Hello, I see you are back for more shenanigans from your favorite Not Floridian!
Not much has changed here is Not Florida…
In other words, still hotter than H-E-Double Hockey Stick!
Luckily, I now have a way to cool down…
In other words, a visit to Christmasland is just what the soul sucking vampire (who is not actually my ex) ordered!
So, yeah, I am watching N0S4A2.
Again, we are only two episodes in.
But (unlike my ex) it has not disappointed.
In fact, I am warming to it (hashtag irony, yanno?)
As a self proclaimed book douche, I can be pretty picky about adaptations.
There is a right way to do them, and then there are the torture porn films that we know as Joel Schumacher Batman movies.
And so far, N0S4A2 is not a Joel Schumacher Batman movie.
I am not quite sure if it is the Marvel movie equivalent, but it may be gaining that status.
I am starting to get this feeling that this is the hot (hashtag irony again, amirite?) new series of the summer.
So, buckle up in your Rolls Royce Wraith, and let’s take a ride into Christmasland, shall we, and dissect and review episode 2, titled The Graveyard of What Might Be.
And, as always:
The episode begins with Bing Partridge submitting an application for employment in a place called Christmasland. Bing is not sure what the job entails, but figures it would be an improvement over his current situation.
Almost immediately, Bing begins to experience strange dreams and flashbacks to his troubled childhood.
One day, Manx appears at Bing’s place of employment, driving his 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith. Manx takes Bing for a ride to discuss the job.
Manx explains to Bing that while children are allowed in Christmasland without question, the same is not true for adults, and that only special adults are granted admittance into Christmasland. Manx also explains to Bing that he will be saving children from bad situations.
Manx drugs Bing and drives him into a strange place, where it is snowing, despite the fact that is late summer back home.
In the meantime, Maggie Leigh investigates the disappearance of Danny. Maggie and the sheriff research Rolls Royce Wraiths, as Maggie has deduced that whoever kidnapped Danny drove this type of vehicle.
Maggie and the sheriff speak to a woman whose son repaired vehicles. The woman tells them that her son once worked on a 1938 Rolls Royce, before her son and grandson disappeared. The woman believed that the vehicle did not like her son, even telling Maggie that her son appeared to have been attacked by the vehicle at one point. The woman also believes that the old man who owned the vehicle was behind the disappearance of her son and grandson.
Vic continues to experiment with her bridge. However, it is clear that the use of the bridge takes a physical toll on Vic, as she bleeds from her left eye each time she summons the bridge.
Vic’s home life is also in shambles, as her father moves in with his girlfriend and her family falls apart. Vic is heartbroken and moves in with her father and his girlfriend.
The situation becomes even more volatile when Vic’s mother shows up at her husband’s new residence one night, Arguments ensue, and Vic escapes on her dirt bike.
Bing wakes up from his sleep, and Manx shows him what appears to be a graveyard. Manx describes this as The Graveyard of What Might Be, or the souls of children whom Manx claims are victims of abuse. Manx tells Bing that if he “rescues” 10 children, Bing will be granted passage into Christmasland.
Vic uses her bridge and it takes her to a place called Here, Iowa. Maggie Leigh awaits her, as Maggie has been expecting Vic.
Vic is bewildered to find out that she traveled all the way from Massachusetts to Iowa. Maggie Leigh takes her to the library, where she tends to Vic’s injuries and offers some explanations on Vic’s newfound abilities.
Maggie explains to Vic that she is a “strong creative,” who has the ability to create what Maggie refers to as an “inscape.” According to Maggie, an inscape is something created in the mind, but made real by a strong creative, who can bridge the gap between the imaginary and reality. Maggie also explains to Vic that she is a medium, and that her Scrabble tiles communicate information to her.
Maggie also explains to Vic that she has the power to stop “The Wraith,” aka Charlie Manx, who has been kidnapping children for decades. Maggie tells Vic that her abilities mean that she may be able to locate Manx before he hurts another child.
Vic immediately flees the library, telling Maggie that she is not interested in helping. Vic uses the bridge to make her way back home. One of the children Vic babysits has made her way into the woods. Vic tells the girl that she cannot tell anyone about the bridge, and takes the child back home.
Well, I have a lot to say about this episode. And it’s a good thing I have this blog with an audience, right?
Now, this episode may seem like a “filler” episode of sorts.
And in some ways, it is.
We are not getting a lot of plot advancement.
Instead, we are getting character exposition.
The character exposition may be a little tedious, but it is needed to set up this story.
So, we are getting information on Vic’s awful home life, which sets up our reluctant heroine.
An origin story, in other words.
And every hero or heroine has one of those.
Now it is true that Vic has not had it as hard as some…
I mean, her parents didn’t get killed in some dark alley one night, leaving her to be raised by a British butler in a large, kinda creepy mansion…
Nor is she an alien from a planet that was destroyed, but sent a couple of kids to this distant planet called Earth to be raised by farmers in Kansas…
Whoops, that was the other alien from Kansas, I apologize…
But, like many heroes and heroines, Vic definitely does not have it easy.
We have that ever so lovely mix of domestic abuse, cheating and alcoholism.
Whatever could go wrong with that mix?
Well, plenty of course.
I have noted that when Vic rides her dirt bike out to the woods seeking out her bridge (because we all that is what she is doing, even though she herself may not realize it), it is usually after a domestic incident of some sort.
Sometimes, when an artist (or “strong creative,” if you prefer) is running on emotions, the creative process is stoked.
I think this may be happening with Vic and the bridge, which may be an important detail somewhere on down the line.
So, we are getting our slow introduction to Vic and her life.
But this episode actually did give us more than that.
In other words, we got an introduction to Bing Partridge.
Every time I hear that name…
I am not sure whether to laugh, or be disgusted.
Maybe laugh disgustedly?
A Bing in a Rolls Royce?
(You were supposed to sing that, to the tune of a very twisted version of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Yeah…)
So, Bing was actually the most interesting part of the episode to me.
We got our dose of Charlie Manx, who was as creepy as ever, but Bing was interesting, to say the least.
Aside from that name, there is a lot to unpack here in regards to this character.
Obviously, Bing has had a troubled childhood, give the fact that we saw his father lurch towards him in a gas mask, in that unsettling vision.
Of course, Bing has access to chemicals through his employer? Seriously, what could go wrong there, amirite?
Oh, and applying to a job advertised in a comic book?
Nope, that won’t attract any creepy vampires driving truly one of a kind vehicles that attack mechanics and run on the souls of children…
Not at all…
So, Manx preys on children.
And it seems that in many ways, Bing is a child himself, although he obviously inhabits an adult body.
I am sure that there is a reason why Bing has the issues he has. Hopefully this is explored in a later episode.
Adults are probably not lured in by the premise of a reality where Christmas comes every day and unhappiness is against the law.
We could argue that Manx has to lure in his Renfields in much the same way that he lures in his children.
We were introduced to The Graveyard of What Might Be in this episode.
In other words, Manx has created an illusion to lure in his Renfield, convincing Bing that he is saving children from a horrible cycle of neglect and abuse.
Now, this may be true in some cases.
Vic obviously does not have an ideal home life, for example.
But, her parents, as faulted as they are, still love her.
Kidnapping a child like Vic (or perhaps the little girl she babysits for) to “save” her from a less than ideal home life is akin to using gasoline to put out a fire.
But, Manx has found another child for his own uses.
Vampires, after all, only take, and never give.
Well, that’s it for The Graveyard of What Might Be.
Join me next week for the recap and review of episode 3, titled The Gas Mask Man.
Tune in next week…
Same bat time, same bat channel!