Five episodes later, we finally get to see the treacherous Vegas that Randall Flagg has claimed as his home. And it’s just as artificial and chaotic as every other theatrical representation of Vegas (even the name of the episode is absolutely cringeworthy). Let’s take a little spoiler-free look.
“‘Never’ is a long time.”
Episode five’s primary focus is on Dayna, Lloyd and Julie. They flaunt around an extravagant hotel and we get to see the so-called evil that resides in Randall’s New Vegas. But really, everyone is just having sex, partying and participating in nightly cage fights to the death. Besides that last part, this doesn’t exactly scream “evil.” And while we’ve gotten four lengthy episodes of Boulder and all it encapsulates, “Fear and Loathing” doesn’t tell us much about Randall’s world. Instead it gives us various angles of people having sex in elevators and on tables. And yeah, that’s fun and all, but we gotta move the story along a little bit.
Nothing Really Happens
Dayna is probably the most interesting character in this episode; she’s new and exciting and seems to have quite a history (given that when we first met her she was being trafficked in the back of a truck). But we never learn about that history because she is only a plot device, and a poorly written one at that.
What’s worse is we don’t see much of the other two spies sent down from Boulder to Vegas (Tom and Judge Ferris). There are a few short clips of Tom, and Ferris isn’t even in the episode. Rather, we go back to Boulder to learn what we already know: Frannie is suspicious of Harold Lauder, Nadine is way too in her head and doesn’t know what she’s doing with her life, Mother Abagail finds out about the spies and is predictably upset. This could have been covered briefly in the next episode, or not at all because, again, this is not new information.
King’s The Stand is such an incredibly detailed and bountiful story, yet these recent episodes continue to focus on the same things that the plot barely progresses. This grand introduction into Randall Flagg’s New Vegas and his plan to take over the world is watered down to such shallow depths. There are only four episodes left so maybe, just maybe, the pace will pick up. I’m still holding on to a little bit of hope, but it’s thinning (just like the show’s plot).(2.5 / 5)