NOS4A2 Episode 3
The terror of Charlie Manx continues and he is even more dangerous now that he’s got a target.
Jolene July (Played by Judith Roberts)
Jolene is another strong creative like Vic. She was paralyzed by Charlie and has spent years stuck inside a psychiatric hospital.
Charlie visits Jolene bringing her a pair of skates. A sadistic attempt to find who is using the bridge he puts them on her and pulls her up. Not receiving an answer, he then leaves, dumping her on the floor of her room helpless.
I feel that we are finally seeing the darkness that really is Charlie Manx. It takes an evil man to do that to an elderly woman. More so, the two clearly have a history. Remember the woman Bing saw last episode dancing with Mr. Manx? At first thought, it looked like it may be someone related to Bing. Now, I wonder if it was foreshadowing Jolene and her connection to Manx.
Was she the one who tried to stop him in the past?
Maggie Visits Massachusetts
Maggie visits after her scrabble tiles alert her that “The Wraith” is hunting “The Brat”. In a particularly … interesting scenario, they tell her this and she rushes on a plane to warn Vic. Vic wants none of it, despite Maggie’s best attempts and asks her to leave. However, she goes to visit Jolene after reading about the weird power outage at the hospital.
She figures out that the skates were Jolene’s knife. Maggie continues to worry about Vic, who in turn ignores Maggie’s warnings.
Before this visit, Maggie spoke with the Sheriff who urges her to stop looking into the disappearances. He is concerned because she is the closest thing he has to a daughter and he doesn’t want to see her get hurt. I love how Sheriff Bly thinks of Maggie as a daughter. The reaction when she heard him say that was priceless. Maggie probably has a rougher past than we’ve seen on the show, so his concern is understandable.
This leads us to the golden girl herself.
Vic attempts to apply for financial aid for RISD, shocked when she finds out both of her parents haven’t paid taxes in years. This has to be such a hard blow for her. She desperately wants out of this town and to make her own life, but each step of her way her parents seem to ruin that. It seems they did little to secure a real future for their daughter. Her father and mother both irritate me in this episode.
They clearly are aware their daughter is bright, but don’t care enough to give her a better life. Vic goes to her friend Willa’s mom for help but Willa offers to help instead by offering to forge her father’s tax documents and signature. Not quite ready to commit a crime, she asks if Willa’s mother’s friend in the registrar office can help.
I love how even though Vic thinks Willa has this perfect life because she is rich, we see she doesn’t. Willa never uses the word mom when talking about her mother and she seems to not really think she cares much about what she’s doing. It is interesting because Willa is quick to say why Vic’s parents are hurting their daughter, but she doesn’t see her own family’s shortcomings. Or if she does, she doesn’t see it as a problem.
A trip to RISD
Vic takes a road trip with Willa to meet with the woman in the registrar. She also brings Drew, the boy from the party. He wants to attend RISD as well, though his parents disapprove of art school.
RISD: A Dream
Vic is amazed by RISD and all it has to offer, but also seemingly by Drew. Her dreams are potentially crushed when she meets with the woman in the registrar office. The woman says that she can declare herself independent on the FAFSA form if she meets certain requirements. She isn’t married or in the military, but the third suggestion seems possible. She can also file independently if she can prove she comes from an abusive home.
Taken aback, the woman tells her that Willa’s mom mentioned there were signs of abuse.
Vic overwhelmed, begins to see flashes of Mr. Manx and rushes from the room, nearly getting hit by a car. She says that she’s destined to stay in her small town; there is no hope for her. Drew saves her and tells her that she has an opportunity to break the cycle and she needs to take that chance, no matter how hard it may seem.
The fire between Drew and Vic is growing but I still like Craig better. He has been there for Vic through everything.
Vic makes a choice
Knowing that she has no other choice, Vic goes to Willa for help and gets the fake documents. She wants out and this is her one and only chance.
The taking of Haley Smith
While Bing meets with Manx in the forest, Haley comes by looking for Mittens. Bing and Mr. Manx were looking for the bridge and ask Haley if she knows who rides there. Intuitive enough to not take a candy cane from Charlie and realize he is strange, she leaves. Bing, believing he’s doing the right thing, attempts to grab Haley by the arm. Mr. Manx tells him to let her go and she kicks him as she runs off. Manx gets angry at Bing for grabbing Haley but agrees to give him a second chance to make it right.
Haley is a very smart girl that I wish would’ve gotten more of a chance to help Vic on her journey but every hero needs a reason to fight and Haley is Vic’s.
Using gas that he stole from his job, Bing puts on a gas mask and knocks out Haley who is in bed (while her mother showers) and brings her out to Charlie. Charlie, since the last episode, has aged quite some bit again and looks more like we have seen in the pilot. He needs a child and soon.
Even though Bing is made to look like an innocent man being dragged into an evil scheme, he has always seemed a little off to me from the beginning. If you were to look further into his past, I would bet he is someone who has always been a people pleaser and a follower. This is a combination terrible for an adult, but great for someone like Mr. Manx.
In an act of complete (and in my opinion unexpected) horror, Mr. Manx brutally slaughters Mittens, Haley’s cat. This is by far one of the hardest scenes to watch in the show thus far.
Vic finds Mittens
Haley’s father calls Vic and she realizes that Haley has been taken, following another warning phone call from Maggie. She asked if she had any connection to the word “smitten” as her tiles gave her that word. Until Haley’s father called, Vic brushed it off. She realizes that it was really spelling “Mittens”, and calls Maggie back in a panic. As the episode ends, Vic pulls up to Haley’s house and finds Mitten’s tag and then the dead cat. Horrified, she stands there.
This show gets better by the week. A lot of people complain it’s slow but I feel that character development is just as important as action and we get that. We’ve got some answers, but there are so many questions still to be answered.
I feel that with each episode the actors and actresses, especially the younger ones, give much stronger performances. It should be interesting to see how Vic and Maggie team up in the next episode, now both fighting on the same side and wanting to bring Haley home safe.
You should watch NOS4A2 on AMC, Sundays at 10/9c.
*Ariel B. contributed to this article
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