TV Club: A flashback-filled episode does nothing to help The Mist make sense

Using flashbacks in your story is a lot like doing drugs. Use them the wrong way and the entire trip gets muddled and confusing (Lost, for example); use them too much for all the wrong reasons and it leads to an abrupt, nauseating ending (like How I Met Your Mother). But utilized correctly (and responsibly, kids) a good flashback is an illuminating tool, a unique way to shed light on current day characters and stories by opening doors that were long closed. Think Mad Men‘s “Waldorf Stories” or The Simpsons‘ “The Way We Was.” On the other hand, The Mist’s fifth episode, “The Waiting Room,” is a rare, Heisenberg-strength strain of storytelling in which writers Amanda Segel and Christian Torpe used flashbacks to make everything in its modern day timeline make even less sense than it already did.

The main issue here is that the time we spend …

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