Welcome to Night Vale Recap: Episode 41, “WALK”

Cecil has a story for us, but today someone else’s is more important.

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A brief note before we begin today. We’re now at the point where the recording of the first Welcome to Night Vale live show, “Condos”, was released. I had initially planned to write recaps of the live shows as well, but I’ve changed my mind. I know not everyone can afford to pay for these episodes, but at the same time the live shows are one of the few ways the creators of Welcome to Night Vale make any money off of the show they give us largely for free. So, instead of doing recaps I’m just going to list the handful of plot points that come up in those episodes that are most important to the ongoing plot of the show.

SPOILERS for “Condos”:

And now for today’s episode!

Cecil begins by talking about a number of bold WALK signs that have appeared around town. They don’t seem sinister yet, but it’s important to keep track of these things. Cecil doesn’t have long to talk about the story though before he’s interrupted by the voice of Intern Dana. She tries to talk to Cecil but when she appears he’s gone.

Dana explains she is still exploring the desert otherworld she has been trapped in for so long. At this point she thinks she’s been gone for years, based on whatever measure of time exists in that strange desert. She is near a mountain with a blinking light on top of it. She’s been trying to avoid the mountain for a long time because she doesn’t believe in it, but she recently found that when looking at its light a part of her can blink into the studio of the radio station.

Her time in the desert has been long and frustrating. There is a mountain she can’t seem to get away from and sometime there are strange masked figures in the distance. All Dana wants is to go home and she is finally desperate enough to try climbing the mountain. Nothing else has helped so far, maybe elevation will make a difference.

Cecil’s voice returns a moment later, talking about the hordes of people now walking down the streets in unison. He also has time for an ominous Mountain Dew commercial (which, considering its name, I’m surprised isn’t illegal in Night Vale) before he is interrupted by Dana’s voice again.

Dana has reached the lighthouse at the top of the mountain and still has no answers. She misses her mother and her brother very much and desperately wishes she could go home. Beyond the lighthouse she found a settlement inside a spiraling gorge. The gorge itself sounds interesting. There were drawings on its walls of orange triangles that grew bigger and bigger. To me they sound suspiciously like the StrexCorp logo. The settlement Dana found was deserted. Dana is sure it was built by good people who were destroyed by a force that was stronger and evil. Before she left, Dana felt the presence of some sort of creature approaching. Something enormous and terrible. Something we’ve been warned about before.

We come back to Cecil as he finishes up the Community Calendar and goes back to the story about the walking people. Whatever’s going on has made the City Council go into hiding and likely with good reason. Soon Cecil cannot resist the call to walk. In fact, all he can say is “WALK”. Luckily, he’s able to start the weather before he heads off.

This episode’s weather is “What Have They Done to You Now” by Daniel Knox.

When the weather ends Dana is back again. She reminisces about her family and reflects that even now she doesn’t know if she’s the original Dana or her double from back in “The Sandstorm”. All she knows is she killed someone who looked just like her. She muses about the nature of life and all that she has seen on her journey. It’s a really beautiful speech that makes me feel a lot for Dana’s hardships and humanity. I especially like the ultimately uplifting tone as she renews her resolve to keep trying to find a way home. Dana really is an amazing character, you guys.

Finally we go back to Cecil one last time. Whatever was going on with the WALK signs has been resolved and the day is saved. He remains humorously vague about the whole situation and says that the story was a truly amazing one that will be repeated for years to come. He signs off and goes home to see Carlos, who he just might still be willing to go for a walk with.

Last but not least, here’s 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. NV’s sister city Nulogorsk was destroyed and not destroyed in 1983.
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. Dana’s desert otherworld has a blinking light on a mountain.
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 otherworld.
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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