We have reached the climax in The Stand series as the three prisoners of Flagg begin the episode locked in a makeshift prison. The conversation between the three gets interesting when Glenn begins to figure Flagg out. Making public displays out of any who oppose him is what creates fear amongst his followers. This fear gives the Dark Man his power.
After this realization, the three are put on a mock trial of sorts for the masses in New Vegas. It is supposed to be a show trial only for the followers of Flagg but things turn south quickly. Glenn starts to go against Llyod, who had been running the trial and questioning the authority of Randall Flagg. This challenge by Glenn is not taken well by Lloyd and he takes a gun and puts several bullets in Glenn. This act of aggression does not have the desired effect as we can see the mob that was watching the trial is uncomfortable by what they just saw. It is here we can start to see some cracks beginning to form in the Dark Man’s New Vegas.
Glenn was the first main character to die in the climax of The Stand. The skeptical teacher was played to perfection by Greg Kinnear. His take on the character was great as the smart ass, who was usually the voice of reason. His death was also not in vain as he was able to plant the seed of doubt in Flagg’s followers in New Vegas.
The unraveling continues when Nadine comes to visit Larry as he is handcuffed below the casino. While Nadine is justifying Flagg’s new world Larry grabs a metal serving plate and shows Nadine what she has become. This shocks her, as she sees what she has become. It makes her question her relationship with Flagg and when she is going into labour she questions Flagg again. Nadine realizes that something is wrong with her pregnancy and it dawns on her that Flagg has been using her all along. This epiphany causes Nadine to fling herself out of the penthouse suite to her death, killing her and Flagg’s baby.
Another major death hits us in this episode. Nadine was used by Flagg from the very beginning and while she did show some good in her, she generally was a despicable character. Her ultimate redemption story was a great scene and shows how the power Flagg held over people is starting to wane.
After the death of Nadine, Flagg has Larry and Ray brought to the pool that has been shown throughout the series. The two are chained up at the bottom of the pool and the water is turned on, assuming to drown the two prisoners.
It is at this point that Flagg makes his first appearance to the masses, coming out to rile up the crowd while the prisoners are sent to their death. This is the best appearance by Flagg in the series as we get a chilling monologue from Flagg about the new world he wants to create. We see here, more than ever, the religious zealot that Flagg is. It is delivered expertly by Alexander Skarsgard who has been amazing as the antagonist of the story.
After the speech is over Lloyd enters the pool to allow Larry and Ray to have their last words. Realizing that Flagg is losing his power over his followers Larry keeps repeating the phrase “ I will fear no evil”. This enrages Lloyd and he begins to whip Larry every time he utters the sentence. This vulgar display begins to get sympathy from the crowd as we begin to hear the phrase being repeated by some. Seeing his power slipping Flagg directs Lloyd to kill the two prisoners but Lloyd refuses and walks away.
Lloyds defiance enrages Flagg and he instructs the crowd to kill anyone who is opposing him, showing his true colours, and how he needs fear to control the masses. During this commotion, a mysterious cloud begins to appear overtop of the casino. As the chaos ensues the cloud descends upon the crowd and shoots lighting out over the crowd. This lightning destroys rings hanging from the ceiling which then fall and take off Lloyds head. The lightning then begins to shoot into Flagg and after receiving a few blows from the bolts Flagg is disintegrated.
The two men in charge of New Vegas have now been destroyed and the city is not far behind. While the crowd was rioting on the casino floor the Trash Can Man, who had stolen a nuclear weapon, drives the device into the casino. The lightning focus’s on the nuclear device setting it off and destroying the city of New Vegas and all that resided within it.
During this scene, we see the deaths of Flagg, Lloyd, Larry, and Ray. This ends the major deaths of the episode and effectively the conflict in New Vegas.
The other small story of the show is following Stu. With his broken leg, Stu is confined to the valley under the protection of Kojack the dog. During their scenes, the dog convinces Stu not to kill himself while protecting him from a hungry wolf.
Also, after the bomb goes off in New Vegas we see Tom Cullen walking through the rubble when Kojack finds him and barks for him to follow. This ends with Tom following the dog off into the distance, presumably to save Stu.
The episode ends with Frannie and Joe seeing the cloud from the nuclear explosion. Joe says he feels that the Dark Man is gone and then Frannie goes into labour as the climax of The Stand finishes.
Wow, what an episode. The climatic events in New Vegas were an amazing end to the story we have been following over the past couple of months. The character development has been great during the story and this helped to create a personal connection with the people involved in the story.
The trial scene and the speech by Flagg are the highlights of the episode. Skarsgard and Kinnear were on top of their game and the emotion can be felt through the television.
Next week we will see how the survivors of The Stand will move on after so much pain and death has been experienced in the climax. Until next week!