Welcome to Night Vale Recap: Episode 44 “Cookies”
Even Strex can’t say no to Girl Scout cookies.
Cecil’s in a bit of a bind today. He admits he isn’t much of a salesman, but today he is helping his previously unmentioned niece Janice sell Girl Scout cookies. While Cecil definitely seems like the cool uncle type there’s a special reason Cecil is helping her. You see, Janice’s mother is out of town right now and her step-father is so hopelessly incompetent that he couldn’t sell a single Thin Mint. That seems a little harsh until we get one of the greatest plot twists in Night Vale history. Janice’s step-father (and Cecil’s brother-in-law) is Steve Carlsberg!
Really, it’s a great revelation as it perfectly explains Cecil’s irrational hatred of the man. Cecil’s always complained about Steve’s hubcaps and homemade scones, nothing that really warrants hatred. But who hasn’t had a relative or acquaintance who drives you up the wall because of their constant proximity and annoying habits? It certainly doesn’t help that Steve is raising someone that Cecil loves so much.
Whew! It feels good to have a Night Vale mystery completely cleared up for once!
Cecil also follows up on the events of the last episode. He is obviously still furious with Strex and trying to hide it. The good news is that, though greatly injured, Khoshekh is healing well. He’s even staying at Cecil and Carlos’ home while he mends.
In the meantime Cecil notes that the cookies have started to sell pretty well at this point. Strangely, no one from Strex has bought any yet and Cecil is happy to make some passive-aggressive remarks about it. Then he moves on to a traffic report only to be suddenly interrupted by Dana. Happily this time he can hear her and they have their first real conversation in months.
Dana has been making new friends in the desert otherworld lately. She sees John Peters (the farmer) often and even occasionally runs into Intern Maureen who is still blinking in and out of existence after the incident with the fake John Peters’ orange juice. She has also started to befriend some of the masked warriors she spent so long avoiding.
However Dana has also been working on her new ability to turn her head a certain way and briefly appear in Night Vale. She wanted to see her family and wound up seeing her brother on his birthday. The strange thing was, he was turning 33 when he should only be 26. Even stranger, Dana saw an older version of herself at the party. She wore a suit and looked like someone important. Dana now believes there may be great things in her future, but Cecil quickly assures her that she has always been important. If something great does happen to her, it will only be revealing the greatness that was already there. It’s a very sweet sentiment that I think people should express more often.
Soon Dana flickers away and Cecil does a brief story about UFOs that have been taking motorists off the highways. (He tells us to cooperate with them.) Then Cecil updates us on the cookie situation. StrexCorp must have taken Cecil’s comments to heart, because they have just purchased the entire stock of Janice’s cookies.
Once again, Lauren Mallard is in the studio to have a chat with Cecil. She sounds cheerful and talks about how much Strex admires the Girl Scouts of Night Vale for their leadership and wide range of skills…including helicopter piloting. In fact, Lauren announces that StrexCorp has recently purchased the local Girl Scouts organization, likely because it could be a good way to track down Tamika Flynn and some members of her literate army. Then Lauren asks Cecil to remind her what his beloved niece’s name is. Understandably he doesn’t want to tell her. Too bad he doesn’t have to. Lauren suddenly remembers and says “Janice” in a cold, mercenary tone. Her threat to Janice’s well-being is all too clear.
Lauren then makes a startling shift back to her perky persona and takes us to the weather.
This episode’s weather is “Haunted” by Maya Kern.
When we return Cecil hopes Janice and the other Girl Scouts will have a good trip while camping and strongly hints that they will be honing the skills they need to work with Tamika and take down Stex. I really like the Girl Scouts in Night Vale. If my troop had been this interesting I probably would have stayed past being a Brownie. Cecil also subtly encourages citizens to prepare for the upcoming war as well. Something dangerous in coming soon.
For now, let’s just keep track of our Conspiracies.
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 both destroyed and not destroyed in 1983.
9. Night Vale has a surprising fixation on actor Lee Marvin.
10. Night Vale is prone to duplication and Desert Bluffs is one of the duplicates.
11. A dark planet is calling to people. It may be the radio station.
12. People are shipping crates with tiny houses inside.
13. Old oak doors are appearing around Night Vale
14. Dana’s desert otherworld has a blinking light on a mountain.
15. Simone Rigadeau thinks the world ended decades ago.
16. Cecil can’t remember his past.
17. Earl Harlan thinks he and Cecil could have had something.
18. Mayor Winchell is retiring, possibly not by her own choice.
19. The Faceless Old Woman is running for mayor.
20. Something big and bad is coming from a desert otherworld.
21. Desert Bluffs/StrexCorp have a smiling god.
22. Tamika Flynn is leading an army against Strex.
23. Someone bought Cecil at an auction.
24. Dana is going to be someone important.
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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