The Final Fight
With the final two episodes airing simultaneously, NOS4A2 begins its double-bill with an episode that sets all the pieces up for the final episode and the potential end to Charlie Manx’s reign of terror.
We begin with Vic’s boyfriend Craig heading to Bing’s house with a baseball bat in tow. While he blissfully makes christmas cookies, the boy sneaks inside and tries to hit him with the bat. Unfortunately, he’s easily toppled to the ground and the segment ends with spatters of blood on the carpet – is it Bing’s?
After a particularly shocking vision, and a warning from the children of Christmasland, Vic struggles to get through to Craig after numerous text messages. Deciding to follow up on the lead, she heads to Bing’s with Maggie and immediately charges inside the house. She sees the blood and it’s here we also see Bing, still alive. Charlie Manx appears soon after and tells Bing he’s on the naughty list. He shows him Vic’s boyfriend and Manx questions the boy after removing his gag. He takes him away while Bing is told to clean up and lay low – Manx will deal with Vic McQueen himself.
Consulting the scrabble tiles, Maggie finds out that Craig is with Manx and immediately wants to go after him. Unfortunately she’s not ready but she ignores the warning and grabs her gear and heads off.
Maggie calls the police who show up and question her about the wraith and Vic. Before she can tell them anything, the detective is called into the house where she finds blood-stained gear and immediately they launch a manhunt to go after Bing. Maggie eventually gives in and tells the detective about the scrabble tiles and everything that’s been going on. The detectives head to the location given by Maggie and immediately point guns at Bing’s safe-house, telling him to come out.
Vic uses The Shorter Way and immediately finds the wraith and Craig in the boot. Using a crowbar, she tries to break him free but realizes she needs the keys in order to do so. Unfortunately, the car alarm goes off before she can, leading to her chased across the street by one of Manx’s children. Manx finds her bike and throws it into the tunnel, having a knock-on effect to Vic by causing her to pass out on the ground. As she comes to, her eye bleeding, Manx and the child enter while Vic tries futilely to hide.
Instead, Manx douses the place in petrol and lights a match, igniting the house and letting it burn to the ground. Trapped in the utility room, Vic chokes out before finding a vent leading out from the roof. Using her upper-body strength, she pulls herself up but just as it appears things are going smoothly, she falls straight back down into the fiery room again. Vic tries one last time to pull herself up and this time, she succeeds. Just in time too as the room is engulfed by flames and thick smoke curls into the air and through the vents. As she scrambles for the nearby window, she opens it and immediately starts coughing as she watches Manx’s car drive away.
Acting as the first part of a subsequent double bill of a finale, NOS4A2 does well to set up all the pieces for the final fight to come in the last episode. With Manx gaining the upper-hand here and Maggie finally able to embrace her powers and make the police see her way of thinking, the tables finally feel like they’re shifting in favour of Vic McQueen in the final episode. Given everything we’ve seen over the weeks, this certainly poses an exciting notion for the final episode although Bing’s presence pales in comparison to Charlie Manx’s menacing stature.
Still, everything looks set for a dramatic climax to AMC’s horror series and while it hasn’t always had the best episodes or the most memorable segments, it has been a highly enjoyable and consistent series nonetheless.