Raising The Stakes
Although not quite as dramatic as last week’s episode, Nos4a2 continues to deliver an enjoyable slice of drama, with the final confrontation between Vic and Manx acting as a long-awaited meeting of these two rivals. Although we don’t see much about Christmas Land or Hayley this week, the continued mental toll this gift has on Vic spells trouble as the police investigation ramps up.
The episode begins with Vic in a trance, painting out pictures in the garage in the middle of the night. She draws the car and Manx, with black and red paint strewn across the floor. Concerned for her well-being, Vic’s Dad attempts to get her to open up but the usual bickering between her parents overshadows their conversation. Detective Tabatha arrives in the midst of this and discusses the night’s events with Vic. She pleads with police to go after Bing but for now they’re more interested in her story.
Meanwhile, Bing hides out in the basement until Charlie Manx arrives, demanding to know why he wasn’t outside to greet him. Manx tells him to turn himself in, prompting Bing to head to the police station and give his testimony of the night’s events. He tells them a rehearsed story but Tabatha sees through it and probes further, with a line of inquiry bordering around a romantic relationship between Vic and Bing.
Free to go for now, Bing arrives at school the next day and continues to work, taunting Vic with his card to Christmas Land as a way to justify what he’s done.
Later on, Maggie and Vic head to a party where Maggie consults her tiles over who the coolest girl is with one of her friends on the sofa. After the lights flicker, they spell out the word ‘Beans’. Maggie then grabs a very drunk Vic and takes her home where she opens up and they talk about her past.
The next day, Vic slips away and comes face to face with Charlie Manx. She hesitantly sits next to him and they discuss her gift and what’s transpired so far. He taunts her, telling her not to let all the bats leave. Meanwhile, Maggie races to her location, spying Vic through the window talking. As she glances over at the parking lot, she spots the car and sees the familiar registration plate of the wraith.
Inside, Manx tries to convince her to join him in Christmas Land but she refuses. Instead, she looks him in the eyes menacingly and tells him she’ll burn Christmas Land if she gets the chance. Back outside, Manx’s car drives itself and chases after Maggie, knocking her off her feet and onto the ground. With Maggie then in hospital, Tabatha arrives and questions Vic further, convinced that her and Bing were romantically involved. After a deep sigh, Vic tells her the truth, right down to the details around Christmas Land and the tunnel. Unfortunately, this proves to be her undoing as she’s recommended to undergo psychiatric help.
Whilst the episode this week offers little in terms of plot development, it does do a good job of showcasing how damaging this gift that Vic has can be. This certainly helps raise the stakes and levels the playing field with Manx young again for now. Maggie continues to be the wildcard of the show though and it’ll be interesting to see what her role in all of this will be come the end.
Compared to some of the other episodes in the series, Nos4a2 delivers a slightly low-key slice of drama this week, one that appears to be gearing up for a dramatic second half to follow. Quite what will happen next remains to be seen, but with the foreshadowed look at the mentally unstable individuals that have wielded Vic’s power before, the stakes are certainly high going into next week’s episode.