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NOS4A2 Creator On What We Can Expect In The Final Episodes Of Season 2 - Exclusive

Most people think of presents under trees and sweet candy canes when they reminisce about fond Christmas memories, but writer Joe Hill has a more sinister approach to the holly-jolly season when it comes to the hit AMC show NOS4A2. Sure, there are candy canes in the world of NOS4A2, but the series' central antagonist Charlie Manx (Zachary Quinto) uses them to mind whammy children into feeding him their souls when he carts them off to Christmasland. It's not exactly a good time for anyone involved — unless you're Charlie Manx, of course. 

The second season of NOS4A2 starts off with a bang, introducing an eight-year time jump and a seemingly dead Charlie. But you can't keep an immortal soul-sucker down for long. Demon Father Christmas comes back with a vengeance, shifting his sights from Victoria "Vic" McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) to her son Bruce Wayne (Jason David), a not-so-subtle homage to Batman. Now, over halfway through the season, things are really starting to heat up — melting the perfect vision of Christmasland that Charlie has desperately held onto for decades. 

Joe Hill, the author of the original novel the show is based on, spoke to Looper in an exclusive interview to dish on what fans can expect from the final episodes of NOS4A2 season 2. 

Embracing the peril

Hill has a perfect movie metaphor for NOS4A2's structure, and it's probably not what you think: "My view on the two seasons of NOS4A2 was that season 1 was the first Terminator movie, and season 2 was the second."

He explained to Looper, "The first Terminator sort of set the ground rules and let you know who the characters were and how that world operates. But the second Terminator film is pedal to the floor from the opening scene, and it just accelerates and accelerates. And I think what we tried to do here in season 2 is to put the hammer down and keep it there." It's safe to say the writing team has achieved that goal thus far in the season.

While Hill grew up with famous horror novelist Stephen King for a dad, comics were more his speed. He recalled, "I'm a guy who came up through comic books, right? So my whole education in storytelling. My practical education is in trying to figure out how you make a comic book work." 

Everyone loves to hate watching their favorite characters suffer, but it captivates fans every time. As Hill noted, "Part of what I learned from that is the one thing you can always place faith in is peril. As long as the characters are in peril, people will care. It doesn't have to be physical peril — [it can be] emotional, moral peril. I think, actually, readers and audiences are even more interested in moral peril."

Fighting real ghouls to avoid inner demons

NOS4A2 certainly places its characters in all shades of peril, and that will continue as season 2 wraps up.

"We find some of that here in NOS4A2. You know, we see Vic McQueen wrestling with how to be the best version of herself," Hill said. "And [she's even more comfortable] going toe-to-toe with a supernatural monster than she is in being a mom and trying to get to the grind of everyday life. She's worried about, will she fail her son, will she fail the man she loves? These are things that haunt her." 

Hill continued, "In some ways, the best thing that could happen to Vic McQueen is to gloriously die in battle against Charlie Manx because then she can go out a hero, and she doesn't have to worry about the rest of her life, which is hard. [...] That kind of thing is engaging and makes for a good story. And it seems like so far, people agree." 

The people do, in fact, agree, and fans can't wait to see how the rest of the season plays out.

NOS4A2 airs new episodes of season 2 on Sundays at 10/9c on AMC. Episode 8, "Chris McQueen," will premiere on Sunday, August 9. All 10 episodes of season 1 and the first six episodes of season 2 are available for streaming now.