REVIEW: ‘NOS4A2’ Episode 8 – “Parnassus”

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The eighth episode of NOS4A2‘s first season, “Parnassus”, just aired on AMC. In last week’s episode, Vic (Ashleigh Cummings) is back home living with her mother (Virginia Kull). During the middle of the night, Vic gets strange a call from several of the kids in Christmasland. She begins to freak out even more since she’s the only one that hears the phone ring. The kids are demanding that she tell them where Charlie (Zachary Quinto) is. Later, her mother reveals that she sold the bike while Vic was in the hospital.

Realizing that she can no longer access The Shorter Way without a bike, Vic pleads her dad (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) to help her search for a new bike. Her dad tries to bond with her but things quickly spiral out of control. Elsewhere, Charlie seeks Bing Partridge’s (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson) help after Vic and Jolene injured him. They devise a plan to buy a new water pipe for the Wraith but run into an unfortunate situation. While all of this is going on, Maggie (Jahkara Smith) is trying to adjust to regular life.

“Parnassus” opens with Maggie recovering in Sherrif Bly’s (Chris McKinney) home. She begins to worry about him when he doesn’t come home, so she decides to use her tiles to search for him. She discovers that he’s dead, which sets her off on a downward spiral into some old bad habits. Back in Haverhill, Vic continues to have visions of the kids in Christmasland.

She receives an acceptance letter into RISD and tells her family and friends. Her friends decide to throw her a celebration party but her mother isn’t as excited about her going off to college. As the party goes on, Bing sneaks into Vic’s house and lays out some evidence for her mother to find. This evidence causes a fight between Vic and her mom, which leads to an unfortunate situation for Vic. Meanwhile, Charlie Manx meets with an old friend (Reg Rogers) for some advice.

Being accepted into any college would normally call for celebration, especially knowing how much Vic wanted to get into RISD. It was strange seeing her father and her friends being so supportive while her mother seems to be more upset that she got in. Her mother’s explanation for acting this way is supposed to come out of wanting her to be safe. It’s understandable that the show would want viewers to sympathize with her, but it’s too difficult. What happened to her will not happen to Vic.

The evidence that Bing leaves behind may support her argument, but she’s too quick to make assumptions. It would seem like their relationship might have started to improve since she had a falling out with her dad in last week’s episode. But the way their fight ended, it would be hard to imagine them mending wounds any time soon.

Bing’s level of desperation to be on Charlie’s “nice” list in order to get into Christmasland is at an all-time high. He still blames Vic for messing with his head and making him doubt Charlie. His moves are getting more reckless as he sneaks into Vic’s house. Bing’s real motives for being at that house are revealed much later in “Parnassus” but this could very well make things worse for him.

It would be hard to imagine that this doesn’t land Bing on the “naughty” list. Ólafsson’s portrayal of Bing gets better with every episode. Alongside Vic and Charlie, his character has undergone the most progression this season. His slow, maniacal walk throughout the McQueen residence is utterly terrifying, especially since he’s in his Gas Man outfit.

Charlie’s meeting with his old friend was quite interesting, especially since it’s hard to imagine that anyone would be friends with him. Up to this point, anyone that has allied themselves with Charlie has done so either out of fear or personal gain. Their conversation serves as a way for viewers to know more about him and his relationship with Jolene.

His friend warns Charlie about the dangers of going after Vic since he’s made similar mistakes with Jolene. Charlie has specific plans in mind for Vic, and even though he listens to what his friend has to say, it’s clear that he’s too focused on his goals. They’re meant to be seen as friends but there’s nothing that gives off that impression. It’s quite possible that it’s just a more reserved friendship between the two of them.

There are only two episodes left. Many things, such as the falling out with Vic and her mother, were established in “Parnassus” that will surely have major effects on what happens next. Bing is desperate for the things that he was denied during his upbringing, which may, in fact, be his very own downfall. It’s hard to talk about Maggie without getting into spoilers, but her character was put through the wringer in this episode. Seeing her character at such a low-point was quite heartbreaking, especially with where she ends up at the end of the episode. It won’t be something simple to bounce back from. As with Vic, things will probably only get more challenging from here on out.

NOS4A2 airs Sundays at 10 pm EST / 7 PM PST, only on AMC.

 

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TL;DR

There are only two episodes left. Many things, such as the falling out with Vic and her mother, were established in “Parnassus” that will surely have major effects on what happens next.