NOS4A2’s second episode of the second season shows us the rise of Charlie Manx, and gives us some surprising info about his past.
It seems that NOS4A2 will spend some time during its second season giving us the background story on Charlie Manx, which may shed some light on why he’s so evil. But, first, we start with the present, with Charlie’s dead body in the hospital morgue.
When a security guard sneaks in to take photos of his corpse, Charlie (Zachary Quinto) comes back to life (barely), managing to kill the guard and steal his clothes. He takes the guard’s car as well, and leaves the garage like a bat out of hell, after calling Bing and instructing him to put a child in the Wraith and meet him at Sleigh House.
Bing grabs Michael, the kid belonging to the artist who was setting up the Wraith as an art installation. The mistreated kid hops in Bing’s car willingly enough, and once they get into the Wraith and it magically starts up again, he seems to be looking forward to seeing Christmasland.
Manx stops at a rest station bathroom to tend to his bleeding Y-incision by duct taping it together, then calls Millie and tells her he he isn’t sure he’ll make it back to Christmasland. She tells him he has to, because the lights went out and the white crept up very close, if it happens again, it may not stop.
Determined to survive, Charlie kills a truck driver, stealing his clothes. The murder rejuvenates him enough that he becomes young Charlie again, although he is still bleeding through his shirt.
Before returning to the present, let’s look at Charlie Manx’s past, when he was married to Cassie, who was the daughter of a very rich man. Charlie and Cassie appear to be very playful and in love, but Daddy does not approve. Charlie was his chauffeur, and a good one, but he’s not son-in-law material. After their daughter Millie is born, Charlie asks for a loan to purchase a private fleet of chauffeured cars, but Daddy sneers at him in response.
Things spiral downward from there. After Daddy dies, the Manx family is struggling to put food on the table, Charlie’s unmotivated and won’t let Cassie get a job. He and his daughter Millie (who was born on Christmas Day) are very close.
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In the present, Charlie walks toward Sleigh House, and comes across Vic’s son Wayne, who tells him that a bad man lived there and killed kids. Charlie gets defensive and tells Wayne he shouldn’t believe everything he hears. He knows who Wayne is, and even though the child leaves unharmed, he’s definitely on Charlie’s radar now.
When Bing finally reaches him, Charlie is laying on the ground bleeding. Bing helps him behind the wheel of the Wraith, and we see Michael in the back, all sharp teeth and maniacal smile.
In the past, we finally see the Wraith appear, when Charlie pulls up in front of his house. Millie is delighted with the car, but Cassie is not, especially when she finds out that Charlie sold her jewelry to pay for it. But, it’s ok, he got it cheap because someone died in it. Uh-oh, NOS4A2 has a sudden “Christine” vibe.
Cassie tells him to take it back, or she and Millie are leaving. When he says he did it for her and Millie, she says he did it for himself, and no one else.
Next, we see Cassie packing up to leave, she’s taking Millie and going to her sister’s house. Though angry at first, Charlie finally convinces her to let him drive them to her sister’s.
In the present, Bing is excited about finally seeing Christmasland, but Charlie stops outside the area and tells Bing to get out. He can’t go to Christmasland yet, he promised Charlie ten children. Bing is instructed to walk north, and Charlie will meet him there.
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We go back to Charlie driving the Wraith with Cassie and Millie in the back seat. Millie is sleeping, Cassie’s freezing, and Charlie is drinking from a bottle of liquor. When Cassie tells him he missed the turnoff, Charlie loses his cool and starts yelling at her. Millie wakes up, and spits teeth and blood into her hand, her teeth are falling out.
She and Charlie are happy, because they are going to Christmasland! When Cassie looks at Millie, she sees that her daughter’s teeth are now sharp, and she has that evil grin we know so well. She attacks and kills her mother, and we see Charlie’s eyes are all white and demonic.
Manx parks at the entrance to Christmasland, and we see he and Millie walk to the gates hand in hand.
In the present, Charlie arrives at Christmasland, and his evil children run out to meet him. Millie’s happy to see him, but gets suspicious when Michael climbs out of the back seat. “You promised you’d stay”, she tells him. He says, no…he promised he’d never let the lights go out again.
Charlie meets Bing at the cemetery, where he sees a grave with Wayne’s name on the headstone.
NOS4A2 gave us a lot to ponder in the second episode, and it looks like the Wraith may actually be haunted. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Charlie’s back story this season.
Are you watching the second season of NOS4A2? Tell us what you think about it in the comments section.