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15 January 2014 @ 12:35 pm
Night Vale: The Woman from Italy  
"Say you have a family. Say it! She doesn't care."


I'm feeling a little conflicted about this episode. We got a vague update on the Tamika Flynn plotline (she's still being a badass rebel and StrexCorp is still looking for her) as well as some additional updates on StrexCorp's influence in Night Vale. They've banned bloodstones and have apparently engulfed/consumed/taken over/annihilated? local business owners. The banning of the bloodstones felt as ominous to me as the angels leaving Night Vale, like something really, really awful is coming and Night Vale is vulnerable even more than ever now.

And then we got the Woman from Italy.

I think I would have enjoyed the episode a little more if the show had better or at least faster follow through with some of their plotlines. But as they haven't resolved ANYTHING yet, introducing this new character feels like one more creepy, ominous thing that won't be explained ever. I'd feel less strongly about this except her presence (and possibly the loss of the bloodstones?) seems to have led Cecil being more or less possessed by something. It was creepy in a way that felt very different from Night Vale's usual creepy. Maybe it's because Cecil Baldwin did a completely different and slightly grating voice to be possessed!Cecil. It was impressive but really unnerved me, making me think most of Night Vale's oddly creepy but cozy quality comes from the soothing baritone that is Cecil's voice. Without it, everything feels very cold and unfeeling. The other thing that was missing was Cecil's usual closing lines before signing off as he remained possessed for the last bit of the broadcast. Having THAT voice saying goodnight was like some monstrous, anxiety-provoking moment. In addition, no matter how dark a Night Vale episode gets, Cecil usually signs off with some sort of life-affirming final thoughts which is like a balm of comfort after whatever insanity I've just heard. I never realized until I didn't get it with this episode how much I depend on it.

Regardless, some things about the episode were great and very classically Night Vale. I liked the update we got on Khoshekh and his kittens. "Who's my adorable little kitten with your adorable tendril hub? It's you! It's you!" Although I'm pretty convinced Khoshekh is not a cat. Or Cecil doesn't know what a cat is, exactly. The Word from Our Sponsor piece this time around was hilarious as was that rant on baristas. THOSE DAMN BARISTAS. And of course the intro with "Joseph Fink" was golden. Hello, Dylan Marron!
 
 
 
X-parrotxparrot on January 16th, 2014 10:17 am (UTC)
Was that Dylan Marron being "Joseph Fink" in the beginning? I suspected it might be but I don't know his voice quite well enough...either way that was my favorite part of the ep, I'm rather loving the imposter introduction subplot!

The ep itself actually cracked me up, with Cecil possessed by...uh...a demonic Dr Seuss?? Some of the rhymes were so ridiculous! I was figuring, especially with the other unrelated plotline updates, that it was a one-shot, that the woman probably won't come back, like Computer or the time traveler. (Or else she won't come back unless they come up with something to do with her later down the line...) I also was wondering if she was actually evil or just that the Seussian presence didn't like her for some reason (ex-boyfriend???)(or is this what Cecil did to Telly...)

--Though it did make me wonder...this is one of the times it's mostly strongly suggested that Cecil does have some kind of clairvoyance, as he wasn't receiving reports on the woman from anyone that he mentioned, just seemed to be able to see her - but then whenever he looked too close, that thing took him over? (I saw someone on Tumblr saying they were headcanoning that Cecil is the Voice simply because he's got the most easily possessed mind in Night Vale, so anything can speak through him...between this and the glow cloud, I wonder...!)
X-parrotxparrot on January 16th, 2014 10:19 am (UTC)
And Khoshekh - heee! I've wondered for a while if Cecil actually knows what a cat is...he says he watches cat videos on Youtube, but considering how Bambi ends in Night Vale, I'm suspicious whether any of those vids are actually of cats. And even more suspicious that Khoshekh has any relation to anything feline...

(the tendrils amused me - I just made a crochet Khoshekh for a friend, and gave it the obligatory Night Vale tentacles...no poison spines, though, oh well!)
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 17th, 2014 04:52 am (UTC)
Eeeee! Such a cute kitty! Who's my adorable crochet kitty with tentacles? It's you! It's you!

Though it did make me wonder...this is one of the times it's mostly strongly suggested that Cecil does have some kind of clairvoyance, as he wasn't receiving reports on the woman from anyone that he mentioned, just seemed to be able to see her

I haven't listened to the episode in awhile but is it kind of similar to "A Story About You" where he narrates "your" life as it's happening? I guess this makes it a lot more reasonable that fans draw Cecil with a third eye.

Was that Dylan Marron being "Joseph Fink" in the beginning?

Indeed it was. I watched the webseries he did which got me a bit more familiar with his voice. His voice quality is not that different from Cranor's which makes the transition a lot smoother.
X-parrotxparrot on January 17th, 2014 10:48 pm (UTC)
I've made some more Night Vale crochet for myself, gotta take pics and put it up (including a mini-Khoshekh which is still too young for its spine ridges :P)

Yeah, "A Story About You" is the other major evidence for clairvoyant Cecil (that so much stuff happens in Night Vale for the simple reason of "it makes a good story" does make establishing coherent headcanons difficult!)

How was Dylan Marron's webseries, anyway? I'm curious to hear more of him myself...
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on January 17th, 2014 10:56 pm (UTC)
You can access the webseries here: http://whateverthisis.com/

I didn't love it to pieces but I used to work in production, doing stuff similar to what Dylan Marron's and Hunter Canning's characters do on this show so I could relate to how soul sucking it can be.

including a mini-Khoshekh which is still too young for its spine ridges :P

Don't forget the venom sacks.