‘The Stand’ Star Odessa Young: Episode 6 Ending Had to Match the ‘Tragic’ Consequences
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Episode 6 of The Stand, “The Vigil.”]
In the previous episode, Frannie (Odessa Young) was growing increasingly suspicious of her travel partner, Harold (Owen Teague). In Episode 6, “The Vigil,” airing January 21, she uncovers the truth, but too late, and has no time to warn the rest of Boulder that he and Nadine (Amber Heard) — working for Randall Flagg (Alexander Skarsgård) — have planted a bomb in Mother Abagail’s (Whoopi Goldberg) house. It’s unclear how many the blast injures, but it kills at least one, committee member Nick (Henry Zaga).
TV Insider chats with Young about shooting the episode, plus she teases what comes next.
How does Boulder recover after the bomb?
Odessa Young: Frannie has to grapple with the fact she probably could’ve stopped this from happening. She has a lot of regrets — specifically not being more attentive to Harold’s needs as opposed to being repulsed by his creepiness. She learns a pretty important lesson in empathy. Aside from that, they have to pick up and go back to what they were doing before.
What does it mean to the committee and to Boulder to have lost Nick?
It makes everything a bit more serious. They don’t know what’s happened to the spies they sent off in Episode 4. For all they know, they could be alive and fulfilling their jobs. But when Nick dies, it’s a shock to the system and they realize this thing they’re doing is real and in order to be leaders, you have to deal with grief and sacrifice. They realize this Dark Man is a force to be contended with.
Frannie and Stu’s relationship is a bright light.
I really love their relationship because it’s based on mutual respect and mutual necessity for each other, and stability. They both share the same values in terms of how they believe people need to be good and they’re probably the two people most ready for a family. Frannie’s baby is not Stu’s biologically, but he really steps up. The romance is there, but it’s not because of romance that they’re together.
Frannie’s scenes have mostly been with Harold and Stu. Does that change?
A lot changes in the final three episodes. They’re some of the most action-packed episodes I’ve ever heard of in television. This book is so big and there was so much to fit in. Everything changes but also everything becomes more solid. People get affirmed in ways that I find really interesting.
The book spends more time in Frannie’s head than the series has. Are there any other major changes for her you can tease?
Not so much major changes, but something that’s really exciting to me is the last episode was written by King himself, who has always expressed regret at the original ending of the novel and how it didn’t feel to him like Frannie got to, as he puts it, make her stand.
What was it like filming in Harold’s basement?
When Owen and I received the script, we knew that scene was going to be the biggest and most important scene for Harold and Frannie because it distills the entire theme of the show, in my mind, into this very real-world consequence for these two people. We worked really closely with [executive producers] Benjamin [Cavell] and Taylor [Elmore] and went back and forth for a really long time just to get it the most truthful that we possibly could. It’s hard to say everything you need to say. Ben, Taylor, and all of the other writers did a magnificent job at distilling these ideas.
By the time we got around to shooting it, Owen and I were immediately invested because of how much work we put into it. We didn’t need a rehearsal. It was a pretty intense day filming, but that’s the joy of the job. We do it for those moments where you feel like something you’re doing, a scene you’re doing, the words you’re saying, can be significant and meaningful to people who need them at that time.
And that final scene with the bomb?
That was fun. I hadn’t done an explosion scene before. We shot it about three times on three different days because we had to use different cameras. The first day was on location — there was a big flash of light and we mimed the explosion. There were stunt doubles around us who were attached to wires and harnesses and were flying through the air and collapsing or running. It was the first thing I’d done that felt close to an action movie.
I love how it turned out. Because of the consequences of the explosion itself are so tragic, the explosion needed to be something that was really memorable and shocking.
The Stand, Thursdays, CBS All Access