It all comes down to this. After two seasons of slugging it out with Charlie Manx, the final fight for the fate of Christmasland is upon us. Although there is closure to this story, there’s enough left open to entice a third season too. With some compelling and well written character arcs, NOS4A2 bows out its second season on a high.
The season 2 finale begins with Vic McQueen bleeding out and desperate to find a way out of Christmasland. With Wayne by her side, she encourages him to play a game; a clever way of enticing him to leave. As they head back to the main square, Vic grabs the bike takes him through the Shorter Way to the other side.
With Wayne still not himself, Vic drops him off and heads back through to Christmasland again to grab Maggie. As she does, a visibly weakened Maggie struggles to fight off a whole group of kids. Thankfully Vic saves her at the last second from a possible amputation.
Snatching her up on the bike, Vic and Maggie take off through the Shorter Way. Only, Manx happens to be chasing them in his wraith.
Vic finally understands her powers and uses the bats inside to slow Manx down. They swarm the Wraith, piercing the glass as the wood below buckles and eventually breaks. That same static noise we’ve seen in Christmasland’s portal seems to surround the tunnel too. As Manx falls, the entire Shorter Way collapses around them as the pair just about make it through in time.
Meanwhile, Lou and Tabitha figure out the issue with the Christmas ornaments. “Horcruxes, like Harry Potter,” Lou says, as Wayne hums Christmas tunes. Standing before a bat ornament, he grabs it and throws it on the ground, stamping it into little pieces. With every destroyed ornament, it seems to weaken and hurt Wayne. He doubles over and begins to spit blood, breathing heavily.
As Tabitha calls in an ambulance, all the kids from Christmansland present themselves. Only, thanks to the ornaments being smashed they seem to be back to their normal selves again. They all surround her and ask for their parents. In the distance, Millie stands and watches but her ornament is still intact.
1 Month Later
Vic, Lou and Wayne sit at the dinner table exchanging cheesy jokes. It seems like the perfect family set-up until we learn Wayne hasn’t been eating. His inability to eat anything is becoming an issue. However, Lou reminds Vic that it took a long time for her to get over the Manx and Wayne needs time.
Meanwhile, Tabitha gives Maggie back her tiles but admits she was close to throwing them in the trash. Tabitha continues to work moving kids back to their families but given the length of time that’s passed, that’s easier said than done.
That evening, Vic gets back to drawing inside of turning to booze. It’s certainly a more productive outlet and one that Lou supports. After he goes to bed, Vic finds Wayne down in the kitchen with a bag of sugar. Seemingly aware of what he’s doing, he apologises and drops it on the table. As they head up to brush their teeth, Wayne continues to spit blood.
That evening, he awakens in the middle of the night and finds Millie outside. As the two talk, Wayne tells her he wants to find a way back into Christmasland. Manx’s seductive grip over the kids is too much. Millie vows to recreate Christmasland and bring back all the kids one by one. As they talk, Vic McQueen suddenly shows up. Millie tells him not to forget her and before she leaves, calls Wayne by his full name “Wayne McQueen.”
Charlie Manx’s dead body shows up in the middle of a lake, surrounded by the fragments of the wraith and floating lifelessly in the water. Meanwhile, Vic heads back to see her Mother. There, Vic admits that she feels hopeless and isn’t sure how to help Wayne. Her Mother lends a supportive ear and suggests they stay in Massachusetts for a while.
With the Wraith found, Vic takes it down to the scrapyard – a throwback to what Bing tried to do and when Wayne was first taken – and watches as the car is crushed for good. Manx’s body meanwhile is cremated. Despite crushing the car, it seems a single angel ornament stands next to the car.
This could be evidence that Manx isn’t really gone, the ornament signals his way back. Or it could be symbolic of an innocence and pureness that’s been lost in the wake of being dwarfed by evil. Either way, it seems significant but isn’t touched on again sadly.
With the fight seemingly over, Vic and Maggie sit together and discuss what happened. With Christmasland and Manx gone, Vic decides to embrace her family life and turn away from being a Creative. Maggie meanwhile, wants to continue the fight.
Back home, Wayne starts drawing Millie and Christmasland until Vic and Lou arrive. There, she speaks plainly about how she used to have fun chasing after Manx. Eventually, he reluctantly agrees to show the picture he’s drawn. Wayne seems convinced there’s something wrong with him on the inside. Vic opens up though and admits that it’s okay to feel that way.
While Vic embraces her family life, Maggie tears away from hers. She leans into the tiles, burning her arm with a cigarette and trying to find the “World Of Thought.” As she digs deep into the bag, she finds the tiles spell out the word “Hotel.” The same hotel that she fought the Hourglass man in it seems. As she steps into an elevator, Vic continues to lean into her sketching as a way of controlling her powers.
Meanwhile, two kids joke about Charlie Manx’s ghost…until Millie shows up and punches a hole through their windscreen.
The Episode Review
If there is a third season, it seems likely now that Millie will take up the proverbial torch left behind by Manx. Her promise to bring Christmasland back is enticing and could be a way of bringing Manx back from the dead too. For now, we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out if the show is renewed.
What is interesting though is just how the fortunes have changed for both Vic and Maggie. Compared to the start of the season, both characters have done a complete 180. Maggie is on a slippery slope of destruction, having lost everything around her. By comparison, Vic has packed in her bad habits and embraced her family.
Wayne’s path mirrors that of Vic too and in a way, she can see exactly what Wayne is going through. Of course, with him being a minor and much more impressionable, it’s going to be a lot tougher for Wayne to return to normality. Especially given Manx’s Father Christmas-esque larger-than-life persona.
On that note, it would be interesting to find out exactly how the other kids have got on with their newfound lives. Have they also had difficulty adjusting? Despite Tabitha’s vague remarks about bringing kids back to their parents, this may be elaborated on further going forward.
While there’s a good enough ending here, the possibilities for season 3 are also left wide open. With the battle won, it seems like the war is far from over.