(After the 2015 intro, we cut to NC at his desk)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. Every once in a while, an astounding Internet achievement comes along that was not done by me. (shifts eyes briefly) But they're mostly done by me. (Beat) This one was done by me!
(The title of "The Review Must Go On", the video that marked the "revival" of the Nostalgia Critic, is shown, before showing clips from it)
NC (vo): The Review Must Go On has singled the triumphant return of yours truly. After six months of retirement, which in Internet time is, like, 10 years, this video came out announcing that your one and only critic was coming back. It was bold, poetic, daring, and not the least bit pretentious whatsoever.
NC: (after another beat, smiling) No, really. There's not trace of it at all.
(A pie chart appears, with "NC's Ego" having a big sector entitled "NC's Ego" and a small sector entitled "Art". NC pushes the chart away)
NC (vo): It perfectly summed up the majesty and wonder of a man who screams at a peace of plastic with a superhero logo on it. The Internet exploded, fans rejoiced, and yes, even a few tears were shed. Mostly to those who miss Demo Reel.
NC: We apologize to both of you. So, let's see what changed the course of all mankind...or just got a trending credit on Twitter... (points at the camera) Which is difficult! This is The Review Must Go On.
NC (vo): It opens with everyone's favorite not-replacement Donnie DuPree getting himself some coffee, only to find it suddenly transformed into water.
NC: (nodding) Ah, so it's a Starbucks coffee.
(Cut to Donnie, Tacoma, and Rebecca Stone sitting at their table)
NC (vo): Confused by this, he stares at his water, which, according to many viewers, is what most people would like to do, rather than watching Demo Reel.
(Donnie keeps staring at the cup of water while Tacoma and Rebecca are talking)
Rebecca: No one does that anymore. Ever.
Tacoma: Yeah, never. Never.
Rebecca: Oh, yeah! Yeah, that's good, yeah.
Tacoma: We've seen rabid raccoons and squirrels...
NC: Uh, is it me, or is the water a little, um...
(A green arrow points at a boom mic reflecting in the water)
NC (vo): ...phallic-microphoney?
NC: Oh! I mean, it must be something trying to communicate with him! (Beat) That looks like a burned Twinkle- (waves off) It's too symbolic, you wouldn't get it.
NC (vo): But he snaps back to kind of reality as Tacoma and Rebecca talk about their next film.
Donnie: A...Carmen Sandiego movie?
Tacoma: Carmen Sandiego has stolen a time machine and she's going back through history settling all of history's greatest scores.
Rebecca: Killing Hitler, letting Crazy Horse win...
NC: Hey, as long as there's a role for Rockapella, that actually kinda sounds cool!
NC (vo): But things get stranger when Rebecca suddenly disappears, followed by Quinn.
(Donnie looks out the door)
Donnie: Quinn! (to Tacoma) Who gave me this warm Bailey's?
Tacoma: It's not Bailey's. It's Yoo-Hoo.
(Donnie spits it out)
NC: Hey, come on. Ages between 5 and mentally retarded love Yoo-Hoo.
(Cut to Tacoma at the computer with Donnie and Carl standing over him as Carl smokes a pipe)
Tacoma: I searched the whole Internet. Public records, everything. There is no Quinn.
NC (vo): Well, of course not. He was on Demo Reel. I imagine anyone would want to disappear who was in that!
(Donnie turns to find Tacoma gone)
NC (vo): But once Tacoma vanishes, too, Donnie starts to panic.
(Donnie finds his script on the table and finds all the pages saying nothing but "Come Back!")
NC (vo): Huh, that's the letter Fox sent to Bryan Singer after X-Men 3.
NC (vo): Donnie tries approaching Carl, but he doesn't seem to be himself, either.
(In the hallway, Donnie finds Carl, who turns around to reveal he has a dinosaur's head)
Dino Carl: Ja?
NC: (arms folded) Still looks more realistic than Jurassic World.
(After a bright light flashes and Donnie looks at it, we cut to Doug Walker's office in his house. He is sitting at his computer and can't decide how to finish the script)
NC (vo): A bright light appears, and suddenly, we're transported to the retina-burning colors of the writer's house. He's stuck on what he wants to write next, so he takes out the garbage.
(Doug runs outside to grab a garbage can, tripping a little. Cut to him hilariously dragging the garbage can to the curb from right to left)
NC: (after a beat) I'm sure there was a very important reason to show that! ...Maybe it just demonstrated how Chester A. Bum relocates.
