The sixth episode of NOS4A2‘s first season, “The Dark Tunnels”, just aired on AMC. In last week’s episode, Vic (Ashleigh Cummings) deals with not being able to save Hayley (Darby Camp) and finding Hayley’s mother (Elizabeth Stanley) in a nearby field. Vic starts to lose her mind, which puts a strain on her relationship with her father (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) and his girlfriend. The police interrogate Vic about the strange occurrences that have been going on in Haverhill. She knows that she can’t confess what’s truly going on, so she makes up a story. Meanwhile, Charlie (Zachary Quinto) contacts Vic through Bing Partridge (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson), asking for them to meet. She and Maggie (Jahkara Smith) come up with a plan but Vic decides to confront him alone, knowing how dangerous Charlie is. Maggie tags along without Vic’s knowledge and ends up being run over by the wraith.
The episode opens with a flashback that reveals more about Charlie and Jolene’s (Morgan Lindholm) relationship. Back in present day, Vic is put under psychiatric watch and is forced to stay in the hospital. She happens to share a room with an older Jolene (Judith Roberts), who is all too familiar with Charlie. Jolene is the only other person who could know what Vic has gone through. Jolene shows Vic how her powers work and even gives her advice about how to deal with Charlie. Meanwhile, Charlie gets some unexpected visitors.
The opening scenes throughout the series have been exceptional. The one for this episode is no different, as it gives viewers more information about their relationship. A few episodes ago, Charlie visited Jolene at the hospital thinking that she was the one who had access to the Shorter Way. He acted like he had known her for a long time and I was hoping for more of their previous relationship would be revealed. The scene gives a glimpse at what Jolene’s powers are and how they work. Her inscape is by far the most unique inscape that’s been introduced on the show.
The friendship between Jolene and Vic was something completely unexpected. Given the way we last saw Jolene, it seemed as if she was simply minor character. That was quickly proven wrong after the opening scene, but her making a connection with Vic was surely interesting. They’re both put in similar situations since they both have gone against Charlie. While Maggie knew about inscapes and how they work, Jolene is able to give Vic much more personal advice. It’s great to see Vic not being completely alone and getting the support she needs to deal with her powers and with Manx.
Jolene’s inscape, which she calls “The Dark Tunnels”, provided a much needed comedic effect. The show, for the most part, has had a much more serious vibe with elements of horror thrown in. Jolene’s powers allow her to appear and disappear somewhere else, which could easily be used for a number of uses. Without getting into spoilers, one of the uses shown in the episode was as a prank. With everything that’s been going on, it was great to see the show take a bit of a break to include some lighter scene. However, these scenes had purpose, especially in dealing with Charlie.
Part of the conversation that Vic and Jolene have inside The Dark Tunnels serves as Vic’s call to action. Jolene stresses the importance of finally beating Manx. She wasn’t able to get rid of him, which leads her to hope that Vic would be the one to destroy him. It’s a lot of responsibility to put on a teenager, but Jolene does an incredible job in providing the right inspiration. The writing in this episode focused on just how much of a threat Manx was and why he needs to be stopped. Knowing that Vic can be a bit reckless but good hearted, it’ll be interesting to see what her next move is.
Things have escalated to another level. Vic finds herself completely alone as she has to deal with Charlie, but she’s determined to fight. Charlie has been kidnapping children for a long time and it’s up to Vic to carry out Jolene’s mission and put a stop to it. The series has taken a complete different route than the book has and so far has been doing a phenomenal job. It’s kept the original elements of horror and mystery while implementing new story full of exceptional development.
NOS4A2 airs Sundays at 10 pm EST / 7 PM PST, only on AMC.
Rating: 9/10 Rollerskates