NOS4A2's fourth episode delves into the pasts of the show's two major villains. We learn a lot more about what makes Bing Partridge tick - including murdering both his parents - and just how much he loved his mom. Charlie also explains a bit of his childhood to a kidnapped girl, and in doing so tries to justify why he takes kids to Christmasland. On the Vic McQueen front, we see how using the Shorter Way bridge is starting to affect her physically, and she and Charlie finally talk for the first time.
It was the busiest episode of the season so far, so vote up your favorite moments.
After Vic learns that Haley and her mom have been taken, she realizes Maggie might not have been wrong. She uses the Shorter Way bridge to find them and, surprisingly, it spits her out at Bing Partridge's house. Unlike in the book, Vic and Bing know each other prior to Charlie Manx coming into their life – Bing is a janitor at Vic's school and the two are actually sort of friends. They're close enough that when Bing comes outside and asks what she's doing, Vic makes an excuse and takes off, thinking the bridge messed up for the first time.
Charlie ages up quickly, so he needs another kid to take to Christmasland in his Wraith. After he kidnaps Haley, the two head to Charlie's horrifying monument to the Christmas season on the St. Nick Parkway. The road is similar to Vic's Shorter Way bridge, allowing him to travel his inscape and, more importantly, get around without attracting unwanted attention. Haley initially fights back against Charlie questioning her about the person using the Shorter Way, but does accidentally drop that the person using it is a girl.
With Haley starting to come around to Charlie on the drive, he divuldges some of his past to the girl. Apparently, when Charlie was young, he was forced to play outside along while his mom went off and left him alone. He also suffered abuse at the hands of his parents, which is one of the reasons he's so obsessed with bringing kids to Christmasland – even though it turns them into ageless monsters. He truly thinks he's saving them from lives similar to the one he lived through.
Hearing this, and with the car's magic taking full effect, Haley starts to tell Charlie about Vic McQueen.
The fourth episode reveals an unfortunately dark past for Charlie Manx's latest helper, Bing Partridge. Flashbacks reveal that he received his trademark gas mask as a Christmas gift from his war-obsessed father – who also spent a lot of time abusing his son. That abuse clearly hit a breaking point in Bing's teenage years because another flashback – also around Christmas – revealed that he killed his dad with a nailgun while hanging Christmas lights.
A scene later in the episode showed that Bing was actually in love with his mother, and assaulted and killed her after she found what he had done to his father.