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Welcome to Night Vale Recap: Episode 51, “Rumbling”

Did you hear something?

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To begin with, Dana has officially started her term as mayor. She seems very eager to make Night Vale a better place, but perhaps she doesn’t yet know all of the town’s dark secrets. (Who does, amirite?) For one of her first acts she tries to make the dog park publically available to citizens and their dogs. Within seconds the City Council intervenes and takes her aside. Soon Mayor Cardinal is singing the familiar tune about how no one is allowed in the dog park. In fact, the fence will be reinforced soon.

On a happier note, we get to hear from Carlos again who has called in to the show. He hasn’t been able to find a way back to Night Vale yet, but he has started studying a strange rumbling in the desert otherworld. He thinks it has something to do with deadly light that almost destroyed Night Vale during the big fight with Strex. He doesn’t have time to explain anymore before the rumbling starts again and he hurries off the phone to go investigate. Cecil begs him not to go, but it’s too late. Cecil is alone when he admits that he never knows when he is going to hear from Carlos again. It makes sense as time seems to be weird in Night Vale and the desert otherworld. It’s also heart wrenching.

In the meantime we get updates on the city post-Strex. The angels have been building something at the old Strex headquarters (much to the frustration of the secret police who still don’t want anyone to believe in angels). Cecil is also pleased to note that the radio station is back under its old management. It recently made him collapse from a series of horrible visions.

Carlos soon calls back to explain more about the rumbling. When it starts the blinking light on the lighthouse stops blinking and just stays on. No one knows what it means, but it’s bothering the masked army. Carlos feels a strong need to understand it, to the point where it seems like doesn’t have much interest at all in finding a way back to Night Vale. Again he hangs up before Cecil can really get a word in.

Cecil does a quick set of horoscopes that become oddly specific to his situation and Carlos’, revealing that Carlos has been calling but rarely can make a phone call last more than ten minutes. (The stars also start to say that scorpios are pretty cool only for Cecil to correct them and point out that Steve Carlsberg is totally a jerk.)

When Carlos calls again he continues to be full of excitement about the rumbling and the mysteries of the desert. He barely seems to pay attention to Cecil’s worry and concern. Then the rumbling finally seems to make it to Night Vale. Cecil feels it as an earthquake. He urges listeners to take shelter and we go to the weather.

This episode’s weather is “Echo in the Hills” by Carrie Elkin and Danny Schmidt.

When we get back Carlos is still on the phone. He explains that he was protected during the quake by one of the giant masked warriors, a man named Doug. On Cecil’s end the quake caused a lot of damage but didn’t register at all on the Richter scale, an odd reversal of one of the first issues Carlos studied when he came to Night Vale. Although Carlos still seems more interested in scientific mysteries than trying to get home, he does redeem himself a little when he tell Cecil how much he loves him and even hints at the hot phone sex they’re going to have.

It looks like things are going to be alright. For now anyway.

And here’s the Conspiracy Tracker.

1. There’s a house that doesn’t exist, but connects to a desert world and the Dog Park.
2. The Apache Tracker died to save Carlos’ life.
3. Time isn’t real in Night Vale.
4. Cecil may have died as a teen. It involved a mirror.
5. A city of tiny people underground have declared war against NV because people keep stealing their houses.
6. NV’s sister city Nulogorsk was both destroyed and not destroyed in 1983.
7. Night Vale has a surprising fixation on actor Lee Marvin.
8. Night Vale is prone to duplication and Desert Bluffs is one of the duplicates.
9. A dark planet is calling to people. It may be the radio station.
10. The desert otherworld has a blinking light on a mountain.
11. Simone Rigadeau thinks the world ended decades ago.
12. Cecil can’t remember his past.
13. An evil light is waiting in a desert otherworld.
14. Desert Bluffs/StrexCorp have a smiling god.
15. Someone bought Cecil at an auction.
16. The Faceless Old Woman and Hiram are conspiring against Dana.

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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