Welcome to Night Vale Recap: Episode 27 “First Date”

Carlos is calling… for personal reasons.
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This episode is so sweet you’d almost think it was someone’s fluff fanfiction. Cecil begins with an understated tone, talking about how Carlos recently returned Cecil’s expressions of affection. They’ve started having personal phone calls and now have even gone on their first date. Oh, and also Carlos got some sort of readings about a weird giant energy source approaching the town. Whatever.

Cecil is very excited to tell us all about the date, as we can all tell from the sudden glee in his voice. Still, he’s vaguely aware that he needs to tell his listeners about local news or something. (Cecil is very professional.) The Sheriff’s Secret Police, along with a vague, yet menacing government agency, want to announce that the trucks in the desert which are full of crates that sometimes tick are nothing to worry about. This announcement would have been more effective if anyone had known about those crates in the first place. Well, besides anyone who happened to hear “A Story about You”. For now though, we’re told that it is illegal to remember anything about them. Okay then. As Cecil says:

“Well… I’m sure these crates won’t come up again, and pose no future danger to any of us. No more on this story, ever, I’m sure.”

In other news, Night Vale’s wealthiest citizen, Marcus Vanston, has decided to open a new town library with an extensive collection of books, a pirate ship play area for children, and floor to ceiling windows. Marcus has also made it known that he is the only one who will ever be allowed in this library. He will stroll around while nude, in front of the windows so everyone can see, and taunt observers by never actually reading any of his many books. Still, Cecil emphasizes how wonderful Marcus is because he is so wealthy. His money obviously proves that he’s better than everyone else. Cecil also reminds us to be careful in the public library, as maulings by librarians are still a constant problem.

He happily finishes with the news and moves on to telling us all about his date with Carlos. Tragically, we also get our first clue that Cecil has a terrible sense of fashion. He showed up to the date in his best tunic and furry pants. On the other hand, Carlos was wearing a “casual” lab coat, so I guess it balances out. They went to eat at a faux-Italian restaurant, which is apparently the fanciest place in town. Everything was perfect, aside from a strange shadowy buzzing coming from the edge of town. Cecil goes on about the meal and their pleasant conversation until he gets word that Station Management is starting to writhe angrily in its office. Then he decides it’s a good idea to talk about the news for a bit longer.

In a follow-up to the attack from the tiny city underneath the Desert Flower Bowling Alley, citizens have taken to stomping everywhere they go on the off chance of killing Night Vale’s tiniest enemies. On a related note, the City Council has erected a monument dedicated to the Apache Tracker for his heroic actions in saving Carlos. The monument will soon be buried because the Apache Tracker was also a racist embarrassment that no one wants the town to be associated with.

After a quick look at the Community Calendar Cecil declares the boring stuff done and eagerly gets back to talking about the date. By the time they finished their meal their waiter had been replaced by someone made of buzzing shadows. Cecil and Carlos didn’t seem especially bothered by it. Instead they moved on to a stroll through Mission Grove Park, where people were gaping at the sky in terror. (It’s a common hobby in Night Vale.) Carlos was more interested in doing experiments on the trees, which Cecil eagerly helped him with. Cecil had no idea what they were testing for, but was still just happy to be with Carlos. He even touched Carlos’ face at one point and it’s all so cute I need to hug something. Oh yes, and everyone else in the park became buzzing shadows too.

We cut to a quick commercial (eat at Denny’s because you’re never really safe anyway) and then some beauty tips (unzip your skin to see the real you). Then it’s off to the weather!

This episode’s weather is “Team the Best Team” by Doomtree.

After the park, Cecil drove Carlos back to his lab. It was tricky because of all the buzzing shadow people who were now all over the place. When they arrived Cecil was disappointed at first because Carlos didn’t want to invite him inside. Instead, Carlos planned to get to work on solving the whole buzzing shadow problem. But Cecil wasn’t sad for long. That was when Carlos leaned forward and kissed him. To put it mildly, Cecil was pretty happy about it.

“I’ll tell you, listeners, I was almost swallowed by a cloud of malevolent shadow energy on the drive home and I hardly even noticed. I was so happy!”

Carlos in the meantime seems to have defeated the weird shadow energy. A few neighborhoods are empty now, but that’s pretty normal for a weekend in Night Vale. For now Cecil is still overwhelmed with happiness and wishes us luck finding love in our own lives.

And that’s “First Date”, a real shipper’s dream come true. Next time we’ll get back to the broader news of Night Vale, as well as meeting another very special character in “Summer Reading Program”.

Finally, here’s 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 died to save Carlos’ life.
4. Time isn’t real in Night Vale.
5. Cecil wants to be swallowed by a giant snake.
6. There’s a city of tiny people underneath the Desert Flower preparing for war.
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. Night Vale is prone to duplication and Desert Bluffs is one of the duplicates.
14. A dark planet is calling to people.
15. People are shipping crates with tiny houses inside.
16. There’s an old oak door on John Peters’ farm.
17. Desert Bluffs is controlled by the evil company StrexCorp.
18. A blinking red light is coming from somewhere unknown.
19. Simone Rigadeau thinks the world ended decades ago.
20. Cecil doesn’t know how old he is.
21. Earl Harlan thinks he and Cecil could have had something.
22. Mayor Winchell is retiring, possibly not by her own choice.
23. The Faceless Old Woman is running for mayor.
24. Cecil will be killed one day and it will involve a mirror.

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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