Charlie Manx did not deserve a whole episode to flesh out what we already knew.
NOS4A2 Season 2 Episode 2 was all about filling in the supposed blanks in his tale, while simultaneously revealing his next mission, and it was a surprisingly dull affair.
It was evident his relationship with Cassie was not going to excel or we wouldn't have Christmasland today.
Cassie was a realist, and Charlie was a dreamer, so it was obvious where the flaws in their relationship emerged. Cassie was concerned with the here and now, and Charlie was more concerned with making something of himself.
I appreciated that Cassie's father balked at the idea of giving Charlie the capital needed to get his fleet off the ground. Charlie's ramblings about a proposal proved that he had already thought this idea through.
Unfortunately, at least in business, if the person handing over the cash does not believe in the idea, there's a zero percent chance they will part ways with cash.
That's how the cookie crumbles when it comes to investments, and I dare say Charlie's impulsive nature would have prevented him from making the business thrive.
Cassie: You have his wounded soulful eyes.
Charlie: I have wounded eyes.
Cassie, for her part, even offered to bring in some money of her own. If you watch NOS4A2 online, you know Charlie likes to be in the driver's seat, both literally and figuratively.
The very notion that Cassie would leave the house to give them a cash injection was enough for Charlie to write her off, and it further solidified the fact that he cuts people off who try to overrule him.
Cassie was too blinded by her love for Charlie to act sooner, and it allowed him to wheel and deal with her possessions to get the infamous NOS4A2 vehicle.
It takes a special kind of person to pawn the only belongings you have with links to your deceased parent, but Cassie had let his behavior go on too long to escape with her life.
Millie murdering her mother was both a predictable and frustrating development. There should have been more of a struggle, but it seems the creative minds behind the series want all roads to lead to the vehicle.
Murdering her mother was cold, and something that proves Millie will be able to steer the kids in the right direction should Vic manage to take her father down for good.
Eight years passed in Christmasland, and Millie kept things going about as well as she could, but her ultimate goal to take down Vic remains.
Charlie's meeting with Bruce was the turning point he needed to realize that his mission is far from over. He would love nothing more than to take Vic's son away.
What do you think, Charters? Doesn't my husband remind you of Venus Rotten?Cassie
And after realizing just how messed up Vic still is, Charlie will think he's doing a good thing, as opposed to an act of revenge. Bruce's conflict with Charlie was well-acted.
Bruce has inherited the fiery personality from his mother, and the way he spoke to Charlie was similar to the way the scene would have played out had Vic been there instead.
Bruce is understandably going to be troubled. His biological father is dead, and he thinks his mother has abandoned him. Then again, Charlie going after the kid is the perfect way to force Vic to come after him.
At the root of the show has always been the revenge plot between the two characters. They've both almost killed each other, and they have a mutual thirst for killing the other.
The only question centers on who will die in the crossfire.
The title of the episode being "Good Father" as opposed to NOS4A2 Season 2 Episode 1's Vic-centric "Bad Mother" has got to be intentional.
However, this episode would have worked better by merging it with the premiere and cutting out some of the unnecessary stuff that dragged it down.
Everything about Charlie's escape from the morgue and his subsequent rampage did not translate well to the screen. Being a horror series, it should be playing with the conventions and subverting expectations instead of following the predictable path.
Cassie: You will always be my NOS4A2.
Charlie: The whole picture was some silly, nasty man creeping around in bedrooms, giving women lovebites.
It's unfortunate that, after such a strong season premiere, the series has languished to the point that I don't know whether it can creatively recover.
Leaving Vic and Maggie out of an episode is a big no-no, and the producers would be wise to realize that before it's too late. There was a lot of groundwork laid on the premiere, and there was a severe lack of follow-up.
The origin story feels like something we should have gotten on NOS4A2 Season 1, near the end of the season.
With eight episodes remaining, it's time to crank up the pace and tell stories worthy of these excellent characters. Flashbacks are good, but it was too early in the season for this one.
What did you think of Charlie's escape from the morgue and return to Chrtistmasland? Do you think it was too predictable, or do you think it was just right?
Charlie's meeting with Bruce was fun. What did you like the most about it?
Is Bing the creepiest dude around?
Hit the comments.
NOS4A2 airs Sundays on AMC.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.