Mayor Cardinal, from her home, issued a statement about the disintegration of our town and bleeding together of realities. The statement reads: “My father, who died of liver cancer when I was five, has returned. He arrived from a hole in our reality. I am choosing to go with him, Night Vale. I am choosing the world where he did not die, where I did not kill my double, where dragons did not destroy our town. Listen to the ripping of the firmament and find a world you prefer, Night Vale. All else is pain.”
Listeners. I beg you not to do this. This is the world we built, right here. If you leave, if you don’t accept it – it cannot hold together.
Hold tight those you love, Night Vale. Not for fear of their loss, but for love of their presence. Hold onto what you know is real. Life is only a narrative, but it’s a narrative we write together.
Honestly I think the entire world was fractured in 1983 into many different timelines. It varies per timeline what caused the fracturing and what happened to the timeline after that but I think that’s the point at which our Night Vale got weird, basically.
I’m also 95% sure Cal is from some irradiated version of Night Vale and that in his universe, he survived the atomic blast, but his wife (and so many other people) didn’t. That would explain how discombobulated and physically deteriorated he is. He’s basically living in a post-nuclear-disaster timeline.
On a character level, this last episode did something I always love when this show does, which is remind us that Night Vale is actually a pretty fucked up place to live. Like, these people form their own communities, they stick together and are there for their friends, they use love and art and science to carve out a place in their fucked up world. But their world is still very fucked up and there are people who want to get out, who want to experience time normally, who want to live somewhere they aren’t under threat constantly. And that’s totally understandable. It’s also ultimately not helpful. I think it can be both.
Cecil’s message of solidarity hits hard in the age of Trump and neo-fascism. Everyone wants out of this, but for most of us that’s not reality. For most of us we are going to have to keep making our way in a really fucked up world. And Cecil is saying, let’s keep doing that. Let’s stick together because we do know this evil, and we’re scared but we can live, we can outlast it. Night Vale, like our world, has never been able to rely on the benevolence of its government. This new horrific fragmentation of worlds is no different. So much bullshit is going on in Night Vale that it feels like the actual news cycle, and I think that is completely intentional. Cecil is saying don’t let it swamp you down. Focus on fighting it. Focus on solidarity with your community.