Written by John Edward Betancourt
THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...
The best horror stories out there, are the ones that find a way to reach us on an intimate and personal level all while scaring our socks off at the same time, and while we've seen stories like that before, combining those two elements is truly no easy task. After all, the scares are the focus of any horror story and the push to terrify often takes precedence over anything else, which means that when we do encounter a story that reaches us on that supremely personal level, we take notice of it and share the wonder of it with everyone that we possibly can.
Which brings us to last night's episode of The Mist. Because 'The Waiting Room' delivered on so many levels. Not only did it provide us with some answers to burning questions that have persisted the inaugural season of this show, but it did exactly what we just discussed; it gave us a perfectly balanced horror story, and in doing so, gifted us with the best episode of this young series to date. Now if anything, I would like to dedicate a little more time to talking about how it accomplished that, so let's dive right in and discuss one of the mysteries this episode revealed last night...Bryan's true identity. Because after arriving at the hospital to save his life, Mia was able to find out that another Bryan Hunt was recovering in the hospital as well, and he just so happened to be a solider that was attacked by a man named Jordan Hixon who clearly stole Bryan's identity and this revelation was enough to break Mia and send her back into The Mist.
But before we get to the other interesting revelation from last night, let's talk about the intimacy of this story, because often times in horror stories such as this, where the world in essence comes to an end, the human element is truly lost in the chaos. Sure there's something to be said about a quest like Kevin's, where he is determined to be near his family, but that's a touch cliché and that's precisely why I appreciated this episode so much. Because by taking a break from that theme and putting Kevin right next to his ailing brother Mike...the show was able to truly draw us in on that personal level by reminding us exactly how much family matters at any level, and Kevin's desire to see his brother healthy and free of pain gave gravity and depth to his overall quest and it made his decision to risk a voyage through The Mist to save his brother's life all the more powerful...and heartbreaking since he was unable to do so and Kevin's journey ended in dark and disturbing growth this go round since he was forced to kill Mike to save him from a painful and terrifying death, and while this story ended on a sour note, it was nice to see this series pepper in some wonderfully human and meaningful moments.
Which brings us back to the other interesting revelation of the night, the fact that this episode once more revealed some interesting tidbits about The Mist itself. Because it's becoming a constant theme now to hear about how The Mist seems to know you inside and out, and this time that revelation came from Mike as he described how it seemed to use his past to get to him and when you take that into account, and combine it with the fact that Mike had a violent reaction returning to The Mist...it truly seems as though this entity is tied to our greatest fears and once it has its moist claws upon you, you can never quite escape it, and speaking of The Mist preying upon our fears, it almost seems as though it manifests an appropriate being to dispatch humans as well. Mrs. Raven's love of nature seems to relate to the violent moth-filled death her new friend succumbed to. The girls saw Harry Potter-esque 'Dementors' in the bookstore and before Mike died, he and Kevin were assaulted by an unending wave of leeches, which is interesting considering how much blood was involved shortly before they manifested.
It truly seems as though The Mist has a certain level of sentience to it, and these little tidbits week in and week out about this strange cloud are simply fascinating and I cannot wait to see what else we learn about it. Regardless, I really did love this episode. It took us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. We felt sorrow, we felt pain and we most certainly felt fear and it's obvious now that the show is starting to find its legs and if this is the best that I've seen so far, I certainly have high hopes that upcoming weeks of the series will be just as magnificent and I also cannot wait to see what comes out of the whole Bryan/Jordan issue and learn what will become of Mia now that's she out there on her own. Until next time.