Episode 9: “Sleigh House”
Directed by Hanelle Culpepper
Written by Thomas Brady
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Parnassus” – click here
* For a recap & review of the finale, “Gunbarrel” – click here
Craig (Dalton Harrod) can’t keep his promise to Vic (Ashleigh Cummings) about staying away from Bing (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson). The guy was doing so well with the toxic masculine behaviour, too! No dude’s perfect. Y’know, the big crazy custodian did kidnap Vic and gas her. Can’t blame Craig. Bing is making Christmas cookies when he’s attacked by Craig with a bat. The two of them end up wrestling and the young guy is no match. He does okay, kicking the shit out of Bing a while.
Father Gore fears his blood is what’s mixing with the flour and holiday sprinkles.
Across town, Vic is at the motel with Maggie (Jahkara Smith), who’s hungover and also working that near overdose out of her system. Our artist gets a visit from Millie Manx (Mattea Conforti). It’s only a vision. Vic can’t get in contact with Craig, either. She also worries about Maggie, having seen the price people pay because of addiction, and scared she wants to die. The witchy Scrabble woman just blames what happened to Joe on herself. Vic is doing the same to herself, scared for Craig’s safety.
She should be, considering Bing’s alive, well, and delivering the kid to you know who.
In the woods, Charlie Manx (Zachary Quinto) meets with Bing. Father Gore was right! He stole that child from the man who gave him a ride to the store. He didn’t want to delay the new boy’s arrival at Christmasland— and the vampire child is HUNGRY. Bing tells Manx all about what happened at the “House of Sleep.” He feels bad, and Charlie admonishes him. He’s put the custodian on the Naughty List, where he’s been a while. Manx tells him to get in the Wraith.
Bing offers Craig. He’ll probably only be fodder for another game of Scissors for the Drifter in Christmasland, or a meal for the vamp boy. Manx talks to Craig, admiring him for trying to protect Vic. He sees the kid’s in love. He also considers Vic “ruined” due to them sleeping together— a nasty, misogynistic creature. No surprise. He’s been killing ‘bad’ mommies. He feels spurned for believing Ms. McQueen was “pure” and isn’t so mad at Bing anymore.
Maggie’s Scrabble tiles tell the girls Craig is with the Wraith. She also pulls tiles to show Vic isn’t ready to face Manx. This doesn’t deter McQueen. She wants to head off on her own, to use her inscape and find Craig. She feels responsible for him, even if it’s his own dumb dude fault for ultimately getting mixed up in the whole ordeal. Maggie reluctantly watches her friend go.
She calls the cops, claiming Bing has Vic and Craig. This brings Dt. Hutter (Ashley Romans) back into their lives. The cops start finding creepy things soon as they begin looking through Bing’s place. Hutter puts a BOLO out for him and his vehicle, on suspicion of murder + kidnapping.
Vic’s at the bridge. SLEIGH HOUSE appears on the wall. She rushes through her inscape tunnel coming out into a field. A house isn’t far off. In its garage is the Wraith with the little vamp boy in the backseat, trying to catch something to eat— his touch leaves a searing cold scar on her forearm. She hears Craig in the trunk, trying to break him out but it doesn’t work. The kid chases after her. She runs to the house. The Chipmunks are singing a Christmas tune on the record player.
Outside, Manx is having a look at Vic’s knife and her inscape. He tosses the bike through the bridge. It all disappears. The young artist’s trapped.
“No impure girls in Christmasland today…”
Manx corners Vic inside. He says she broke his “old heart” and will only be fit for a “proper meal” to feed the kids. He’s going to burn her to death if she won’t come out of the locked room. She isn’t willing, so Charlie starts pouring gasoline. He takes a picture Millie drew off the fridge to hold onto as a keepsake. Otherwise, he’s ready to burn it all.
A fire starts. Vic looks for a way out. Her options are few and far between.
Maggie turns to her Scrabble tiles, asking about Bing. The tiles spell GAS.
The big guy’s over at his workplace, stealing as much “gingerbread gas” as he’s able to fit in the trunk. His boss at the factory finds him and fires him. He’s going to call the cops. Bing starts to go off and things are getting dangerous. Simultaneously, Maggie tells Dt. Hutter where to find him. She can’t explain it other than the “Scrabble bag.” She tries to tell the cop there are people with amazing abilities, and she’s one of them. She pleads for Hutter to listen in spite of it sounding wild. The cop listens.
Except they can’t find Bing at the factory. He’s already gone, leaving his boss tied up in the car with a dick drawn across his forehead in marker.
Vic pulls herself up into a vent in the house while the fire all but nips at her heels. She makes it up a decent way, then tumbles down to the floor. She finds the strength to climb back into the vent with flames all around. Into the vent she goes, proving to herself building an inscape with her mind isn’t the only strength she possesses. She hangs on to make her escape instead of getting scorched alive.
Right as she’s free, she sees the Wraith leave.
Father Gore hasn’t personally found any of these episodes not enjoyable. The story builds so well along with all the characters that every chapter in the series feels like one of those delicious Christmas cookies that Bing the Thing bakes.
Hey, he may be a psycho, but those look tasty!
The finale— “Gunbarrel”— is next.