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Welcome to Night Vale Recap: Episode 49A “Old Oak Doors”

It’s the beginning of the end.

Welcome to Night Vale Logo

To begin Lauren and Kevin make it clear that while they are out of the Night Vale Public Radio station, they are far from defeated. They realize now that that they have shown Night Vale too much love and will try using empathy, empathy that will include a strong pat on the neck.

Meanwhile Cecil is happy that he’s managed to keep broadcasting since reclaiming his studio. He encourages all citizens to work with him to overthrow Strex once and for all. Unfortunately his coverage of the revolution is quickly interrupted by Hiram McDaniels and the Faceless Old Woman. They want him to remember that today is also the long-awaited election day to determine Night Vale’s new mayor. Now, technically, the votes of Night Vale citizens have nothing to do with who wins the election. Instead it’s based on interpreting the pulse that come from Hidden Gorge. I guess the candidates just don’t want us to forget that one of them will soon rule us all. Cecil promises to cover the election as well as the revolution.

We learn that more old oak doors have been appearing all over town. Through them angels and giant masked warriors have been flooding into town. They tear down the electric fence around the company picnic to free the prisoners there, but are unable to find Tamika Flynn and her army. Instead it seems that Tamika has already freed herself, though her whereabouts are currently unknown. Strex counters by sending out a seemingly endless army of blood-thirsty office workers who quickly force the angels and masked warriors to retreat.

Although this is a dramatic juncture, Cecil admits that the studio has gotten a bit behind on its bills with all this revolution business so he needs to pause again for a word from his sponsors. This is a real treat because now we get to meet a sentient patch of haze named Deb. Deb is played by Meg Bashwiner, the usual emcee of the show. Bashwiner’s acting as Deb is really excellent. She puts on a Midwestern (?) accent a general indifference toward anything to do with humans. Today she advertises Whole Foods and all the things we definitely won’t find in their products like poison, spiders, or secret blood. Whole Foods is normal. Don’t worry about them.

Next Lauren and Kevin interrupt Cecil’s reception, which somehow allows them all to have a conversation on the air. They talk about if revolutions ever help anything and the lizard people who still rule us all. Lauren talks about the many ways Strex will improve Night Vale, including tearing down the library to get rid of the dangerous librarians. That threat proves to be too much for one young woman and Tamika Flynn suddenly appears on the scene!

Tamika is played by Symphony Sanders, who does an excellent job of portraying a character who is much younger than her. She also does good work conveying the whole well-read militia leader thing. Congrats, Sanders! Anyway, Tamika and Lauren get into a book fight between Tamika’s literature and Lauren’s copy of the Strex employee handbook. It’s a fierce battle and Lauren seems to be winning until Tamika calls in her book club for backup. Soon they overwhelm Lauren and force her to surrender. In the meantime Kevin has run off.

Cecil gets back to covering the battles going on outside. Night Vale citizens are doing their best to fight off the Strex army, but it’s still a hard fight. A form appears next to Cecil and he soon recognizes Dana. She warns him that something terrible is getting closer in the desert otherworld. It’s too bright and it rumbles ominously. It makes Dana feel like the universe is unraveling.

On the bright side, she found Carlos.

Cecil is thrilled to talk to him again and Carlos is delight when he finds out his cellphone works in the otherworld and even has unlimited battery life. They both want Carlos to come home as soon as possible, but they can’t right now because the bright light is too close now. Every time the old oak doors between worlds open it lets the light into Night Vale, which is probably very dangerous. Carlos is working on a way to fix that.

Soon Cecil gets some more visitors, John Peters and Intern Maureen. We’ve got a plethora of new voice actors for this episode! John Peters is played by Mark Gagliardi, who gives John a bit of a southern drawl as well as an ominously prophetic personality. Intern Maureen is wonderfully portrayed by Maureen Johnson who shows Maureen as a bitter, cynical teen who is understandably frustrated with her internship and boss. She tries to point out the high mortality rate for radio station interns and Cecil says he has no idea what she’s talking about. In any case, Maureen still needs college credit, so she’s back to interning a minute later. She and John leave and Cecil reports on how the evil light is beginning to make Night Vale fade away. Something has to be done soon.

He hears a knock on his door. He runs to it, desperately hoping to see Carlos again.

We’ll have to wait until next time to see if he is right. For now, I leave you with 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. Literal five-headed dragon Hiram McDaniels wants to be the next mayor.
7. NV’s sister city Nulogorsk was both destroyed and not destroyed in 1983.
8. Night Vale has a surprising fixation on actor Lee Marvin.
9. Night Vale is prone to duplication and Desert Bluffs is one of the duplicates.
10. A dark planet is calling to people. It may be the radio station.
11. Old oak doors are appearing around Night Vale
12. The desert otherworld has a blinking light on a mountain.
13. Simone Rigadeau thinks the world ended decades ago.
14. Cecil can’t remember his past.
15. Earl Harlan thinks he and Cecil could have had something.
16. Mayor Winchell is retiring, possibly not by her own choice.
17. The Faceless Old Woman is running for mayor.
18. An evil light is coming from a desert otherworld.
19. Desert Bluffs/StrexCorp have a smiling god.
20. Tamika Flynn has been arrested by Strex.
21. Someone bought Cecil at an auction.
22. 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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