DISCLAIMER: This recap of the NOS4A2 episode “The Wraith” is rife with spoilers galore. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, horror fanatics! NOS4A2 continued its steady charge forward with this week’s installment. Slowly but surely the threads are weaving together. After slogging through a handful of rocky episodes, I believe NOS4A2 is finding its niche. The intricate mythology in addition to a top-notch performance by Ashleigh Cummings is enough for me to stay invested till the bitter end.
Alright, ready to delve into “The Wraith?” Let’s get to it.
We open with Vic (Ashleigh Cummings) phoning Maggie (Jahkara Smith) in a fugue state. We see Vic’s left eye is bleeding profusely. She’s still in shock after discovering Sharon Smith’s body. Maggie suggests Vic attempt to sleep it off – a good night’s rest can cure many ills. After the two disconnect, Vic promptly ignores Maggie’s sage advice and decides to channel her pain into art. She frantically crafts detailed paintings of Charlie Manx and of his 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith. Of course, we know she’s never laid eyes on Manx or his magical car, so that makes these intricate creations all the more astounding.
Suddenly, Chris (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and his girlfriend stumble upon Vic in the garage. We see her artwork haphazardly strewn across the floor. Chris is taken aback by his daughter’s peculiar behavior, especially considering she forwent sleep for a night of painting. At least she was up all night creating art, Chris. She could have been succumbing to the dangerous wiles of marijuana!
Later, Chris opens up about his struggles with PTSD after witnessing gruesome acts during his tenure in Kuwait. He encourages Vic to confide in him, citing that what happened to Sharon and Haley is beyond horrific. Vic reassures him that she’s perfectly fine, although we see her trying to fight back tears. Chris drops the subject.
Next, Chris drops Vic off at her mother’s (Virginia Kull) house to retrieve her bike. Linda chastises Vic for failing to take care of herself, and demands that her daughter pitch the bike altogether. We all know that owning a motorcycle is a gateway to joining a gang! Suddenly, a police officer named Detective Hutter (Ashley Romans) arrives and pulls Vic aside for questioning. She grills Vic on how the latter came to discover Sharon’s body in the first place. Naturally, Vic left some pertinent details out regarding her supernatural gift for fear that Hutter wouldn’t believe her. Hutter notices the glaring gaps in Vic’s story, and leaves the latter her card. You know, in case Vic feels like filling in the blanks.
Then, Vic returns to Chris’ home on her bike. She spots Tiffany (Jaime Neumann), Chris’ girlfriend, clearing up Vic’s artwork. Tiffany is frustrated at Vic for utilizing her property without permission. She’d saved a pretty penny for those supplies. Vic vows to pay Tiffany back. However, Tiffany reveals that the current living arrangement isn’t working out. Chris arrives on the scene, unknowingly stumbling into a tense situation. Vic asks Chris whether he feels she should be living with her mother. When Chris doesn’t supply an immediate answer, Vic storms off.
Meanwhile, Manx (Zachary Quinto) arrives at Bing’s (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson) house. Bing reveals his grave error (Get it?), and that Vic discovered Sharon’s body. Now, the police are on Bing’s tail. He apologizes for disappointing Manx. However, Manx realizes that body disposal is a difficult task. He urges Bing to acquiesce with the police’s demands for questioning. Create a plausible alibi. People like Vic will never understand that Manx’s work is vital for the well being of innocent children everywhere.
Next, we see Bing sitting with Detective Hutter. Bing recites his comings and goings of the previous evening as if he were reading a grocery list. He worked his two custodial jobs and then went home to watch his favorite TV show. Hutter isn’t buying his alibi. She hints that there was something more between Bing and Vic than the latter was revealing. Perhaps he has a lustful fascination with the high school girl? Bing steadfastly denies Hutter’s suggestion. Once again, the detective leaves with a puzzle chock full of missing pieces.
Later, Vic is in art class with Craig (Dalton Herrod). It’s quite clear that Craig is carrying a torch for Vic. He urges her to stay in Haverhill, citing that the town will be dreadfully boring without her. However, art school is in the books for Vic. She spots Bing outside the door of the classroom. Vic chases him down, shocked that he isn’t behind bars. Bing delivers a letter to Vic courtesy of Manx. It’s an invitation to Christmasland, Manx’s elusive inscape. He wishes to meet Vic, but she must be alone. Vic agrees to a face-to-face meeting.
