Welcome to Night Vale Recap: Episode 45 “A Story About Them”
What, did you think this story was all about you?
Today Cecil has another story to tell, this time about some gentlemen we’ve heard of before. I’m thrilled because, as you may recall, “A Story About You” is my favorite episode of the series and this one is a direct sequel to it.
To begin the man who is not tall and the man who is not short are very openly watching a house while one of them does a crossword puzzle. They get out when a man leaves the house. They blindfold him and put him in the back of the car. Don’t worry about that guy. He isn’t important.
As they drive along the man who is not tall and the man who is not short seem to have a friendly bond between them. The one who is not short talks about how he was thinking of asking the man who is not tall to dinner and the man who is not tall says that that would have been nice. No actual dinner plans are made and it’s not clear if the hypothetical dinner would have been romantic, but the moment is sweet and I totally ship them.
They go to a diner and make small talk about books they haven’t read and the color of the man who is not short’s living room. The man who is not tall isn’t much of a talker, but he clearly values the friendship of the man who is not short. At one point the man who is not short sees something in the sky, something that the man who is not tall cannot.
The men then take their captive to Night Vale’s official industrial district. They meet a woman in a warehouse who is very upset about something. The woman is their supervisor and she insists that someone has to be to blame for what has happened. The woman then gives us a surprising amount of straight forward exposition about all these people and what they’re up to.
“It was very simple,” she says. “We take buildings from the miniature city we discovered under the bowling alley, we put them in crates, we ship the crates out to various warehouses in the desert, and, as a result, our interests are furthered. It could not be more simple!”
However, the man who is not short doesn’t pay attention to this speech. He’s seen something above him again, a vision of something great and dark and distant. Once again, no one else sees it.
“Aaaanyway,” says the supervisor, “now the city has declared war in revenge. Although they haven’t yet figured out it was us stealing the buildings – they just declared a general war, in the name of their god, Huntokhar, on everyone from the ‘upper world,’ as they call us. This war has been raging for almost a year now. People have died, yes, but listen – people die all the time, for all different kinds of reasons. I wouldn’t worry, if I were you.”
Wow, Night Vale has really been explaining things lately. It’s interesting to know that there’s an actual reason why the underground city has been attacking, rather than just a general urge for conquest. I look forward to learning more about them, based on this show’s usual pacing, in another year or two.
Then the story briefly changes and Cecil begins to talk about Dana and her long, tireless march with the masked warriors in the desert otherworld there is a dangerous light spreading behind them (perhaps the light of a smiling god?) and soon they will have to turn and fight it. The people back in the warehouse take notes on this story, saying things are exactly as they suspected. Once again the supervisor someone must be to blame and we go to the weather.
This episode’s weather is “Pretty Little Head” by Eliza Rickman.
The two men leave the warehouse with their hostage. They are both worried about the future even though the man who is not tall denies it. They drive out to the sand wastes to kill the blindfolded man for his unknown role in their operation. Before anything violent can happen though, the man who is not short sees something in the sky again. This time it is clear that he is seeing the same awesome dark planet that You saw in “A Story About You”. He is mesmerized by it just like You were. He reaches up to touch it and the man who is not tall does something with his knife.
The man who is not short collapses to the ground, apparently dead. Personally I’m not sure if the man who is not tall killed him or if death is the natural consequence of anyone touching the planet. After all, “A Story About You” ended with You reaching out to the planet too.
Now that the man who is not short is gone it seems he has become the one they are blaming for whatever has gone wrong. The blindfolded man takes off his blindfold and for the first time Cecil mentions that he is not short. Soon it becomes clear that he has become the new partner for the man who is not tall. They say that they are looking forward to working with each other and drive off, leaving behind the body of the former man who was not short.
This episode is another one of my favorites. It’s dark and enthralling and wonderfully done. It really reminds me of the style of the earlier episodes. I also appreciate the insights it gives into a number of the ongoing mysteries of the show.
Now we’re due for some updates for our 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. A city of tiny people underground have declared war against NV because people keep stealing their houses.
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. Old oak doors are appearing around Night Vale
13. Dana’s desert otherworld has a blinking light on a mountain.
14. Simone Rigadeau thinks the world ended decades ago.
15. Cecil can’t remember his past.
16. Earl Harlan thinks he and Cecil could have had something.
17. Mayor Winchell is retiring, possibly not by her own choice.
18. The Faceless Old Woman is running for mayor.
19. Something big and bad is coming from a desert otherworld.
20. Desert Bluffs/StrexCorp have a smiling god.
21. Tamika Flynn is leading an army against Strex.
22. Someone bought Cecil at an auction.
23. 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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