Things are looking up in the mist.
After a somewhat questionable start, The Mist Season 1 Episode 2 pulled back on the unsuccessful attempt to deliver a series' worth of social messaging before we even got to know the characters.
It gave them a chance to breathe and stand on their own for good or bad.
It's always better when someone gets to prove they're an ass organically, and it doesn't seem to be difficult for many in this small Maine town. Even so, Natalie with her true social agenda was reeling from the loss of her husband and not afraid to share her pain with those church bound with her.
Before we get into the groups of people, it hit me while watching how calm everyone seems to be despite what appears to be a superbly frakked up situation.
I'm torn between wondering why they're so calm and why they so easily bought into the idea there are monsters in the mist. Maybe Eric was finally so embarrassed by his mom he tore her goddamned jaw off in the parking lot.
Which makes more sense? Monsters or a kid mutilating his mom?
It's Maine. Surely they've had dense fogs before. I grew up in Pennsylvania. I remember one time the fog was so bad I couldn't see the back of my house from the back yard when we took off for school. It was very cool. And slick. I tumbled down the hill in the yard and got all muddy.
I was a sissy of a kid when it came to monsters, and never once did I suspect they were lurking in the mist. Only Mia admits to being scared, and I think that fear is more about her lacking drug supply than monsters in the mist.
Of course, she's a junkie. Because I called her Cowgirl, and you know, Cowboy Junkies!! See? No? OK. Well, then.
I feel like we have two teams going in Bridgeville. The Mall Brigade and the Church Dwellers. The best group will be when the two come together as one because alone they have the two halves of a whole.
Mall Manager Gus stepped up to take command, proving himself far more worthy than Police Chief Heisel, who is both a coward and a weasel.
Gus not only listened to the mall patrons but went about sending someone to their potential death democratically while maintaining the peace.
Heisel, on the other hand, not only left his men behind, but he also left prisoners and civilians behind and bolted when he got ascared. To top it off, when they all met up again at the church, he blamed Kevin for his actions and handcuffed Mia when acting tough after the fact. So embarrassing.
The Mall Brigade banded together to lock mall doors with many volunteering for what could have been a hazardous duty.
They put their minds together to think about what was in the mall that could be used to look down the halls after Eve, Alex and their mall friend saw the mist had penetrated through an open window and was roaming the administrative wing. A drone.
The mist is very weird. Why can't it seep in around doors? It SHOULD be doing that if it can come in through a tiny open window, as was discovered with that drone. If it can live inside, you should be able to see it inside no matter how small a space it comes through.
The reason you can't see mist inside has something to do with the way the air is regulated inside, not just because it cannot get in. It's highly unlikely something misty can fit through the small window but not crevices in a door.
Once the Brigade got wind of the word drawn in some dead dude's blood, Eve was chosen to go back for the emergency walkie. Clint seemed like a nice enough fellow when he volunteered to go with her, but he must have recognized the dead guy because he was of no help to Eve at all.
Well, unless she was looking for help ending her life. As she was not, she helped him end his.
Now she has to hope that drone doesn't start flying again, hovering over dead Clint's body, painting Eve in a less-than-flattering light. She's just starting to make misty mall friends!
At least a couple of people are finding the mall a terrible place. Either they hung themselves in the bathroom because they really wanted to wash their hands or the mist helped them on their way. I'm betting on the mist.
Those at the Church are faring better, despite the horrid Connor being amongst them.
Adrian lightened up a bit and is becoming humorous. When the car rolled, he made a joke about his hair looking alright.
Mia thought she was a lot worse off than expected while going through withdrawal when she ran into an old lady in the mist. Please, oh please, do not let this be the woman over whose tombstone Mia stopped during The Mist Season 1 Episode 1.
Why? Because that tombstone said the woman was born in 1955 and that actress was born in 1941. Yes, it bugs the hell out of me when women's ages are so mystifying in entertainment.
Much older women are playing younger for an unreal vibe, and much younger women play older for a different vibe, and together it screws with the reality of aging to the extent that those of us who are aging are left suffering the consequences. Nobody knows what aging women look like in reality, and it's highly annoying.
I just had a birthday. I'm writing this review hours away from it, and it's a very sensitive topic. You'll all discover it someday, too. Unless you're male, and all is right with the world. Jumping off my soapbox...
The good news is Mia either wasn't hallucinating, or she's sharing her trips with Bryan. Either option has to be better than going it alone.
Oh, and the character is Anna. Is that any correlation to the ARRc letters in red above?? One of the guesses was Anna, after all.
The best part about the church, though, is Natalie. The irony is Natalie felt comfortable there and was willing to share her overwhelming grief with those around her when she doesn't even believe in God or an afterlife. She believes in nature.
Nathalie: Do you know that if the bees die, humanity will only have four years left?
Kevin: I'm sorry. I don't know. Maybe he's still here, in spirit.
Nathalie: Oh Kevin, you're smarter than that. There is no spirit. There's nature. There is here and not here. And he's not here.
Unfortunately, that's a lonely existence because there's no hope she'll see her Benedict again. Unless she starts hallucinating, of course. Given the caliber of the actor who played Benedict, it's probably not a stretch to expect him to pay a visit to Natalie.
Taking the wine from the vestibule was a treat from our Nat. The priest tried to put the kibosh on the festivities, but damn, Father, schitt's going down outside, so let the wine flow in honor of the recently fallen for a minute.
What's funny is how little most of what happened in the premiere mattered.
Not the death of Natalie's husband or anything related to the mist, but Jay the possible rapist is suddenly looking heroic guiding a drone down the misty hallway in search of answers.
What's a little potential rape in light of the big bad mist and other unknowns like the Clints of the world looking to take everyone down? No, I don't mean that, but it's hard not to wonder if that's a message someone is sending with how quickly the "dramatic" events of the pilot were sloughed off.
We're not firing on all cylinders yet, but The Mist is most assuredly improved in one additional airing. What will The Mist Season 1 Episode 3 do to up the ante even further? We'll soon find out!
Let me know what you're thinking in the comments. Pleased with the results of the second outing? Which grouping impresses you the most?
If you need to see it all again to decide, watch The Mist online to get the party started.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.