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You are everything Charles wants. A girl eager only for fun. The Millie in that room? One day, she'll grow up to be like me. There's nothing he fears more than that. [...] Your father says he gave you the gift of eternal childhood. But really he's imprisoned you and stolen your chance to be a woman.
Cassie to Miliie


Cripple Creek is the seventh episode of the second season of AMC's NOS4A2. It is also the seventeenth episode of the series overall.

Synopsis

Bing Partridge has some questions for Charlie Manx; Manx revisits his difficult childhood; Millie meets an old friend; Wayne faces a choice.

Plot

SPOILERS AHEAD


Taking a few steps back to the day that Bing was shot by Chris McQueen at the Lake house and left for dead by Manx. He scurries off into the woods as the cops arrive. He takes refuge in a cemetery near an angel headstone and asks God for guidance. He wonders why he isn’t on the nice list and why Manx left him behind. He starts to suspect he was abandoned and asks for a sign, which comes in the sign of bird droppings. He soon discovers that he’s not alone in the cemetery. A gravedigger offers to help. Instead, Bing hits him over the head with his gas tank and strangles the man before throwing him into a grave and stealing his truck.

Bing arrives at one of Manx’s hideouts — a scrapyard, where he discovers Manx resting inside the Wraith with Wayne. As Manx exits the Wraith, Bing sneaks up behind him and gases him, rendering Manx unconscious within seconds. Manx awakens in a garage, old, weak, and chained to a support beam. He claims that he was worried for Bing’s well-being after their encounter with Vic, but Bing isn’t convinced, even as Manx claims that saving children is their purpose. Bing explains that he disconnected the ignition coil to the Wraith, so Manx won't be going anywhere, as it’s time they had a talk. Bing puts on his gas mask and sprays Manx with the gingerbread smoke in hopes of getting the truth from him.

Millie asks Cassie why Christmasland is dying

Millie sits by the phone in Christmasland, waiting for her father to call. However, just like before, the lights start flickering. So, Millie returns to the ghostly house beyond Candy Mountain. Cassie’s mangled ghost appears to her, and Millie asks her why the lights are blinking again. Millie is surprised Cassie can talk, to which she replies that she doesn’t know how long it will last. They head upstairs, where the man trapped behind a door breaks it open and grabs Millie by the shoulder. Cassie releases his grip and shuts the door back. She explains that when Manx died, both his mind and Christmasland became unstable, the cause for the blinking lights and thinning of the veil. When Millie asked Manx about the house, he said it didn’t exist. Cassie presumes that he’s forgotten it. His deepest fears reside within the house. Fears he’s locked behind doors, but there is one in particular Cassie wants Millie to see. She opens the door revealing a version of Millie before she came to Christmasland. When she was just an innocent child. Human Millie asks to play, and they begin ripping open Christmas presents under the tree.

Flashback to Charlie Manx as a young boy. He and several of the local boys put on a show at the tavern. His mother, Fanny Manx, watches from the crowd. She tells Charlie that he’s special. Manx is proud, if only for a moment, as he watches his mother take payment from a man and heads upstairs to have sex. Mr. Tim approaches young Manx and reminds him that he owns the general store across the street. On occasion, Mr. Tim has odd jobs and with Manx knowing the boys in town so well, he was hoping to use Charlie to help wrangle up some help. He saw Charlie eyeing the new sled in his shop window. He’s willing to pay Charlie for his help and if he saves up, he’ll have the sleigh by Christmas time.

Bing asks Manx about his old assistant, Peter Ives. Manx replies that he died, along with the two previous assistants before him, Cardinal O'Byrne and Dewey Hansom. Bing tells Manx to clarify. Manx threw O’Byrne from the Wraith and fed Hansom to the children. Given that Bing helped save four children and brought Manx back to life, he wonders if he’s going to Christmasland. Under the influence of the gingerbread smoke, Manx reveals that he was never taking Bing to Christmasland.

Craig tries to keep Wayne's humanity intact

Wayne pulls on a loose tooth. He tells Craig that when all his new teeth arrive that Manx said he’d be able to ride the Sleigh coaster. Craig tells Wayne to fight the car. The Wraith wants him to forget, so he has to remember. Craig tells Wayne to remember Vic and that the car is lying to him. What Craig remembers of Vic is that her favorite movie is Jaws. Suddenly, Wayne remembers that his mother’s favorite day is the 4th of July and that she likes having ice cream for breakfast. He asks Craig how he knows his mother. Craig explains that she was his best friend. He then asks about Wayne’s dad. Wayne explains that Lou loves motorcycles and comic books. Wayne checks his tooth again and it’s no longer loose. Craig then asks Wayne where he lives and how well he does in school, hoping that he'll be able to hold on to himself long enough to be rescued.

