The Mist Season 1, Episode 6
This The Mist Review contains spoilers.
The Mist season 1, episode 6, “The Devil You Know,” continues to find human monstrosities among the creeping crawlers in the new post fog world. The episode also explores some of Stephen King’s favorite haunts that weren’t included in the book.
The Mist is still following Kevin’s (Morgan Spector) group the most closely, but there is a lot going on in the other settings in the mystified town. The top cop and the crazy lady have come to an understanding that adds depth to each of their characters, and menace as their insular world starts to fall apart. We know police chief Connor Heisel (Darren Pettie) as a kind of bully, but he hides a very real concern for people who can’t take care of themselves. It’s not that he takes his job as protector too seriously, which he does, but stripped of the normal authority he wields, he cares.
Natalie Raven (Frances Conroy) is worthy of care, but you get the feeling she can take care of herself. She’s not quite the madwoman of the book. She’s not dangerous unless someone else is trying to save her from herself, like the poor ex-con who turned into an angelic moth a few episodes ago. We see Natalie can defend herself when one of the faithful starts beating the shit out of her and she feeds him to the mist, but the fervor is growing in the pews as a kind of cabin fever settles over the contained brethren. Mrs. Raven keeps her wits about her. She might even be on to something. She knows local nature and how it is supposed to act, and whether the mist is playing into her mind or not, she is calculating it all internally. The book makes Mrs. Carmody a religious zealot, screaming for sacrifice. Natalie is a much more measured and curious soul. She’s more the type to be thrown on the bonfire.
Jay (Luke Cosgrove) saves Alex (Gus Birney) from a blaze at the mall. She gets locked in by an unknown assailant and left to burn. Alex made a lot of enemies in the town. Some because her soul wasn’t sucked up along with that of the little girl she was reading to in the bookstore. Others despise her for tainting the name of the school’s star quarterback. Jay was accused of date raping her at a post-game party in the pilot, before the mist settled in. Since then he’s been locked in the mall with Alex and her mother, Eve (Alyssa Sutherland), who doesn’t trust him as far as he can throw a football, which isn’t much further than Alex can. The jock has been following Alex around ever since. It could look like stalking, or that he wants to protect her.
So it comes as no surprise when Alex’s second reaction to being saved by the jock is that he started the fire and trapped her in it in the first place, so he could act the hero, which he does. Eve still wants to knock him on his ass, though she reluctantly gives him a pass. It breaks her heart a few minutes later to see her daughter sharing intimate warnings with the unusual suspect. Is this a kind of Stockholm syndrome or is the daughter rebelling because her mother can’t stand the jacket she picked out?
Whether you think the current healthcare plan sucks, or are worrying about finding an insurer under impending legislation, we can all agree it is a fiasco in The Mist. The operating room is awash in hungry leeches, the only pain medicine is the stuff Mia (Danica Curcic) snatched from the evidence room at the police station – and even that she took with her when she ditched her group, and the patients have been forced to do DIY surgery. It’s enough to turn a normal New England country doctor into a mad scientist.
There are endless possibilities to the cause and cure for the mist and its mind-altering effects. All doctors are schooled in lab results and the importance of test subjects and data. The doctor goes a little crazy in his quest to diagnose the overflow of patients the admitting nurse swears are disappearing into not-so-thin air. Experimental enthusiasm appears to be part of the contagion. Mia found a bookend soldier for her buddy who lost his memory at the Arrowhead project. The two may have braved the trenches together but they don’t have the friendliest bond. The episode is filled with a lot fighting, hand to hand stuff. Bryan (Okezie Morro) squares off against his fellow soldier in the hospital, Natalie knocks the religious kid on his ass and leaves him in the room to be fogged up, and Mia kicks the living mist out of her mama.
Mia stumbles into her past in what looks like it could be a scenario from another King story. The errant fogster stole the keys from Adrian Garff (Russell Posner) and went to her childhood home. The scene goes from scary to spooky when Mia comes in and sees “welcome home baby doll” written on a wall. She gets locked in with her crazy mom who, in spite of all that’s passed between them, including her life, still finds the time to lay on the guilt.
The scenes at Mia’s home are the most frightening in the horror movie sense. The atmosphere and cloudy lighting brings back sense memories of haunted house movies. The experiment scenes bring in an Island of Doctor Moreau vibe without the transformations. The makeup effects and the effects in general continue to add to the horrific feel, but the simplest ones, like Mia’s not-so-spectral ghost mother, are the most effective. Besides the tensions at the mall, this episode stays the most on track for a horror series.
“The Devil You Know” was written by Noah Griffin and Daniel Stewart, and directed by James Hawes.