Fear and Loathing in New Vegas
Episode 5 of The Stand begins with Dayna meeting Lloyd in New Vegas. He doesn’t suspect a thing, as Dayna remains determined to get an audience with Randall Flagg.
Before that though, it’s time to party as Dayna sees this thriving, chaotic community in all its glory. There’s pit fighting, drinking and plenty of drug taking too. There’s eve a personal message from Flagg, a rousing speech welcoming them to freedom. However, his holographic face chillingly focuses on Dayna a fraction too much and she immediately senses danger.
Back in Boulder, Nadine and Harold remove their clothes to cover up the murder they were involved in. To cover their own tracks, they orchestrate this to look like a suicide instead. Well, Nadine’s actions allow her to see Flagg again in another dream, this time with him telling her they’re in this together.
In New Vegas, Cullen is forced into doing manual labour in the basement while Dayna arrives and hands over a note for him. This note simply reads “Run.” It looks like the jig is up for her as she meets Randall in the flesh.
He knows Dayna is from Boulder and decides to send her home. He wants to know who the third spy is first but Dayna refuses to reveal the truth. Instead, she grabs a pair of scissors and stabs Flagg in the neck. Only, this obviously isn’t going to work as he gets back up and kills Dayna.
It’s a new day in Boulder and Harold meets Nadine in private, telling her they didn’t need to kill Teddy. As Harold looks set to explode at any moment, Nadine instead decides to sleep with him.
After an awkward encounter with Frannie moments later, Frannie immediately senses something is up and asks Larry to break into Harold’s house. She’s certain there’s something going on with him.
While Harold and Frannie have dinner together, Larry prepares to leave and search Harold’s house. Only, Nadine show’s up at the door and tells Larry she wants to sleep with him. He rejects though, pushing her away and eventually telling her to leave.
And if The Stand wasn’t bleak enough, it then completely rips off the musical score of Dark by grabbing the main theme (Goodbye by Apparat) and using it to try and spice things up. Only, it’s used completely out of context as Larry breaks in and sneaks around the house.
Elsewhere, Nick comes under fire from Mother Abagail about sending spies across the country to New Vegas. After their scathing chat, Nadine winds up chatting to the prophet, who tells her she has a choice… until she doesn’t.
Harold is smarter than everyone gives him credit for, as it’s soon revealed that he’s actually been recording all time time. He’s watching Stu and Frannie get intimate as a big, maniacal grin crosses his face.
The residents of Boulder have bigger problems to deal with though when they find out Mother Abagail has gone missing.
The Episode Review
We finally get a chance to see New Vegas in The Stand and it’s every bit as predictable post-apocalyptic pulp as one may expect from this show.
The constant drug taking, public sex and pit fighting are rife here but it all feels very cliché and generic, in an episode that rushes through characterization and backs up the notion that this show is basically a cliff notes version of the epic novel it’s based on.
It’s a shame too because The Stand had a lot of potential but even a linear episode like this can’t save the show. Oh, and on a side-note the decision to use Goodbye by Apparat here – the main theme from Dark – feels like a gentle reminder of how incredible the German show was.
We’ll have to wait and see if this new ending to The Stand will be worth the wait.