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Welcome to Night Vale Recap: Episode 24 “The Mayor”

Something is afoot with the best political figure in Night Vale.

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Get ready to hit the ground running, because today’s first story is that Mayor Pamela Winchell has gone missing. Trish Hidge, one of Winchell’s staff members tries to dismiss the situation, claiming that disappearing is just one of the mayor’s powers. In fact, Hidge claims that she has that power too, since she works for the mayor. Hidge is able to demonstrate some disappearing after an uncomfortable amount of time, but Cecil and the Sheriff’s Secret Police are still concerned about Mayor Winchell. They ask for any information citizens might have about her whereabouts.

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In other news the Night Vale Community Theater is doing a production of Once on this Island. Unfortunately, everything about the show is a secret, including who is in the cast and where it will be performed. It’s a shame, as the Night Vale Daily Journal would like to do some actual work for once and write a review of the performance. Cecil explains that he used to act a bit himself in high school. It sounds like it was as dangerous as anything else in Night Vale, as numerous dangerous traps were also part of the show.

Soon we’re back to the hunt for Mayor Winchell. Old Woman Josie and one of her angel friends report that they saw Pamela earlier near the Moonlite All-Nite Diner, where she was talking with the Apache Tracker (whom Cecil reminds us is racist and a joke). Because of Cecil’s supreme dislike of the Apache Tracker he is extremely concerned for the mayor’s well-being, especially as the conversation seemed to be an angry one. The discussion ended when the Apache Tracker opened a suitcase filled with a thick cloud of flies, likely one that he got from the Man with the Tan Jacket. Remember, those two have been consorting with each other lately in regard to something going on at the Desert Flower Bowling Alley or, more likely, in regard to the city under the bowling alley. Sure enough, the last Josie saw of Mayor Winchell was when she and the Apache Tracker got into a car driven by a man who Josie recognized but could not remember the face of.

Interestingly, Josie did not see where the car went because the angel who was with her started talking very intently about baseball and it somehow seemed more important. This bit is a little ambiguous. It’s possible that the angel actually just wanted to talk about baseball, but the fact that Josie found the story so compelling suggests that it may have been laced with some divine magic. Did the angel have a reason to distract Josie? The angels have been shown to have concerns about the bowling alley and knowledge about the Man in the Tan Jacket. Are they in league with him? Working against him? And, either way, for what purpose?

For the moment though, it’s time for a commercial. Do you have problems in your life? Problems you wish would just go away? Try going to the BROWN STONE SPIRE. Don’t worry, it doesn’t even cost any money. It costs other things. What other things? If you’re still asking that, then you aren’t ready for the BROWN STONE SPIRE. This ad is fantastic and Cecil has a lot of fun making his voice echo whenever he says the spire’s name (also a few times when he isn’t saying the name. Cecil likes to make his voice echo.) The ad is brought to us by Wendy’s.

There’s no new news about the mayor. The Apache Tracker and the Man with the Tan Jacket have been seen again, now outside the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex, but she is no longer with them. Cecil is now more concerned than ever and the City Council apparently agrees. They’ve been “on the steps of City Hall, pacing and howling in unison like elephants in mourning.” Cecil implores everyone to come together and help find Pamela Winchell. We may not agree with her politics all the time, but think of all the good she’s done for Night Vale! She read to children! And made cancer universally accessible! In this moment of distress, Cecil takes us to the weather.

This episode’s weather is “Biblical Violence” by Hella.

When we get back Mayor Pamela Winchell is no longer missing. In fact, she is doing what she loves best: holding a press conference. Strangely though, she’s made this conference a bit harder to hear than usual. She’s standing at the edge of the Dog Park, where only city officials and hooded figures are allowed, and speaking without a microphone. In fact, we might have never learned what her announcement was if we didn’t have the help of one extremely dedicated intern.

It seems Intern Dana is actually still alive in the Dog Park and heard the speech, which she texted to Cecil. Mayor Winchell’s announcement was that she is stepping down from her position by the end of the year. Cecil wonders if one of the many shady organizations of Night Vale pushed Pamela to this choice, but acknowledges that it could also be a good decision. After all, few Night Vale mayors live to the end of their term. The last six were publically executed.

So, on a surprisingly optimistic note, Cecil wishes us good night.

And our Conspiracy Tracker expands even farther!

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?
10. Russian=Weirdness
11. Cecil hates Steve Carlsberg for unknown reasons.
12. Night Vale has a surprising fixation on actor Lee Marvin.
13. The Apache Tracker and angels are watching the Desert Flower.
14. Night Vale is prone to duplication and Desert Bluffs is one of the duplicates.
15. A dark planet is calling to people.
16. People are shipping crates with tiny houses inside.
17. There’s a man with a tan jacket who’s affiliated with the underground city.
18. There’s an old oak door on John Peters’ farm.
19. Desert Bluffs is controlled by the evil company StrexCorp.
20. A blinking red light is coming from somewhere unknown.
21. Simone Rigadeau thinks the world ended decades ago.
22. Cecil doesn’t know how old he is.
23. Earl Harlan thinks he and Cecil could have had something.
24. Mayor Winchell is retiring, possibly not by her own choice.

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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