Monday, January 4, 2021

The Stand - Pocket Savior / Blank Pages

The second and third episodes of CBS' new adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand focus on introducing more of the novel's long list of characters. Here we get musician Larry Underwood (Jovan Adepo) who spends some time with the tragic Rita (Heather Graham) before continuing west on his own and coming across Nadine (Amber Heard) and Joe (Gordon Cormier). We also meet Lloyd Henreid (Nat Wolff) who is the first character we see approached and successfully recruited by Randall Flagg (Alexander SkarsgÄrd) for his community in Las Vegas and the deaf-mute Nick Andros (Henry Zaga) who refuses Flagg's offer and becomes Mother Abagail's (Whoopi Goldberg) voice in Colorado. We also see the first meeting of Stu Redman (James Marsden) and Harold Lauder (Owen Teague) and Frannie Goldsmith (Odessa Young) on the road which doesn't turn out as Stu planned, but he does make another acquaintance in Glen Bateman (Greg Kinnear).

With so many characters and separate stories, the series continues to bounce around quite a bit showing glimpses of lives before the virus, during the travels, and in Boulder. The two episodes offer a limited look at life in Boulder, as Larry is introduced to the community and becomes one of Mother Abigail's chosen. After several hints that things aren't quite right with Nadine, the episode confirms her identity as Flagg's agent within the city and suggests who she should seek out for help in her mission. While still largely a mystery, Joe seems to be able to sense trouble about Harold, and to a lesser extent Nadine. He also shows an uncanny ability to pick up skills at the drop of a hat. Knowledge of Flagg and the other community hits Boulder like a sledge hammer when one of their former residents is sent as a message for Mother Abigail, for the first time introducing the idea of conflict between them.

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