05th Jan2021

‘The Stand 1×02: Pocket Saviour’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: James Marsden, Odessa Young, Owen Teague, Whoopi Goldberg, Alexander Skarsgard | Created by Josh Boone, Benjamin Cavell

It is fair to say that the new version of The Stand still has the shadow of the original mini-series to escape from. This week we get introduced to some of the other characters fans will have been waiting for, but as we get used to the new structure, how well does it stand up that expectations?

In this episode we are introduced to the flashbacks of Larry Underwood (Jovan Adepo) and Lloyd Henried (Nat Wolff). Along with these characters we are also introduced to the more mysterious Nadine Cross (Amber Heard) who fans of The Stand will know, and understand why she is so mysterious.

What I noticed about this episode of The Stand was the slowdown is starting to set in. The first episode had a lot of things to introduce to the story, and had to set the tone for the story. Now it feels we are in the familiar territory of learning of new characters and finding out how they are placed in the world.

I found it interesting that Larry Underwood felt to be one of the most fleshed out characters so far, and a lot of this comes from the performance of Jovan Adepo. Sure, Larry is a creep and we see just how low he was in the flashbacks. It’s no surprise that Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgard) has his eyes on him. It’s obvious that there will be more flashbacks to Underwood’s past though, as the modern day Larry feels different, though the fact he arrives with Nadine shows the conflict in the character.

In the Mick Garris mini-series Lloyd Henried was played by Miguel Ferrer, and just as it’s hard to not see Mother Abigail as Ruby Dee, it’s hard to not see Ferrer as Lloyd. To Nat Wolff’s credit though, Lloyd is already a complicated character, if a little more dorky than I’m used to. He has that feeling of a guy in the wrong place who had to worst lucky, and a lot like Larry you feel he could fit on both sides of “The Stand”. Even this early on, he just seems like a nice guy that Flagg has connected to.

While Nadine was introduced, it doesn’t really feel like much can be said about the character. She’s just there, and in truth doesn’t offer much to the story (for now). I won’t say much about her character as it would be possible spoilers for what is to come.

This is only the second episode of The Stand, so it’s too soon to really say if the show will be a success or not. There are some very good signs, especially with Skarsgard’s version of The Dark Man, and the characters for the most part are well put together and are living up to what they need to be to make the story work.

For fans of the book and earlier mini-series we are seeing the introduction of much loved characters, and yes the ones we hate too. The flashback method of telling the story may not be for everybody, and in some ways is a little testing, especially for how heavy the story will become. For now though, the signs are positive, now to just see where the story leads and if it can still live up to the hype.

**** 4/5

The Stand episode two will debut on StarzPlay in the UK on January 10th 2021.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek

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