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NOS4A2 season 1 ending explained

In 2019, fans of smart horror with compelling characters and intricate worldbuilding got a major treat in the form of AMC's series NOS4A2. Adapted from a well-loved Joe Hill novel of the same name, the show stars Zachary Quinto as child-abducting vampire Charles Manx. Hunting him is Vic (Ashleigh Cummings), a young artist who's accidentally stumbled into supernatural powers. The unique blend of supernatural horror and deep personal drama quickly earned the series a legion of fans.

The show's first season ended with a series of unanswered questions and harrowing setups for what was to come for Vic and her comrades. Although she had succeeded in temporarily thwarting Manx and his ongoing scheme to whisk children away to a fantastically nightmarish realm called Christmasland (where it's Christmas every day, but not in the fun way), the finale opened just as many doors as it closed. While this is bad news for Vic, viewers were thrilled when a second season was announced, set to premiere on June 21st, 2020.

Let's dive into what happened in the finale of NOS4A2's first season and get all caught up for season 2.

Vic puts a stop to Charles Manx, but it comes at a cost

The first season finale of NOS4A2 is marked by a number of "two steps forward, one step back" moments for Vic as she attempts to reach Christmasland and dispatch Manx for good. After having her dirtbike destroyed by the vampire, thus preventing her from being able to access the covered bridge portal, Vic manages to track Manx down. She sets fire to Manx's Rolls-Royce, the Wraith, which is the key to his own supernatural abilities. This turns out to be a smart move, as the destruction of his car causes Manx to wither like a piece of old fruit. Unfortunately, Vic's lover, Craig (Dalton Harrod), is still inside, and Vic is unable to save him before the car explodes.

During this ordeal, Vic is helped by a biker named Lou Carmody (Jonathan Langdon), who stumbles upon the odd confrontation. He later accompanies her to the hospital, where she learns that she's pregnant with Craig's child. It's a sad prospect for a number of reasons — not only does it make his loss even more tragic, it also means her dreams of getting out of her small town of Haverhill are indefinitely on hold.

On the other hand, Manx is in the hospital, still shriveled up and in a coma. This is definitely a big plus for Vic, but Manx isn't the only force of evil she needs to contend with. Another is still at large.

Bing evades arrest

Throughout season 1, Manx got a helping hand from deeply troubled school custodian Bing Partridge (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson). Earlier in the season, we learned about Bing's disturbing family history, and his penchant for using knock-out gas to kidnap victims for Manx to bring to Christmasland. When the finale flash-forwards six months, Bing reappears, having shaved his beard and adopted the moniker Mr. Anderson. He's now working at a dentist's office, where he has access to a large supply of gas to use on future victims. Grim.

Thankfully, Maggie (Jahkara Smith) and Detective Hutter (Ashley Romans) haven't forgotten about his misdeeds. Unfortunately, when Maggie consults her Scrabble tiles about Bing's whereabouts, she doesn't get a response. Without help from her magic tiles, Maggie is left without a way to track down and stop Bing from kidnapping more children. Heading into the second season, Bing remains a loose end that needs to be tied up. And given how the first season ended, it looks like he won't be alone.

Manx gets a jump-start at the season's end

After the fallout from the car crash, Vic tells her father (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) about her pregnancy. He isn't exactly thrilled about the idea. When the finale jumps forward in time, we see that Vic is visibly with child, and she has also renewed her promise to Maggie to find Christmasland and rescue the children who are still stuck there. We also see Lou with Vic in the flash-forward, indicating that he will play a larger role in the second season. With Manx in a coma, the trail has gone cold — that is, until the finale's final moments.

Before the season comes to a close, we see a car mechanic working on the burnt-out husk of the Wraith. When the mechanic applies some jumper cables and brings the car back to life, we flash to Manx in the hospital. He's revived by the car's restoration, and we get confirmation that Vic and company haven't seen the last of the childnapping vampire. Considering his mission to get Vic to be the mother to the children he's keeping in Christmasland and the fact that Vic will soon have a child of her own, this is a distressing development for the young mother-to-be.

Given Vic's vow to rescue the children from Christmasland, Manx's reawakening, Maggie's psychic Scrabble block, and Bing's continued reign of terror, season 2 of NOS4A2 is shaping up to be just as much of a psychotic ride as the first.