2×08: “Chris McQueen”
Directed by Tricia Brock
Written by Megan Mostyn-Brown
* For a recap & review of “Cripple Creek,” click here.
* For a recap & review of “Welcome to Christmasland,” click here.
We get a glimpse of Chris McQueen giving a eulogy in the wake of his Vietnam veteran father’s death. He spoke about some of the faults of his father, as well as some of his dad’s tender secrets, like a love of poetry. He was surprised by this, and it made him realise he didn’t fully know his father, either. We can see Chris has taken after his father a bit, like the “hiding“— from bars to the lake house. Linda watching on from a pew in church might’ve learned a few things about her husband at the time, too. What’s clear about Chris is that he’s lost some important people to him, and that he’s lived with a great deal of pain the majority of his life. Military service during the Gulf War probably didn’t do him any favours. What was somewhere along the line a decent eulogy devolves into Chris laying bare all that pain he was feeling. He snapped at his wife afterwards, then took off on his bike, leaving Linda and little Vic at the church.
Cut to current day.
Chris, Lou, and Vic are working on her bike in Linda’s kitchen. It’s not easy, it’s slow going, but things are happening at least. Hopefully this gives Chris that sense of purpose he’s always felt was missing, to be a part of something greater. Most of all, hopefully they can save Wayne. Once the bike’s running again, Vic thanks her father for everything he’s done. Then the two of them prepare to hit the road. Now, dad’s going to see firsthand the “magical bridge” his daughter’s been using all this time. Linda chases them far enough to see the opening of the bridge. And Chris holds on as Vic takes him through to the other side, where they arrive at the junkyard where the Wraith had previously been. The only thing left is some duct tape and Wayne’s phone. They hear noise nearby and come upon Bing, his gut run through with a steel rod. Chris goes nuts on Bing, beating him mercilessly trying to find out where his grandson’s been taken. The big man passes out for now, and after that the FBI take him into custody.
Tabitha tells Vic they’ll find out what they can about Wayne from Bing. She’s given a shot by her bosses to speak with the killer. The two sit together across an interrogation room table. Tabitha brings up Mr. Partridge’s years in juvenile detention, then digs in about the location of the boy. She tries levelling with the man about her own work troubles, similar to the ones he’s experienced with Charlie as a kind of boss. “I wish I‘d never met him,” Bing says distantly. Tabitha offers to try getting Vic in for a conversation with Bing, so long as he works with the FBI.
Vic agrees to speak to Bing alone. He apologises for helping Manx come back to life. Vic says he can make up for what he’s done by telling her how to find Wayne. Bing brings up the days when they were friends, trading comics together. That was before Vic found out he was a psychosexual killer. At the moment he’s reduced to a very child-like version of himself, trapped by all the trauma that turned him into a monstrous being. He tells Vic about the “last stop” before Christmasland where each child hangs an ornament. So she goes directly to Maggie, hoping the tiles will aide her further.
While the FBI think Bing murdered Wayne and buried him in the graveyard, Maggie’s using the tiles to help Vic. This doesn’t entirely sit well with Tabitha. Yet thankfully the tiles says Wayne hasn’t hung his ornament. That gives the crew time. It also gives Maggie and Tabitha time to discuss their relationship. The FBI agent’s not a fan of not living “in the real world” while Maggie has one foot, or arm, in a whole other realm. She thinks Maggie would never be happy with a normal life. It looks like the end for their romantic relationship. Still, Tabitha agrees to take Maggie to get a flight to Colorado. Meanwhile we see Vic arguing with her parents. She doesn’t want Chris coming along because of what happened with Bing, though her dad begs until she relents.
This gives Chris and Vic time to talk about difficult things, like forgiveness. When Lou and Maggie get there they discuss the rest of their plan. Suddenly, a wind starts to blow and there are child-like voices on the breeze. Vic goes through the trees looking for anybody near. Someone calls out to her directly— it’s Millie. The young vampire girl explains that if Charlie dies, all the kids in Christmasland die, too. Millie wants to live, to grow up, to experience life. She begs Vic to help her get out, offering to show her a secret. Millie rolls up a snowball and passes it through the invisible divide, then it disappears. Maybe this can be of use to them.
That night, the Wraith rolls up to the last stop before Christmasland.
Manx and the depleted Wayne hop out. The boy goes to find a branch to hang his ornament when the Wraith’s electrical system goes haywire. In the trees, Maggie sees Wayne and tries to stop him, but the kid shows off his vampire teeth, running into the woods. Lou runs into Wayne and the boy remembers him, both grabbing hold of each other in a hug. The lights in the Wraith flicker and the horn blares. Charlie hears Vic’s bike so he hops in his car and heads towards the sound. They face off to play chicken. And when the explosives go off, forcing Manx to swerve, it also makes Wayne chomp down on his dad’s shoulder.
But Chris keeps setting off the explosives, trying to get Manx. Yet misses each time. Bad moment for Vic’s bike not to start. So what does Chris do? He rushes to help Vic push the bike out of the way, only to get his legs runs over. While Vic and her father watch on, Wayne climbs back into the Wraith willingly. That’s when Charlie snaps Chris’s neck right in front of Vic. Oh, god. Chris was a shit dad but never deserved that.
Will this light another fire under Vic’s ass?
And what about Lou’s bite? What happens there? Goddamn.