If you’d like to catch up on last week’s recap of Stephen King’s The Stand on CBS All Access before “The Walk,” you can do so here.
The cold open of “The Walk” brings us back to the Trashcan Man (Ezra Miller), who has uncovered a nuclear missile silo. He cuts the warhead off the missile and then loads it onto a buggy, in spite of the warnings of his Geiger counter. Then, the opening title card.
The Stand – “The Walk”
From there, we see Harold Lauder (Owen Teague) and Nadine Cross (Amber Heard) as they detonate the bomb from the amphitheater above Boulder. After his little avowal that he’s doing this of his own free will, Lauder makes a joke over the radio (although I kind of think the walkie on the other end isn’t working any more).
But Lauder’s mood quickly sours, and he tells Cross not to touch him any more, now that Flagg has what he wanted and the Boulder Free Zone is no more. Lauder says that Flagg will “give him” a woman, and Cross will go to Flagg, before saying he wants to get on the road. Cross doesn’t seem that pleased with the arrangement.
Elsewhere, the residents of the Boulder Free Zone are recieving treatment for the injuries that they sustained when the bomb was detonated at Mother Abagail’s home. Larry Underwood (Jovan Adepo) talks with Glen Bateman (Greg Kinnear), confirming that Frannie (Odessa Young) and the baby are uninjured.
Bateman confirms that Lauder built the bomb and Cross helped place it.
Meanwhile, Ray Brentner (Irene Bedard) is sitting beside Mother Abagail (Whoopi Goldberg) when the latter awakes and says that she needs everyone beside her immediately. Stu Redman (James Mardsen) wakes Frannie, and she immediately agrees to go to Abagail in spite of her injuries.
Abagail tells them that she has failed because she has wavered in her faith. She says that she thought the late Nick would lead them, but now it must be Stu who will lead them west, to New Vegas.
Abagail tells them God wants them to undertake the journey immediately, even though one of them will fall. She says that Frannie is not to go on the journey. And then she repeats the lines that we heard her say over the cold open of the first episode. Then she dies.
On the road to New Vegas
As they ride their motorcycles on the road to New Vegas, Cross taunts Lauder by speeding up. Then she decelerates as they approach a sharp turn… and Lauder goes over the edge, impaling himself on some branches below. He pleads with Cross to throw him a rope, but she tells him its better this way – then says that he can finish it himself, if he’s brave.
Back in Boulder, a dejected Goldsmith asks Redman how long it will take them to walk to Vegas, and Redman estimates they’ll arrive at the end of February, around the same time as the baby is due. Goldsmith says that she thinks Abagail did speak for God, and that the people in the BFZ are just pieces for him to play with, while the people in Vegas are the pieces for the other side.
Redman laments that he didn’t listen to Goldsmith about Lauder, and then swears that he’ll try to return. Underwood gives his guitar to Joe before leaving Boulder. Then Brentner, Underwood, Redman, Bateman, and Kojak gather to have their picture taken by Goldsmith before they leave Boulder, discussing logistics as they go.
Lauder is still bleeding to death. He eats a few bites of a Payday bar and then pulls out a notebook.
Meanwhile, the five characters from the BFZ continue their journey.
We return to Lauder to find him even more poorly off. He puts aside his notebook and looks up at a vulture before shooting himself in the head.
Then we get a Lord of the Rings style montage of the five BFZ on their journey, watched by crows the whole way. They pass a billboard that used to say “The Lamb’s Reward is the Laughter of His Children,” but which has been altered to read “The Lamb’s Reward is the Slaughter of His Children,” along with the addition of red crosses to the advert’s picture of a field.
The BFZ party comes upon a trail of Payday bars leads to an overturned motorcycle, which then leads to Lauder’s corpse. Underwood insists that they not leave Lauder’s body uncovered, and works his way down the hill towards the corpse. He finds Lauder’s notebook, which isn’t exactly repentant, but which affirms that Lauder acted out of his own free will… and out of a lifelong spirit of cowardace. Underwood covers the body with his leather jacket and then leaves it behind.
Cross is traveling through the desert on her motorcycle when she stops, believing that she sees Flagg – but he appears to be a mirage. Nevertheless, she finds a trail of white rose petals that leads to a red carpet. Soon she finds herself within Flagg’s penthouse.
Flagg (Alexander Skarsgård) is wearing the white rose on his lapel and drinking (surprise, surprise) a glass of milk. Flagg greets Cross and she tells him that Lauder didn’t make it. Flagg says that Lauder was never meant to “ascend to Olympus,” and that his purpose had been served – unlike Cross.
Flagg and Cross begin making out, and Flagg remarks that Cross kept herself “pure” for him, and now she gets to be his wife. Then they bang, which seems to start off passionate but then becomes horrifying, as Flagg is replaced with a Mummy-style CGI monster. Hey, I’m not here to kinkshame, but Cross does not seem into it.
The Walk… some more
The five characters from the BFZ are still walking. They reach a point at which the highway is interrupted by a long chasm. All five of them make it down, and then Kojak and Underwood have made it back up on the other side… but the must is pretty tense. Brentner makes it, and then Bateman slide back down but it still seems okay.
Redman reaches the top and remarks that there’s nothing to it… before the edge crumbles away. Redman tumbles down the hill, breaking his leg in the process. His friends rush to his side and help him pull his leg into place. The idea of camping there is put forward but Redman says that Abagail knew this would happen – one of them would “fall.” He insists they go on without him.
This leads to an allusion to the 23rd Psalm: “Yeah, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Redman makes Underwood recite the words, and mean it, and then tells him that he’s in charge now. Bateman leaves Redman with some pills that can either help with the pain or, at the proper dosage, provide release.
Meanwhile, Cross seems to have ascended to a new level after consummating her relationship with Flagg. The couple gets into a car and heads toward Vegas.
The Walk: Long
At the bottom of the ditch, Redman isn’t doing well. He hears barking and Kojak appears at the edge above him.
Elsewhere, Bateman is calling for Kojak. Then, they hear honking , and an incongruous limousine arrives. Out of the back appears Lloyd Henreid (Nat Wolff), in his now-characteristically flamboyant garb. Henreid tells them that Flagg told him when they’d be coming out of the canyon to the minute, remarking that it’s a crazy world.
The limo arrives in New Vegas, which is decorated with banners of Flagg and crucified bodies. They pass prisoners being forced to transform the statue in front of Ceaser’s Palace into the likeness of Flagg.
A broadcast of Flagg’s voice, set to the sound of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” states that they won’t tolerate whiners, and declares that the old ways didn’t work. They pass a beating that’s taking place on the street.
At the Inferno, Flagg hovers above the floor in his penthouse as Cross looks on. Cross, who now appears to be visibly pregnant, greets Bateman, Underwood, and Brentner as they arrive at the lobby of the Inferno – all while “Baby Can You Dig Your Man” plays in the background.
New episodes of The Stand on CBS All Access are available for streaming on Thursdays.