Welcome to Night Vale Recap: Episode 22 “The Whispering Forest”
Night Vale: the most tree-filled desert town you’ve ever heard of.
Cecil starts us off by talking about a forest that has suddenly appeared on the edge of Night Vale. Local nature lovers are already enthusiastic about protecting the new addition to the ecosystem and have named it the Whispering Forest. Officials from the Night Vale Parks Department seem to have some qualms about the woodlands, but it’s hard to know what their problem is, as their statement is just the word “No” written with dozens of Ns and hundreds of Os. Cecil has trouble deciding how to pronounce it, as the officials were not kind enough to include stage directions. Just to be safe, Cecil advises that we not go near the forest.
In other news, schools are currently closed because no one can see the point of learning anything when our existence is so meaningless within the wide scope of the universe. Citizens of Night Vale seem to have a habit of being terrified by the night sky, sometimes going so far as to try and hide from it. We also learn that the Secret Police want everyone to start maintaining dream journals, even though writing instruments are still illegal. Cecil tries to pass it off as a fun hobby, but it soon becomes clear that this journal-keeping is just so the police can arrest anyone who’s dreaming about horses.
Soon we get an update on the Whispering Forest. Larry Leroy (out on the edge of town) went out to see the forest. He felt scared at first but was soon put at ease when he heard an ungendered voice whisper to him. It complimented his beard (which Cecil agrees is lovely) and told him it loved him, inviting Larry to stay and be friends. Larry wanted to, but then decided he cared more about watching an Iron Chef marathon at home. Still, Cecil is happy to hear that the forest is such a lovely place and sends Intern Richard out to investigate it further.
Next is the community calendar, which includes notices about an exhibit at the children’s science museum about how the moon is a lie and an invisible appearance from Buddy Holly’s ghost at Dark Owl Records, where he will hover over your shoulder and judge your taste in music.
Then there is a commercial and I bounce around with glee. This one describes you in room that may be breathing. You can’t see. You don’t know where you are. Something drags you by your leg and you cannot scream. You’re suddenly in a storeroom where someone screams at you in another language. You love your family so much.
And that is why you should eat at Red Lobster.
When we get back we hear from Intern Richard in the Whispering Forest. He agrees that the forest is wonderful and gives many charming compliments. In fact, Richard likes it there so much that he never wants to leave. As he says this, his feet begin to take root and his skin turns to bark. Cecil is alarmed, but Richard says this is genuinely what he wants. Filled with concern, Cecil once again advises us to stay away from the Whispering Forest. We should instead follow Larry Leroy’s example and watch television. Cecil leaves to see if he can still help Richard and takes us to the weather.
This episode’s weather is “Winifred” by Seth Boyer.
When we return Cecil sadly reports that Intern Richard is gone but not, technically, dead. In fact, he will probably live a lot longer now in his new life as a tree. Simone Rigadeau, the woman who lives in a closet in the Earth Sciences Building at Night Vale Community College says that the Whispering Forest is a beautiful place where all have the chance to become one. It’s a nice sentiment, I guess. Or, as Cecil puts it, “I thought that was a beautiful story, and it brought some meaning to the otherwise meaningless life of an intern.”
And with that Cecil wraps up and wishes us good night. Huh, short one today, I guess.
Anyway, to the Conspiracy Tracker!
1. Angels are living with Old Woman Josie and the City Council wants to capture them.
2. There’s a house that doesn’t exist.
3. The Apache Tracker has changed into a real Native American and only speaks Russian
4. Time is weird in Night Vale and Carlos wants to figure it out.
5. Cecil wants to be swallowed by a giant snake.
6. There’s a city underneath the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex.
7. Literal five-headed dragon Hiram McDaniels wants to be the next mayor.
8. Pets become perfect when you accept them…
9. What the heck is the dog park?
11. Cecil hates Steve Carlsberg for unknown reasons.
12. Night Vale has a surprising fixation on actor Lee Marvin.
13. Two boy scouts are close to becoming Eternal Scouts.
14. The Apache Tracker and angels are watching the Desert Flower.
15. Night Vale is prone to duplication and Desert Bluffs is one of the duplicates.
16. A dark planet is calling to people.
17. People are shipping crates with tiny houses inside.
18. There’s a man with a tan jacket who’s affiliated with the underground city.
19. There’s an old oak door on John Peters’ farm.
20. Desert Bluffs is controlled by the evil company StrexCorp.
21. A blinking red light is coming from somewhere unknown.
22. Simone Rigadeau thinks the world ended decades ago.
23. Cecil doesn’t know how old he is.
Alex Townsend is freelance writer, a cool person, and really into gender studies and superheroes. It’s a magical day when all these things come together. You can follow her on her tumblr and see her comments on silver age comics. Happy reading!
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