Last week’s edition of NOS4A2 was one of the more polarizing episodes of the two season run. Personally, the spliced together scenes and constant back and forth didn’t work and offset the dramatic tension. One of the best parts of this job though is being proven wrong and seeing a show completely defy expectations. This week’s episode does just that, producing a high-stakes thrill ride full of great set-pieces and lots of promise for the future.
Episode 6 of NOS4A2 Season 2 begins with a man named Jonathan stopping a Doctor outside the hospital and showing him an hourglass. This is the same hourglass we saw last episode and as he enters Vic’s room, the Doctor injects something into Vic’s IV. Maggie notices this happening and races after him. However, the Doctor stabs himself in the neck, begging for help as he falls in a crumpled heap on the ground.
In the aftermath of this, Vic’s Mum berates the FBI for their inability at stopping the doctor. Vic meanwhile grabs her stuff and tries to leave. Only, her ruptured spleen forces her back into bed again.
Meanwhile, Manx travels up to Christmasland with Wayne in the back of the Wraith. He allows Wayne to call home but when Vic doesn’t answer, Manx continues to twist and gnarl his tendrils deep inside Wayne’s brain making him doubt what he knows.
Midway through talking however, Wayne’s Father shows up and tries to keep his son on the straight-and-narrow. As Manx continue to drive, he stops at a junkyard. Time is starting to run out for Wayne though and as he spits blood, a tooth falls out. When a butterfly flies in through the window, Wayne rips its wings off and leaves it in a heap on the floor.
Armed with a broken arm, Tabitha refuses to leave Bing’s case alone. However, in order to get back on it officially, she’s forced to head up to the station and explain her actions to her boss, Daltry. Before she leaves, Maggie heads home and they discuss the hypnotized FBI agents, contemplating whether Manx is working with someone new.
Tabitha eventually heads to the FBI and faces the wrath of her boss. He suspects that Vic is the one responsible for killing the FBI agents and goes on to tell Tabitha she’s too emotionally involved in this to carry on. Forced to hand over her badge and gun, Tabitha heads home and wallows in self-pity.
Maggie arrives at The Providence Hotel just as Jonathan spies her descending down the stairs. He slithers over and introduces himself. She agrees to have one drink with him as the two verbally square each other up. As she shows him the bag of tiles, Jonathan eventually reciprocates and shows her the hourglass. Understanding they both have powers, the duo start sizing each other up.
After showing off his powers first-hand, Maggie learns that there’s repercussions for Jonathan too. Despite being able to control people, Jonathan suffers from memory loss and admits that the first 20 years of his life are a complete blur. However, he’s now managed to control the side effects and encourages her to join him in understanding how.
“Either you hurt yourself or someone else,” He utters nonchalantly as Maggie agrees to try the former. Sucking on his cigarette, Jonathan burns the embers deep into her wrist. Maggie uses the tiles and realizes, to her shock, that it works without side effects. As Jonathan asks her for a question (which we don’t see), the answer comes back as a definitive “no”. Slamming his fist down on the table, he walks away.
Unfortunately he figures out Maggie’s game and holds her up against the wall, asking just who she is. After goading him and admitting Vic is still alive, Jonathan starts fighting her as they wrestle for the hourglass. As the skirmish reaches its crescendo, she plunges a knife deep in his stomach and smashes the hourglass.
Back at the hospital, Vic greets Wayne as he wakes up. With Wayne’s phone signal lost and the FBI out of clues, Vic and Wayne stand united to try and save their son. After they’re both discharged, the duo team up with Chris and gather all the parts of the bike. With them scattered across the table, they realize it’s a complete mess.
Maggie returns home and speaks to Tabitha about her fight with Jonathan. Although she stopped his reign, she also holds his words at heart about hurting herself. Could this play a pivotal part in the story ahead? Time will tell.
As the episode closes out, Bing gasses Manx and carries him away while Wayne phones Vic one more time. The only clue she has to go on is that Wayne is in a junkyard. Without the bike and no way of using The Shorter Way, time is running out for Wayne.
The Review Write-Up
Seeing Maggie take the reigns of the episode as the central protagonist is a really welcome switch. Her inclusion alongside The Hourglass Man helps to size up the changed fortunes for these two characters and understand more about what drives these powers.
The entire episode is chock full of tension too and interwoven around this is the subject of Manx and Vic. With no way of using The Shorter Way and Wayne seemingly alone, all eyes now turn to see how this young boy will survive against Manx.
That sense of urgency that’s been missing for much of this season finally sees a healthy dose injected into this episode. It certainly makes for a promising and exciting second half of the season to come. Roll on next week!