Bats and old blackened wood, a motorcycle: Victoria McQueen returns with her bridge of thought in the second season of Nos4a2, aired on Amazon Prime Video.
It’s been eight years since Charlie Manx’s defeat. Victoria has rebuilt a life there, in Colorado, with Lou and her son Bruce Wayne. But the Christmasland nightmare isn’t over yet, and this time Charlie Manx has only revenge in mind; in his sights, just the little Wayne.
The invisible thread that binds Charlie Manx to his Rolls Royce Wraith has never really been broken as Vic is forced to tell herself. Eight years have passed, but something has been keeping her on edge ever since, half in and half out. Unable to resist his call, the same one who bewitched her father, alcohol becomes her best friend, the diluent able to remove the memories of the past and the image of that old and twisted body lost in the oblivion of the coma to the hospital.
And it is with the announcement of the official death of Charlie Manx on television that fear returns to assail her with arrogance. Meanwhile, Bing Partridge plots in the shadows to revive his one-way ticket to Christmasland.
And putting the engine back on the Rolls Royce, Manx’s heart beats again, just as Victoria’s mind shatters, haunted by phone calls that only she can hear, calls from Millie, Charlie’s daughter, who wants her father back.
Thus Charlie’s old and dying body begins to return as strong and young as it once was, ready to transport new children to his Christmasland. It is here that the distant past returns to invade his memories, and the character of Manx acquires an increasingly concrete form. New details about Millie’s mother and the motivations behind Charlie’s special power come to light; something happened, when he was just a kid, something horrible that ripped his mind, laying the groundwork for his hatred of the female gender and that insatiable desire to do more, more and more, caused by his fear of not being enough.
Another fight then takes place, a challenge that this time threatens Victoria’s closest person: her son, the only legacy of Craig, the lifelong friend who sacrificed himself to destroy Charlie Manx.
I was afraid that this second season could fall into the banal, but it didn’t. Nos4a2 and the genius of Joe Hill have once again transported me to the world of thought, where everything is possible, on the wave of a new desperate battle.
I enjoyed Charlie Manx’s “behind the scenes” journey, which delved into the inner world of this complex character. He unearthed the broken humanity that hides behind the monster and revealed the fragility of Christmasland. This can be considered a demonstration of how the past inevitably marks our future; the only way not to be devoured by him is to let him go.
Also, I found the connection between Victoria and her parents interesting. The girl discovers firsthand what it means to have a child, and begins to understand the suffocating apprehension of her mother, or the feeling of failure of her father, the man she resembles much more than she thinks. In a kind of reversal of the situation, Vic finds herself the one he once hated.
The vividness of the characters struck me a lot. In a world of TV series in which the protagonists always preserve details that make them unreachable, relegating them to the realm of fiction, the characters of Nos4a2 seemed real to me more than ever. They are not invincible, indeed they fail several times in their fight against Manx; this characters are mysteriously not able to heal immediately from serious injuries, on the contrary, they all take a nice trip to the hospital; they struggle with such desperate determination which is proper to true humanity.
Conclusion of the second season (Spoiler alert!!)
In the final episode, Charlie Manx is found dead, fallen from the bridge that serves as Victoria’s escape room. His daughter Millie returned to the real world along with all the other children, but the fear of becoming an adult prevented her from breaking her Christmas decoration, allowing her to retain her vampiric look. Wayne is no longer the same after Christmasland, and forms a distorted friendship with her, hoping to one day return to the land of Christmas. And Maggie, fascinated by the world of thought, is ready to dive up to the elbows, determined to discover other escape rooms.
Therefore, there are still some pending things, which are destined to remain so. In fact, the third season of the series has been canceled due to a drop in ratings. A real shame, I was curious to visit new escape rooms with Maggie. Still, I’m happy that they at least managed to finish adapting the story from Joe Hill’s novel.
So enjoy the last moments of the cold Christmasland. To my regret, the horrifying magic of Christmas ends here.