|“||We're on the Night Road... an Inscape formed by the collective unconscious of a community of people just like us. Access requires a certain darkness of the soul. What darkness has been lurking within you since last we met? Teen pregnancy? Child born out of wedlock? His father burned to death along with the innocent Bradley all as a consequence of your sins, lust, anger, pride, abandonment.||”|
Millie chases behind her father’s Wraith as he leaves Christmasland in search of more boys and girls to save. She finds herself outside the gate, which closes behind her. And so, Millie travels into the woods, beyond Candy Mountain, where she finds a house that resembles that of her childhood home. She enters, going room to room. One room in particular is filled with presents. She hears someone knocking on the door. He says "Let me out. The best sledding is the hill beyond the grove." But the door won’t budge. So, she walks into the next room over, where she finds clothes hanging in a closet. She tries them on, laughing as she does so. Suddenly, she finds herself being grabbed by her mother’s mangled ghost. She forces Millie to look at herself in the mirror, which shows a version of Millie prior to Christmasland. She then breaks free of her mother’s grip and runs out the house.
Vic rides her Triumph over the Shorter Way. She arrives at the Lake, drunk and in pain. Her head is ringing, similar to when she was a teen. She is approached by her father, who doesn’t initially recognize her and cocks his gun. He lowers his gun upon realizing that it is Vic and asks if she drove there all the way from Colorado. She tells him yes, and he invites her inside. Chris gets Vic into bed, where she tells him that Charlie Manx died. He’s aware. He tells her to lay down and they’ll sort everything else out in the morning.
Vic dreams of Wayne and the house fire. She awakens from her sleep and goes looking around the house, where she finds her old sketch journal. Chris explains that Linda gave it to him after Vic left. He often looks through it. Linda also gives him pictures of Wayne. Vic asks for the time. Chris tells her it’s noon. She came to his house with a fever and has slept for the last day and a half. Chris moved to the lake because he rather enjoys the quiet. When he’s not working, he messes around with his guitars and fixes the house up. Vic asks him for a place to stay and a job. Before he answers, he tells Vic that he went through her pockets and poured out all her liquor. He is sober and his house is a dry house.
Vic leaves her father's house and returns to her childhood home, where Linda greets her in the driveway. She welcomes Vic back and rushes her into the house. Inside, Linda makes Vic a grilled cheese sandwich. Vic complements her new hair, to which Linda replies that Sean, her boyfriend, says she looks like Madonna. When Linda asks about Wayne, Vic reveals that she got drunk and accidentally set the house on fire. Linda encourages Vic to call Lou and Wayne and tell them where she’s at. Linda then leaves for work.
As Wayne goes out front to play basketball, Lou warns him against taking off on his bike, like he did yesterday. Lou then gets a call from Linda, though he presumes it’s Vic and ignores her call.
Vic leaves Lou a voicemail when he doesn’t answer. She explains that she’s at her mother’s house in Haverhill and apologizes for leaving without saying goodbye. She claims that she didn’t want to hurt them, and she was worried that Lou would try to stop her. After hanging up, Vic goes into the cabinet and takes a drink of alcohol.
The lights begin to flicker outside of the garage as Bing pulls up to Carmody's Car Carma. Wayne informs his father that a customer has arrived as he plays basketball outside. Lou greets Bing, who claims that his bike isn’t working and is looking for assistance. Lou invites Bing inside his office to talk further.
Wayne faintly hears O Holy Night playing in the distance and goes to investigate. He follows the music to the Wraith, where he is approached by Manx. Wayne asks if he’s feeling better, as their first encounter ended with Wayne running away as Manx bled from his chest. Manx refers to him as Bruce Wayne McQueen, but Wayne corrects him in saying that he only goes by Wayne. Manx then pulls a candy cane from his ear and gifts it to him.
Lou hands Bing back his ID, who has been living under the guise Ethan Anderson for the last eight years. As Lou heads outside to investigate Bing’s bike, he discovers that Wayne is missing and calls out to him. Bing offers to take his bike elsewhere if Lou doesn’t have time for him. Lou insists that won’t be necessary and hops on the back of the truck, where he sees Bing’s gas equipment in his backseat. Lou claims that he’s calling his supplier but in actuality calls Vic, but she doesn’t answer. Lou leaves her a coded message, telling Vic to check on a "1048 Fairbanks." He then asks Bing to help loosen the straps on the bike and hits hit him across the face with the strap, knocking him to the ground. Lou jumps off the back of the truck and falls to the ground as Bing grabs his leg. Lou kicks Bing in the face and runs off, calling out to Wayne.
The doors of the Wraith open, revealing a back seat filled with toys and presents. Manx tells Wayne that when he was his age, all he wanted was magic. The magic of Christmas and making his problems disappear. He encourages Wayne to hop in. Before he does, Wayne asks Manx for the password, that being "1048 Fairbanks." When Manx replies that there aren’t any passwords in Christmasland, Wayne runs off into the woods, where he is recovered by Lou.
Vic dreams of Wayne with a candy cane in hand. She awakens at the sound of the phone ringing. She answers. It’s the Colorado State Police, calling to inform her of Wayne and Lou’s encounter with Charlie Manx.
