'NOS4A2' Season 2 Episode 3 Review: Vic and Manx meet at 'The Night Road' after Wayne and Lou dodge death
Manx asks to meet a mysterious man, we wonder if this falls into his plan to kill Vic and take Wayne to Christmasland
Spoilers for 'NOS4A2' Season 2 Episode 3 'The Night Road'
The third episode of Season 2 has finally merged the two narratives - Vic McQueen's (Ashleigh Cummings) son Wayne McQueen (Jason David) encountering Charlie Manx (Zachary Quinto) for a second time, as Manx tries to get the 6-year-old into the Wraith while Bing Patridge (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson) tries to harm Lou Carmody (Jonathan Langdon). It is an intense episode with Vic seeing both her parents, Chris (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and Linda (Virginia Kull) McQueen and Millie Manx (Mattea Conforti) having to confront what we would assume to be a scary past.
Millie had seen her father leave her in Christmasland at the end of episode two 'Good Father' even though she protested against his decision. This episode sees Millie stray a bit farther away from her father's twisted village and into her old childhood home where she's greeted by her mother, the woman that Millie had bitten to death. Terrified of her past and what seemed to be her mother's corpse, Millie runs away from the home. This was a cold start to a colder episode, making us wonder if Millie will stray away from the loyalty she has for her father and question her past.
We are then taken to the McQueen narrative - Vic had left Lou and Wayne behind as she rode off on her bike with the destination on The Shorter Way reading the 'Lake.' The second episode focused on Manx and didn't show us Vic's whereabouts. 'The Night Road' starts off with Vic meeting her father, who allows her to stay in his home and finds her a job on the condition that there is no liquor in the home - ironic considering Chris McQueen was a drunk when Vic was growing up. Vic then makes her way to Haverhill, to her mother Linda's home where a phone call from the Colorado State police had her on a mission to find and kill Manx, again.
Back at the McQueen household in Colorado where Vic left Wayne and Lou to fend for themselves, the duo gets a visit from Bing. With Bing close by, so was Manx lurking to try to persuade Wayne to get into the Wraith. Bing pretending to need Lou's help on a Harley at the garage, keeps Lou well distracted as Manx approached Wayne with twinkling lights and the 'Silent Night' Christmas Carol. The child walked away from the front of the home and down the road to greet Manx in person. "We meet again Bruce Wayne McQueen," he tells Wayne showing him magic tricks that get a candy cane out of Wayne's ear and Christmas presents in the Wraith to lure the child in. At the garage, Lou notices Bing's gas mask in the truck as he stood in the back inspecting the Harley. Suspecting the worse, he calls Vic with their code '1048 Fairbanks' but Vic was already drunk and listening to loud music upstairs in her mother's home, unable to hear the phone. "You're my only hope," he tells Vic through a voicemail. Lou does manage to hit Bing across the head with the belts that had secured the bike to his truck and sets out to find Wayne.
Wayne, who was mesmerized by the prospect of celebrating Christmas, a holiday his family doesn't celebrate for obvious reasons, almost makes it into the Wraith but he stops and asks Manx "what's the password." The password is the code '1048 Fairbanks' but Manx says "There are no passwords in Christmasland" and Wayne screams "WRONG" and runs away right into Lou in the forest. Here is where Vic gets a call from police that she does finally pick up, finding out that Manx is, in fact, alive and that her man and Wayne were in danger. After asking Tabitha Hutter (Ashley Romans) for help, Vic arranged for Lou and Wayne to be taken to Maggie Leigh's (Jahkara Smith) and Tabitha's home for safety while she made her way to the Parnassus bar to kill Manx.
Manx is at the bar to meet Abe (Reg Rogers), asking him if Abe could introduce him to a man named Hourglass. After Manx manipulates Abe into getting him to introduce him to Hourglass, the end of the episode shows Hourglass ready to meet Manx but has no idea who Vic is. Abe was now a retired man and warned Manx of the "girl on the bike" aka Vic telling him that if he doesn't let go he'd end up dead by her hands, again. That was an interesting pitch as Manx is aware that many are afraid of Vic and he should be too, but he wants revenge. At the bar, Manx gets a call from his daughter Millie who asks when he'd be coming back to Christmasland. "You'll have a new friend to play within no time, and you'll be very glad you waited. Assuming you've been a good girl while I've been away," Manx tells his daughter. Millie starts to tell him that she saw a light atop Candy Mountain, "who's up there?" she asks. Insisting that it's nothing, Manx threatens Millie that she'll be on the naughty list should she stay away from the gates. She lies and tells him she wasn't being naughty, telling him nothing more of what she had encountered. The end of the episode sees Millie go back to the home on the mountain again, this time shocked to see her mother say, "Millie."
Manx, of course, goes from one dilemma to another as just as he cuts the phone with his daughter, he's greeted by Vic with a gas can ready to burn down the Wraith. "We are on the Night Road, an inscape formed by the collective unconscious of a community of people just like us. Access requires certain darkness of the soul," Manx tells Vic mocking her about her darkness that he lists as " Teen pregnancy, a child born out of wedlock, the death of Craig, Wayne's father." Through his taunting, Vic tries to light the Wraith on fire, but the Rolls-Royce has a mind of its own and dodges it gracefully. Vic leaves warning Manx that she'll kill him even if it means she has to die. Making her way back to Haverhill to her mother's home, Linda has a heart-to-heart with her daughter telling her that she needs to back to Wayne. "A mother stays," she tells Vic. Vic goes to Maggie's and Tabitha's home, where Maggie assures her that they will get Manx. Now, Wayne and Lou are understandably upset at Vic for leaving them high and dry but Vic tells Lou that she's there to stay.
This episode had everyone's heart racing because Wayne and Lou were so close to dying, which is an incredible feat for just Episode 3. While we are glad that, that did not happen, we have to say that this episode did not fully delved into the main narrative that Season 2 is to focus on. With Vic now knowing that Manx is alive and is after Wayne, she is able to use Maggie's help in order to find Manz and kill him. The scene where we see Vic and Manx confront each other is the first of the season and we're expecting a lot more battles with the duo. It makes us wonder what Manx and Bing have in their plans next with Wayne and Lou now as safe as they can be with Vic. The episode focused on Manx's character being a revenge-seeking soul with Vic struggling to be a good mother as she drinks to help calm her fears. It's an interesting dynamic to think that a Strong Creative such as Vic is unable to shake an addiction that seemingly looks to be alcohol, but we all know her addiction is beating Manx. Her obsession and fear of Manx being alive were made evident since Episode 1 and it's great to see the writers build on that as Vic tries her hand at murdering Manx, again.
'NOS4A2' Season 2 episodes air Sundays at 10 pm ET on AMC.