Spike TV’s new horror series The Mist premiered on June 22, 2017 with an episode that introduced the little town of Bridgeville and a handful of characters who’ll be facing the creatures that inhabit the creeping mist. Episode one begins with a soldier waking up in the forest, a spider crawling on his face and Rufus the dog watching over him. He’s confused and has no idea of his name or if the dog’s his. A quick check of his wallet informs him he’s Bryan Hunt (Okezie Morro), but his happiness over learning his name is short-lived as a mist is crawling toward him through the forest. Rufus doesn’t like it one bit, but runs off into it anyway. Bryan chases after him but pulls up short when he hears noises in the mist and then sees his dog’s been decapitated and hung from a tree. Bye, poor Rufus. We hardly knew ye.
The action transitions to Bridgeville Central High School where Eve Copeland (Vikings’ Alyssa Sutherland) is being disciplined for teaching sex education. She’s placed on administrative leave, something that doesn’t shock her daughter, Alex (Gus Birney), or her supportive husband, Kevin (Morgan Spector). He volunteers to take on another job since dealing with her loss of income is going to be tough, but Eve thinks he works too much as it is. He even volunteers to move which is a big sacrifice since he loves the town. (She doesn’t.)
Eve’s work situation isn’t enough to keep the family down and dad teases Alex about her newfound interest in the football team that stems from her attraction to quarterback Jay Heisel. Alex denies she’s interested and they drop the subject.
Talk about uncomfortable family dinners… Adrian (Russell Posner) keeps asking his parents if he can leave, but they won’t reply. Finally, his mom reminds him his dad “can’t hear him” when he’s wearing makeup.
Over at the high school football game, Adrian – having escaped the dinner from hell – and Alex debate oppression in the sport of football. Meanwhile, a woman is getting the crap beat out of her by a burly man who’s seeking information on a guy named Rob. She works her way loose and kills the aggressor with a pitchfork.
Back to Bryan, he’s running from the mist and heading into town while over at the football game Alex is upset her mom won’t let her go to a party with Jay (Luke Cosgrove). We also learn Kevin’s brother doesn’t think much of his sibling, and that Jay’s dad is a cop. And, it’s also revealed Eve’s the bad cop in the family while Kevin’s the good cop.
Although Eve’s not on board, Kevin secretly tells Alex she can go to the party after her mom’s asleep but she has to take Adrian with her. “No drinking. Back by midnight, okay?” says Kevin, and Alex smiles. Show of hands of those who don’t think this will end well.)
Alex and Adrian make it to the party and Adrian’s immediately bullied by one of the players because he’s gay. Jay steps in and calls his teammate off and apologizes for the guy’s behavior.
Bryan is out of his mind when he arrives at the police station, demanding help and claiming something in the mist killed his dog. When he tries to grab a gun, the cops take him down and place him in a cell. He continues to warn them something’s coming, but of course they don’t listen.
Mia (the pitchfork killer) enters a house looking for Mrs. Lambert. The current occupant doesn’t know Mia and reveals Mrs. Lambert died two months earlier, they couldn’t find her daughter, and all of her possessions are in storage.
Bright and early the next morning, Kevin checks on Alex but she’s not home. It’s 6am and Eve wakes up to join in the search for Alex. They find her crying in the backyard. She confesses she got very drunk at the party and remembers being helped upstairs and then blacked out. Eve can’t believe Kevin let Alex go to the party, but she tries to comfort her daughter. Alex then reveals when she came to she could feel what happened and found blood on the sheets. She apologizes to her mom and won’t let her dad touch her. She claims Adrian knows what happened and that Jay was responsible.
The cops finally talk to Bryan who still can’t remember any of his personal details. They slam him against the bars, notice his Arrowhead shoulder patch, and say they’re going to call the base to find out more about him.
Kevin and Alex arrive at the police station and tell Jay’s dad, Police Chief Connor Heisel (Darren Pettie), they need to speak to an officer – but not to him. Shortly thereafter, cops arrive at school and pick up Jay, letting him know (in front of his friends) he’s being investigated for sexual assault.
Kevin and Eve’s neighbor, Natalie Raven (Frances Conroy), is tending to her yard when she spots dozens of toads leaping from the lake up onto her grass. She then notices dozens of birds also flying overhead, away from some unseen threat.
Alex is examined by a doctor who tells Kevin there were signs of intercourse but not of any violence. She also reveals there were traces of Triazolam in her blood.
Adrian holds Alex on her bed, and she admits she can’t do anything – watch TV, listen to music, etc – because it will the first song or show she watched after the rape. Adrian admits he’s concerned everyone will believe Jay and think Alex is a liar.
Kevin and Eve have it out in the kitchen, with Eve angry she’s always been the bad cop. Their talk is interrupted when a rock sails through the window. Kevin runs outside as the car drives away, and he sees “whore” has been painted on the street outside their house.
Jay and his dad head to a lawyer, and Jay wonders why his dad believes he did it.
