DISCLAIMER: The following contains spoilers galore for the NOS4A2 episode “The Graveyard of What Might Be.” You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, horror fans! NOS4A2 continued chugging along on the spooky train with its second installment. Vic McQueen, locator extraordinaire, met Maggie the medium. However, as per most characters who are mediums, Vic was left with vague outlines and oodles of questions. Meanwhile, Manx enlisted Bing the janitor/mechanic as his new lackey. Here’s hoping he doesn’t chuck this one out of his Rolls Royce Wraith. Manx finally arrived in Haverhill in pursuit of The Shorter Way, and it’s only a matter of time before he crosses paths with Vic.
Alright, ready to delve into “The Graveyard of What Might Be?” Let’s get to it!
We open with Bing (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson) penning a letter to the proprietor of Christmasland. He believes he encompasses the spirit of Christmas, and I’d take working in a Christmas store over janitorial work any day of the week. Of course, we know that Charlie Manx is whisking innocent children away to Christmasland for nefarious purposes. Bing leaves the comfort of his mom’s basement to check in on his mother. However, she’s wrapped in the arms of a mysterious man, dancing away to some holiday tunes. Well, not really dancing – we see she’s actually dead. Bing, utterly taken aback, retreats to the safety of the basement. That’s where he runs into young Daniel (Asher Miles Fallica), the boy from Here, Iowa. Daniel, who’s now a monstrous agent for Manx, twists Bing’s arm.
Now, Bing wakes up in a sweat, relieved it was only a nightmare. Bing stares out his window at the moon hanging high in the sky. The moon has a snarling face. Yes, a face. Bing needs to lay off the psychedelics.
Later, we see Vic (Ashleigh Cummings) at her dad’s mistress’ house. Chris (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) is trying to convince Vic to stay. That is, until Vic’s mother Linda (Virginia Kull) arrives on the scene to whisk her daughter away. Linda is inebriated, and she starts arguing with Chris. Vic, fed up with their incessant fighting, hops on her motorcycle to get away from it all.
Next, Bing is hard at work at his other job – Sochempharm. He is drawn outside by an inexplicable force. We see Charlie Manx (Zachary Quinto) pull up in his Wraith. Manx looks quite youthful here, with spiky teeth to boot. Well, he is a vampire, after all. He inquires as to where The Shorter Way is located, and Bing eagerly volunteers to show him. He clambers into the Wraith with Manx. Manx, in return, vows to take Bing with him to Christmasland.
Meanwhile, Vic and her friend are riding their bikes through the woods. She pulls up to The Shorter Way bridge and proceeds to speed through it. Vic emerges with a tattered stuffed bunny in tow. It belonged her friend, but he thought it was lost for good. However, her friend is incapable of seeing the bridge, and in turn it vanishes for Vic.
Later, Maggie (Jahkara Smith) is impatiently waiting for the sheriff to return. He reveals that parts of a 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith were spotted in a shop in Nebraska. The duo arrive at said shop and interview an elderly woman within. She describes the man who had his car repaired at her shop thirty years ago. Mystery man, who is clearly Manx, kidnapped her son and grandson. To this day, she still doesn’t know where they are. She also mentions the Wraith’s special abilities, and how it could essentially fix itself. Maggie is inclined to believe this woman, but the sheriff…not so much.
Then, we see Vic and Linda on a housecleaning job. They head to a diner for some mother/daughter time. Vic packs her belongings after said diner visit, intent on living with Chris. Linda, naturally, is not thrilled. Vic arrives at Chris’ current residence. She finds Chris and his mistress amid some sexy-half-naked-drinking-in-a-kiddie-pool time. Awkward.
Later, Manx and Bing are driving through a snowstorm. Bing’s complexion is pallid, with dark circles resting underneath his eyes. Manx is feeding off Bing’s childlike enthusiasm. Manx promises they’re almost to Christmasland.
Meanwhile, Linda arrives to pick up Vic again. She falls into another drunken argument with Chris. Vic speeds away on her motorcycle, forging ahead through the dark. She arrives, once again, at The Shorter Way bridge. Vic races through the tunnel, winding up in Here, Iowa. Maggie is there waiting for her. She helps Vic to her feet and sees to her injuries sequestered within the town library. Maggie reveals that she’s a medium, and she knows of Vic’s supernatural abilities. She knew that Vic was coming. Maggie utilizes her tiles as proof of her psychic abilities. She also explains that Vic’s searing eye pain is essentially “collateral damage” for using her gift.
Now, Maggie brings up the case of Daniel Moore, the missing boy. Maggie’s tiles revealed to her that Vic would be the one to locate him. After all, she’s an expert at finding things. Vic departs, refusing to believe Maggie’s words and lives in denial of her own gifts. Too many questions and not enough answers.
Later, Manx reveals “The Graveyard of What Might Be” to Bing. It’s a cemetery blanketed with snow. We see children frozen beneath each tombstone, living in an eternal icy prison. Manx explains that his life’s goal is to preserve the innocence of children, to save them from their corrupting parents. Bing is horrified by this display, but he vows to aid Manx in his mission to salvage the children of the world. We see shots of Vic intermingled between shots of Manx divulging his mission. Their connection is stronger than ever since Manx is now in her neck of the woods. Well, that and Vic continuously has visions of his face. It’s only a matter of time until they meet.
Now, NOS4A2 has been slow going for me. The story is one rife with originality, but it feels bogged down by the writing. What little glimpses of horror we’ve witnessed weren’t enough to satiate my appetite for the macabre. However, Cummings and Quinto are terrific, managing to wriggle free from the sub par writing and shine as two distinct, multi-faceted characters. Manx is an interesting antagonist with a reasonable life mission – the execution is the truly villainous part. Typically I give new shows four episodes to really find their footing and carve their niche. I have hope that NOS4A2 will rise to the occasion.
Do you think Manx and Vic will meet in the third episode? Will we see Christmasland soon? Will Vic decide to take up arms in the hunt for Daniel Moore? Join me next week as I continue to recap NOS4A2, here on Geek Girl Authority.
NOS4A2 airs Sundays at 10pm on your AMC affiliate.
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