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‘The Stand’ Episode 8 Review: The Self-Titled Episode is Jammed with Changes from the Book

The Stand Episode 8
Photo Credit: CBS

I was fully prepared for the final episode of this mini-series to be called “The Stand,” but here we are, one week away from finality, and we get the titular episode. That said, what we have here with The Stand Episode 8 is an episode so jam-packed with changes to the book, it would be impossible to not spoil everything without a sense of vagueness. Fans of the book will probably guess what’s coming, but those expectations will always be altered due to Stephen King helping rewrite the ending for a more solid finality. If you’re wondering what the Hell I’m talking about, please, constant reader, continue this favorable review and then immediately watch this episode.

“The Stand” details exactly that: the stand that good takes vs. evil. When we last saw our heroes from The Boulder Free Zone, they were captured in Vegas, attempting a coup to overthrow Flagg’s attempt at a further apocalypse. Larry, Glen, and Ray all have respectable moments here, sure they are headed to certain peril. There is a lot of humility to be seen, as each man revels in the life they lived.

Speaking of humility, we get some tender moments with Nadine as well. I’m on record saying I’m not a huge fan of Amber Heard’s acting, but she’s best on this show, switching from gentle to evil Nadine in a flash. Her sense of danger (both for others and herself) is something to behold and comes to a head in glorious fashion. Little moments between her and Larry are especially beautiful. Full kudos to both actors involved.

What’s really telling here, however, are the moments of dissent in beautiful and luxurious Las Vegas. Lloyd ends up going just a wee bit crazy, and the crowd begins to turn on him and Flagg, most notably after Flagg is seen awkwardly descending from his tower. Yes, the Dark Man is losing a good portion of his luster, his power that he showed off to reign over these people. After a few unwarranted murders, the crowd begins to turn on them both, showering us with an interpretation of Spartacus.

Then … The Stand Episode 8 ends (I promised that I would be vague) because telling you anything more would spoil so much. I can see many viewers wondering: what now? And that’s the beauty of this next episode. It’s completely new, something that hasn’t been put down on the page for the past 40-plus years. Stephen King has a new coda for us, something even fans of the book will have to wait for, and that is just spectacular. “The Stand” is a finale in a way, and it’s a damn good one at that. The tribulations that I felt through the weeks watching all led to this, and will continue to lead to one more week of uncertainty, something we would all feel living in this world.

The Stand Episode 8, ‘The Stand’ is now streaming on CBS All Access.



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