The fourth episode of The Stand debuted on CBS All Access Thursday and moved the story forward a great deal with the introduction of a couple of new, but key, characters, as well as advanced Randall Flagg's plot against Mother Abagail and the Boulder Free Zone. While the nine-part limited series is largely a faithful adaptation of Stephen King's epic novel of the same name, this episode also contained some significant differences from the page to the screen and we're breaking down some of the major ones we spotted as the story deepens.
Warning: spoilers ahead for the fourth episode of The Stand, "The House of the Dead", below. If you haven't seen the episode or are unfamiliar with King's novel, now would be a good time to turn back.
This week, viewers see Nadine begin to fulfill the task given to her by Randall Flagg by recruiting Harold to his cause. At the same time, the episode also sees the introduction of Dayna Jurgens as well as how she comes to be part of the group in Boulder as well as Julie Lawry, a character who will factor in a bit later in the story. The episode more fully reveals Nadine's role in things, and begins to touch on some of the complexity of the character, something Heard previously spoke about with ComicBook.com
"What I think is so interesting about Nadine is you don't know how to define her. No one knows how to define her, probably least of all herself," Heard said. "She is struggling with a dark past, a lot of secrets, and a very very complicated dynamic with a supernatural force. And while she is presented with for the first time perhaps love and humanity in the form of the relationship she's been able to form since meeting Larry and coming into the Boulder Free Zone, she's ultimately a tragic character in that you realize she's being presented with this reality almost too late. She's almost discovering this on the last step of a very long path and there's something tragic and I don't know, heartbreaking about that because we see that, despite her complications, she ultimately is a lonely person who is reaching out for connections and love and for a character that's only motivated by that love.'
Heard continued, "And it's kind of heartbreaking when she meets the end she does and I don't want to give anything away, but Nadine is my favorite character in this, certainly one of the best female roles I have read or met and that I know of in that she is not easy to define as a bad guy or a good guy. She's complicated and she's ultimately a tragic character."
So, how did the series change things up as compared to the book in "The House of the Dead"? Read on for the biggest changes we spotted but keep in mind that this adaptation of The Stand is based upon The Complete and Uncut Edition of the book so that's the baseline we're using for our comparison.
Nadine and Harold
In the book, Nadine (Amber Heard) seduces Harold (Owen Teague) at the behest of Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgaard) only after she makes a last-ditch attempt to free herself from the Dark Man by begging Larry (Jovan Adepo) to sleep with her and take her virginity. That is absent here. Instead, the episode sees Nadine approach Harold immediately after the town hall meeting, setting into motion the dark plans for the Boulder Free Zone.prevnext
The Highway Scene
In the episode, Frannie (Odessa Young) and Harold come upon what they believe to be truck whose driver has died only for it to instead be a trap. The man in the truck is alive and well and has been essentially kidnapping women to keep as sexual slaves and he has the same intent for Frannie. Harold is beaten by the man, who is about to sexually assault Frannie when Stu (James Marsden) and Glenn (Greg Kinnear) show up.
While the episode's version of things is harrowing, in the book it is far worse. In the book. Frannie and Harold are already travelling with Stu and Glenn when they come across the trap and it isn't just one man, but four. There are also eight female slaves in what is referred to as the "zoo". The chapter is graphic, both in its depiction of the violence that ensues as well as the horrors the captive women have been enduring. The same in both the book and the series? This is how Dayna Jurgens (Natalie Martinez) joins the group.prevnext
The episode also introduces viewers to Julie Lawry (Katherine McNamara) though her introduction is a bit different than it is in the book. In the book. Nick (Henry Zaga) encounters Julie in a Rexall drugstore in Pratt, Kansas and has sex with her before realizing she's a terrible person. The book also sees her terrorize Tom (Brad William Henke) by telling him the Pepto-Bismol Nick brings him is poisoned. Nick and Tom ultimately leave Julie behind, though she shoots at them and destroys their bikes and supplies before that.
In the episode, Julie finds Nick in a furniture warehouse and tries to seduce him, though she's interrupted by Tom. In the episode, Julie's true colors show themselves a bit sooner as she's verbally cruel to Tom, prompting them to leave her behind. She chases them out of the warehouse by shooting at them, though they escape unharmed.prevnext
Mother Abagail (and how Nick and Tom find her)
Perhaps the biggest shift in this episode is Mother Abagail and how Nick and Tom find her.
In the book, Mother Abagail (Whoopi Goldberg) is living in her own home on a farm in Hemingford Home, Nebraska and Nick and Tom along with several others -- Nick and Tom encounter Ralph Brentner (Ray in the series, played by Irene Bedard) after leaving Pratt -- arrive at her homestead where she has a hot meal waiting for them.
The series completely reimagines things. Upon escaping from Julie, Tom and Nick take brief respite in a bus shelter. As we saw in the warehouse, they had made it to Colorado but couldn't locate Hemingford Home. As it turns out, Hemingford Home isn't a town. It's actually a senior living community and they spot an advertisement for it in the bus shelter. They find Mother Abagail in that community, the lone survivor, talking to her dead friends as she expects time has run out for anyone to find her. Tom and Nick walk in just then, having finally located her.prevnext
This specific scene doesn't appear in the book at all. In the episode, Nadine and Harold break into a shed full of explosives while the rest of the Boulder Free Zone are at the lighting ceremony -- the electricity is being turned back on in town at long last. It's an ominous scene, one that hints at what's to come with Harold and Nadine's plans to kill at Flagg's behest.prevnext
Another major difference between the book and the episode is how Teddy Weizak dies. In the book, Teddy dies in the explosion Harold and Nadine set up to kill the Boulder leadership. In the episode, Harold and Nadine are still responsible for his death, but it's a bit more tragic. Teddy is actively out making sure that the restored electricity doesn't cause any fires in abandoned homes when he comes across Nadine and Harold. Teddy has become a friend of sorts to Harold and it looks for a moment that things are fine and that Teddy isn't overly suspicious, Nadine shoots him to death just the same. There's no going back now.prev