(The scene of Doug dragging a can is replayed, with the voice of Chester "coming out of the can")
Chester: Oh, my God! This is the greatest move I've ever had in my life! (A loud sound of garbage truck lifting up a can is heard) Why am I suddenly flying? (He screams offscreen as he is presumably falling in the truck)
(Doug goes back to writing)
NC (vo): When he's still not able to write, he gets a knock on the door from the mailman. This calls for a pointless Sam Raimi-style editing!
(As mentioned, in a montage of quick cuts, he answers the door, is handed a package, signs for it, closes the door, and sits down to open his package)
NC: (zoom in on his face as he whispers...) Groovy.
NC (vo): But he finds the movie he got in the mail is not the one he was hoping for.
(Doug is talking on the phone, but he's standing in the distance from the camera)
Doug: I ordered the original Odd Couple, not The Odd Life of Timothy Green.
NC: Ah, nothing like that classic stalker cam...
NC (vo): ...to make you feel like you're watching something you probably shouldn't.
NC: Which, I guess, some critics would argue, is very appropriate.
(Doug sits on his bed, reluctantly puts the DVD for the movie into the player, and "One Movie Later", he is visibly horrified)
NC (vo): But he makes the mistake every foolishly optimistic Jennifer Garner fan makes: he puts it on and watches it. What follows is something you see very rarely out of him: a rant.
Doug: (speaks to a camera) No! (jump cut) First of all, before you grow your tomato child, didn't you think, like...an orphanage?! / Hello! You could go to an orphanage! / How am I supposed to like these people? At all?!
NC: (hesitated) You do know that we're not supposed to know that you know...
NC (vo): ...there's a camera watching you, right?
(Doug glances out in the hall and sees a shadowy figure just walk off screen. He goes out in the hall to find nobody, and then calls Lewis Lovhaug)
NC (vo): But he literally becomes afraid of his own shadow and is inspired to give a call to his best friend Lewis.
Doug: I got a bit of a question for you.
Doug: Do you think I did the right thing ending the Nostalgia Critic?
(This catches Lewis by surprise)
NC: (imitating Linkara) Well, that's just "nyeah" as my "nyeah"!
Lewis: If you think you only have enough for once in a while, (takes out a toy that looks like a shell) just keep it once in a while and go out on top.
NC (vo, chuckles): Hey, look! He made himself a robotic chicken finger.
Doug: Thanks, man.
Doug: (concerned) Lewis? Buddy? Are you convinced that the characters from your show are real people?
Lewis: Of course not! I'm not deranged. (laughs) It's just Pollo and Harvey that are real.
(Doug is stunned)
NC: Okay, really, is it any crazier than...
NC (vo): ...you seeing your imaginary characters and talking when nobody's around?
(Doug goes back to thinking and decides to watch the Nostalgia Critic's reviews from 2011 and 2012, before suddenly finding out NC is talking to him via screen)
NC (vo): We return to the thrilling continuation of guy staring at computer screen when he slowly gets the urge to watch some of his greatest hits. Only to find his greatest hits start watching him.
Doug: What am I supposed to go back to, anyway? Quoting memes and running jokes?
Video NC: It isn't always about memes and running jokes.
NC (vo): Wow. A guy arguing with his computer screen when clearly no one's listening? This must be what every forum everywhere is like!
Video NC: Every single time you thought you were done with it, you came up with something better. When you had time to think, time to focus, time to put that extra effort in.
NC (vo): It is very telling that the time his performance feels the most honest is when he's praising himself.
Video NC: (leans closer to camera) Then why don't you just make me go away?
(Doug quickly closes the player, but then the video NC crashes through the right side of the screen into Facebook)
Video NC: (panting) See?! I told you you can't get rid of me!
(Doug cuts out NC-in-the-video again by opening Google, but the latter crashes through that as well)
NC: Jesus, he's following him all over online without quitting. He's like a Facebook ad!
NC (vo): He (Doug) turns off the computer to remember the glory days of ego's past.
NC: Christ, he's not gonna sing a song, is he?
NC (vo, as Doug): (singing to the tune of "I Dreamed a Dream") I dreamed a dream to bitch and whine...
(NC-in-the-video appears on Google again)
NC (vo): This calls for some more Sam Raimi-style editing.
Doug: (gets up) Okay, that's it.
(Again, in quick cuts, Doug opens his garage, gets in the car, closes its door, drives off, parks, and the the sign "Drive-Thru Pharmacy" is shown, with the cash register sound effect heard)
NC (vo): Wait a minute.
NC: (waving off dismissively) What am I talking about? That wasn't Sam Raimi. That was Shawn of the Dead. Big difference.
(In the car, Doug calls Lindsay Ellis)
NC (vo): He then calls another friend for advice, Lindsay.
Lindsay: Doug, are you chewing on something?
