DISCLAIMER: This recap of the NOS4A2 episode “Scissors for the Drifter” is rife with spoilers galore. You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.
Welcome back, horror fanatics! NOS4A2 only has three episodes left of its freshman season. Vic was bereft of her magical bike this episode, which meant she was unable to track Manx down. Manx was also at a similar disadvantage as far as Strong Creative “knives” were concerned. Since Vic and Jolene wrecked havoc on his Wraith’s water tank in the previous episode, the immortal antagonist was severely weakened. Vic received a phone call from Haley in Christmasland, except she wasn’t actually Haley. More like a demon child who’s way too into Christmas. Family drama continued to clutter the bookshelves of Vic’s teenage life, including a spat with her new beau. They should rename Haverhill to Soap Operaburg. Just a thought.
Alright, ready to delve into “Scissors for the Drifter?” Let’s get to it, then.
We open with Vic (Ashleigh Cummings) sleeping restlessly at home. Suddenly, she’s roused awake by the sound of a phone ringing. It’s the landline phone inside the house. However, mom Linda doesn’t hear it. Instead, she urges Vic to take her medication and go back to sleep. Drugs can’t solve everything, Linda. Anyway, Vic picks up the phone and is taken aback to hear young Haley on the other end. She grills Vic regarding Charlie Manx’s whereabouts. Vic replies that she weakened him, so he’s probably off nursing his wounds. Haley continues to subtly threaten Vic before hanging up.
Meanwhile, Manx (Zachary Quinto) is looking worse for the wear. He’s attempting to patch up his Wraith, but alas, it won’t start. We know the Wraith is his “power source,” thus Manx will continue to physically deteriorate. Yay!
Next, Vic is ready to head over to her father’s house to pick up her bike. But, Linda (Virginia Kull) drops a surprise in her daughter’s lap – she sold Vic’s bike. Vic is infuriated, and storms out of the house. Now how will she find Manx and Haley? Vic returns to the place where her Shorter Way bridge typically materializes. Unfortunately, she isn’t able to summon it without her bike. She calls up Chris (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and informs him of her mother’s misdeed. She also chastises him for not visiting her while she was in the hospital. Chris vows to make it up to Vic by taking her to Bike Week.
Then, we see Manx hitchhiking via a father and his son. They drop Manx off at a convenience store, where he asks the proprietor to use the landline phone. Manx calls upon Bing to come to his rescue. I hope Manx paid for Bing’s airfare and hotel room. Or at least proffered his lackey an immense amount of overtime pay.
Now, back in Haverhill, we see Vic at school. She runs into Bing (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson). I’m starting to wonder what Vic’s class attendance record looks like. From an audience standpoint it looks rather poor. Anyway, she confronts Bing on Manx’s whereabouts, and urges him to turn Manx in to the police. Vic also plants seeds of doubt into Bing’s head regarding Manx’s true objective. Bing is dispensable – Manx will simply find another henchman to take the janitor’s place. Bing lashes out at Vic and storms off.
Later, Maggie (Jahkara Smith) is emerging from, presumably, a doctor’s appointment at the hospital. Sheriff Joseph (Chris McKinney) is waiting for her. He offers Maggie a spare bed at his home. She turns him down – she’s a single, independent woman, after all. Maggie reveals that she’s done with chasing leads. She even discarded her bag of tiles. Not to mention, Maggie also declined to continue aiding Vic in her mission to take down Manx. Personal growth!
Then, Bing arrives just in time to take Manx’s Wraith to a repair shop. Bing begins plying Manx with questions regarding his standing in Team Christmasland. Of course, Manx doesn’t like it when people ask him questions. However, Manx vows that Bing will see Christmasland. After the Wraith is fixed, naturally.
Next, we see Vic and her new beau Drew (Rarmian Newton) waltzing through town hand-in-hand. They become entangled in a lover’s quarrel regarding Vic’s familial drama. Of course, Drew wouldn’t understand what it’s like to have family issues because his life is “perfect.” He blurts out the wrong thing and Vic flees the scene. That is, until Chris arrives on his bike and the two depart for Bike Week.