Catching up once again with the pitchfork killer, Mia (Danica Curcic) takes a pill in a motel room, clearly overwhelmed. She picks up a gun and then heads back to the house she visited earlier. This time she goes directly to the shed in the backyard. She digs around in the dirt inside the shed and finds a bag, but she’s stopped by the homeowner. Sirens are heard in the background as he looks into the bag which is full of money. She kicks him and escapes, but without the bag. She runs just a few yards and stops at Anna Lambert’s grave, which apparently is in the front yard or a park with steps of the Lambert house’s front door. The cops easily capture her and she’s taken to jail where she’s placed in a cell next to Bryan.
Natalie (the toad-watching neighbor) researches conspiracy theories online at the library, wondering why the frogs were in her yard. She’s a believer in conspiracies, but her husband isn’t and doesn’t want her doing any research.
Kevin pays a visit to the police station and wants to speak with Officer Pundik, but Pundik is out picking up Adrian. Speak of the devil, Adrian and Pundik (Kevin O’Grady) walk into the station at that exact moment. The Jay/Alex case suddenly takes a back burner when there’s sounds of a car crash outside the station. The cops and Kevin step outside and see mist is hovering over the town, obscuring everything more than a few blocks away.
Alex and Eve head out of town to get away from the gossip. Alex isn’t happy about it, but Eve says she’s doing it just to protect her. Alex then reveals she – and everyone in town – know that Eve was a slut growing up. (Seriously? This better not be the family we’re supposed to be rooting for to survive.) They stop at the mall so Eve can pick up a prescription for Valium while Alex waits in the car.
Back at the station, the cops and Kevin notice the mist is advancing steadily and moving against the wind. Kevin gets a call from Alex, asking him to go with them and he says he’ll meet up with them later. The cell phone call is dropped as the mist arrives and covers the sidewalk where the cops and Kevin are standing, dumbfounded.
Officer Pudnick stays outside to snap multiple selfies in the mist, making incredibly goofy faces and giving the thumbs up sign while Heisel and Kevin head back into the station. Bugs begin crawling over Pudnik’s body and he freaks out, slapping them away and screaming. Kevin and Heisel hear him yelling and return outside, and Heisel sees something in the mist that causes him to panic. He says they have to leave immediately, but Kevin takes the time to go back into the station to retrieve Adrian.
Over at the library, the mist has arrived and Natalie and her hubby decide to go ahead and ride their bikes home through it. They immediately become disoriented and can’t even locate their bikes. A man holding a gun emerges from the fog and asks if they’re real. Natalie says they are, but he shoots Natalie’s husband (we never even learned his name) in the head anyway, immediately killing him. The stranger apologizes and then kills himself.
Natalie screams and stumbles off through the mist. She makes her way to a church, obviously in shock.
Inside the police station, Bryan says there’s something in the mist that killed his dog. Mia wants to know what Kevin’s going to do, and Adrian voices his opinion that Mia should remain locked up. Bryan claims he’s only in jail because the cops thought he was crazy, but actually he was warning them about the mist. Mia plays on Kevin’s goodness, telling him he’ll never be able to live with himself if he leaves them behind to die. She promises to help him if he lets her out.
Officer Heisel doesn’t wait, freaking out and leaving Kevin and the others behind at the station.
Now it’s the mall’s turn to be covered in mist. Alex steps outside the car as the mist advances and is immediately pushed to the ground by a stranger who frantically runs past her.
Inside the mall, the electricity has gone out and a few people stare outside at the mist. Meanwhile, Alex spots a dead body on the ground and after her mom finds her in the mist, Alex says they have to get back inside.
Alex and Eve make their way back into the mall where, strangely, it appears people are going about their business as usual despite the lack of electricity and the mist. Alex tries to stop the mom who complained Eve was teaching sex ed from exiting the mall, but she doesn’t listen and steps outside with her son. They hear a scream and then the woman appears at the window with a torn up face before being yanked away by some unseen force.
Kevin takes a gun from the cabinet but refuses to give one to Mia. Pudnik stumbles into the station and he’s definitely been attacked. A bug crawls from his mouth as he tries to choke Kevin before being shot by Mia, who miraculously somehow has a gun she wasn’t supposed to have.
Inside the mall, people are beginning to realize this isn’t a normal shopping day. Eve assures Alex everything will be fine and that she’ll keep her safe. As they hug, Alex spots Jay sitting nearby.
The final scene shows the mist has completely taken over the town.
The Mist Episode One Review:
The first episode’s slow going and the mist doesn’t really make an appearance until 30+ minutes in. Episode one’s more of a family drama than a thriller, and unfortunately the family at the center of the action is not at all compelling. The introduction of a rape storyline in the first episode was jarring and felt gimmicky in a way. However, until episode two arrives it’s impossible to say if there’s a significant, necessary reason for its insertion into the plot. I’ll withhold judgement until episode two arrives, but at this point I’m rooting for the mist to wipe out the citizens of Bridgeville.
The Mist airs on Spike TV on Thursdays at 10pm ET/PT.