Episode two of The Stand begins with Frannie singing “Amazing Grace” as a gentle wind breezes over her father’s green garden and trees. But don’t let the sunshine and chirping birds fool you: most of the world is dead and gone. Our survivors have dreams of either Mother Abagail or Randall Flagg, shedding light on themes of good and evil.
Dreams in New York and Maine
Frannie solemnly carries her deceased father down the stairs, allowing Harold to help her bury him in the garden. After, the two sit in her living room and talk about everyone they miss while listening to “Don’t Dream It’s Over” on the record player. They’re in this together now whether they like it or not.
In the mean time, Larry Underwood traverses the empty streets of New York City where corpses of humans and animals lie. The body of The Monster Shouter is sprawled on a set of outdoor stairs, his arm holding up the bell he once used to warn the city of the monsters to come. Sitting on a bench a few feet away is Nadine (Laura San Giacomo). Despite her reluctancy, she and Larry make a plan to go west toward Nebraska where Mother Abagail resides.
During their trip, they camp out in the middle of the woods. Larry wants to bang and Nadine doesn’t, so Larry makes himself the victim of the situation because of course he does. He keeps forcing himself on her until she says no for the fourth or fifth time, causing him to finally lay off. Once they sleep, Larry has pleasant dreams of Mother Abagail while Nadine has a fiery nightmare of Randall Flagg.
“I Pick You.”
In Arizona, a prison holds Lloyd Henreid captive. The camera pans over the deceased prisoners and guards as Lloyd bangs on his cell’s bars and begs to be released. After days of eating rats, just when he thinks he is about to die, the Dark Man rescues him under the condition that Lloyd fights on his side.
Meet the One and Only: Trashcan Man
Singing a Larry Underwood song and roaming around an Indiana industrial plant, Trash (Matt Frewer) is a reckless man with a history of arson. A lot happens to this guy in a short amount of time: he blows up an oil tank, talks to a crow, and ultimately gives his soul to Flagg.
The Remaining Motley Crew
Stu Redman has made his way from Texas to Massachusetts. Rifle in hand and backpack in tow, he sneaks up on an elderly man, who we discover to be Glenn Bateman (Ray Walston) joyfully painting with his dog as if 99% of humanity didn’t just go extinct. Frannie and Harold eventually meet up with them and Stu has a dream of Mother Abagail, who reveals her plans to go to Boulder, Colorado.
Nick Andros arrives Oklahoma City and meets Tom Cullen and Julie Lawry. After things with Julie go awry, Tom and Nick ditch her and head to Nebraska to finally meet the woman they’ve been dreaming about.
In the time that Mother Abagail gathers her people, Trashcan Man makes his way to Vegas to meet Flagg. The city is a barren wasteland with slot machines scattered along the strip and stale bodies spooling out of limousines. Casinos once filled with customers and ringing sounds of fake winnings are now as silent and empty as the desert in which they reside. It’s time to prepare for The Stand.
Episode two of The Stand is less exciting than “The Plague”, but its bizarre storyline and cheesy acting are fun to watch. More characters are introduced, everyone lays out their plans, and Jeremy Sheridan’s Randall Flagg has the makings of an evil southern Fabio (and no, I don’t think that’s a good thing).
Julie is, without a doubt, my favorite part of “The Dreams.” She is ridiculous and cruel and terrible, but wildly entertaining. A much-needed comic relief, let’s hope we see more of her.
One precaution for your day: the apocalypse literally makes everybody horny as hell. Do with that what you will.
“The Dreams” gets 3 Cthulhu.(3 / 5)
Until Part 3, check out what else we’re watching here.
All photos from YouTube.