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‘NOS4A2’ Season 1 Episode 6 ‘The Dark Tunnels’ Recap: Victims

BY Stephanie Larson

Published 5 years ago

'NOS4A2' Season 1 Episode 6 'The Dark Tunnels' Recap: Victims

NOS4A2 has its ups and downs. But, whatever momentum it loses in its downs, it manages to pick back up in its high points like this week’s episode titled “The Dark Tunnels.” Here, NOS4A2 ups the stakes whilst further expanding its world. We finally get to see the extent of the magic that NOS4A2 promises aside from Charlie Manx’ (Zachary Quinto) Christmasland. And it also shows other aspects and vulnerabilities of its characters that give the story just the right amount of tension at this point in the season. As NOS4A2 moves on to portray the bigger picture, the real battle begins. 

On last week’s episode of NOS4A2, Vic’s (Ashleigh Cummings) naive honesty landed her in the psychiatric hospital. But maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing. On this week’s episode, Vic meets Jolene (Judith Roberts), Manx’ former acquaintance and victim. The old woman takes Vic on a trip that completely turns the table for her. Unfortunately, it seems that she and Maggie (Jahkara Smith) has switched places. After the ordeal Maggie went through, it seems that the brat has lost her one ally. 


Back in 1954 in Saugus, Massachusetts, Manx paid Jolene a visit at her workplace, a dine in your car kind of restaurant where she served customers while wearing skates. And surprisingly, the two had such a blossoming relationship to the point that Manx proposed. Unfortunately, Jolene turned him down. 

Manx told her all about the kids and Christmasland. However, she was growing suspicious of the other parts of the story he wasn’t telling her. In a rare but excellent show of human emotions, Manx tried to defend himself. But, Jolene wasn’t having any of it. Later that night, Manx waited for Jolene’s shift to end like the psycho he is. When she came out, he tried to run her over but, she escaped through her knife, her skates.

In the present day, Vic is dealing with the consequences of telling the truth to people who don’t understand. She was assigned a psychiatrist. And she straight up denies every insight he tries to offer about Manx or about the abuse in her family. And as expected, it didn’t exactly beef up her candidacy for release. It wasn’t all bad, however, because of her new roommate, Jolene. 

New Roommates

Vic immediately notices somethings up with the old lady due to the static that disrupts the radio. And when she comes closer, the old lady musters up the strength to say only one name: Charlie Manx. Soon enough, Vic puts two and two together just like Maggie did when she found Jolene. Just when she was asking about Christmasland, a nurse comes in to hand them their meds. 

Vic is only a little bit complacent with the meds because of the threat of longer stay. But, when the nurse faces Jolene, the old woman adamantly and desperately refuses to take her meds. Seeing this, Vic immediately throws the pills away just when the nurse heads outside to get some other tool to give the old lady her medicine. When the nurse comes back, Vic assures her that Jolene took her meds until she finally left them alone. 

Judith Roberts and Ashleigh Cummings in NOS$A2 Season 1 Episode 6


In Vic’s next therapy session, she and her psychiatrist make a little headway. Vic finally admits to the abuse happening at home. But, one thing that was made clear from that session is that she’s still clinging onto the hope that her dad can be excused. Later on, when her mom drops by with some clothes, Vic asks about her father. Unfortunately, he’s nowhere to be found except in a bar somewhere in town maybe. 

When Vic gets back to her room, she finds Jolene talking to herself. Then, the old woman requests for Vic to take her skates out of the closet. Vic quickly figures out she meant her wheelchair and that Jolene is intent on taking them to her inscape. Soon, Vic’s pushing the old woman down the hallway at top speed and then they just disappear. 

Jolene’s Dark Tunnels

The pair reappear in Jolene’s inscape, the dark tunnels. And when they arrive, Jolene transforms from a frail old woman to a shadow of her old self. She leads Vic into a cavern covered with the missing posters of the children Manx took over the last 50 years. Jolene has been tracking him. Even when Manx stole her skates and left her bedridden, she used her wheelchair as her knife finding that they can have more than one until she became too weak to move it. But, she never came close to stopping him. 

Jolene then leads Vic into another part of the tunnels where a wall appears like the static of a television screen. Using that, she shows Vic her own “magic trick” proving she has one last kick left in her. As Jolene takes Vic’s hand, their eyes mirror the static screen and it seems like their spirits enter the wall as their bodies fall to the ground. 

Ashleigh Cummings in NOS$A2 Season 1 Episode 6


Their spirits emerge where Manx has parked himself and the wraith outside a barn somewhere. And the wraith’s radio immediately sparks static alerting Manx. Unfortunately, it turns to be too late. As Manx looks around in confusion, Jolene starts wreaking havoc on the wraith. She manages to destroy the engine. And as the car breaks down, Manx quickly withers to an old decrepit man. This part is actually amazing. It shows the extent of magic on NOS4A2. And if that’s what one minor character can do, I think we can expect a little awesome showdown with our major characters.  

The Price They Pay

Sadly, that was Jolene’s last hurrah. Strong creatives have big prices to pay with using their abilities. And once Jolene tells Vic that she’s passing on the battle helm to her, Vic knew Jolene has no intention on going back. Unlike them, Manx’ abilities take pieces of his soul when he uses them. And it’s now up to Vic to end the cycle for all the kids he has taken, for the people he has hurt like Jolene, and for the next ones. To do this, Jolene warns Vic against the meds to keep her mind and inscape sharp and ready. And she tells Vic to go for the wraith. Destroying the wraith would kill Manx.

Afterward, Vic takes back Jolene to the hospital for her final resting place. And on her next therapy session, she follows Jolene’s advice to just tell the doctors what they want to hear. Vic credits Manx and her bridge to her imagination. And after a long but very convincing monologue about how her thought and reality came together, Vic’s psychiatrist decides to let her go. However, it’s on the condition she goes home to a safe environment a.k.a anywhere her father isn’t. 

Tables Turned

Right after her therapy, Vic catches up to Maggie before she goes home. She has new hope to share after all. Unfortunately, Maggie’s accident has done more than put six stitches on her knee and bruise her up badly. When the wraith hit her, Maggie saw the Christmasland Daniel. As she claims, the car showed it to her. And at that moment, she knew they were gone and there was no one to be saved. Jolene tried and didn’t succeed. What good could they do?

To solidify her conviction, Maggie made one final decision to throw away her scrabble bag before she hopped onto the bus back home. Now, Vic’s on her own. Back home, she contemplates taking her meds and letting them dilute her abilities. But, on the last second, she sends them down the drain, every last one of the pills. Alone or not, she’s going to keep fighting. 

NOS4A2 continues Sunday, July 14th, with “Scissors for the Drifter” at 10/9c on AMC.

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