Bing tortures Manx, striking him multiple times. He gave up everything for Christmasland only to discover that Manx never had any intent on taking him. Hoping to calm Bing, Manx tells him how special he is and how important their mission is. The children are in danger and they need to be saved, including Wayne. Bing isn’t convinced and continues beating Manx.

Young Manx tries to convince Oscar to go with Mr. Tim, who has toys and candy. He’ll be away from the den full of wanting women and faithless men. Oscar reminds Charlie that both of their mothers are at the den. Manx replies that "Whores were hardly made to be mothers. Fanny Manx and Trudy Holiday the least among them." Mr. Tim pays boys to work at his store. And if he’s good enough of a worker, Mr. Tim even takes the boys to his house. And at his house, there’s more toys and candy than anyone could want. Manx successfully convinces Oscar to join Mr. Tim, who takes him away. Fanny notices Charlie from the bar. He explains that he’s helping Mr. Tim and saving up for the sled in his front window. Fanny asks if Charlie has been to Mr. Tim's shop. Charlie reveals that his job is to send the other boys. Fanny warns Charlie from ever going over there. She tells him that they’ll go together when he has enough nickels to buy the sled. She then leaves her with another man.

Manx wakes up, still chained to the support beam. He tells Bing that it’s because he’s special that he can’t go to Christmasland. Manx tells Bing about his mother and how’d she provide food but starve them of dignity. Back then, there was a man that was like a father to Manx. He tempted him with praise and work. The man, Mr. Tim, used and mishandled Manx like Bing’s father mishandled him. And his mother did nothing to stop him. That’s what makes them special. They’re children unsaved. Innocence stolen. They’d have no place in Christmasland. But they still have to save those who still have time. The moment Manx got Bing’s letter, he knew Bing would be more than an assistant — he would be a partner. Manx hopes that Bing still believes in the mission. Bing is fooled by Manx’s charm and wit and agrees to continue their mission, starting with repairing the Wraith.

Bing lifts the hood to the Wraith

Wayne sleeps in the back of the Wraith. His transformation continues. Craig wakes him up and tells him to remember his life. However, Wayne is getting worse. He proceeds to spit out three teeth. Bing lifts the hood to the Wraith, but then notices Wayne inside, who is noticeably ill. Wayne cries out for his mom, explaining to Bing that he and Manx are the ones responsible for his pain, not Vic. Bing slams the hood of the Wraith down, realizing that Manx is a liar.

Millie and the human version of herself continue to play with dolls. Human Millie suggests they play a game where two adults are in on a date. She tells Christmasland Millie that it’s romantic and that she can’t wait to grow up and become an adult. She’ll be free to do whatever she pleases. Human Millie plans to leave the moment she turns 16. She has her entire life planned out. She wants a family and to explore the world.

Millie goes to her mother after finally realizing that the girl she’s been playing with is, in fact, her. Who she was before Christmasland. She wonders why her father keeps her there. Cassie explains that Millie is everything Manx wants — a girl eager only for fun. The Millie in the other room will grow up to be like Cassie, and there’s nothing Manx fears more than that. They look into the mirror and see the versions of themselves prior to Christmasland. Millie, a innocent human girl, and Cassie, alive and well. Manx claims to have given Millie the gift of eternal childhood, but he’s actually imprisoned her and stolen her chance to be a woman. Manx is a liar. If he's caught lying, cheating, or killing, he'll pin the fault on the closest woman and hide to escape the blame. Cassie only wants what’s best for Millie. Christmasland is falling apart. If Manx dies, Millie will too. Cassie tells Millie to ask her father to release her from Christmasland, and if he refuses, she has to find her own way.

Bing plans to kill Manx

Bing returns to the garage and accuses Manx of making Wayne sick. Manx claims that Wayne will be fine once they get him to Christmasland. Bing doesn’t believe him. "Charlie, Charlie telling lies. Soon he will be crying cries." Bing recalls what happened to Mike. Manx gets better while the kids get sick. Bing calls Manx a bad father and offers to show him how to be a good father. The same way he taught Paul Demeter. He says that Paul knew just what to do with his mouth.

