NOS4A2 episode 2 takes us to The Graveyard of What Might Be


After watching AMC’s NOS4A2 episode 2, I am sticking with it, but I have to admit, it’s moving a little slow for my taste. I am just trusting that all of this character development will pay off in the end.

We start NOS4A2 episode 2 with a look at custodian Bing Partridge’s sad, lonely life. He’s obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed and there is clearly some trauma in his past, as evidenced in a dream he has after applying for a job at Christmasland.

Hearing Christmas music playing in the living room, he walks in and sees a man and woman in front of a lit Christmas tree, dancing in one another’s arms…so it seems. But as they spin, we can see that the woman is limp, either dead or unconscious. It’s a safe bet that these two people are Bing’s parents, and that his Dad was abusive, a murderer, or both.

Bing finally gets his chance to “interview” with Manx at his job the following day (where we see him moving some chemical canisters in a warehouse). While he is cleaning graffiti off the side of a building, the Wraith shows up and Bing is invited to take a seat.

Manx begins to ask him questions about what kind of chemicals he deals with, and seems very interested in Bing’s description of Sevoflurane, which he refers to as “gingerbread smoke.” Of course, a sedative that smells like a holiday treat would be the perfect thing for Christmasland’s CEO/Director/”President of fun.”

NOS4A2 recap 2 – Courtesy AMC

Enroute to Christmasland, Manx shows Bing the Graveyard of What Might Be, which is chock full of headstones and children trapped under ice. It’s a pretty spooky image, and the horrified Bing is reassured by Manx that he is not killing children, he is RESCUING them.

You see, the children that Manx chooses are, according to him, abused and/or neglected by their parents, and will now be able to spend eternity in the super-fun Christmasland! In fact, if he will help him save ten children, perhaps Bing himself can spend eternity in Christmasland.

I really enjoyed the Bing/Manx scenes in this episode, with the snow, the Christmas lights and the happy, waving snowman along the road to Christmasland. I also felt some sympathy for poor old Bing, who is being so expertly manipulated.

NOS4A2 recap 2 – Courtesy AMC

The rest of the NOS4A2 episode 2 was devoted to Vic, her parents, and Maggie. Vic is helping her mom clean houses, and once again Mom expresses her displeasure at the idea of Vic attending college. They don’t have the money, etc. Vic decides to move in with her Dad and his bartender girlfriend Tiffany, although I am not really sure why.

When Vic gets to Tiffany’s house, Dad and Tiff are frolicking in a tacky inflatable pool. Dad is spraying topless Tiffany with the hose, so…awkward! Despite the fact that her Dad and his girlfriend are obviously NOT thrilled about her presence, Vic decides to stay.

She also takes another ride through the Shorter Way bridge, with her buddy Craig waiting for her. He observes her riding into thin air, then disappearing, and he wipes out when he tries to follow suit. She comes back with something he lost years ago, a stuffed rabbit.

Later that night, Vic’s Mom shows up and loudly confronts Dad in the front yard. As Mom and Tiffany start to scream at each other, Vic takes off again for her favorite bridge, and this time she ends up in Here, Iowa. You may remember that Here was the home of poor, doomed Danny and our purple-haired friend Maggie.

NOS4A2 recap 2 – Courtesy AMC

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Vic comes to a crashing, sliding halt in Here, and Maggie approaches her, asking if she is The Brat. Confused, but intrigued, Vic follows Maggie into the library, and is treated to a demonstration of Maggie’s magical Scrabble Tile skills. She pulls out letters that spell THE WRAITH, and tells Vic that “the girl who can find lost things can find lost children.”

Vic rejects the idea, despite Maggie pleading with her to help find Danny, who is, after all, only eight years old. When Vic comes through on the other side of the bridge, Hayley is there (of course), and Vic sees a quick flash of a large candy cane in the little girl’s hand. Then it is gone, replaced with a chunk of chalk. I am guessing that Hayley may be Manx’s next victim, what do you think?

I really love the actors in this series, especially Zachary Quinto and Jakhara Smith (Maggie), and the cold, snowy landscape of the road to Christmasland is, well, chilling (see what I did there?). But, I am growing a little tired of the trashy, overly dramatic family life storyline. It’s time to get on with things and spark up the horror a bit.

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What do you think, readers? Are you happy with the adaptation of Joe Hill’s novel so far? Or do you wish they would pick up the pace? Let me know in the comments section.