The Stand

CBS All Access

Season 1 Episode 3

Blank Page

The quiet of Boulder is rocked by the arrival of a car carrying a man who seems to have recently been crucified. He’s found by Stu and Larry and lives long enough to deliver a message to the survivors; “He’s coming.”

At this point the episode starts quick cutting between the characters including Nadine dealing with the reality of being a caregiver with multiple charges to Frannie remembering her first meeting with Stu. When Stu and Larry bring the crucified man to the makeshift hospital that’s been setup, the story then shifts to Nick Andros.

Nick has always been one of the more interesting characters in King’s novel and having him become a deaf, blind immigrant should have made for some interesting drama when the story shifts to his past in Arkansas. Instead, there is an awkward dream temptation of Nick by Flagg that feels forced and unnecessary. Nick’s introduction to Mother Abigail is one of the only really interesting moments in the episode, but it makes a clunky transition into Nick’s meeting Tom Cullen. A moment that is fine acting wise, but lacks any emotional context.

“Blank Page” — Ep#103 —Pictured: Alexander Skarsgård as Randall Flagg and Amber Heard as Nadine Cross of the CBS All Access series THE STAND. Photo Cr: Robert Falconer/CBS ©2020 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Between the bouncing from time period to time period, the episode attempts to establish the relationships between these characters. Unfortunately, none of them are given time to develop so everything comes down to a series of vignettes that don’t connect on any level other than moving the story forward. To make matters worse, the episode ends so abruptly that I found myself wondering what just happened and chiding myself for seemingly caring about that more than the writers and director.

We are three episodes into this miniseries and nothing has happened. The characters feel flat, the performances are uninspiring and the conflicts feel lazy and forced. Everything about this episode feels like the director was attempting to force feed the viewer all of the relevant character relationships in one episode because he wants to move on to the stuff he really wants to show us. Unfortunately, the annoyingly consistent lack of tension or terror in this series makes me not want to move on with him.

The Stand S01XE03



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