While Lou talks to the police, Wayne sits on the couch with the candy cane he got from Manx in hand. He places it in his pocket and continues watching TV. Meanwhile, Lou gets a call from Vic, who informs him that she’s talked to Tabitha Hutter, who has pulled some strings and arranged for two FBI agents to escort them to the airport. Tabitha will be there to pick them up and take them to her house. However, Vic intends to go after Manx. Lou worries that Manx will kill Vic. He wants her to join them, but Vic is determined to stop Manx, which angers Lou. He tells her that her actions aren’t heroic and that Wayne needs his mother. Vic goes after Manx nevertheless.
Manx arrives at Parnassus, a bar occupied by Strong Creative, such as himself. He approaches the bar, where Old Snake, a Strong Creative with red eyes and scales, challenges him to a game of dice, even rolling snake eyes in that very moment. Manx replies that his mother didn’t raise any fools. Manx then joins Abe at his table, where he reveals that he bought the house a drink in Manx’s honor when he heard of his death. However, Abe knew Charlie wasn’t dead. Manx requests that Abe arrange a meeting between him and the Hourglass Man, but Abe doesn’t do introductions anymore. He’s become antisocial in his retirement. Manx recalls the days when the denizens of this world would run and hide when they heard Honest Abe has left his Empty Forest to travel the Night Road. Now, he’s the one that’s running scared. Abe retorts that it’s Vic and her bike that scares Manx. She killed him once and it’ll happen again if he doesn’t let it go. Manx replies that he told Abe the same thing about the Walking Backwards Man. If Manx hadn’t intervened back then, Abe would be dead, for which he is grateful. The phone rings. Before answering, Manx tells Abe that the time has come for him to show his gratitude. Abe reluctantly agrees and tells Manx that he wishes he was dead. As Manx goes to answer the phone, Abe tells Manx to tell his goddaughter that he misses her.
Manx picks up the phone. It’s Millie. She asks when he is coming home. Manx tells her that while there’s been a delay, she’ll have a new friend to play with soon. Assuming she’s been a good girl. Millie reveals that she saw a light from a house on top of Candy Mountain. Manx reminds Millie that children who venture beyond the gates end up on the naughty list. She questions who is up there. Manx claims that nothing is up there and warns her that snooping will land her on the naughty list. He depends on her to spread Christmas cheer while he’s away and to take care of the children. He tells her Merry Christmas and hangs up the phone. The lights within the bar suddenly start to flicker.
Vic arrives outside Parnassus. Though no one is inside the Wraith, it’s headlights turn on upon her arrival. Vic has a gas canister with her. She sticks a rag inside and prepares to light it on fire, but Manx exits the bar. He tells her that he won’t make the mistake of underestimating her again. He asks if she knows where they are. They’re on the Night Road. An Inscape formed by the collective unconscious of a community of Strong Creatives. Access requires a certain darkness of the soul. He wonders what darkness has been lurking inside her since their last encounter; teen pregnancy, child born out of wedlock, his father burned to death along with Bradley, all as a consequence to Vic’s actions. Vic promises that she will stop Manx, even if it kills her. He believes it to be her wish to die by his hands so that she doesn’t have to face her family or failures. And once Wayne is in Christmasland, he’ll forget all about Vic. The Wraith starts up and has its sight set on Vic. She lights the gas can and charges towards the Wraith, launching the canister in its direction, only narrowly missing it. Vic retreats to her Bridge after a failed attempt to stop Manx.
Linda returns home to find liquor in Vic’s room and her drawings scattered along the floor. Vic arrives and Linda scolds her for getting drunk and joyriding. She advises Vic to get her act together and go back to her kid. Vic tries hard, but she fails. She often makes bad decisions and puts him in bad positions. Linda can relate, stating that she never won a gold metal for parenting either. Linda explains that when you’re young, you never understand how much having a child will take from you. You give them everything you’ve got and more than you have. Vic worries that she doesn’t know how to love Wayne like that. Linda tells her that she doesn’t have to know how. She just has to stay and figure out the rest as it happens.
Against her father’s wishes, Millie returns to the house on Candy Mountain. She cuts the head off a reindeer and places the head by the front door before ringing the doorbell and running away. She watches from a safe distance as her mother’s mangled ghost exits the house and stares at her from across the yard.
Vic arrives outside of Tabitha’s home. She knocks on the door, where she is welcomed by Maggie. She’s glad to see that Vic is unharmed. Unfortunately, Vic wasn’t able to stop Manx. Maggie replies that they’ll stop him together. Vic enters the house and thanks Tabitha for her help. She then checks on Wayne and Lou, neither of whom are happy with her. He asks if she’s visiting or staying. Vic announces that she has come to stay.
Jonathan Beckett, also known as the Hourglass Man, wipes blood from his ear. He then gets a call from Abe, who wishes to arrange a meeting between him and Charlie Manx. Jonathan would be honored to meet him, but asks "Who is Vic McQueen?"
- The Night Road refers to an Inscape formed by the collective unconscious of a community of Strong Creative. Access requires a certain darkness of the soul.