The Curse Of The Strong Creative
NOS4A2 takes a break from its conflict between Charlie Manx and Vic for a deeper exploration of what it means to be a strong creative. We begin in 1954 where a charming Charlie Manx promises his girlfriend, a waitress at a diner, a ring and the world. She happens to be Jolene, the lady we met several episodes earlier whose also a strong creative. Chased in his car down a long, empty road, Manx curses his luck as Jolene teleports away after rejecting his offer.
We then return to present day where we find Vic stuck in the hospital, with doctors believing her to be mentally ill. She’s interviewed by a therapist around her visions of Manx, prompting her to sigh in exasperation following her futile efforts telling the truth. After being forced to spend more time at the ward, a strike of luck hits when Vic learns she’s to be roommates with strong creative Jolene. Realizing this, she hurries over to the docile lady and asks her to try and show her the way to Christmasland. However, the nurse arrives soon after to administer her medication but Vic manages to convince her that Jolene has already taken her dose.
The next day Vic returns to therapy where she admits that her Mum was abusive and used to hit her. The therapist asks whether alcohol excuses what she did which prompts a later conversation between them to feel awkward and cold. Back in their room, Jolene is a little more lucid and asks Vic to fetch her skates, hopeful they can now get to Christmasland together.
Comfortable in her wheelchair, Vic races down the hallway and they teleport to Jolene’s dark tunnels. There, Vic learns more about the missing people Manx has taken, courtesy of a room full of posters before Jolene takes them into a strange, digitalised world. At this point we cut back to Manx who susses out Jolene is nearby thanks to his car taking on a life of its own. Gasping for air, Manx suddenly ages rapidly and the car engine blows as Vic and Jolene return to the dark tunnel whence they came. Exhausted, Jolene tells her to destroy the wraith. Jolene’s fight is over but in her place, Vic must step up and take the reigns, especially given how fearful Charlie Manx is of her after his hospital visit beforehand.
From here, we return to the real world where Vic watches in sadness as Jolene passes away. She heads back to therapy purposefully where she tells the Doctors exactly what they want to hear. The therapist agrees to sign her release on 2 conditions – a drug prescription and to remove herself from her living arrangements. She agrees to the terms and heads to Maggie, asking for her help. She refuses, given her run-in with the car last time out, leaving Vic to head home and throw her pills away. Alone in the upcoming fight that’s about to occur.
While Nos4a2 doesn’t show anything particularly exciting or groundbreaking in terms of its plot, what it does do is showcase the sacrifices Vic must take along the way to stopping Charlie Manx The episode works really well to show the potential effect being a strong creative has too and this episode in particular is a great example of “show don’t tell” when it comes to this idea. Jolene is ultimately the projection of what will happen to Vic if she doesn’t succeed in her task and for that alone, Nos4a2’s latest episode certainly ups the ante for the fight ahead.
While there isn’t a whole lot else going on plot-wise, the battle lines have mOst certainly been drawn here and things look set to explode into action from here on out.