‘NOS4A2’ Showrunner Previews the Season 2 Finale: ‘The War Is Still On’
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 2, Episode 9 of NOS4A2, “Welcome to Christmasland.”]
Well, life-sucking Strong Creative Charlie Manx (Zachary Quinto), aka Father Christmas, came through on his promise. In the August 16 episode of the book-based series, he finally succeeded in bringing young Bruce Wayne McQueen (Jason David) into Christmasland.
Luckily, the dreadful holiday cheer didn’t last too long, as newfound mama bear/heroine Vic McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) quickly came to the rescue—whether Wayne wanted that rescue or not—with BFF Maggie Leigh (Jahkara J. Smith) in tow. The powerful duo bombed various parts of Christmasland, harming Charlie in the process, and suffered a few blows themselves. When we exit the penultimate episode, there is some hope to be found. Vic has managed to snap her son out of his Manx-induced trance, at least a little bit.
There’s still a long way to go to escape this holly jolly hellscape for Vic, Maggie and Wayne, and the series finale is setting up an epic standdown between Vic and her long-time nemesis, Charlie. Who will survive to see another day? Will Bruce ever be back to normal? And what about Christmasland escapee/Charlie’s mistreated daughter Millie Manx (Mattea Conforti)? Below, showrunner/executive producer Jami O’Brien gives us the full scoop ahead of the sophomore season’s explosive ender.
So, we’ve got a crazy set up for this season finale. Vic’s been stabbed, Maggie’s been bit, Christmasland is blown to smithereens, Charlie is severely injured and Millie is free. There’s a bit of dialogue at the end of the episode where Wayne goes, ‘Christmas is over, isn’t it?’ which I loved. But is Christmas actually over?
Jami O’Brien: Well, I think that they still have a long way to go to get out of that park. When we leave them in Episode 209, I think that they have won the battle, but the war is still on. They’ve injured Charlie Manx. Christmasland is burning. Vic is at the front gates with Wayne. She’s been able to find him. She seems to have knocked some semblance of humanity into him, and when the lights go out that seems to affect him. But, he’s still got those teeth. He’s still part-demon. He could still turn at any time, and they have to get out of there. So, Vic has to find the Triumph, find Maggie, and bring everybody safely back to the real world.
I wanted to ask about the moment that the lights went out in Christmasland. Did Vic’s tough love towards Wayne have anything to do with that? Or was that just scary good timing?
I think that the lights go out because of the explosions, but I do think that those things are kind of concurrent. It’s important that Vic, one of the things that she’s been struggling with all season is, ‘What does it mean to be a mother to this child?’ At the end of Episode 209, part of the way that she has to get Wayne back is by committing to being his mom. And also stopping Charlie Manx and destroying Christmasland. I think that when she says to Wayne, ‘I am your mother, and we’re leaving,’ one of the things that is happening in that moment is he is threatening her. He’s saying, ‘I’m never going to love you. I’m never going to forgive you. I’m going to hate you for the rest of my life.’ And those are the kinds of fears that Vic had at the beginning of the season and was running from. At this moment, she basically says, ‘I don’t care,’ and decides to stand by Wayne come what may.
You mentioned there’s a war brewing. Charlie is probably in the worst shape he’s ever been, but what can you say about this final stand-off that’s inevitably coming?
Though Christmasland is falling, the Wraith is still intact. As long as the Wraith is intact, there is hope for Charlie Manx. So as long as the wraith is out there…
Fair enough. How about the other souls in Christmasland? Are these kids just that, souls? Or are they savable?
That’s a great question. Tune in to 210 and you may find the answer!
Can you tease what we’ll see Millie do with her newfound freedom in the finale?
Well, that’s a question for Millie, too. I think that she’s going to have to grapple with that question. She’s gotten out of Christmasland, which is what she’s wanted. She’s gotten out from under the thumb of her father. She’s also gotten out from under the influence of her mother, and she’s in the real world, where she hasn’t been in a long, long time. And I think that’s the question she has for herself: ‘What now?’
Going back to something that happened in Episode 208: I thought opening the episode with Chris McQueen (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) giving his father’s eulogy was really beautiful. The generational trauma viewers see the McQueens endure is heartbreaking to watch. With her father now gone, will we see a more permanent change in Vic for the better?
I think that at the end of Season 2, we find Vic committed to her family, and committed to being a mother, even though that’s scary to her and she fears messing up her son. She fears the same things that she feared at the beginning of the season, actually—that she’s not up for it. That he’s not safe around her.
But, the growth that she’s experienced has been that she’s determined to hang out with those feelings and stick around, even though she doesn’t know what she’s doing all the time. I think that over the course of Season 1, we saw Vic giving up drinking. I would never think that putting down the bottle is an easy task. It’s a task that she’s committed to, but I’m sure that she will face challenges in her life as she moves forward.
NOS4A2, Season Finale, Sunday, August 23, 9/8c, AMC