NOS4A2 Season 1 premiere recap: Welcome to Christmastown

NOS4A2 season 1 premiere recap
NOS4A2 premiered on AMC on June 2. Pic credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC

AMC premiered its new horror series on Sunday night with NOS4A2, based on the novel by Joe Hill, the son of legendary horror author Stephen King.

The series is about a creature named Charlie Manx and a teenage girl who finds herself in his crosshairs. Here is a look at the first episode of NOS4A2.

Charlie Manx

As the title of the show references, Charlie Manx (Heroes’ Zachary Quinto) is a sort of vampire. He is not the classic Dracula/Nosferatu vampire but is instead an energy draining one. He remains young by feeding on the life-force of children.

NOS4A2 starts off with a horrifying scene where a young boy named Danny is watching TV while his mother has a boyfriend over.

That is when two men show up — Charlie Manx has a car waiting outside, his 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith, full of Christmas presents. Inside is a home invader.

As little Danny walks out to the car and climbs in, the home invader kills his mother’s boyfriend and then chases the mother into the yard, where he snaps her neck in front of Danny.

Charlie then gets into his Wraith and leaves with little Danny. On their way to Christmastown, Charlie kills the guy who killed Danny’s parents for making too many mistakes (he had helped abduct 10 children before Danny)

Through the NOS4A2 season premiere, the show occasionally flips back to these two and Charlie gets younger as Danny grows more wrinkled and elderly. Danny is headed to the other kids at Christmastown while Charlie has a new mission.

Vic McQueen

The hero of NOS4A2 is Vic McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) and her life kind of sucks.

She is a high school junior with a loving but alcoholic father, and a mother who has given up on life and is trying to convince Vic to do the same.

While Vic has dreams of going to college, possibly art school, her mother Linda (Virginia Kull) tells her that is a waste of time because college kids can’t get jobs and she lets her daughter know that she should just partner with her to clean people’s houses.

Her father Chris (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) drinks too much, and while he loves his daughter and wants the best for her, his alcoholism and the constant fights with Linda result in him hitting his wife more than once.

Chris finally leaves Linda and when Vic catches up with her father because she wants to go with him, she finds him with another woman.

Vic is also part of the “bad side of town,” with no friends save a strange janitor named Bing (Olafur Darri Olafsson) that she gives comic books to, a man who considers her the nicest girl in town.

She also has an old friend that she goes to the Fourth of July party at the house of, and she sees that the rich kids in town are no better — except one nice boy who Vic thinks is making fun of her.

Vic also has strange powers. She finds a bridge in the country that was demolished years before but is still there when she needs it (The Shorter Way). Through this bridge, she can travel almost anywhere in the country she wants to but each time she goes through it, the trip takes its toll on her.

Plus, Charlie Manx knows that someone is using this pathway, and at the end of the episode, he sets out to find Vic McQueen.

Maggie Leigh

The final main character introduced in the NOS4A2 season premiere is Maggie Leigh, although very little is shown of her when it comes to her actual life.

She works at a library and tutored Danny, the boy abducted at the start of the episode. She also seems to have the powers of voodoo, or at least a “sight.”

She has a bag that she can reach into (much further than the end of the bag as her arm disappears into it) after asking it a question and she pulls out small scrabble letters. She can then move them into an order to answer her question.

She has helped the police solve cases before, but the one officer she approaches seems unwilling to work with her again.

She learned in this episode that the abductor likely drives a Rolls Royce Wraith. By the end, she asks who she can count on and is shown the words “The Brat” (which is Vic’s nickname).

NOS4A2 Easter Eggs

Several fun Easter eggs were on display for fans of Joe Hill and his father Stephen King.

There is a map that Charlie Manx looks at that shows him the Short Way and there are two other important names on the map that Manx has access to.

Those are The Pennywise Circus (from King’s It), The Treehouse of the Mind (from Hill’s Horns, which was made into a movie starring Daniel Radcliff) and Lovecraft Keyhole (from Hill’s brilliant comic book series Locke & Key, which is itself coming to Netflix).

NOS4A2 airs every Sunday night on AMC at 10/9c.

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