NOS4A2 Season 2 Premiere: Bad Mother
Charlie Manx is dead.
Or is he? That’s not the only significant change since we last saw our heroes try and take down Charlie Manx.
Let’s start. Vic is married to Lou and has an eight-year-old son. She doesn’t have her knife or inscape and has moved halfway across the country, working in a tattoo shop. Maggie has fallen in love and given up using her tiles. And Bing? Bing is off doing what he does best: being creepy as hell.
I admit I’m not too sure how I feel about the time jump, or Vic being a mother. We see her pregnant in the finale of season one, and apparently, history has repeated itself in more ways than one. It is like she’s looking in the mirror, but instead of herself, she’s seeing parts of her parents. Still easily flustered by just the mention of the name Charlie Manx, Vic stumbles throughout this episode.
When news breaks that Charlie died in prison, she’s quick not to believe it. You can’t blame her for that. I wouldn’t either, knowing how sinister and dark his powers make him. Besides, she’s got more to look out for these days: Wayne, a spitting image of his father, Craig, and her husband, Lou.
Was I the only one surprised these two stayed together? To be fair, Lou seems like a great guy. He genuinely cares for her, and he seems fiercely protective and loyal to Wayne when he doesn’t have to be. Still, even great guy’s can have their limits met.
Upon hearing that Manx is dead, Vic wants confirmation from Maggie. When she calls, asking for such, Maggie is over that life. Manx is dead, and she’s moved on. She’s in love with the FBI agent from last season. Maggie is one of my favorite characters, and I’m hoping she stays as fierce and badass as the previous season. While she initially tells Vic, she will not use the tiles to confirm, this doesn’t stay that way. Tabitha goes to work, and Maggie sneaks into the library to consult the supernatural side of her life.
The tiles confirm that Manx is dead, but if that were the case, would we even be here right now?
Creepy child to Manx, Millie is enjoying her newfound power to terrorize small children from Christmasland. Children around the world tell the tales of Mr. Manx and his serial killer ways. However, Millie discovers she can hear the children and send the souls of the other children to them as a form of torment. I have to say: Millie Manx is badass in a creepy, mini version of her father, way.
She doesn’t stop there. Soon, she realizes Vic is trying to worm her way back in and threatens Vic with a quick wit of her tongue. On Vic’s end, Millie’s taunting is the incessant ringing of phones that only she can hear (much like last season). As she rummages through the house, terrifying Wayne, she finally hears the small, but dominant voice of Millie, telling her to back off. Vic throws all of the phones into the oven or other means of disposal and tries to regain some sanity.
But Does She Have it?
I’m a little bummed that the character of Vic is reduced at one point to drinking and falling apart within just minutes of learning more about Manx’s demise. Sure, Millie is out there, and she’s angry, but she’s held it together for eight years WHILE he was alive, hasn’t she? Lou finds her knife from a friend named Sam, giving her the perfect excuse to try and use her inscape.
It leads her to the morgue, where Manx’s body lies. He doesn’t move when she approaches, and I’m thankful that the show shies away from a cheap jump scare like that. She plunges something into his heart (or whatever is in place of it), and leaves, sure that this is the end. However, when she comes back through the bridge, she sees Lou and Wayne outside of their house that has caught fire.
Lou thinks that Vic cannot handle what is going on, and well, he wouldn’t be wrong. If Manx isn’t dead, she’s going to have to pull it together for the second battle of her life.
While Bing is absolutely mad as ever, I have to say I really, really enjoy his character. He’s childish but morbid and still loyal to Mr. Manx when in reality, he probably shouldn’t be. He’s searching for the torched Wraith and is posing as a man named Ethan Anders. More put together and less frazzled janitor, at first look, you might not think it is the same guy. But when he discovers the Wraith being sold by a man across the country, he attempts to repurchase it. The seller tells him it will go up at a car sale, and he’s not taking that. He knocks him out (Gingerbread gas, maybe?), and the engine is restored inside, not soon after.
What do you know? Manx’s heart starts to beat. (Dun, dun, dun.)
I’m not too sure what to think of this episode. I really loved season one. Zachary Quinto is a stellar actor, and he portrays Manx so well. Vic, too, is one hell of a character, however, it feels watered down and not quite the same. I get how mental health can play a role in someone’s life, and I hope that the character regains some of her fire as the episodes continue.
Christmasland is one of my absolute favorite parts of this show. There’s something absolutely amazing about a place that is usually so joyful and magical to have such dark, twisted focus instead. Millie Manx looks to be a promising character, too, as she becomes more involved with her father’s charades.
As for Lou? He seems nice, but I don’t see him sticking it out with Vic. There is something that doesn’t mesh between them for me.
I’d give this episode a 7/10 as an opener, with high hopes that the rest of the season is as creepy and effed up as the last one. With such quality actors on the cast, I have no doubt that won’t be the case.
Tune in to AMC next Sunday at 10 pm to see the next episode of NOS4A2.