Young Manx enters the tavern on Christmas Day to find it empty with only Mr. Tim sitting at the bar. Manx has his sled, which he saved enough to buy. Mr. Tim pays Charlie a $1 to pour him a whiskey. He joins Charlie behind the bar and asks to play a game, telling Charlie that he’s earned some fun as he unbuckles his pants.

Bing calls Manx a bad father

Manx demands to know what Bing did to the Wraith. He felt it move. When Bing doesn’t respond, Manx reminds him that he’s all Bing has. Bing retorts that he has the Gas Mask Man. He was just a janitor in Haverhill hiding from his past, but Manx freed him, and now, he knows what to do with monsters. He unchains Manx from the support beam, but his hands and feet remain duct taped. He throws Manx to the ground and says "Bitch, bitch, go to sleep. Take a nap while I love you deep." Manx reminds Bing that he brought him the children willingly. No one told him that Paul Demeter was a bad father. The Graveyard of What Might Be never showed that Mike needed to be saved. Bing had no great purpose to rape Paul and steal his son. He used him to get into Christmasland and destroyed families to satisfy his urges. Manx argues that if he deserves death then Bing deserves worse. Bing agrees that he too is a monster before spaying Manx with the gingerbread smoke. Bing then drags Manx’s body out of the garage and puts him in the back of the Wraith, which is parked on a compactor.

Mr. Tim comes back from behind the bar after sexually assaulting young Manx and offers him a chance to come by his house. Manx, in a fit of rage, takes his sled and beats Mr. Tim to death. Fanny comes down and finds Charlie standing over his body. She tells Charlie that she’ll get him cleaned up and they’ll go find Boss Mitchell, who will know what to do. Everyone in town knows that Mr. Tim was a predator. Charlie is surprised to learn that so many knew and did nothing. He blames his mother for his own actions, reasoning that she made him do it. She wanted money. She pranced around and threw herself onto disgusting men so that Charlie would help her. She made him do it, he says. He asks why she didn’t protect him. Fanny tries to apologize, but he’s too upset. Charlie’s eyes fill with white static as he kills his mother, her blood splattering on the window.

Bing puts Manx in the Wraith and tells him that soon there will be two less monsters in the world. Manx worries about his children. If he dies, so will the Christmasland children, however, Bing isn't convinced. Wayne stands outside of the Wraith, unfazed by the ordeal. Almost in a trance. Bing slams the Wraith door shut and goes to turn on the controls for the compactor. He tells Wayne to find the police and tells them that his mother is Vic McQueen. Hearing her name snaps Wayne back to reality and he replies that her favorite movie is Jaws. Bing wants Wayne to also tell Vic that he’s sorry and that they won’t have to worry about Charlie Manx anymore. Bing turns on the compactor, turns up the pressure on the gas tank and throws it in the back with Manx. Wayne laughs from outside the Wraith as Manx pleads for help.

Bing gets into the passenger seat with his mask on as Manx becomes unconscious in the back. Bing tells Manx to say "I love you more than anything, Bing Partridge." Once Manx is knocked out, Bing takes his mask off and falls asleep along with him. However, Wayne stops the compactor from crushing the Wraith and wakes Manx up and frees him of his restraints. Bing awakens just as Manx plugs the ignition coil back up to the Wraith. Bing stumbles out the passenger seat and crawls away. However, the Wraith starts back up and Manx is rejuvenated and spry. He tells Wayne to get in the car. Craig instructs him to run, but Wayne gets inside nonetheless and the door locks behind him. Wayne instantly realizes he made a mistake. Craig assures him Vic will come for him.

Meanwhile, Bing stumbles to his truck with Manx not far behind. Manx stabs him in the stomach with a sharp pole and admits that he lied to Bing when he told him he was special. He throws Bing to the ground and tells him that he will die there unless the police find him first. In fact, prison is a better place for Bing than hell. He asks that Bing thinks of him during Christmas time.

Cast

Starring

Guest Starring

Co-Starring

  • Sean Verre as Zion
  • Preston Langlois as Alex
  • Giuseppe Virzi as Oscar
  • Rhys Olivia Cote as Blindfolded Demon Girl
  • Ducati James Sedlier as Demon Kid #1
  • Katie Wylie as Demon Kid #2
  • David Pridemore as John #1
  • Nick Pernice as John #2
  • Max Alagna as Gravedigger

Trivia

  • Cripple Creek is the Statutory City that is the county seat of Teller County, Colorado, United States.

Multimedia

Promotional Images

Videos

Episode Guide

References

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