Martin Carr reviews the sixth episode of The Mist…
Layer upon layer of situation and circumstance is making The Mist into a must see piece of television. Acting like a psychological filter making others face up to failings, flaws and insecurities gives this show depth allowing an audience time to invest. As family histories are pulled kicking and screaming from the woodwork, it takes advantage of a claustrophobia inherent to the situation.
With Kevin emotionally compromised due to shooting of his brother, Mia stealing their car for reasons unknown and factions splitting off around the mall tensions are running high. Behavioural flashbacks to the Salem witch trials act as an undercurrent between parishioners, while Mrs Raven continues preaching to those present stirring up some old-fashioned fire and brimstone retribution.
Elsewhere cabin fever and in-fighting are becoming a foregone conclusion which needs addressing. As the web of lies and half-truths mount up, arson attacks spring from nowhere and motives are still shady ramping up unrest. With patients randomly disappearing from the hospital there seems to be an element of natural selection at work here, while these three microcosms of humanity wait it out.
Between Eve and Gus, and Kevin and Mia it is the latter relationship which gets most attention this week. What is revealed within Mia is a sense of abandonment, guilt and resentment. Of all the people so far she is the most deeply scarred and most at odds with this world. A defence mechanism that involves pushing people away, shunning companionship and relying on herself gives Mia a little girl lost persona. It may be concealed beneath inches of hard arse attitude but nonetheless there it is.
Elsewhere Eve and Alex continue segregating themselves off from the herd, finding neutral space and figuring out their mother daughter relationship away from interlopers. There are so many minor encounters throughout ‘The Devil You Know’ that some might question the fragmentary approach. Moment to moment, minute to minute each exchange of intimacy and flashpoint of terror adds something new. By working within tight perimeters, individual locations and keeping the characters defined The Mist continues to enthrall. Fear, fright and horror come from an intricate knowledge of those involved. As these characters experience each situation our enjoyment hinges on how well this has been achieved.
Working from a small but well-known source material these showrunners continue crafting something worthwhile with bottle, backbone and the promise of blood. Emotionally engaging, bite sized enough to leave us wanting more and tapping into primal fear with minimal effort this show remains a riveting watch.