NOS4A2 Episode 6: The Dark Tunnels
This week, we start again by going back in time to Saugus, Massachusetts. It is 1954 where we’re introduced to a younger Jo, who is working at Adventure Car Hop when a familiar Wraith pulls up and beeps its horn. Roller skating to where Charlie waits, it’s clear the two of them are in some sort of relationship.
It’s a different Charlie than we are used to. He starts out sweet, declaring his love for her and asking for Jo to come with him. They’re definitely in a relationship. He repeats she just has to say yes. Jo asks about the children and why she has never seen them. He has an answer, but she admits she’s been following him. That she can’t go with him because then she would really know what he is up to. So, like Vic, he’s trying to convince her to come be with him… perhaps be the mother to the kids?
It’s incredible how fast his demeanor changes, how we see a more familiar Charlie in just seconds. He locks the car door but does eventually let her out. Sometime later, when it’s dark we see Jo leaving for the night. She’s alone in the parking lot when headlights pop on and the Wraith begins to chase her, Charlie behind the wheel. Jo takes off in her skates, the static of the car growing louder while both their paces pick up. Just before he catches her, she disappears into thin air, and Charlie crashes into her car.
At the mental health hospital, Vic is questioned by various doctors. They ask her about her eye and mental state, to which Vic answers, albeit a bit begrudgingly. She tells the psychiatrist that she has things to do and is ready to leave. He disagrees and asks her about Charlie Manx, says that when people are under stress sometimes they create situations to deal with them.
Vic grows frustrated, getting up and trying to leave. The doctor tells her that he can extend her voluntary stay for up to 90 days, it was part of her terms when she signed the paperwork. She grows more agitated as she eludes she didn’t want to sign it, but then when he questions if Chris forced her to, she tells him she is 18 and that it was her decision.
Why are psychiatrists always so annoying in shows? This one is definitely stereotypical, sit on a couch and tell me your life kind of doctor. Vic obviously isn’t going to open up to him.
Strong Creative Meets Strong Creative
After the doctor tells her they’re done for the day, Vic heads out to the hallway and right to Jo’s room. Whether she went there by instinct or by choice, it isn’t clear. A nurse is adjusting the woman as static plays on the radio that he can’t seem to fix. He then tells her that she hit the roommate jackpot, as Jo hasn’t said a word in ages. So, they’re roommates. Well, that’s just perfect.
The static on the radio switches to the music in the opening sequence and Jo beckons her closer. Vic gets to her ear and Jo whispers, “Charlie Manx”, leaving a look of shock on our young heroine’s face.
A Possible Solution
She asks if Maggie came to see her, then if she is a strong creative. While Jo doesn’t speak anymore, she squeezes Vic’s hand for answers, and when she asks her about Christmasland, seems equally horrified. A nurse bringing medication stops the conversation. Much to Vic’s surprise, they have medication for her. Lorazepam and Imitrex, one to relax her and one for her headaches.
She doesn’t want to take it, but the nurse says failure to comply will extend her stay at the hospital.
It is Jo who will not take her medication now, and the nurse leaves the pills on the table to go find another way to give them to her. Vic rushes to throw them down the sink, but when she comes back tells the nurse that Jo took them. The nurse tells her that Jo is a paranoid schizophrenic and that without her medication, they would know soon.
Interesting… is she really mentally ill or is that just what others believe because of her powers? I’m willing to bet without the medication we see a Jo that is capable of more than just whispering and frail movement.
The Next Morning
Vic is back in the room with the doctor, and he tells her that Maggie pulled through the surgery and will make a full recovery, so she has nowhere to be or anyone to worry about. He then begins to ask her about art school and why it is so important to her after he shows her a picture she drew on his tablet of Charlie Manx.
This leads to a conversation about her parents and if it ever got violent in her home. She believes that art school is her ticket out of repeating their lives. She admits that her parents fought and that it got physical, though she blames both of them. The doctor tells her that victims of violence sometimes also victimize their own children.
Vic tells him that her father never hit her, and only hit her mother after a bender. The doctor asks her if she believes alcohol use excuses abuse. We see Vic uncomfortable after this question as if she never thought of it that way.
Later, Vic’s mother brings her some things and she asks where her father is. She tells her that only Tiffany was there, and Chris wasn’t around. Vic asks where he would be, and her mother suggests a bar. Vic asks if that is his excuse like the doctor said to her earlier. Her mother tells her she never needs one to come home.