Episode 6 of The Stand begins with explosives being wired and blown up by none other than Trashcan Man. This segment not only introduces the maniacal Yin to Tom Cullen’s Yang, but also gives a foreshadowed taste of what’s to come later on in the episode.
After marveling at his own destruction, Trashcan Man is given specific instructions to travel West and see Flagg in another nightmarish vision.
Well, he shows up in New Vegas and discusses man-made fires with the man himself. After some brief pleasantries, Flagg gives Trashcan Man a new mission. He’s to head up to a nearby military facility and “bring back the fire.” Lloyd however, is not so sure this is a good idea.
After Flagg calls out his jealousy, he tasks Lloyd with a mission of his own. He’s to visit the Boulder spy on the outskirts of town and bring her back alive. He wants to find out exactly who the third spy is. As we already know, that man is Cullen.
Back in Boulder, Harold breaks the news to Nadine that Mother A has gone missing. Because of this, the townsfolk will be gathered together for a vigil that very evening. This is the perfect opportunity for the pair to concoct their plan, blowing up the entire house and ridding themselves of everyone in Boulder once and for all. As the old adage goes, “The best laid plans of mice and men”. Or in layman’s terms: sometimes the perfect plans go awry.
Nadine plants the bomb by the side of the piano but immediately has second thoughts when the subject of kids is brought up with all in attendance. Specifically, she deliberates over both Joe and the unborn child Frannie is carrying.
Out in the woods, Mother Abagail runs into Flagg. He antagonizes her, claiming He has gone quiet and promising an ocean of endless peace if she gives up. Mother A refuses to hear this though and eventually Flagg loses his patience and kicks up a storm for her to try and walk through.
Back in New Vegas, Flagg’s lackeys bring back the spy very much dead. Flagg fails to accept their apology and makes an example of Bobby Terry, who gives the boss the finger and runs away. Realizing that his time is up, Flagg beats the man down to a bloody pulp in the elevator. In doing so, he learns some crucial information surrounding Mr Moon – the other spy.
Cullen is smart and figures out he’s being hunted, hiding among the dead in a truck heading out of town. When the driver returns, it seems to do the trick as Cullen readies himself to high-tail out of town.
Back in Boulder, Frannie follows up her suspicions with Harold and finds the hidden cameras and his workshop in the basement. Harold shows up and despairs when he realizes Frannie has seen all this. He promises to fix the world and make Frannie and the others pay for what’s happened. Despite Frannie’s best attempts to stop him, Harold locks her in the basement and vows to put an end to this once and for all.
Meanwhile, Nadine says goodbye to Larry and takes Joe with her. Only, when she leaves Joe whispers to him that Mommy Nadine and Nadine are two different people. Larry suspects something is up and quickly realizes his motorbike has been sabotaged and the walkie talkie is out of batteries.
Nadine and Harold eventually catch up on the edge of town. As they do, the group in town learn that Mother Abagail has popped up on the North side of town. As the group head away from the house, Nick is still inside and realizes a bomb has been planted in the piano.
Nadine presses the button and the house blows sky high. The angry rush of flames hungrily swallow up a whole crowd outside, as Frannie, Stu Redman and the other main character watch in horror.
The Episode Review
The Stand returns for a much more straight forward and linear episode this time as we settle down between New Vegas and Boulder. With no jumps to the past, and most of acts 1 and 2 completely brushed over, The Stand instead focuses on the ensuing war between these two sides.
The contrasting ideas are a nice touch of course and the different characters on both sides of the fence are engaging enough to stick with for the long haul.
If you’ve made it this far with the show then it’s fair to say that you’ve been enjoying what CBS have cooked up but there’s no denying that the show is a far cry from the excellent novel it’s based on.
Hopefully this episode is a sign that the third act at least will be intense and interesting. Roll on next week’s episode!