AMC’s NOS4A2
2×10: “Bats”
Directed by Toa Fraser
Written by Jami O’Brien

* For a recap of the penultimate “Welcome to Christmasland,” click here.
* Will Vic McQueen ride again for a Season 3?
Father Son Holy Gore - NOS4A2 - Zachary Quinto as Charlie ManxChristmasland is falling apart. Vic can see Wayne is “still warm,” there’s hope left. She pulls her son out of there, running into Maggie on their way. She tells Maggie to go to the bridge while she and her boy hop on the bike. They make their way over the bridge and back to Lou, who’s thrilled to see them back. Wayne’s still a bit demon vampire-ish, so Tabitha throws the cuffs on him. In the meantime, Ms. McQueen’s got to head back across her inscape to get her friend, still at the edge of Christmasland.

Charlie’s in his Wraith again at the gates of Christmasland. He’s not in great shape after Vic cranked his skull a couple times. He manages to open the gates and wheeze himself back to the car. Elsewhere, poor Maggie’s been found by a bunch of the little demons. A demon doctor child is about to do some kind of depraved surgery right when Vic comes busting through to save her. They hop on Vic’s back as Manx turns up, too. And so, a chase.
Back on the road to Christmasland, Lou and Tabitha figure out the ornaments are like horcruxesfrom Harry Potter.” They see Wayne humming in front of his ornament. So, Tabitha smashes it, and she starts smashing the others. The kid immediately goes into fits of pain. He starts expelling bloody liquid. Bad idea?
Father Son Holy Gore - NOS4A2 - Ashleigh Cummings as Vic McQueenVic and Maggie go to the bridge where they face Manx and his Wraith in a game of chicken. The bats fly at the vehicle as Vic uses her creative powers. The bats crowd Manx’s view, and suddenly, as Vic’s eye starts to bleed, the floor of the bridge gives way. The Wraith sinks into the bridge. Vic keeps pushing and pushing until the car tips through the hole into a pool of static below, disappearing. After that, the whole bridge starts collapsing. Vic and Maggie get on the bike in time to speed away, back to the road where they’re reunited with their friends— where Wayne’s now safe again. And, after all this, Charlie’s finally dead. Moments later all the kids from Christmasland come walking confused out of the trees, returned back to normal. What about little Millie? Who does she have now?

A month later.
At the dinner table, Wayne nearly stabs his mother with a fork but holds himself back. Vic just wants him to eat all his veggies and stuff! Maybe there’s still a little Manx left in him. Although Lou makes a good point when he asks Vic how long it took her to get over her encounter with the demon vampire, or whatever the hell he was, but the worried mother can’t help but be concerned for her boy. Vic doesn’t drink anymore so she’s turned to sketching when she’s in a bad place, getting back to the person she was before her tussle with Charlie.
Tabitha’s working to help get the Christmasland kids settled. She found Maggie’s bag of tiles on one of them. Maggie is looking at all manner of weird stuff on the internet, probably trying to find a purpose for her gift. It’s sad to see her and Tabitha’s relationship die. They were good together. Though Maggie does have an unhealthy relationship with those tiles.
Father Son Holy Gore - NOS4A2 - Mattea Conforti as Millie ManxAt night, Vic catches Wayne standing on the counter having “sugar for dinner” straight out of the bag. She tells him to get down and it’s like he snaps out of a dream. He throws the bag down, apologising, and hugs his mom tight. She knows that something isn’t right. For the time being, they go upstairs and brush their teeth. Wayne spits out toothpaste and blood. Even the little dude is worried now.

The boy can’t sleep so he goes out on his bike. He finds dead animals, trailing all the way to Millie, feeding off whatever she can find to eat. He wants to go back to Christmasland. She says there isn’t a way back. At least she hasn’t found one. The two of them lay together in the grass, lamenting what once was back at Christmasland. Plus, Millie’s all alone in the world now that Vic killed her father. “This world is lonesome,” she says. Neither does she want to break her ornament and be a real girl again. They discuss growing up and Wayne sees grownups as people pretending to be happy “but really theyre just tired.” So, Millie decides her mission is to bring Christmasland back, to return the kids there. She wants Wayne to help. They’re interrupted by Vic coming t look for her son. Millie leaves, asking him to remember her. Oh, my. Trouble.

Somewhere else, in the river, Charlie’s corpse is found by kids amongst the Wraith’s wreckage. Is he truly gone for good? Back home, Vic and Linda clean up Chris’s things together. They talk about family, how Linda got through all those years with an alcoholic, abusive husband, and Vic’s left wondering how she’ll do with Wayne and everything they’ve been through together. One thing the McQueens do have is strong women.
Tabitha has the rest of the Wraith brought to a junkyard. She and Vic and all the others are there to watch the remnants be crushed into oblivion. Like a happy funeral. Charlie’s already been cremated; dead and gone. Finally, the Wraith gets crunched, though Wayne feels drawn to it still. Can the McQueen-Carmody crew move on now?
Father Son Holy Gore - NOS4A2 - Charlie and the Wraith DeadIn the aftermath, Vic’s giving up her inscape. She wants a “happy ending.” She’d rather be a regular creative, not a strong one like Maggie and Charlie and the Hourglass and the rest. Yet Maggie isn’t done exploring, she wants to follow her tiles. Is this obsession going to lead her to dark places? Could it turn her into what Manx became? What the Hourglass taught her is dangerous and ever since I’ve been worried about her.

Vic and Lou talk to Wayne about Charlie. He reluctantly lets them look at a picture he drew, of him and Millie back at Christmasland. Lou tells the boy that even things that feel good sometimes aren’t actually good for you, like the sugar incident. Wayne admits something’s wrong with him inside. That’s a self aware little lad. And his mother admits to feeling the same, confessing her own flaws honestly to her son. She suggests using that drawing as an outlet, even if he’s drawing “scary things.” Because emotional release in a positive, non-harmful way is good.

Whereas Maggie continues to burn herself to use her tiles, seeking the “World of Thought.” They send her to a hotel. She steps into an out of service elevator, like it’s a sign. She’s headed down. But is it to someplace good?
Then there’s Millie. She’s very hungry, and she WILL eat.
Father Son Holy Gore - NOS4A2 - Millie Manx AttacksSlightly anti-climactic ending. I still really enjoyed the finale. But it was a bit lacklustre for me. I’m excited for a potential Season 3. I’d love to see more of the big world hinted at behind everything. This is so much more than Charlie or Vic, they’re only a pair of strong creatives. There are so many more that could be explored. And wherever Maggie’s headed, both literally and figuratively, could get crazy interesting, or horrific— or both!

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