The Stand Season 1 Episode 9 Review: The Circle Closes

Movies/TV

Well, they got me good. What about you?

I rode out the entirety of this crappy adaption of The Stand with the promise of a new ending, and it didn’t deliver.

Even worse, this final episode offered very little to chew on that hasn’t already been said thousands of times in thousands of different ways.

Good and evil will always coexist, and we need to stand in the face of adversity and be true to our beliefs instead of falling prey to the evil pounding at our door.

The Stand Season 1 Episode 9 took a little from the two novels, and something from the first miniseries in that Abigail was seen again.

This time, Frannie was doing something idiotic, as most characters do, to move the plot forward, and she got gravely injured.

Her survival was tested when, as she was passed out, she was visited by both Flagg and Mother Abigail, one or both of which were also watching her and Stu from a cornfield in Nebraska just waiting for something to happen.

When Stu left Frannie and baby Abigail behind (the baby’s name was Abigail in the first miniseries and Peter in the book) to stock up for their journey east, Frannie decided it was a great time to climb all over a well.

Frannie had already asked Stu to pick up water while he was in town because nothing here worked. Was she so damned thirsty that she thought climbing on rickety wood to reach a water well’s hand pump made sense?

No matter because it didn’t make sense to the rest of us.

When you’re one of the last people on earth, taking chances like that is not clever. It’s especially distracting when you’re momentarily separated from your partner and caring for a newborn.

Climbing on that well was plain stupid. But when she’s faced with certain death unless she kisses Flagg and offers herself to him to peek in on earth now and then, THEN Frannie got smart and said no.

The whole thing was aggravating.

Stu needed a young Mother Abigail to show him how to get Frannie out of the well, and it seems like they will never be smart enough to repopulate the earth without her intervention in the future.

As I’ve noted in my reviews throughout The Stand Season 1, they were a crowd that made a lot of dumb mistakes.

And can we talk about how stupid it was that Stu arrived back in Boulder JUST as Frannie made her way to the latest memorial and lit a candle?

GROAN. Aren’t we passed those kinds of unnecessarily cliche dramatic moments?

Nope, I don’t remember when he got back to Boulder from the novel, but even if it was written like that, we had another opportunity here to make it a little less exasperating.

It’s also a bummer that we never got to see Boulder’s reaction when they learned what happened to their friends. No, they would never get the whole story, but Stu could have shared with them the nuclear reaction bit to catch them up.

Instead, as soon as he arrived, they left again because society would carry on as it had before. The same mistakes would be made, and they’d not be able to do anything to stop them.

So, instead of trying in this newly written conclusion, they still parted ways with all of their friends, letting them figure things out for themselves.

Did Mother Abigail stay in touch with Tom Cullen? It would be nice to think she did since otherwise, Boulder’s only tie to Mother Abigail was Stu and Frannie, and they let their friends hang out to dry.

In hindsight, I think that this should be the last adaptation of The Stand.

It doesn’t stand up to what we know about the world today and the many movies and TV series that used the book to create a formulaic end-of-world scenario that covers the same ideas.

It’s more fun examining the grey areas of good and evil than it is cutting it down the middle as King did here.

For two seasons, that was excellently portrayed on shows like Colony and Counterpart. If you like playing with good and evil and the myriad degrees between them that are difficult to separate, then you should watch those two shows rather than another take of The Stand.

Alexander Skarsgaard was highly entertaining as Randall Flagg aka Russell Farady, until the bitter end. He’s got that bad-boy who won’t ever go good thing down pat, and his comedic timing is always on par. So, silver lining and all that.

Even so, he began his new reign by using English to ask that the now fearful group of indigenous people worship him. Oh well.

But, it’s not all about me, is it? What did you think of The Stand as a whole now that it is done?

Did you expect something bordering on earth-shattering given King’s chance to rejigger his ending into he wanted one more time?

Hit the comments and share your thoughts. And, onward and upward, my friends!

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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