Doug: Tranquilizers. I've taken enough to kill a baby rhinoceros. (He swallows some more of it)
NC: Wow! What pharmacy can I go to get that? (Beat) I have a very stressed-out horse.
Doug: Should I bring back the Nostalgia Critic?
Lindsay: The Critic had a great run, but now it’s time to branch out and do new things.
NC (vo): But Lindsay doesn't want to take a chance, so she sends her perso-Nell assassin...
NC: ...That was so much funnier on paper...
NC (vo): ...to take care of the situation.
(Nella goes outside, gets into her smart car and tries repeatedly to leave the parking space. It goes on for a long while. A caption of what NC just says appears)
NC (vo): This has been a New York moment. New York...fucking New York.
(Nella spots Rob Walker on the sidewalk and rolls down the window to talk)
Nella: Hey, Doug! Yeah, that’s right. I’m talking to you.
NC (vo): But she confuses his brother for him. Yeah, I guess all us white people do look alike.
Nella: Just don't be go...doing the Nostalgia Critic anymore. So there.
(To a dramatic music, Nella drives off. Rob stands there looking confused and horrified)
NC: (as Rob) Did I just get trolled by Sadness from Inside Out?
NC (vo): This affects our star little, as he falls asleep at his kitchen table.
NC: As most people do?
(While Doug is sleeping, two NCs whisper in his head)
Dream NC: Bring me back.
Pee-Wee Herman (voiced by Doug): Ha-ha! Yeah, bring him back! Bring him back! Ha-ha!
Dream NC: Pee-Wee Herman? What are you doing here?
Pee-Wee: It's a dream. Dreams are like that. Come on! Let's go ride Mark Wahlberg's fake penis from Boogie Nights!
Dream NC: Oh, boy, he's gonna have some questions when he wakes up.
(Both cheer as a transportation sound is heard. Doug wakes up after that)
NC (vo, sighs): You know, it's not like we didn't wonder about this guy already, but his secrets are about as well-kept as Bill Cosby's grocery list. (The list is shown, consisting of multiple "Roofies")
(Doug calls Brad Jones)
NC (vo): He calls up one last friend to get some advice.
Doug: Hey, Brad. I'm having a debate on whether or not to bring the Nostalgia Critic back.
Brad: Oh, well.... (laughs) I don’t care. (hangs up)
NC: Well, I see a review of his movie coming up!
NC (vo): The past seems to be getting closer, though, with his limits being pushed.
Doug: (enters the hallway) I'm not bringing him back, you hear?! I've got other ideas I want to try! New ideas! Stuff I've always wanted to do!
NC (vo, speaking in an low, echoey voice): Okay, as the only ghost who haunts this place, I was just trying to get you to talk to yourself a little less. But now I see it was actually pretty counterproductive. That was very stupid.
(Doug goes into bathroom to splash some water on his face. He opens the mirror cabinet to take mouth wash, and the video stops on that moment)
NC (vo): Okay, word of advice: (A caption "Never Look in a Mirror in Anything Even KINDA Creepy" is shown) Never look in a mirror, let alone open a mirror, in something establishing a creepy tone, because... (The video resumes) it'll inspire something shun-worthy.
(When Doug closes the mirror cabinet, he sees NC as the reflection smirking at him)
NC: And even something that's not shun-worthy.
Video NC: I'll tell you what. If you answer this honestly, I’ll go away forever. Do you want to do this again? (NC is reflecting in both doors of mirror cabinet) Do you have that same passion you had before?
NC (vo): Jesus, he's deciding whether or not to do an Internet show, not make a deal with the fucking Devil!
NC: ...That you know of. (looks up)
(NC is waiting for Doug in the dining room, and the latter sits opposite NC)
NC (vo): But you-know-who finally takes human form, and they discuss the rules regarding his return.
Doug: Reviews every two weeks.
Video NC: Two weeks?!
Doug: If we still want these jokes to still be fresh and funny, I need more time on them and that’s gonna be two weeks.
NC: (menacingly) If I have to hear that "timing" joke one more time, the blood of somebody's balls will spill!
Video NC: No more cut-off dates.
Video NC: I want to review whatever I want whenever I want.
Doug: But you're the Nostalgia Critic. It's in your name.
Video NC: I won't review anything currently in theaters...
NC (vo, chuckling): That one you definitely don't want to break, or dozens of OCDers will flip their shit and go insane!
NC: Although the rule about never doing another Nostalgia Critic, that one's okay to break. (Beat) Some rules are more equal than others.
Doug: (holding out The Odd Life of Timothy Green DVD) This has to be your first review.
Video NC: Why?
