CBS All Access
Season 1 Episode 7
Ezra Miller returns as the Trashcan Man to open this episode and spends the entire time squealing as he finds himself at a nuclear missile silo out in the desert. I know the scene is meant to convey the raising of the stakes and the rising threat to the characters in Boulder, but Miller’s performance is so ridiculous that the entire scene is hilarious.
In the aftermath of an explosion, Harold and Nadine come to the realization that they need to run. Owen Teague does fine in the scene as Harold doing his best to fake bravery. Unfortunately, Amber Heard gives him nothing in return as Nadine. Her face, body language and emotions are all wooden in the scene. The acting doesn’t get much better as the survivors spit out platitudes about what they should do and not one of them seems to show any emotion.
The remaining members of the committee are called in to see Mother Abigail and she tasks them to begin the next part of their journey. There is a poignance to the scene that would have been more compelling if it had been earned by anything that came before it. Harold has his reckoning and the scene is handled really well. Teague commands the scene and his performance continues to be one of the best of the series.
Ray, Stu, Glenn and Larry begin their walk to Vegas, philosophizing along the way as Harold comes to a revelation and a decision. The walking scene is one of the first definitive signs that something devastating has happened to the country. There could have been some real compelling and emotional moments for the viewer if we were given these moments either throughout the series or in the beginning to give weight to the character’s journeys. I actually liked the constant presence of vultures and crows dogging their steps.
Nadine has her own reckoning as well when she finally meets Flagg face to face and the scene between the two of them I resume was meant to illicit some feelings of fear for Nadine, but it was boring and even the cliffhanger at the end of it that is supposed to give the viewer a look at the truth about Flagg is just meh. I was expecting something scary or disturbing. Instead he looked like a veiny earthworm covered in KY Jelly. I actually chuckled.
The four heading to Vegas run into trouble along the way as one of them takes a fall. The scene is somber and played perfectly by all of the actors. It’s a testament to what could have been. The remaining members of the party find themselves captured by Lloyd and get their first look at Flagg’s Vegas up close. For all the darkness of the previous episodes, this look at Vegas is almost comical. The saving grace of the scene is the surprise with Nadine’s appearance.
As someone who has read the source material, I know that the final reckoning for these characters is about to take place, but instead of feelings of dread or suspense, I really just want to see how it ends to get to the new coda King has written. Hopefully it will give me something interesting that this series has lacked.