NOS4A2 continues to journey down a path of intriguing viewers, but not giving them nearly enough to sink their teeth into. With so much story to tell, I imagine that the show does not want to rush every single detail either. However, this makes the moments with Vic’s parents appear less important and appear more as filler moments instead. As much as we need to know the background of Vic’s parents this is the least entertaining part of the show right now. Although it’s important to showcase Vic does not have a stable home life, I hope they shy away from more details surrounding the end her parent’s marriage. However, I believe the show is setting the parents up to ban together in the end and save their daughter. Until then let’s discuss the key elements within this week’s episode of NOS4A2.
Upon meeting Maggie, Vic learns that she is a creative. A creative is someone who can manifest their own thoughts to gain something important within their lives. In Maggie’s case, she uses her scrabble tiles to solve local crimes. In Vic’s case, she can retrieve lost items. As Maggie insists in the episode, Vic is the chosen one. If Vic can find lost things, surely she will be able to find lost children. Vic can save Daniel if only Vic would help Maggie. Maggie even begs for the teen’s assistance. No one can blame her. Together Vic and Maggie could save more children than just Daniel. Because Manx has a new apprentice of sorts. Manx has also kidnapped children for years. Regardless, Vic learns more about her gift in this episode than the previous episode. And not because she insists on rescuing her crush’s bunny on the bridge.
Maggie understands why it is hard to grasp what is going on in Vic’s life now. She has been there. After all, she can cross a bridge that others can see but no one else can cross. She is able to unlock worlds and literally travels to other states by merely traveling via the Shorter Way. Though Vic does not want the responsibility to be the hero in this story she is thrust into the notion of becoming one. There’s even a pivotal moment where she sees her neighbor Haley (Darby Camp) with a candy cane in her hand. Even though the show reveals a young woman torn on helping Maggie and one who wants to cling to the remaining aspects of her childhood, we all know NOS4A2 is shaping its narrative so Vic truly cares about the abducted child. Hayley is the obvious choice.
Though only briefly touched upon in the pilot episode, Bing Patridge is officially a character to watch this season. Not merely because he has written to Charlie Manx, but because he obviously has a back story. A story that I believe Manx is already manipulating into the version the show with during Bing’s dreams. Who is the man in the gas mask? Is it his father? What happened to his mother? This entire scene brings up many questions. None of which viewers see answered in this episode. The closest thing to character closure we receive is knowing that Manx wishes he could have saved Bing the way he is attempting to save children now. Manx’s gaslighting skills are on point.
For now, Bing appears to be a gentle soul. We want good things to happen to him. The idea of him having any other job is pleasing because quite frankly he deserves something less mundane. Plus we already know because of the previous episode that his main joy at the school is that Vic is nice to him. How is Bing going to react when he realizes Manx wants him to capture the only girl who has had treated him as if he’s worth anything? I cannot help but imagine he is not going to take this well. Then comes the debate of which side is he going to choose. Will he try to make Vic understand that this will get him a spot in Christmasland? Or will he turn on Manx?
The Graveyard of What Might Be
Speaking of saving children, Bing goes along with Manx’s plan far too easily. Though he does at least have the sense to question abducting children. The main problem is that Manx is the best manipulator around. He manages to make kidnapping children seem like a great idea. Bing falls for this trap with a rather horrific unveiling of The Graveyard of What Might Be. The two enter a graveyard together of children who need rescuing. The crazier part of this is how many graves are located within the cemetery. This reveal is not, however, the craziest part of the scene. The episode stunned me when Bing brushes some snow off located in front of a grave to see a child lying underneath the ice. I love this interpretation of the novel.
In many ways, by going this route the graveyard is far more terrifying somehow than what I had imagined previously reading the book. Bing has the right to have reservations though. After all, what if the graveyard is wrong? What if these children do not want to leave their homes? I am sure what ifs will plague Bing throughout the process and certainly play a role in the process throughout the season. I also must wonder if each kidnapping will corrupt Bing to a point he does not truly remember he’s a good soul.
Maggie’s stutter provides more of an insight than viewers might realize. Before she started using her tiles she admits she lacked a stutter. This should have made viewers privy that Vic loses a piece of herself each time she uses the Shorter Way to locate lost items. What ability is Vic giving up that might be vital to her life later on? Though I’m not sure that this season will explain that to viewers an answer is available within the novel. By revealing her stutter, which I felt was sorely lacking in the premiere episode, I have more faith that this adaptation while different will consistently add bits and pieces within the novel to create an outstanding season.
Although this particular novel lends itself to the pace of watching a high-speed car crash on your local news station, the series is using each creepy element to provide shock and awe with a slow burn. The series is excellently crafted and put together in a manner that demands the viewer to pay attention. Many key details are within a viewer’s grasp. However, they will miss these clues if they look away from the screen for even a moment. For instance, did anyone catch the winking moon that Manx brings up to Bing upon talking with him in the car? I’m certain this build will be well worth the pay off by the finale. Something even tells me they will have an even better understanding of the show and these characters if they get a chance to return for a second season.
What did you think of episode two of NOS4A2? Do you agree with my predictions? What has drawn you into the show the most so far? Let us know what your thoughts below and make sure to tune in to AMC this Sunday at 10 pm EST for a new episode of NOS4A2.