The momentum of Spike TV’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Mist seemed to stall with episode 5 as it focused on the relationship between Kevin (Morgan Spector) and his doomed brother. Unfortunately, episode 6, “The Devil You KNow,” doesn’t quite turn the engine over to get things started again. The amnesiac Bryan’s encounter with the “real” Bryan is self-nullifying and provides no answers. Meanwhile, the other main characters spend the first half of the episode largely just obliviously wandering corridors. Alex (Gus Birney) and Eve (Alyssa Sutherland) stroll through the back rooms of the mall wondering (but not very hard) why Alex was spared by the monsters and a little girl wasn’t, completely oblivious to murderous looks cast at them by the dead girl’s mother. Meanwhile, Nathalie (Frances Conroy) wanders the back rooms of the church wondering if humans are a disease, oblivious to the machination of the priest and his assistant against her. Kevin wanders the back rooms of the hospital, oblivious (as is the audience) that the doctor who has been helpful up until now, is actually a murderous mad scientist. Then there is Mia (Danica Curcic) who wanders the back rooms of her own house, oblivious to how it is most certainly a trap.
The second half picks up with all of these characters facing peril for their inattentiveness. It has been endlessly teased that the Mist causes hallucinations and we finally see a payoff in this regard. The mad scientist has an entire theory about this and his exploration of it is ghoulish fun. With the episode’s cliffhanger it seems like the story might really be picking up again. It also makes the Mist feel like an actual threat once again instead of a mild hazard or nuisance that only kills you if you’re trying really hard to get killed by it.
“The Devil You Know” has some good thrills, but it takes a while to get there, and it is not fun watching all of the main characters act horror movie-dumb at the exact same time. An uneven episode like this one would be forgivable in a series with a higher episode count, but The Mist has maxed out its count of filler episodes if it intends to keep audiences interested for the remainder of its ten-episode run.