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The Mist - The Devil You Know - Review: "Seeing Double"

The Mist 1.06 The Devil You Know - Review:

Picking up where the previous episode left off, The Devil You Know takes us inside the hospital and attempts to explore the consequences of Kevin shooting his brother, with a mixed success as it never fleshes out his character well enough. He simply just says its handled, and we're onto the next subplot as the show decided to delve into more supernatural and horror territory this week, aka Stephen King territory, and this has previously been something that the show has been good at handling so I was hoping that The Devil You Know would signify an improvement for the series. But unfortunately that wasn't the case as despite fleshing out Mia's character a bit more, nothing really came of her side track to her house, where she put everyone's lives in danger at the hospital by stealing their car and heading home.

The Church returned this week with the focus on Nathalie's character coming to the forefront. Connor, the Police Chief and Jay's dad, is slowly being won over by Nathalie's speech, which is something that Father Romanov isn't especially happy with, and whilst he won't intervene with her directly, he does play music to drown out her preachings. He's too kind hearted to kick her out for good, however, the same cannot be said about one of his devout religious followers, who believes that God will look upon him with kindness and forgive him for the acts of violence he is about to commit because he is trying to "help" Nathalie. However, Nathalie doesn't really want to be helped, a firm believer of The Mist's teachings, and she instantly lashes out. It's quickly become apparent to anyone who's seen the movie or read the book that Nathalie is this series' version of Mrs. Carmody, but she isn't quite as aggressive as Carmody was in the movie. Or at least, not yet. Nathalie feels more human, but is still willing to let the Mist into the Church to aid her in her escape, taking care of the man who thought he had the upper hand. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to take her to a room with a window after all. One interesting addition to this comment that I mentioned above about Nathalie being Mrs Carmody is that had he stuck around longer, Father Romanov's devout follower could just have easily filled that role. It'll be interesting to explore whether this death drives Romanov over the line regarding his tolerance of Nathalie in the Church, but for now, this was all the time that we got to spend with the characters.

The situation at the Hospital was where we spent most of the episode in Kevin's storyline which continues to take up the majority of the screentime. The opening itself came straight out of a Stephen King story ("twinners" are a common thread that have appeared in the Dark Tower novels in the past) as a doppelganger version of Bryan Hunt, aka the real person whose identity he stole, came into conflict in an way that quickly established that there's more to Bryan than we know. What's his real name? We still haven't quite addressed the identity of his amnesia, but it quickly becomes apparent that he's not on good terms with the other soldiers. But then again, demanding to be told who he is whilst choking the life out of the soldier isn't exactly going to help his cause, either. Eventually Bryan, whilst not getting answers, does manage to dispatch of the real Bryan, now giving him added baggage going further forward.

Meanwhile, Kevin and Adrian learn about patients mysteriously disappearing in the hospital making it not exactly the safest of places to be right now, and it looks like Doctor Bailey has been experimenting on those who have been infected trying to find a cure for something that the people know nothing about. In the conflict, Bailey manages to inject Kevin, whilst still trying to claim that he hasn't exactly gone off the deep end. Kevin ends up experiencing hallucinations but Adrian and Bryan are able to save the day in time.

There's also Mia's little jaunt to her home to deal with as well, as she steals the keys from Adrian who is manipulated into handing them over. Just like the It homage last week with the Red Balloons in the flashback episode, Mia runs into the ghost of her dead mother, or whatever it is that is posing as her, to confirm that whatever The Mist is, it's like a Harry Potter Boggart, manifesting people's worst fears. This portrayal of Mia's mother tried to make her commit suicide, only to be attacked when she tried to pull away. There were clear echoes of The Shining here, something that as a King fan, I really appreciated. If only the show could put as much care into its characters and writing as it could the references, then this might be something special. But at least it hasn't quite reached Under the Dome terms of awfulness, or at least, not just yet.

Either way, Mia makes it back to the hospital and reveals that she never planned to leave at all, merely taking a little diversion. However, the power shuts off at the hospital when the group decide that it's time to leave, forcing them into a corner where the episode ends on a cliffhanger as they head to the psych ward. It certainly makes an intriguing end to the episode, putting the characters with their backs to the wall and in real danger. For them to make it out alive, something needs to happen fast.

It's also worth not completely ignoring the actions at The Mall this week as Eve and Alex's storylines was something that we spent a little bit of time with. Alex still doesn't know that Kevin isn't really her dad, but she's far more preoccupied with survivor's guilt about Lila’s death. Eve insists there's nothing she could have done, deciding that it would be best to get Alex a makeover, because why the hell not? At least changing clothes can take her mind off the impending apocalypse, if only for a few seconds. It looks like the people at The Mall have long since stopped caring about paying for stuff anymore. However, things go south and Alex finds herself locked in a burning room by an unknown stranger (Shelley?) where she is rescued by Jay. Of course, Alex and Jay aren't on the best of terms so she jumps to the conclusion that Jay did it on purpose to act like the hero. Jay objects to this of course. But it's quickly going to establish that nothing is going to be as simple as that. Eve's solution to the whole lack of hope scenario meanwhile is to create fake flyers giving people hope that the army is coming, which is something that feels totally bizarre. Why? There's no way that's not going to backfire if the army doesn't come.

It seems like The Mist isn't going to be winning any awards in the episode title department either, as each week there seems to be either something that makes no sense at all in conjunction of the episode, for example, Pequod, or the bland, cliched and not extremely subtle choice of The Devil You Know. It looks at this point like someone over at The Mist writers room has a board with a wheel of random episode titles and picks them whenever it feels like it. If there's one thing it shouldn't be that hard to be creative in, it's the episode titles, but apparently not in the case of this series.

What did you think of The Devil You Know? Let me know in the comments section below (be sure to keep it spoiler-free or use spoiler-tags when discussing the source material) and be sure to check out the next episode of The Mist next Thursday at 10pm on SpikeTV.

About the Author - Milo MJ
Milo is an Arsenal FC supporter and loves TV shows like Battlestar Galactica, Justified, Black Sails, The Americans and Person of Interest. He reviews Preacher, The Mist, Star Wars Rebels, Silicon Valley and Veep for Spoiler TV and will be covering Castle Rock, Counterpart, Krypton, Marvel's New Warriors, Rise, Marvel's Runaways, Snowfall, Succession, Star Trek Discovery, and Trust. He also contributes to comic reviews on a weekly basis for All-Comic. He also regularly watches and reviews films on Letterboxd, and you can find his ever-changing list of 300 favourite movies here.
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