NC: Uh, I think the real question is, "Why don't you know?"
Doug: This is the movie that brought you back.
(Doug sits back at computer and finishes typing the script. In Demo Reel world, we cut to Donnie staring at...the Plot Hole)
NC (vo): They agree to the terms, and he finally starts writing his ending. His beautiful, well-composed, totally cop-out ending.
Donnie: Who are you? What are you?
Doug: (speaking as the Plot Hole) I am the creator.
NC: (as Donnie) I'm in The Truman Show?
(Tacoma steps out from behind Donnie)
Tacoma: The person you are now is the direct result of a choice.
NC: (as Donnie, dramatically) Tacoma! You were here, too?
Tacoma: A choice you made for the sake of the Plot.
Donnie: (confused) Plot?
(Then, Rebecca slides from behind Tacoma)
NC: (as Donnie, "listening attentively") Tell me more, Chris Tucker-style dance lite.
Rebecca: You sacrificed yourself to the Plot Hole, bringing order to chaos.
(Quinn steps out from behind Tacoma)
Quinn: Your mind couldn’t handle the paradox of your own martyrdom.
NC (vo): You know, it's a...little hard to make it sound like this was the intention the whole time when you... (Cut back to Doug and NC talking via computer screen briefly) literally showed us for 20 minutes this was not the intention all the time.
Donnie: Who was I?
(Donnie is shown the clips from the past reviews of the Nostalgia Critic, and he starts remembering)
NC (vo): He's shown that he is, in fact, the Nostalgia Critic, and that his whole Demo Reel experience was the Plot Hole's version of some sort of purgatory. Because if...Lost has showed us anything, is that kind of ending goes over especially well.
(And Donnie DuPree is no more, there is the Nostalgia Critic again!)
Video NC: You SON OF A BITCH!! Do you have any idea how much this shit scarred me?! Do you have any idea the hell I had to go through here?! I...I was a godawful filmmaker! I made movies that nobody liked! I tried telling everybody my good intentions, but no one ever listened to me!
NC: (as himself - yeah, weird) I lost my horse! I nearly drowned! I almost died trying to fight the Nothing!
Doug: (via the Plot Hole) But perhaps now, you're a little wiser. You can still criticize all you want, but deep down inside, you'll always know what it's like, to be on the other side.
NC (vo): (as the Plot Hole) Perhaps it'll lead to editorials that seem surprisingly more understanding than many of your other videos.
NC: But if you look at the inconsistencies of the character in the past, it still kind of makes sense. (A long pause) It's like the Zelda timeline: if you start with A Link to the Past and then move on to-
Carl: Now walk through zat portal and face your destiny. Zat’s an order.
(All four wave goodbye, Carl salutes, and they vanish as NC in the video walks through the Plot Hole, waking up in a small room. He sees his trademark clothes hanging on the doorknob)
NC (vo): So, his former co-stars seem...bizarrely okay with fading away into nothingness, as Donnie walks through the portal and arrives as the Nostalgia Critic in his office. Huh. That was...nice of reality to leave his suit and hat hanging nicely.
NC: How exactly did this work again?
(And the Nostalgia Critic changes back into his normal attire and sits down a chair)
NC (vo): That's right, Internet. You have a new old critic to talk about new old things with once more! Finally, our triumphant champion has retu-
NC: Is that wall a different color? Show ruined. (slams fist on table)
(Upon finding out that NC is back, Lindsay takes a long sip of whiskey and collapses)
NC (vo): Team Oops realizes they made a mistake, Lindsay corpses the camera, and a new age of entitled shamelessness begins.
(The video ends with the announcement of the airdate of the first review after the revival)
NC: And that was The Review Must Go On. And even though I may be a little emotionally compromised by it, I do think it is, in fact, the greatest thing ever made.
(The clips from the video are shown as NC goes to the closing thoughts)
NC (vo): The writing, the acting, the absolute chemistry from one actor to another...even if they're both usually the same actor... It's just amazing. I highly recommend this opus of opusness in all his opusy oputastic-ness...opus. So what are you waiting for? Go check out the most amazing thing you've ever seen in your life, before the writer grows a conscience while writing this.
NC: (realizing) Wait, if I said that, that probably means he already is. He'll probably make me say it's only okay. (points at himself) Like I just did right there! (starts waving his arms around frantically) Get your strings off of me, puppet master! I'm a human being!! I'M A HUMAN BEI-
(Suddenly, the video is paused by...Doug Walker himself finishing editing what we just saw. He turns to the camera)
Doug: Yeah. I think this review is meta enough, too.
(He raises his hand to swipe the screen away, and the credits roll, followed by Channel Awesome logo)