‘NOS4A2’ Boss Has ‘No Plans to Bring [Spoiler] Back to Life’ After Finale
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 2, Episode 10 of NOS4A2, “Bats.”]
The sophomore season-ender to AMC’s horror show NOS4A2 finally saw the demise of the series’ big bad—the child-kidnapping Strong Creative, Charlie Manx (Zachary Quinto) is dead. This is great news for Vic McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) who had her life consumed by the trauma inflicted during her battles with Charlie, though if the drama gets a third season renewal (fingers crossed!) there’s still plenty for Vic to worry about.
For starters, her son Wayne (Jason David) is experiencing horrifying withdrawals after his brief time in Christmasland, like an all-sugar diet and some serious mood swings. And don’t even get us started on Charlie’s escapee daughter Millie (Mattea Conforti), who seems to be embracing her late father’s bloodthirsty path, as seen in the final scene.
Will Millie rebuild Christmasland? Is there hope for Wayne? Where did that elevator ride take Vic’s BFF Maggie Leigh (Jahkara Smith)? Showrunner Jami O’Brien answers all of our burning questions.
Charlie Manx is dead for real this time, right?!
Jami O’Brien: The Wraith has been crushed at the end of the finale, so according to the mythology, set up by Joe Hill in the novel NOS4A2, Charlie Manx is dead.
Assuming you have some general plan of where this is headed, will we get to see more of Zachary Quinto if there is a Season 3, or is he off the show?
I love Zachary Quinto, and I would be happy to find some way for him to come back to the show. That said, Charlie Manx is dead. That said, we’ve seen people like Craig [Dalton Harrod] on the show after they’ve died. So, it’s not out of the question. However, there are no plans to bring Charlie Manx back to life. Any excuse that I could find to bring him back, I’d be happy to use, but Charlie Manx is dead, I want to be clear about that.
Charlie was majorly humanized, which I know was always kind of the plan for Season 2, with all of the flashbacks building this tragic story for him. Do you sympathize with that character at all, or, as a writer, do you find you need to distance yourself so that you don’t sympathize with him because he is a monster?
That’s an interesting question, and I think everybody that works on the show has a different answer to it. I know that Zach Quinto has a lot of empathy for Charlie Manx, and I think that that is part of what’s responsible for what humanized him. I think that’s awesome. And it’s part of why Zach’s performance is so rich and layered. I do have sympathy for Charlie Manx, I have sympathy for young Charlie, for sure. That said, I remember during Season 1, reading online that there were a lot of people that had, I would say, misplaced sympathy for Charlie Manx. Like, ‘Oh, he’s helping kids!’ I felt like a lot of members of the audience were kind of believing Charlie’s story. And I never bought it completely. I do not believe that kidnapping kids and killing their parents is a good thing to do. I have always been Team Vic. But I do have sympathy for Charlie and where he’s from.
Have you started to plan Season 3 at all?
We do have an idea of what we want to do in Season 3. I wouldn’t say that we’re storyboarding at the moment—there’s no writers’ room—but we’ve had ongoing conversations since the pickup of the show about what Season 3 would be. And some of those ideas we still love, some have fallen by the wayside, but the answer is, yes, we have notions for Season 3, but we’re not actively working on it.
I want to talk about Millie for a second. At the end of the finale, we saw that she has begun hunting, and it seems likely that she would play heavily into a possible Season 3. Could Millie be a Strong Creative?
We don’t know! She got taken to Christmasland before any kind of power had a chance to assert itself. We didn’t see Vic get her power until she was 18-years-old, so who knows.
Are we going to see Millie attempt to build her own Christmasland?
She does state at the end, to Wayne, in her second to last scene in the show, that her intention is to rebuild Christmasland. How she’s going to do that, or whether or not she’ll be successful, is another question. But when we leave her, that’s certainly on her mind.
I mean, is it really NOS4A2 without creepy Christmas vibes?
I think Millie would agree with you! She immediately misses Christmasland, as soon as she’s out.
We’ve seen Millie grapple with the childhood she had pre-Christmasland, before her latest turn towards murder. Is she still redeemable?
I don’t know what the outcome is, but I think there’s hope for Millie Manx.
We also see in the finale that Wayne is having intense aftereffects from Christmasland. How scared are Vic and and her mechanic beau Lou (Jonathan Langdon) after seeing some of these moments manifested?
I think those scenes are terrifying for Vic and Lou. Lou is trying to keep everybody calm, and so he shows it less than Vic, but Vic having firsthand experience with the kind of PTSD from Charlie Manx that she is seeing in her son, I think is leaving her terrified.
And if he’s having that much trouble adjusting, I can’t help but wonder how much trouble it’s going to cause for those children who have been in Christmasland for literally decades.
Yeah, some of them have been there for about a hundred years, eating people, playing Scissors for the Drifter, playing Stick the Blind—I think coming back from that is not an easy task.
In your vision for Season 3 and beyond, is Bing (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson), who is now in jail, also off the playing board?
Well, Bing is still alive. So, who knows? He’s out there.
That’s fair. Is Vic’s bridge gone forever? What does that mean for her as a Strong Creative to not have an Inscape?
As long as Vic is a Strong Creative, and as long as she has a Knife, which she does, she’s just put it in storage, I think that she has access to her Inscape.
One thing I’ve been seeing a lot from fans, and that I personally would love for this show, or as a spinoff, who knows, is this female-led Supernatural-like series with Vic and Maggie hunting down other Strong Creatives. Is that something that you’re interested in writing?
Absolutely. We love Vic and Maggie. We love them as a team. Part of the reason we created Parnassus and showed it in Season 1 and again in Season 2 is to give the audience the information that this is a broader world than just the folks we’ve seen in Season 1. I think one of the most exciting endings of Season 2 is Maggie getting on that elevator and going down. We don’t know where she’s coming out, but I can tease that it’s not a place in the real world. So, yes, absolutely, I would love to see these two team up again.
Is there anything else about the potential Season 3, or the future of these characters, that you want to talk about?
I will say that one of the things that I was most excited about this season was the growth in certain characters, particularly the growth in Maggie Leigh. I love where we leave Maggie. I love that she was able to go to Christmasland with Vic. And truthfully, if she wasn’t able to go to Christmasland with Vic, I don’t think that Vic would’ve made it out alive. So, I’m excited about the possibilities for that character moving forward, and also Millie Manx. I always loved the actresses who play Maggie and Millie, and I want to see what else we can get these girls up to. So, I would say, look forward to that, and look forward to hopefully more Strong Creatives.
NOS4A2 has not yet been renewed for a third season.