In the third episode of Christian Torpe's TV show The Mist, the idea of nature attacking from the outside continued to appear in the form of a distinctive tree mural and T-shirt designs worn by various characters in the mall. Lost loved ones also rose once again in the mist this week, most notably when Nathalie Raven spotted her dead husband Benedict outside the church.
That's not all though — the episode was littered with subtle nods and references, which might just be able to help us unravel what the hell is going on. Join us as we unpack a variety of Easter Eggs and Stephen King references in the third episode of The Mist, including an intriguing nod to Pennywise, the Dancing Clown, one of King's most famous creations.
1. We All Float Down Here... In The Mall
After she remembers how her father used to give her balloons bought in the mall, Alex Copeland visits a store that's full of them, including a number of red balloons that look identical to those seen in the latest trailers for the IT movie adaptation. Notice also how the word "laugh" appears in the background too, undoubtedly paying homage to #Pennywise the Dancing Clown. The difference here, though, is while the balloons seen in #IT spell out doom for our young protagonists, these are used in The Mist to inspire hope, sending a message of help to those outside.
2. The Black Spring Of 1860
In the first episode of The Mist, Frances Conroy's character uncovers old newspaper clippings about an event known as the Black Spring, which occurred in 1860 when "nature turned sour." This local legend is recounted early on in #StephenKing's original novella from 1980. This time round though, Nathalie Raven learns more about how the story is told to scare kids into behaving, leading her to wonder whether the mist is somehow linked. While we still don't know where the mist comes from, this could turn out to be a clue later down the line, perhaps even referring to the 'Thinny's' that populate Stephen King's work.
3. The Evil Inside
Christian Torpe's TV adaptation of The Mist continues to set itself apart from other incarnations by delving into topical concerns more than ever before, touching upon Alex's PTSD following the alleged rape, alongside discussions regarding racial profiling and the relationship between religion and homosexuality.
"Because I was in jail, you think I was also a car thief? What, you want to ask the black guy next?"
4. Mothra Ain't Got Nothing On These Guys
Religious themes come to the fore too, after an ex-convict dies while being transformed into an angel-like being outside of the church. After a seemingly harmless moth flies into his ear, insectile wings sprout from the moth tattoo on his back before an entire swarm of the creatures suddenly pour from his mouth.
This event confirms to both Nathalie Raven and the priest inside that the mist is biblical in nature, inspiring Frances Conroy's character to carry on living in spite of her suicidal thoughts. As her character evolves, the comparisons between Raven and the evil Mrs Carmody from the movie and novella deepen, suggesting that Nathalie may inspire a cult of her own as the series progresses.
5. The Waiting Game
Now that the horrors of the mist have begun to reveal themselves, show runner Christian Torpe can now take more time to explore the realities of the situation, depicting the boredom that one would feel waiting for help over a long period of time. In this sense, the dread builds more gradually than it does in Frank Darabont's movie adaptation, although there's a sense that things will soon head in that direction after the survivors began arguing over a new set of rules.
Why did Jay Heisel think touching Alex would prove to her that he's not a rapist? Will something in the mist venture forward and eat those delicious Army corpses in the shopping carts outside? And why on earth did those video game store clerks think it would be fun to pretend to play with a blank screen?
Tune into Spike TV each Thursday to uncover the secrets of #TheMist and check back here weekly to find out what you missed! Bonus points to those of you who spotted that the prisoner who dies has a barbed wire tattoo on his wrist, signifying his previous captivity.
What was your favorite scene from the third episode of The Mist? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!