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Welcome to Night Vale Recap: Episode 37 “The Auction”

How much would you pay for your very own…self?

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The Sheriff’s Secret Police’s annual auction seems like many Night Vale traditions: widely celebrated even though it’s actually terrifying. Cecil cheerfully describes the glowing coins and haunted candelabras that are up for bid alongside cooking sets and rare comic books. Then his cheer disappears as he reads about Lot 37: Cecil Palmer.

He puts that aside for the moment to tell us about an alien force that recently tried to take over Night Vale with their psychic powers. They ultimately failed because Night Vale was already taken over by psychic omnipotent beings years ago. Joke’s on them!

Next is a long segment about the generous and incredibly wealthy Marcus Vanston. Marcus cares deeply about children reaching their full potential. That’s why he’s offering all Night Vale pre-schoolers the chance to work for him as chimney sweeps, cleaning the many chimneys of his many, many homes. What a guy!

Meanwhile the auction has been going well, though some of the bidding has gotten violent. Cecil expresses his burning desire to know exactly what Lot 37 is and own it for himself. It seems likely that he’ll be joining in the bidding soon. Personally, I wonder if he’s thinking about the alternate him with a past our Cecil can’t remember, the one we heard about in “Cassette”. Could he have anything to do with Lot 37?

There’s a quick update on the mayoral election. The Faceless Old Woman and Hiram McDaniels are still campaigning, but it seems a new candidate has joined the fray: the fabulously wealthy Marcus Vanston. Election time is becoming more exciting than ever! There’s also a thoroughly terrifying segment for children speculating on the horrors of death. Fun times.

Finally, Cecil arrives at the auction where gunshots have started to break out. As he prepares to bid on Lot 37 he takes us to the weather.

This episode’s weather is “Absentee” by Jack Campbell.

We face a tragedy when we get back. Cecil was able to make it to the auction house in time, but he was so overcome with his need to own Lot 37 that he actually forgot to raise his paddle to bid on it. In fact, he wasn’t even able to see who won it with just one bid. He congratulates the winner and also promises to destroy them with the power of community radio.

The show ends with some musing as to why people value material possessions so much, but given how Cecil just lost his bid it makes me feel like the speech rings a little hollow. In any case, we definitely get to update our Conspiracy Tracker today.

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.
24. Someone bought Cecil at an auction.

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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