The Gates Of Christmas Land
With only a few episodes to go, Nos4a2 returns for an episode that feels like a proverbial deep breath before the final push to stopping Charlie Manx once and for all.
We begin the episode with Vic receiving a phone call in the middle of the night from Hayley. Or at least, someone imitating Hayley’s voice. She warns Vic to back off chasing after Manx before the line cuts out abruptly, leaving our protagonist reeling.
In the morning, Charlie Manx struggles to fix his car, noticing petrol leaking all over the ground. Frail and losing energy fast, Manx walks slowly down the road before hitching a ride with a boy and his father in a pick-up truck. When they stop at the nearby gas stop, he coerces the child to come with him in a bid to siphon his energy.
Angry at her Mum for selling her bike, Vic heads outside and phones Maggie, telling her about the phone call she had in the middle of the night. Maggie is defiant, refusing to help Vic after what happened to her before. Realizing again that she’s alone in this fight, she heads back to the school and confronts Bing for more information about the kids. He tells him about one of Manx’s old helpers, Peter Ives, and pleads with Bing to see reason and help her. Instead, he grabs Vic by the neck and slams her into the lockers, warning her to stop meddling.
However, Vic does manage to get through to him, prompting Bing to ask Manx about Peter later that day. Manx smiles, convincing his helper to stay working for him while Vic heads off to find a new bike to replace her old one. Later that day, she receives another phone call. This time it really is Hayley on the phone, calling from Christmas Land complete with sharp teeth and dark veins. Frustrated at her inability to use the tunnel and find her, Vic returns to her Father and lashes out, bringing up her troubled childhood before storming out.
Manx and Bing manage to fix their car, knocking out the owner of the garage in the process. After some initial hesitation from Bing, they arrive at the gates of Christmas Land where Manx warns Bing against Vic poisoning his mind. He’s left agonizingly at the gates while Manx heads inside and appears to have taken Maggie’s father captive too. He’s led by the hand to the nearby houses where all the missing children arrive, repeatedly stabbing him before eating his flesh. Hayley grins menacingly, clutching Manx’s hand and thanking her “Father” for returning.
Aside from the ending and glimpse inside Christmas Land, there isn’t a whole lot else here to really sink your teeth into. Last episode we saw Vic’s alone in this fight and this week only further reinforces this. Having said that, the taunting candy cane left on Maggie’s Father’s police car may be enough to entice her back in later on down the line but for now, Vic is alone.
Beyond this and the teasing idea that Bing may yet see reason and align with Vic later on, there isn’t much else to get excited about her. Manx is back to seeming full power and the final fight looms ever nearer. In a way, this episode feels like the penultimate push before the final fight as both Manx and Vic ready themselves for what to come. Quite whether Vic will manage to save all the children and stop Manx remains to be seen but for now, Nos4a2 delivers a good episode to tide you over to next week.