Then, Vic arrives at a swanky party hosted by Willa (Paulina Singer) with Maggie in tow. Vic immediately commences a binge drinking session. She spots Drew (Rarmian Newton) sitting away from the crowd. Vic ditches Willa and Maggie for some testosterone. Maggie and Willa begin to bond and, dare I say, flirt? I’m all for this pairing.
Meanwhile, Vic divulges a childhood memory regarding Willa’s pool. She also reveals her ability to find lost things, and that she has enough creative juices to summon a bridge from her imagination. Essentially, the definition of a Strong Creative. Drew believes her. Well, he probably just thinks she’s hot and is hoping for a smooch. Vic and Drew share a couple smooches, then the pair flees to the dance floor to bust some sexy moves.
Now, Maggie puts her tiles to good use in front of Willa. We see the lights begin to flicker as Maggie reaches her arm inside her purple velvet bag. She procures a handful of tiles that spell out “Bean,” which is Willa’s childhood nickname. Willa is shocked and curious as to Maggie’s real connection to Vic. However, Maggie puts on her responsible adult pants and escorts an inebriated Vic back to her hotel room.
Later, Vic and Maggie lay in bed in anxious wait. Vic is supposed to meet Manx in a few hours. The pair reveal their insecurities with not fitting in and regarding their rare abilities. Maggie believes that the two were meant to meet, they were destined to be friends. Aw, they’re cute.
Next, dawn arrives. Maggie is sound asleep and Vic tip-toes quietly out of her hotel room. We see her entering the Peter Pan Bus station to meet Manx. Manx would want to connect with someone at an establishment with that name. Vic instantly gets down to brass tacks, demanding to know where Haley is. However, Manx asks Vic to be patient, as they have a lot of verbal ground to cover. Manx gives Vic a proposition: the children of Christmasland are in dire need of a mother. Why not Vic? She seems maternal enough to Manx. Vic vehemently declines Manx’s proposition. If that was a marriage proposal, Manx definitely needs pointers. Well, if Vic doesn’t want to live in Christmasland as a mother to wayward children for all eternity and if she refuses to stay obedient, then Manx will have to kill her. Makes sense.
Meanwhile, Maggie arrives at the bus station. After peeking in on Manx and Vic’s meeting, she spots the Wraith in all its macabre glory. Maggie attempts to hijack said Wraith. But the Wraith won’t be taken advantage of – no sir! We see the car door thrust Maggie aside, then drive in reverse to face her. Suddenly, the Wraith begins to chase her. She tries to flee and screams for Vic. Unfortunately, Vic runs outside right as the Wraith hits Maggie. Manx quietly takes his leave in his magical car while Vic, in a panic, attempts to wake up her friend.
Later, we see Vic sitting by Maggie’s bedside, worry splattered across her face. Detective Hutter appears at Maggie’s hospital room door. She inquires as to why Vic was present at the bus station in the first place. Was she attempting to escape Bing? Who was the driver that hit Maggie? After a few moments of artfully evading Hutter’s questions, Vic relents. She tells Hutter the whole truth – that a 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith with the license plate NOS4A2 hit Maggie. Also, that said car was driver-less. A magical self-driving car purposefully attacked a human. Oh, and Vic reveals the identity of Charlie Manx, citing him as the source of all the recent kidnappings and murders.
Next, Chris pops in for a visit. Vic reveals that the police are urging her to get some rest in a mental health facility. Which means that Hutter doesn’t believe her. Chris assures her that it’s only for a few days – just to get the help Vic needs. To get some necessary rest. Finally, with Chris’ urging, Vic signs the release form, committing herself to said facility.
Now, I wonder how Vic’s brief tenure at the mental health facility will play out. If you’ll recall, Manx had another Strong Creative named Jolene committed to a facility for the duration of her life. Chances are she probably tried to approach the police with stories of Manx and was also thought of as “crazy.” In short, Manx makes Strong Creatives lose it. Good to know. This episode was most certainly the best yet, and we still have five more to go. We’ve reached the halfway point, folks, and I’m hoping the upcoming installments will exceed my expectations.
Do you think Vic will break free soon? Will we see more of the inner workings of Christmasland? Will Hutter start to piece together the real story? 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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