whole thing. Back in the present, and with the clean-up crew finished in their roles, Stu decides to set-up a new City Watch around town.
When Harold returns home, he finds Nadine waiting for him. She invites herself in and shows off the necklace she’s wearing. She’s been sent by Randall and promises to make his dreams come true. As she begins straddling Harold, things don’t go to plan and eventually Harold cowers on the sofa and apologizes. “Just figure out how we’re gunna kill them,” She says nonchalantly, straightening her skirt and walking away.
We then cut back 2 months earlier as Harold and Frannie are out on the road. Tensions begin to arise between them that are only made worse when they come across a truck parked across the road. Believing the truckers to be dead, the driver suddenly appears and knocks Harold down, fighting him in the street. It turns out he’s been trapping women all this time and keeping them locked up in his trailer.
With Harold on the ground and hope seemingly lost, Glen and Stu drive up, past signs left by Harold to serve as a distraction. As they do, the captive women beat down the truck driver and kill him. With the man dead, Stu gathers the others together and invites them into Boulder. Harold is skeptical until Glen convinces him to take a dive and see how far the rabbit hole goes.
Back in the present, Stu organizes the troops into the City Watch. Only, what transpired with Nadine the previous night has Harold rattled. With a flyer in his pocket, he figures out a way to take out the Boulder residents; he’s going to explode the snowy peaks and cause an avalanche.
Meanwhile, the main committee discuss the possibility of sending spies over to Vegas. They decide upon sending 3 people – including Tom Cullen.
We then cut back 3 months to Colorado. Nick and Tom are together but the former is awoken by a blonde-haired woman looking to have a good time. That is, until Tom Cullen rocks up. After listening to her bad mouth the pair, Tom and Nick eventually walk away… until she follows them with a shotgun and chases them off the scene.
At the bus stop, they both notice a sign for “Hemingford Home” and hurry there, believing Mother Abagail is waiting for them. As they make it to their destination, they find Mother Abagail inside.
Back in the present, the team eventually agree to send Cullen over to Randall. Nick and Tom say their goodbyes and Tom cycles across the country to Vegas.
Back in town, Nadine and Harold break into the storage cupboard and grab some explosives. As they do, power switches back on in town as the residents celebrate their victory. Teddy wanders off from the main group though and finds Nadine and Harold together. Realizing their cover is about to be blown, Nadine makes a bold decision and shoots Teddy in the chest.
The Episode Review
The Stand returns this week with another jumbled up episode that mixes up the first, second and third act of this story. I understand this is just the style of The Stand now but it really doesn’t work. In fact, the whole idea of this war between Randall’s group and the Boulder residents doesn’t have as much gravitas as it otherwise would, especially given the fragments of Randall we’ve seen across the season so far.
Instead, the show settles itself in the third act of this story while peppering in interesting flashbacks to the past to see how our characters reached this point. The problem with that set-up is there’s absolutely no tension or suspense to any of the flashbacks. We know Tom Cullen and Nick won’t be killed by the shotgun-wielding lady and we know Harold and Frannie will survive their ordeal from the truck driver. Instead, these scenes feel passive rather than involving.
What’s probably the most frustrating though is there’s actually a pretty good retelling of the story here. Once the dust settles with this one, I hope someone takes this series and re-edits it in the correct order afterwards.
As we reach the halfway point of this show, it’s hard not to feel disappointed about this adaptation. Given the brand new ending to this show though, it’s enough to stick with for the time being to see exactly how this one is likely to finish.