NOS4A2’s first season is officially underway as AMC released the pilot episode last Sunday. In last week’s episode, viewers were introduced to Vic McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings), a teenage girl who has the ability to travel through time when she rides her bike through a mysterious bridge.
The show’s main antagonist is Charlie Manx (Zachary Quinto), who drives around in an old Rolls-Royce Wraith and kidnaps children to take them to “Christmasland.” He too has a special power which allows him to drain the energy of the kids he kidnaps in order to rejuvenate himself. After kidnapping another child, it begins to transform into some sort of creature. Viewers were also introduced to Maggie (Jahkara Smith), another powered individual who uses scrabble tiles as a way to communicate.
In episode two, “The Graveyard of What Might Be,” Charlie visits Haverhill in search of The Shorter Way. During his investigation, he receives a solicitation of employment from Bing (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson), the school janitor, who is more than eager to help. Charlie takes him out for a test run to see if he’s fit to serve him. Meanwhile, Vic is attempting to handle all of her family drama and come to terms with her new-found powers. She and Maggie finally come face to face after Vic runs away from her parents arguing. Maggie tries to explain to Vic about their powers and asks her for help to save the boy that Charlie kidnapped during the first episode.
Vic’s family issues are shaping up to be an even bigger element in the show. I wasn’t quite sure if the show would just gloss over them or if they would show what sort of effect they have on Vic. I for one am glad they went with the second option, since it gives her character more to deal with than jus there powers. Her riding away in her bike to avoid having to listen to her parents argue is a great way to show how her home life and powers correlate with each other. Her need to get away and replaying conversations in her head is what sets her powers off. They provide a way out from her problems.
In “The Graveyard of What Might Be,” Maggie and Vic meet for the first time, bringing to light just how serious these new powers are and the dangers that they can bring. It doesn’t surprise me that Vic was more than happy to find any excuse to get away from Maggie. Vic doesn’t want to get involved in anything related to her abilities. She thought she could find lost things with her powers, but she only doubts herself even more than she did before she found out about these abilities.
This shows that she’s scared, which is completely normal. It would be alarming if she took all of this information without any real reflection and wasn’t afraid. It will be interesting to see how Vic gets over this hurdle and fully accepts her destiny.
The partnership that’s brewing between Charlie and Bing Partridge is shaping up to be a forced to be reckoned with for both Maggie and Vic. Not much has been revealed in the series about Bing’s past, but there’s surely a tragic event that’s lead him to seek employment at Christmasland. Though he doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into, Bing is so desperate to find a place to belong. This need to belong somewhere easily gives Charlie the necessary incentive to have Bing do whatever he pleases.
One of the main highlights from “The Graveyard of What Might Be” was the world building aspects. During Maggie and Vic’s meeting, Maggie gives a breakdown of the abilities that they have. For one, they’re known as Creatives, which is the official name for those who have their types of powers. Their abilities, also known as Inscapes, pertain to their own particular need. With Vic, since she’s desperate to get out of Haverhill, her Inscape is the bridge that lets her travel through time and space. The explanation was simple enough for me to follow but also didn’t reveal too many details.
Overall, I enjoyed watching the second episode of the show. It did drag on at times, especially with the family drama that Vic was going through. However, the drama does serve importance, it’s just the pacing of the episode that needs improvement. With sides starting to be drawn, Vic will have to make a decision since the lives of those children being kidnapped by Charlie rest in her hands.
NOS4A2 airs Sundays at 10 pm EST / 7 PM PST, only on AMC.
Fina Rating: 8/10 Christmasland Job Interviews