NOS4A2 Season 2 Episode 7 Review: Cripple Creek

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Who knew Charlie Manx's backstory would be so tragic?

NOS4A2 Season 2 Episode 7 was essentially a character study on the man who has all the makings of one of the biggest villains on TV. 

You know a show is doing something right when it can humanize a vampire who has been kidnapping kids and taking them away from their parents and loved ones. 

Revisiting His Childhood - NOS4A2

Charlie's childhood was tragic, what with his mother known as the woman in the bar getting paid to have sex with its patrons and Charlie's secual assault by someone he trusted. 

Witnessing his past while Charlie was reflecting in the present was a great way to flesh out the vampire.

Blast from the Past  - NOS4A2 Season 2 Episode 7

I know Christmasland was constructed as a way to take children away from bad parents, but I've never fully understood Charlie's goal. Are there limits to how many children can be held there, and what will happen if someone makes their way in there and causes destruction?

Because, let's face it, Vic is not going to take any chances when she inevitably arrives to save her son's life. 

What's more intriguing right now is how Vic would react if she was let in on how Charlie killed his mother and abuser and created this place to actually keep children safe. 

Wayne: I made a mistake.
Craig: Your mother's going to come. Just keep remembering.

Vic has long felt like Charlie is pure evil, with no redeeming qualities, and while I would say the lines between good and evil are blurred somewhat, it's hard to imagine her not feeling remotely sorry for him. 

Then again, there's a revenge arc at the heart of the show, and these two seem destined to be adversaries until the end. They do say that digging two graves while on a revenge mission is always best. 

Millie's Plight - NOS4A2 Season 2 Episode 7

Is anyone else getting the feeling that NOS4A2 Season 2 is the final season? We're getting all of the intel you would expect for a series ending its run. 

Charlie's life has been filled with pain, but he's also inflicting pain on people, and I have a feeling that Christmasland will be obliterated around NOS4A2 Season 2 Episode 10 and that Charlie's life will also come to an end. 

Could NOS4A2 Season 3 focus on another villain entirely? Maybe the Hourglass man was introduced to test the waters to see how fans would react to a new villain. 

If there is a new person wreaking havoc down the line, then Paul Schneider's creepy alter ego would be the best person for the job. 

Her Past Returns - NOS4A2 Season 2 Episode 7

Maggie has put her life on the line to save Vic, but would Vic do the same if the tables were turned? That would be an exciting chain of events, for sure. 

If you watch NOS4A2 online, you know Bing has been the worst. His crisis of faith in Charles was only natural, given the trajectory of the plot. 

Charlie: Get in the car.
Craig: No, no, buddy. You got to run.
Charlie: What's the delay, Wayne? Don't you want to go to Christmasland?

Bing was a horrible monster, who was desperately searching for meaning in this mad world. He had a warped sense of reality, and he served as a threat to literally anyone he crossed paths with. 

His realization that he and Charlie were both monsters was the only logical thought he had during his two seasons on the show. 

Zombie Craig - NOS4A2 Season 2 Episode 7

In essence, Bing was everything that Charlie hated in the parents of the children he kidnapped to take to Christmasland, so, when you think about it, why would Charlie allow Bing to live there? 

Bing could not be trusted, and his wavering faith in Charlie perfectly reiterated that. Bing was a liability and needed to be taken down. 

What this helped reiterate to viewers was that Charlie can put people under his spell to get what he wants. In this case, it was Wayne. 

He stopped the Wraith, Charlie, and Bing from being crushed to death. 

Bing's New Mission - NOS4A2 Season 2 Episode 7

This was the only confirmation we needed to know that Wayne is officially Team Charlie, and Vic is going to face an uphill battle to get her son back. 

Wayne's been slowly losing his grip on reality and the people who genuinely love him. Not even his biological father could step in and save the day. 

When Vic ultimately descends on Christmasland, it would be quite the twist if Millie joined her cause and helped dismantle what her father created. 

Millie's loyalty in her father has been fading during NOS4A2 Season 2, and that's thanks, in large part, to Charlie being kept away from his minions. 

Manx is Back - NOS4A2 Season 2 Episode 6

Millie's curious mind has allowed her to entertain the possibility that there's more to life than being trapped in Christmasland. 

With three episodes remaining, it's hard not to think about how all of this is going to shake out, but one thing is for certain: The body count is going to pile up. Charlie is going to find a way to hit Vic where it hurts, and her family is where her loyalty lies. 

If she loses her loved ones, Charlie will look at that as a win.

Then again, he may view Vic in a different light when she makes her way to Christmasland for the fight. 

Vic in Hospital - NOS4A2 Season 2 Episode 6

Eeek. It's all so exciting!

What did you think of Charlie's past? Do you see him in a different light now?

Hit the comments. 

NOS4A2 Season 2 continues Sundays at 10/9c on AMC. 

Cripple Creek Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (13 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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NOS4A2 Season 2 Episode 7 Quotes

Mom: Millie?
Millie: The lights are blinking again. I think you know why.

Kid: It's happening again.
Millie: I know that.