Welcome to Night Vale Recap: Episode 9, “PYRAMID”
Are you ready for the best ad campaign of your life?
We open with a notice about an unnamed fugitive on the loose, as well as a general reminder not to trust anyone. We all have secrets and, given Night Vale’s numerous complicated laws, we are probably all criminals. Interestingly, while Night Vale bans writing tools, calculators, and time travel, they rarely take a stand against anything violent. Kids can bring weapons to school, vigilante justice is encouraged, and violent assault seems to be a standard part of life. It really shows where the City Council’s priorities are.
The top story this episode is about a pyramid that has spontaneously appeared in town. No one knows how or why it’s there, but because Night Vale citizens are really bad at telling the difference between correlation and causation, everyone assumes the pyramid must have something to do with the new lines of cereal coming out from the company Flakey-Os. Some have already formed angry mob outside of the company’s headquarters.
The next story is a bit more personal for Cecil. Do you remember Telly? The barber who cut Carlos’ hair and as a result was threatened by community violence? Well, he’s apparently gone insane from whatever tortures he was put through and is now wandering the desert with Carlos’ hair clippings. He’s also started giving haircuts to cacti which, who knows, might actually be a decent business to get into in Night Vale. Cecil shows no sympathy for him, but at least recommends that you take your cactus to Telly if it needs a haircut.
We then have the return of a fan (and actor) favorite: Khoshekh, the radio station’s hovering cat. Cecil seems to be the sort of person who either loves or completely hates things, because he immediately transitions from his callous description of Telly to enthusiastically describing how wonderful Khoshekh is. The cat has won over the whole station as the staff has started working together to make sure Khoshekh is fed, gets his shots, and has some sort of litter box that is compatible with a hovering cat. (This apparently involves dark magic.)
Getting back to the pyramid, things have just gotten a lot more interesting. The pyramid has spoken. It talks about placing questions and answers in different people, although the questions and answers won’t necessarily coincide. Although this seems like typical Night Vale mysteriousness, Cecil is now invested in the Flakey-Os theory and assumes the whole speech is an example of viral marketing that he just hasn’t worked out yet. Although, to be fair, apparently another company once did some “viral” marketing by releasing Ebola into the city and we already know about billboards that go through living animals. Maybe advertising is just so specialized in Night Vale that we can no longer recognize it.
After a brief announcement about what household repair jobs should be left to professionals (major exorcisms) we get a PSA about skincare. Apparently local sun exposure has been leading to large, spiraling horns growing on people. Doctors advise cutting off the horns with a household razorblade.
In another quick announcement we learn that street signs are being replaced with semaphore flags, which at least is a potential improvement from them all being in braille. Next up is an ad for Audible.com, which seems to pride itself on making its books unburnable. Then we return to the pyramid.
The staff of Flakey-Os is now denying having anything to do with the pyramid, even at gunpoint, but Cecil continues to see it as more sneaky marketing, which he is increasingly impressed with. The pyramid has now issued a new message, assuring all listeners that they have a purpose in life that they will only learn right before they die. The pyramid also has a purpose but is not truly alive so it will never die. In the meantime the Sheriff’s Secret Police have charged the pyramid with resisting arrest because they have no idea how to arrest it. The Secret Police are a bit incompetent.
This episode’s weather is “Last Song” by Jason Webley.
When we get back we learn that the pyramid has disappeared, leaving behind a smaller pyramid and one last message. The Sheriff’s Secret Police have decided to declare their victory, since they figure they’re due to win something by now. Unfortunately for the directors of Flakey-Os, they’ve already been assumed guilty and sent off to the abandoned mine shaft for processing. Hopefully they’ll enjoy the HBO and free Wi-Fi there.
The pyramid’s last words talk about a map of the Earth with your name and lifespan on it. The message is strange as it seems like the pyramid wants to convey something deep and complicated, but doesn’t know how to express itself in a way humans can understand. Instead the final message we get is that we should all definitely buy Flakey-Os cereals. Oh well, maybe that will at least make the Flakey-Os directors feel better about whatever tortures they’re going through.
And now the Conspiracy Tracker!
1. Angels are living with Old Woman Josie and the City Council wants to capture them.
2. There’s a house that doesn’t exist.
3. The Apache Tracker and his home have disappeared.
4. Time is weird in Night Vale and Carlos wants to figure it out.
5. Cecil wants to be swallowed by a giant snake.
6. There’s a city underneath the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex.
7. Literal five-headed dragon and fugitive Hiram McDaniels is on the loose.
8. Pets become perfect when you accept them…
9. What the heck is the dog park?
11. Cecil hates Steve Carlsberg for unknown reasons.
12. Night Vale has a surprising fixation on actor Lee Marvin.
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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