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The Stand Finale Review: ‘The Circle Closes’ Ties a Bow to What’ll Become an Underrated Gem

The Stand Finale
Photo Credit: Robert Falconer/CBS

Minor spoilers for The Stand Finale ‘The Circle Closes’ to follow

We’ve made it. A long nine weeks since Captain Trips made its way into our living rooms, The Stand finale has arrived, something completely fresh to even the most diehard of The Stand fans. A coda newly-written by King himself was always going to divide fans of the book, wondering why he would change his masterpiece. Luckily, we get a very subdued but worthy finale to the show.

After the explosive pre-finale that was “The Stand” (aptly titled, of course), we find Frannie giving birth to her new baby girl, Abigail. She’s convinced that her fellow committee members, Larry, Glenn, Ray, and Stu have all perished, along with The Dark Man (who little Joe said was gone at the tail end of last week’s episode). Her eventual reunion with Stu (and Tom, praise!) is truly beautiful, as two people who had no connection together seven months prior, find love through tumultuous times. And since this is television, we need to add the trope of a newborn baby!

This episode oddly enough reminded me of the finale of the 2010 video game Red Dead Redemption. A whole lot of nothing happens, until something does. I’m not saying that is a bad thing, as we see the town of Boulder finally thriving, people living, being happy in an established town that no one thought possible. Fran and Stu have the bright idea to leave Boulder and travel back to Fran’s old stomping grounds of Maine. Yes, we get a road trip! Stu and Fran take a small break in Nebraska with Glen’s old dog and their daughter. This is where things get interesting.

I’m just going to spoil last week’s episode, but it should come as no surprise that Flagg is dead. In fact, pretty much every main character aside from Fran, Stu, and Tom are. Yet we get Flagg here, as well as Mother Abigail, who both appear to Fran one last time as apparitions of good and evil, one “promising” one thing, while the other guarantees another. It’s a nice cherry on top of the great and horrible things that have happened to them.

Speaking of Abigail, we also get a few moments with a young Abigail, in the form of a pre-teen who helps Stu and Fran out at times. It can be safely assumed it is her based on her looks and the manner in which she speaks. This was a fun little nod and a necessary inclusion to save Fran, who had fallen down a well in an attempt to get water. The most important thing to take away from this is that, even in death, Abigail and Flagg are still out there somewhere, balancing the other with good and evil.

The Stand as a whole has had its ups and downs. The highs have been really high, and luckily the lows have been easy to gloss over. This was a very good show that deviated from the book when needed, capped off with an impressive and beautiful finale. If anyone had any reservations about this show, please give it a go if you have CBS All-Access or when it inevitably comes to home media.

The Stand Finale is now streaming on CBS All Access and will be on Paramount+ in March.


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