AMC’s NOS4A2
2×04: “The Lake House”
Directed by Craig Macneill
Written by Megan Mostyn-Brown

* For a recap & review of 2×03, “The Night Road,” click here.
* For a recap & review of 2×05, “Bruce Wayne McQueen,” click here.
Father Son Holy Gore - NOS4A2 - Charlie is the Man in the MoonChristmas songs echo in the air, as young Wayne McQueen follows the sound downstairs, looking out the window to see Christmas trees with lights everywhere, and a vampire child choir calling: “Come play with us, Wayne.” In the middle of the night, Vic wakes to see her boy at the window humming the tune of the choir’s carol. She can’t see what he’s seeing. Wayne opens the door to Charlie Manx, explaining in Christmaland “happiness is against the law.” Charlie tells the boy he’s special, like the others there. Finally, Vic snaps the boy out of it. He won’t easily forget, though. He can still see the lights outside and Charlie’s face in the moon. He still has that candy cane in his pocket.

The next day, Vic tells Wayne they’re going to go to Chris’s house on the lake. Lou keeps going hard on the nerd references, handing over a new phone “Lucius Foxstyle” for the boy to use. Probably a good thing when dealing with a “supernatural kidnapper.” That doesn’t mend everything else going on with their shattered family. Meanwhile, Maggie breaks it to Tabitha that she’s going with Vic. We also see that their relationship has gotten to be a much more intimate one. Tabitha has her own stuff to keep her busy, trying to track Bing Partridge along his murderous trail.
Father Son Holy Gore - NOS4A2 - Ornaments in the TreesVic and her crew arrive at the lake, where Chris meets Maggie and Lou, as well as his grandson, Wayne. Not the greatest of circumstances to meet such important people, yet it’s better late than never. Wayne notes the cabin’s slightly creepy. It’ll probably grow on him once he gets adventuring in the woods and fishing in the lake. Kids are adaptable. Problem is, Christmasland is calling out to Wayne all the time, from that candy cane he has stashed to a vision of ornaments appearing in the trees.
Then there’s Vic and her father having a frank discussion about safety. Dad’s going to help with some ANFO he has lying around. Later, Lou and Vic talk about “Team McCarmody” and whether they have a future if she can’t get her head straight. He’s not being unreasonable, in spite of all the supernatural madness. Things are somewhat happier the next morning when Chris and Lou are on the dock with Wayne teaching him how to fish. Maggie tries to cheer Vic up, giving her hope for change.

In the evening, Vic and Chris have father-daughter time making bombs. They chat more about their shared alcoholism. He’s been cleaned up a while and intends on keeping it that way, so this is likely the best place for her to be, with someone who understands the disease well. They’re interrupted by Lou, who’s looking for Wayne. The kid is by the window. When Vic goes to him her boy whispers: “Sometimes mom doesnt like us.” Might as well have come straight out of Manx’s mouth. And it hurts Vic. At least she isn’t going on a bender.
The following day Vic talks to her dad, worrying that Lou’s going to leave her. Chris makes clear that Lou doesn’t have to be there, yet he chooses to be, and that’s not nothing. He talks truthfully about his relationship with Linda and how he tore the family up by never choosing to stay or go, always in the middle somewhere. He advises his daughter to fight for Lou if that’s what she wants, otherwise it’s just pain for everybody. Looks like she’s going to fight, too. She jumps off the wharf into the lake with her boys, having fun for the first time in a long while. That night, Vic and Lou talk privately. She brings up a fond memory, despite a broken ankle, and she tells him she doesn’t want to lose him. He wonders if she wasn’t in “mortal danger,” would she have picked him. She’s not sure, but she tells him: “Id pick you again.” She tells Lou she wants to quit drinking, to be a better person.
Then they have to go planting bombs.

Scary, scary: Wayne’s off for a walk with Manx. He talks of his messed up family, he doesn’t want to hide anymore. Vic finds him, but she can’t snap her boy out of this vision right away. Charlie asks the boy to tell him where they are, so he can come pick him up and take him to Christmasland. The kid gives up the location and Vic’s got no clue why he’s rambling until he hums the Christmas carols, and she sees the candy cane in his pocket. But Charlie already knows where they’ve gone. When Vic asks Wayne about it later he admits Manx gave it to him, and also lashes out about wanting a “regular mom” and a normal life. She admits to not being a good mom. She tells Wayne she’s going to try to change.
Father Son Holy Gore - NOS4A2 - House of SleepTabitha has tracked Mr. Patridge down. She calls for backup, realising he’s getting ready to leave his latest location. She doesn’t want to wait, so she puts on her vest and FBI jacket. Before she gets out of the car there’s a call from Maggie, but she ignores it and goes on anyway. I don’t doubt Tabitha’s skills. I only worry because Bing is a terrifying, murderous entity, he’s barely even human anymore. At the lake, Maggie’s worried for her partner. She decides to break out the tiles again. They read: House of Sleep. Poor Maggie proceeds to have a rough seizure. This all prompts Vic to rush off to help, she knows where to find Bing’s place, and Lou supports her this time.
And into the creepy House of Sleep goes Tabitha, where she sees Christmas lights strung up above newspaper clippings about the Manx Spree. She goes further with caution and gun drawn, looking for any sign of the big man. Bing nabs her from behind, knocking her gun to the floor. She’s able to give him a good punches so he lets go. His sheer size and strength does not bode well. He tosses Tabitha around the place, and she uses what she can grab to incapacitate him, eventually getting her gun. She knocks him down hard and puts cuffs on him. She didn’t anticipate Manx turning up from the shadows. He’s going to kill her there instead of dragging her back to Christmasland. Tabitha puts a bullet in Charlie, stopping him in his tracks. We all know he won’t just die that easy.

Moments later, Charlie rises, and the Rolls’s engine revs up.
He and Bing are gone before the cops arrive on the scene. Vic and Maggie get there not long afterwards. That leaves Wayne, Lou, and Chris at the lake. The boy tells his dad: “I think I did a bad thing.” Lou calls Vic, explaining Wayne told Manx where they are, and this sends Mama McQueen rushing back to the lake. Goddamn.
Father Son Holy Gore - NOS4A2 - Charlie Manx's Bullet HeadProbably my favourite episode of Season 2 so far. Things are getting spooky now.
And very, very dangerous.

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