Welcome to Night Vale Recap: Episode 48 “Renovations”
Whose town is it anyway?
Once again, Lauren and Kevin greet us, sounding very cozy in their new radio booth. They’ve started redecorating the station in the typical Desert Bluffs fashion, including hanging up pictures of teeth and installing a “Room of Questioning”. As part of the renovations they mention they also need to clear out the men’s room of Khoshekh’s kittens. Daniel (the robotic producer) is sent to take some pictures of them on the off-chance anyone can escape the company picnic in time to adopt any of them.
Lauren and Kevin then transition into a commercial for Best Buy that’s one of the best-delivered ads of the series. They alternate speaking back and forth, playing off of each other really well to describe how cold you feel, how you’re running out of air, how your whole life is nothing but a fever dream. The tone is creepy, but it’s also clear how much Kevin and Lauren are enjoying themselves. It’s a very good encapsulation of Night Vale’s typical dark humor and the schadenfreude of Strex.
Strex is also integrating very well with the local environment. The Whispering Forest complimented Kevin before seeing his eyes and telling him to leave it alone. (The forest has never spoken to Lauren.) They’ve also struck up a deal with tiny civilization under the bowling alley, giving The Desert Flower over to the little army as the former owner, Teddy Williams, is trapped at the company picnic.
The first sign of things being less than ideal for Strex comes when Kevin notices a picture of lighthouse on the wall. He doesn’t remember putting it there and he doesn’t find it pleasant. There’s also some trouble at a local construction site, where Mayor Pamela Winchell, an old woman, and a number of tall winged beings have stopped the bulldozers.
Suddenly the lights in the studio go out. The only light remaining comes from an angel that has suddenly appeared in the middle of the room. It goes to the picture of the lighthouse and the picture comes to life. There is now a twilight sky behind the lighthouse that stands on a mountain in the desert. There is a blinking red light and doorway with a man walking through it.
The man goes through the lighthouse door and comes out at the studio door. Kevin and Lauren are terrified.
The man is holding a cat.
The show’s theme swells triumphantly and we finally hear our beloved Cecil’s voice again. He thanks Erika for their assistants and proudly welcomes us to Night Vale once more.
This episode’s weather is “High Tide Rising” by Fox.
When we get back Cecil explains the ordeal he’s been through. He was trapped at the company picnic, but he quickly refuses to speak in euphemisms. He describes the cruel guards and high voltage electric fences the he was surrounded by. He was rescued by Dana, who appeared through an old oak door and took him to her desert world. There he met the masked warriors she’d been working with, as well as number of angels (which was difficult as Cecil didn’t believe in angels).
Now a resistance has started again. Intern Maureen and John Peters helped to work out how to get people in and out of the desert other-world. Kevin and Lauren fled in the face Erika, and Daniel is dead from attempting to take pictures of Khoshekh’s kittens. As for Khoshekh, Cecil has safely been returned to his place hovering four feet above the floor in the men’s room.
Night Vale is still far from free, but it finally has hope again.
Also, let’s not forget 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 has been arrested by 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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