Setting The Pieces Up For Round 2
The finale to NOS4A2 confirms one thing – we’re not getting a solid resolution to the story this season. With the door left wide open for a second season and all the pieces aligned to see that come to fruition, AMC’s newest horror series does well to keep thing entertaining but feels like it drops the ball late on with a story that fails to wrap up any of its narrative.
Vic begins the episode by escaping through the window. After her ordeal with Manx last time out, the run-in has had its toll with her and she climbs off the roof nursing an injured leg. She stumbles through the forest before trying to get a signal on her phone. However, she finds a biker on the road who picks her up and takes her to the nearest petrol stop.
Still stuck in Manx’s boot, Craig breaks free from his binds and tries to escape. He pokes holes in the floor which severs the fuel tank and causes Manx physical pain in the form of his nose bleeding. Maggie shows the detective first-hand the power of the scrabble tiles, with the lights flickering out and spelling out answers. Vic phones and asks Maggie to consult the scrabble tiles to find out where the wraith is. It turns out, he’s right on top of Vic and she convinces the biker to hold Manx hold up at gunpoint. Vic heads into the car and attempts to find the keys while Manx weaves his web of deceit and tries to coerce him into agreeing to his way of thinking.
After stopping the biker, Manx turns and sees Vic hold a lighter to the petrol-lit wraith. He ignites the car, which in turn leads Charlie Manx to wither and burn. Craig is unable to escape though while Manx’s child holds him, giggling all the while. A magical border prevents her from removing her boyfriend but while Vic tries to find another way to stop the flames, the car erupts into a fireball killing him instantly.
Vic is taken to the hospital and learns the extent of her injuries. Along with some busted limbs, she also learns she’s a couple of weeks pregnant. Maggie receives a house call from the detective soon after who tells her about her life. She convinces Maggie to use the scrabble tiles again to find Bing having seemingly not been at the location the police raided last time out. The tiles spell out “The House Of Two Sleep” where we find Bing, shaving his beard and burning his clothes.
Charlie Manx finds himself strapped up to a machine and barely coherent. Vic warns him away before heading home. It’s the day of the wake and Vic listens in to a story about Craig’s life before telling her Father she’s pregnant and that it’s Craig’s child.
She heads outside and vomits, unable to contain her grief any longer, before talking to Craig’s Mum for a while. Vic rides off on her bike soon after and catches up with Maggie. She tells Vic she’s going to stay with the police and try to find Bing.
We then cut forward 6 months to find Bing working at the dentist, now under the alias of Mr Anderson. Without a beard and donning slicked back hair, he manages to lay low for the time being. Vic hears voices of children calling her to come to Christmas Land but shakes them free and vows that her child will never know Manx or anything he’s done. The wreckage of the wraith is saved by a prospective buyer which causes a knock-on effect to Manx who awakens and grabs the nurse, promising her that he will be back up to his old tricks in no time.
The finale to NOS4A2 is the perfect example of a show that could easily wrap up its story but instead chooses to drag things out and force a second season instead. Don’t get me wrong, the show has certainly had its moments but with numerous plot threads left unresolved at the end and a disappointingly lacklustre conclusion to Charlie Manx, NOS4A2’s final episode feels far too anticlimactic for its own good.
Aside from a few fleeting glimpses, we really haven’t seen a whole lot of Christmas Land or Hayley either. Given how crucial she was to Vic getting involved in the fight against Manx, hopefully we see more of her in the second season. NOS4A2 has been a really enjoyable thrill ride all the same, even if the unresolved ending sets things up for a second season rather than tying up any loose ends. It may not be the best drama out there but it is consistent quality and aside from the disappointing Charlie Manx conclusion, NOS4A2 strategically aligns its pieces for what could be an explosive second season to come.