One of the bigger surprises last year came from AMC’S horror series NOS4A2. Despite a questionable name and some slow plotting to begin with, this adapted novel did a great job capturing a unique tone and spin on proceedings that’s paved way for a very welcome second season. As we return to this twisted world, 8 years have passed and a lot has changed in that time.
With a solid episode of drama that sets the foundation for what’s to follow, NOS4A2 returns with a decent opening episode that leaves lots of promise for the season ahead.
Episode 1 of NOS4A2 Season 2 begins at Christmastown as Manx’s children chase down and drink the blood of a straggler. When the lights begin to flicker and a group of kids wander into the trees, they sense something seriously wrong. After pushing one of the kids through to our realm, the kids scatter while one of them, Millie, collapses to the ground and calls out for her Father.
In Colorado, Vic has settled down with her son Wayne and now in a happy relationship with Lou. As she switches the TV on, she sees the news that Charlie Manx has died in his hospital bed. In Massachusetts, Maggie shares similar fortunes with her own relationship. Not long after, she receives a call from Vic who’s convinced Manx isn’t actually dead. She asks Maggie to use her tiles but she refuses, telling her to let it go and that this is her “happy ending”.
Vic is unable to move on though and toys with the idea of using the Shorter Way to check on Manx and make sure he’s really dead. Back home, Lou tries in vain to convince her not to go but when Vic hears Christmas music trickling through her earphones, she knows something is amiss.
Unfortunately these visions and cacophonic noises progressively get worse over time, as she hears phones ringing and static white noise on the phone screen, prompting her to drink heavily to try and drown out the noise. Scared and distraught, Wayne hides in his room as Vic answers the call. The kids in Christmasland call through and demand to know what she’s done to their Father.
Deciding to consult the tiles after all, Maggie asks if the wraith is dead and they immediately comes back with “Yes”. However, Maggie begins convulsing on the floor after consulting them.
Bing, disguised as a Rolls Royce enthusiast called Ethan, arrives and sees the wraith belonging to Charlie Manx being fixed up in a garage. After initially failing, he comes back and uses his tricks to convince the man to see his way of thinking.
Vic uses the Shorter Way in a desperate bid to visit Charlie Manx and sees for herself that he’s dead. After sticking a knife in his dead corpse, she laughs in relief and heads back home. Only, her earlier stint with the phones in the oven has caused a fire to break out and engulf the house.
Lou confronts Vic over her actions and implores her to start being truthful with him. Believing that the deed is now done, and seeing for herself that Manx is finally dead, Vic prepares to move on with her life. Only, unbeknownst to her Bing manages to replace the engine after controlling the car-owner and its enough for Manx’s heart to begin beating again, which is where the episode ends.
Much like the first season, NOS4A2 gets off to a relatively slow start with an episode that ultimately works to build our main cast of characters back up and show what they’ve been doing for the last 8 years. In that respect, this 45 minute slice of drama certainly serves its purpose but there’s not a lot else going on.
Given it’s only the first episode, it was always going to take a while to settle back into a consistent rhythm but so far the foundations have certainly been set for a very intriguing second season ahead. With Manx now back from the dead and Vic mentally scarred from her previous encounter last season, it looks like she’s in for a serious fight going forward. One thing’s for sure – you certainly won’t want to miss next week’s episode!