Skip to main content

Welcome to Night Vale Recap: Episode 36 “Missing”

Don’t worry. She is found.

Welcome to Night Vale Logo

To start with, Cecil quickly tells us that the wonderful Tamika Flynn has gone missing. Naturally that sort of thing isn’t uncommon in Night Vale, but it’s interesting to note that StrexCorp is the organization most concerned with finding her. It probably has something to do with the last episode, when Tamika was training an army of well-read children and heavily implied she was declaring war on Strex. Also, she apparently turned 13 recently. Good to know.

The Community Calendar this week suggests we’re going to be facing a lot of distortions in time soon. There’s also going to be an open house at the Night Vale Community College. Cecil warns us not to go. It’s actually a trap set up by giant, translucent worms. Personally, I’m pretty impressed by their creativity.

Next we learn that Tamika has reappeared, standing on one of Night Vale’s “most historical works of art”: a 138 year old statue of the actor Lee Marvin. (Apparently Night Vale’s obsession with him can transcend time.) Tamika claims that she was never actually missing. She begins to chant “I am found!” as yellow helicopters approach her. Luckily, Tamika’s speech draws a crowd that begins chanting with her and cuts off the Strex employees trying to reach her until she disappears again.

Now StrexCorp issues several more missing child reports, presumably for members of Tamika’s army. Strex tries to act sympathetic, but it’s obvious that the company is getting angry about whatever Tamika and her followers have done.

Then there is a traffic report, a very interesting one.

Cecil describes a man who has recently been attacked by a group of birds. The man did nothing to the birds himself, but he did allow something to happen to them, which seems to have been just as bad. Cecil asks us to consider the story without the man in it, to consider what it means to be a hero. Normally these segments are so abstract that I wonder if there’s actually any real meaning behind them. This one is different. It’s obviously a coded plea from Cecil for the citizens of Night Vale to fight back against Strex and whatever they’ve done in the last few weeks. It’s also the first time we’ve seen Cecil really be politically-minded. Whatever Strex is up to must be pretty bad.

The report is immediately followed by an ad from Strex. I like the way Cecil reads it; it’s playful and fun. It also gives us some more insight into the Strex mentality, which seems to loosely be “Work a lot. Don’t think too much.”

After a segment on the dangers of deer, we learn that one of Strex’s yellow helicopters has crashed to the ground. Witnesses suggest that it was brought down by a group of children. However Cecil isn’t able to get much farther before his new producer, Daniel (who is heavily implied to be a robot), starts trying to cut the transmission. Cecil hastily takes us to the weather.

This episode’s weather is “Peanuts” by Sam ‘n Ash.

When we get back Cecil’s voice is grainy and more distant. He wired his cell phone into the radio equipment to finish his broadcast. It’s a trick he picked up when he and his childhood best friend, Earl Harlan, were boy scouts seeking to earn their Subversive Radio Host badges.

Cecil explains more about the crash. The scene was full of large slingshots and a well-read copy of a Willa Cather novel. There was also a note from Tamika, saying she had kidnapped the helicopter’s pilot and that the pilot would return when she was “better”. Cecil expresses concern and pride for Tamika then openly threatens Strex, saying that he hopes Tamika finds them soon.

He goes on to admit that, in his position, he can’t always tell us everything he wants to. At the same time, we shouldn’t need Cecil to tell us everything. We can all be heroes just by doing what’s right.

The episode leaves us on this powerful and heavy note, hoping that the people of Night Vale will begin to take a stand against their newest oppressors. As for me, I’ll just leave you with the Conspiracy Tracker.

1. The angels have disappeared and the City Council still denies they exist.
2. There’s a house that doesn’t exist, but connects to a desert world and the Dog Park.
3. The Apache Tracker died to save Carlos’ life.
4. Time isn’t real in Night Vale.
5. Cecil may have died as a teen. It involved a mirror.
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. Russian=Weirdness
9. Cecil hates Steve Carlsberg for unknown reasons.
10. Night Vale has a surprising fixation on actor Lee Marvin.
11. Night Vale is prone to duplication and Desert Bluffs is one of the duplicates.
12. A dark planet is calling to people. It may be the radio station.
13. People are shipping crates with tiny houses inside.
14. Old oak doors are appearing around Night Vale
15. A blinking red light is coming from somewhere unknown.
16. Simone Rigadeau thinks the world ended decades ago.
17. Cecil can’t remember his past.
18. Earl Harlan thinks he and Cecil could have had something.
19. Mayor Winchell is retiring, possibly not by her own choice.
20. The Faceless Old Woman is running for mayor.
21. Something big and bad is coming from a desert other-world.
22. Desert Bluffs/StrexCorp have a smiling god.
23. Tamika Flynn is leading an army against Strex.

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!

—Please make note of The Mary Sue’s general comment policy.—

Do you follow The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue: