NOS4A2 Episode 1 Recap
NOS4A2 Episode 1 opens with the abduction of Danny Moore. Danny is a young boy who feels neglected by his single mother. After begin turned away from sleeping in her bed when his mom has a boyfriend over for the night, Danny gets himself a bowl of cereal and watches cartoons on TV late at night. The TV turns to static as Danny hears Christmas music coming from outside. Danny follows the music to a 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith in front of his house, back door open and full of presents inside. Danny climbs in the back seat to investigate. The door slams shut. Charlie Manx, old and decrepit looking, tells Danny that he, too, knows what it feels like to be lonely and that Manx is going to take Danny to Christmasland, where he’ll be with other children like himself and everyone always has fun all the time. Meanwhile, Manx’s accomplice, Peter Ives, kills Danny’s mother and her boyfriend.
Maggie Leigh is a librarian in Here, Iowa, where the murders and abduction take place. Maggie has the ability to ask a question, then reach into a bag of Scrabble tiles and pull out the letters that, when placed in the correct order, answer her question. She consults the tiles about Danny’s disappearance, resulting in an answer of “The Wraith”. Maggie shares this information with the police, who she has helped in the past. The police are resistant to her suggestion this time, so Maggie consults the tiles once more, asking who can help her find the Wraith. The answer this time is “The Brat”.
Brat is the nickname that her father gives high school senior Vic McQueen. The family lives in Haverhill, Massachusetts, a town divided by economics. Vic’s family are working class. Her father is in demolitions. Vic’s mother cleans houses of the upper class, including the family of Vic’s best friend growing up, Willa. Vic has a talent for drawing and hopes to go to art school after graduation. Her father supports Vic’s dream, having aspired to be a composer before he got Vic’s mother pregnant and was forced to settle down. Vic’s mother says they can’t afford for Vic to go to college and is on Vic’s case about finding a blue-collar job as soon as she graduates so she can support herself.
Vic’s parents fight constantly. Her father is a drunk and cheats on their marriage. Her mother is not a nice person. Vic is afraid that her father will leave and that Vic will be stuck all alone with her mother, which is exactly what happens after her father gets drunk and beats her mother one night during an argument.
Vic also thinks she’s losing her mind. She finds an old covered bridge out in the woods behind her house, though everyone else tells her that The Shorter Way bridge was demolished years ago. Her father was on the crew that brought the bridge down. Driving her dirtbike across the bridge and concentrating, Vic is able to ride across the bridge in search of lost things. Doing so comes at a cost. Above her head, bats swoop from the bridge’s rafters while all around, the lights and sounds of a TV gone to static surround the bridge and fill Vic’s head. Her successful trip to find her father’s lost watch leaves Vic’s left eye bloodshot and causes her to be so weak that she collapses before she can get home.
Manx kills Ives for becoming sloppy with the abductions and killings. In spite of Ives’s protests that this was his tenth job for Manx, Manx says that there’s no place in Christmasland for him. As Manx and Danny draw closer to Christmasland, Manx becomes younger while Danny becomes more sick, pale, and monstrous. Whenever Vic takes the bridge, the Wraith’s stereo — playing a constant stream of Christmas music — picks up the static. Pulling a road map from the glove compartment, Manx watches as a new point of interest, The Shorter Way, appears on the map in Haverhill, near other spots like The Treehouse of the Mind, Lovecraft Keyhole, and Pennywise’s Circus. After dropping Danny off in Christmasland, Manx heads to Haverhill to investigate.
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