N0S4A2: Season 1, Episode 4 Recap and Review

I make my sweaty way through my days lately.

Life as a Not Floridian can be tough, sometimes.

But my Monday nights are offering a cool oasis from the oppressive Not Floridian heat…

In fact, I feel that Christmas has come…

Well, Christmasland, right?

In other words, I am watching the first season of N0S4A2, the hot (ha) new TV show based on the novel of the same name, written by Joe Hill.

We are on episode 4, so we are nearly halfway through the season.

And things are continuing to heat up (or maybe freeze up, if you like that better.)

This episode gave of some more background information on an important character, while continue to move the chains, in much the same way as the offense of your favorite football field moves down the field, marching ever closer to the end zone.

And while we don’t have a touchdown yet, I think we are getting closer to the red (or maybe blue) zone.

So, without further ado, here is my recap and review of episode 4 of N0S4A2, titled The House of Sleep.

And, as always:

 

Synopsis

The episode begins with a flashback to Bing’s childhood.  We learn that Bing is somewhat of an odd child, and is bullied and abused by his father because of this.

One day, when Bing is a teenager, he is hanging Christmas lights on the roof of the family home.  Bing’s father mocks him, telling him that he is too slow.  Bing snaps, and kills his father with a nail gun.

In the present, Vic is out of her mind with worry over Haley, who has been kidnapped by Manx.  She decides to use The Shorter Way Bridge in an attempt to locate Haley.

Bing has kidnapped Sharon, Haley’s mother.  He forces her to inhale a gas which makes her open to suggestion, and forces her to tell him that she loves him more than anything, just as Bing’s mother used to do.

Vic sees the words “House of Sleep” written on the walls of the bridge.  Vic is even more confused when the bridge takes her to the home of Bing Partridge.

Vic makes her way to Maggie after leaving Bing’s house.  Vic is convinced that the bridge has made a mistake, but Maggie tells her that she needs to trust her gift, and take another look at Bing Partridge.

When Vic returns to her mother’s house, Linda is worried about her daughter and puts her to bed immediately.  Vic confronts her mother about the abuse that her father has inflicted on her.  Linda confesses that it has been going on for several years, but that it can be hard to notice when people only notice the good in other people.

Maggie places a phone call to the sheriff in her hometown, and manages to convince him to put out an AMBER Alert for Haley.

In the meantime, Manx and Haley are making their way across something Manx refers to as “Saint Nick’s Parkway” in Manx’s Wraith.  Manx tries to trick Haley into giving up information in regards to The Shorter Way Bridge, but Haley is reluctant to give him any information.

Slowly, Haley begins to lose her teeth and grow new ones.  But she still tries to put up a fight.

Eventually, Manx tricks Haley into giving him Vic’s name.  Manx stops at a gas station.  While he is in the store, a woman walks by

Vic makes her way back to Bing’s house in an attempt to get more information in regards to Haley’s disappearance, under the guise of returning Bing’s comic books.

Vic sneaks into Bing’s basement.  However, Bing catches on to her.  They are interrupted when the phone rings.  The call is from Manx, who now knows Vic’s identity.  Manx requests a meeting with Vic, and Vic agrees.

Vic flees Bing’s house.  She discovers the body of Sharon in a field near Manx’s house.  The authorities are notified, and Vic is in shock.

The episode flashes back to Bing’s childhood, and we learn that Bing raped and murdered his mother after killing his father.

Manx and Haley arrive at Christmasland.  Manx tells Haley that she will never be lonely.  Haley is greeted by Danny, who escorts her into Christmasland.

My Thoughts

So, yeah…

Take that pic, multiply it by at least 6, and you get my reaction to this episode.

And I mean this in a good way, because, after all, this is supposed to be a horror story, so it should at least get a few “ermahgerds” from the viewer.

And that it did, let me count the ways…

I mean, that opening sequence, though.

Sure, Manx is creepy (more on that later) but there is something just fundamentally wrong and disturbing about Bing.

And I love it.