Later, Bing and Manx arrive at the same repair shop we saw earlier this season. He asks the proprietor for a new water tank for a 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith. Naturally, she recalls having received a similar request decades ago. She surreptitiously phones Sheriff Joseph after catching a decrepit Manx sitting outside.
Meanwhile, Joseph finds a drugged up Maggie sitting on a park bench. He excitedly informs her that she was right all along. The repair shop woman just called him with Manx himself at her establishment. However, Maggie is too out of it to focus on the news at hand. Joseph springs into action and ushers Maggie away.
Then, we see Chris and Vic examining bikes during Bike Week festivities. She spots the perfect bike – it’s even better than the previous one Linda sold. However, it’s not worth trekking across the Shorter Way. Chris and Vic decide to get a bite to eat inside the local bar. Eventually Craig (Dalton Harrod) joins them. Vic and Chris break out into a heated argument over the latter’s drinking problem. That, and his penchant for “buying” Vic’s love. Vic storms out…again. Craig follows her and offers to take her back to his house. What a good friend!
Next, repair shop lady brings out the water tank Bing requested. Manx is sitting off to the side, looking like a corpse. He’s hunched over, feeble and can scarcely string together a sentence. However, Bing is working tirelessly to fix the Wraith. We hear sirens wailing close by. Right before the police show up, however, Bing gets the Wraith up and running. Suddenly, Manx is rejuvenated – he transforms into a young man with nary a wrinkle once again. Repair shop woman keels over in shock, writhing on the ground. The police arrive but they don’t even notice Manx and Bing, as they’re too preoccupied with the elderly woman. Thus, Manx and Bing drive off undetected.
Later, Chris arrives home to find his girlfriend fast asleep. He begins discarding empty beer cans and a vodka bottle. It would appear he took Vic’s words to heart. Here’s hoping he’ll change for the better.
Meanwhile, Craig and Vic are sitting in the former’s bedroom. He pulls out a pipe and the two take a few hits. They lay down to sleep, but not before Vic decides to be the little spoon to Craig’s big spoon. Friends with spooning benefits?
Then, Maggie wakes up in Joseph’s house to a glass of water, a sandwich and a lovely note urging her to stay as long as she wants. However, she’s drawn outside after catching a frenzy of blue and red lights alongside creepy Christmas music blaring from Joseph’s car. Maggie immediately knows something is amiss – she spots Joseph’s business card pinned under a windshield wiper with a candy cane in tow. Uh oh. That’s got Manx written all over it.
Later, Manx and Bing arrive outside Christmasland. Manx reassures his lackey that, someday, he’ll see what’s inside those gates. However, tonight is not that night. We see Manx drive the Wraith through the gates.
Honestly, Christmasland looks like a creepy amusement park with some cottages strewn about. Haley (Darby Camp) and her newfound friends emerge from the darkness. Manx releases Sheriff Joseph from the trunk of the Wraith. The sheriff appears to be under a spell. He eagerly embraces Daniel (Asher Miles Fallica) after spotting the young boy in the crowd. Suddenly, the children surround the sheriff and begin ruthlessly stabbing him with scissors. We hear the sheriff scream and see his blood coat the snow. Manx is reunited with his daughter, Millie Manx (Mattea Conforti). Is she really his blood-related daughter, though?
Now, this episode was a bit lukewarm for me. I was disappointed that Vic’s family drama outweighed the horror elements this series is supposed to be known for. NOS4A2, to me, is inconsistent in its tone – does it want to be a teenage soap fest or a genuine horror show? When it’s “on,” it really is on. That final scene in “Scissors for the Drifter” was brilliant, and exactly what the macabre doctor ordered. Initially, I appreciated the familial aspects, since we were just getting to know Vic. However, with three episodes left, we need to amp up the action and tie some threads. Here’s hoping the remaining episodes put the pedal to the metal.
Do you think Maggie will reunite with Vic after learning of Joseph’s demise? Will Vic snag a bike worthy of crossing the Shorter Way? Can Chris truly change his ways for his daughter? Join me as I continue recapping NOS4A2, here on Geek Girl Authority.
NOS4A2 airs Sundays at 10pm on your AMC affiliate.
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