Another episode of the Stephen King epic, another episode of doing the time warp to and from and back again.
It remains annoying.
But, at least by the time The Stand Season 1 Episode 3 ended, the full team working on behalf of Mother Abigail was in place, and we knew a little bit about each of them.
Mother Abigail surrounds herself with good-hearted souls, and in our first actual encounter with her out and about, it makes sense why. She's a curmudgeon.
It's pretty clear that she doesn't have the appropriate bedside manner to deal with everything herself, so she's appointed others to do it for her. Even within that set of appointees are appointees.
It must be kind of exasperating for those involved who have real-world experience to be subjected to the whims of the supernatural.
But they've come so far into their new world that it shouldn't give them a moment's hesitation. Still, Glen tried pushing common sense in a supernatural situation and got chastised for it.
Nope, their world is nothing like the one they lived in pre-virus. The post-virus apocalyptic landscape is good versus evil with supernatural forces at the helm. I guess after watching everyone you know drop dead, it's not such a shock.
Many people met up in the streets on the way to Boulder since Harold was spraypainting messages the entire way. Even doing that, he was still surprised when they came across Stu and made Frannie choose between himself and Dimples.
Jealousy will likely be the key to Flagg using him as the weapon to end Mother Abigail and her five puppets, as Flagg called them. But is there anything other than jealousy to Flagg's reign of terror?
Not really. When you need others' adoration to feel successful, you've got a problem, and Flagg has a problem or two in that area.
If you didn't figure it out with the quick introduction to Nadine during The Stand Season 1 Episode 2, now you know that she's Flagg's eye in Boulder. Through her story, we learn this devastation has been in progress long before the virus hit.
Nadine was only a little girl when she first discovered she was meant to be a queen. By now, she's horny AF and wants to be in Flagg's arms, but he's got other plans for her.
And if she' hasn't learned by now that Flagg only uses without any significant reward, well, then she deserves her fate.
Nick, on the other hand, is as good as they come. Deaf and dumb, he had difficulties with losers who believed he was dissing them when he didn't acknowledge their greatness when he just didn't hear them.
How insecure do you have to be to get triggered by a perceived slight? That's a redundant question, of course, because in 2020, people expect you to put their feelings above all else. See how much good it does?
Nick goes with his heart and does what's right. He was beaten within an inch of his life by that toad with the signet ring, but when the guy was suffering, Nick turned the other cheek and comforted a dying man who sure as hell didn't deserve it.
When Flagg sent the crucified man to Boulder with his message of doom and gloom (who doesn't love messages of doom and gloom?), Stu and Larry joked about the next coming of Jesus.
Stu: Jesus Christ.
Larry: Wouldn't that be nice.
Stu: Someone crucified this man, Larry.
The reality is that Nick is probably about as close to a savior as they'll ever see. Mother Abigail might pull the strings, but choosing Nick as her voice, she knew exactly what she was doing.
We need more people like Nick in our lives.
Even with his fine temperament, he found it tough to get through to M O O N spells Tom Cullen. It's funny the things you remember from books read long ago, but Tom's M O O N shtick is one that sticks.
Tom is significant in the book, so his presence is something to look forward to as The Stand continues. At least, that's the hope.
Many of the book characters don't seem present in this adaptation, assumedly because there isn't enough time to deal with them all. Three groups of travelers arrived in Boulder at different times, and by the time they go there, a lot was fleshed out.
Since we're skipping here and that, it seems like that's done to hone in on the more significant characters at the expense of some of the lesser characters. It may change the story to some degree, but I know at least one of those characters has yet to be introduced but has been cast.
The title of this episode, "Blank Page," indicates that they're starting from scratch after the plague. Do you think getting a fresh start will change the way they've done things in the past? Or will old habits die hard, with the Boulder Free Zone beginning to look much like society they've always known?
Glen and Stu discussed it, and Glen is likely right. People have patterns, and when they form groups, the inevitable happens. Too bad that's not good news.
If you're new to the series, is the theme of good versus evil hitting its mark? Have the characters on the respective teams been easy to spot, or have there been surprises along the way?
Drop down into the comments and share your thoughts on the limited series so far.
M O O N spells discussion, so let's have one!
PS: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
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, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.