Not only did Bing kill his father, he raped his mother and then killed her (or maybe, this was the other way around, which is even more disgusting.)

Oh, the best part?

Bing’s weapon of choice is a nail gun.

I have a long list of ways that I don’t want to die.

This list includes being eaten by a trans dimensional clown, drowning, and being stranded on a desert island and being forced to eat my own body parts.

Pretty grim stuff.

Well, now I add being shot at point blank range in the head with a nail gun by someone who has severe mommy issues.

(You could say that Bing is kinda psycho.)

Apparently, that gas mask has some kind of importance to Bing (who also calls himself a silly thing.  Ew much?)

Bing is also re-creating his childhood, by kidnapping women, using gas on them and then forcing them to say that they love him more than anything (just like mom.)

He gives out Christmas cookies as a reward.

Tasty, right?

Oh, and then he kills them with a nail gun.

And there is nothing supernatural here.

A guy kidnaps a woman, uses gas on her and then forces her to act like his mother, before feeding her Christmas cookies and shooting her with a nail gun.

It’s sick, it’s depraved and the stuff of nightmares.

But again, nothing supernatural.

This kind of depravity actually happens.

Try reading some true crime stories, and you will see that guys like Bing exist and are not that far out of left field.

I have said it before, and I will say it again:

In order for a horror story to be effective, it has to have those elements of reality, so that we can relate to the characters and to the situation.

There is no shortage of this in N0S4A2.

We have Bing and his depravity, but we have also touched on poverty, domestic violence, divorce, classicism and mental illness.

And we are only four episodes in.

The show is so far doing a great job of creating characters we can relate to, along with a familiar setting.

In particular, Maggie Leigh and Vic McQueen are the easiest to relate to, although Bing is also somewhat familiar (but I definitely do not relate to people whose weapon of choice is a nail gun.  I am more of a sling shot girl, myself.)

This is setting the stage for the supernatural element of the story, i.e. Charles Manx and his impossible vehicle.

Now, we have been told that Manx is a 135 year old vampire.

We have seen him in action.

Every time he brings a child into his vehicle, he ages in reverse.

We have seen the effects that the vehicle has on the children that he kidnaps.

In fact, we were treated to a graphic visual of Haley losing her teeth in this episode, along with a graphic visual of Haley snacking on that poor woman who tried to help her.

(That look on Manx’s face when he walks in on Haley having her snack.  Reminded me of a parent who catches their child eating crackers and getting the crumbs in the upholstery, but deciding to save the battle for another day.)

Well, the teeth part was graphic.  The other part had some blood, but the imagination can fill in the rest.

But, I have noticed some things in regards to Manx.

Despite the fact that Manx is a vampire with an impossible vehicle, the techniques that he uses on his victims are similar to what “human” pedophiles use on their intended victims.

This is known as grooming, and it is insidious.

And Manx himself is insidious.

Zachary Quinto has somehow perfected that smug, but somehow soothing voice, which gives me the creeps every time he talks.

Manx seems to focus on kids with less than ideal home lives, i.e. lower middle class, somewhat isolated, with either single parent households, or households which both parents have to work but still can’t afford summer camps, sports, etc.

Again, this is something pedophiles also do.

Manx manipulates Haley, preying on her isolation and loneliness.

So, he is able to break Haley down, which allows him to get what he wants:

Vic’s identity.

Oh, and Haley’s soul, so he can feed his eternal youth, and turn Haley into a monster that snacks on nice ladies who try to help her and develops a liking for games with the lovely title of “Scissors for the Drifter.”

(I have a funny feeling we are going to get more information on that game soon.  May I recommend not eating before watching this show?)

And again, Manx is definitely a supernatural being, but most of his techniques are good old fashioned grooming techniques, and while those techniques are monstrous, there is nothing supernatural in them.

Poor Maggie.  And poor Vic, whose innocence has been lost.

They are in for quite the ride.

Well, that’s it for The House of Sleep.

Tune in next week for the recap and review of episode 5, titled The Wraith.

Tune in next week…

Same bat time, same bat channel!

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