Recap and Review
Welcome back, horror fiends, to the episode 2 recap of American Horror Story: 1984. This was a fast-paced episode with two, maybe three… or four kills. What did we learn? And what left us scratching our heads with only further questions? Read below to find out.
The episode opens with Dr. Hopple (of Red Meadows Asylum fame) driving into Camp Redwood looking for Margaret. The good Doc enters Margaret’s cabin after a half-hearted knock and is startled when Margaret appears. Margaret aggressively approaches her, wanting to know if she was going to snoop in her bedroom. What did she think the doctor would find? Girl what are you hiding… did you leave your vibrator on the nightstand? Turns out, Dr. Hopple just wanted to inform Margaret that Richter escaped, and he had an obsessed fantasy of revenge for Margaret. Margaret responds with “God helps those who help themselves”, as she pulls out a revolver. Basically, bring it on bitch.
Dr. Hopple drives away, but immediately gets a flat tire. Before she can call AAA, a tow truck pulls up behind her. Luck? Hardly. She then hears the jingle of keys. Just as soon as you see the fear on her face, she is pulled out of her car window by Richter. After stepping on her twisted leg – which made me shudder a little – he thrashed a knife into her neck, telling her “you were right, I am a monster”. Baby, you just cold hearted.
Meanwhile, Brooke is staring out the window in the direction of the pay phone when she hears a news alert about a murder that occurred at the Red Meadows gas station. The reporter asks a police officer if this was done by the Night Stalker, which must’ve been standard operating procedure at the time. Brooke becomes frantic (something she does often) and asks the group if they heard the news report. Shockingly they didn’t, even though they were all standing right there. The group beings to mock Brooke, sneeringly asking which killer is after her: Mr. Jingles or the Night Stalker? Margaret then bursts in and scolds the boys for being in the girls’ cabin after dark, reminding them that they are to shower at night so they can wake up pure for morning prayer.
Montana shows her softer side as she attempts to comfort Brooke, telling her she does not have to imagine the worst. But Brooke said the worst has already happened… and boy, she was not kidding. Brooke then describes how, one year ago, she was getting married to the love of her life (who happened to be her first kiss). Could you imagine marring your first kiss? Sounds sweet, but it turns out this dude was a huge, possessive dickhead. He lost his mind at the altar and accused her and his best friend of sleeping together the night before. He then brandishes a gun and kills the best friend… then kills Brooke’s father… then himself.
What exactly was the point of showing us this traumatic bloodbath? Besides the fact it was out of the blue and pretty cool? We are reassured by Brooke that she is a virgin, so is this story being used to reinforce her innocence? Was this memory a chance to reiterate that no one ever believes her when shit goes down? Or is it something bigger to come down the pipeline? Montana reacts like a lurking creep and uses Brooke’s moment of weakness to reassure that she believes her, before leaning in for a make out session. Brooke recoils and leaves for some fresh air. Which is EXACTLY what one should do when you have two killers on the loose who are hunting you down.
We then see the guys trekking through the night, on their way to hit the showers, while bantering about the ladies at the camp. Xavier discovers that this is not a 4-star hotel and has to go back to grab his beach towel. Meanwhile, Margaret turns off the power to the camp. Maybe she’s energy-conscious or simply setting the mood… either way it’s lights out.
Xavier is then grabbed by a man and forced into a car. We discover his name is Blake (Todd Stashwick) A.K.A. sugar daddy and was the one that left Xavier that endearing voice message in episode one. We learn that Blake saved Xavier, finding him in a park with a needle in his arm and piss-stained blue jeans. Probably not one of his finest moments, but don’t judge; I’m sure we have all been there. We learn that, in the past, Blake forced him to make a gay porno video. And now he is back for more because “gay pays… and daddy wants more loot. Xavier stresses he is not gay and wants to be a ‘real’ actor. So, he comes up with a plan to show Blake a better alternative to him and John Holmes: none other than our athletic director, Trevor.
Attention ladies: we are now moving on to the erotic male shower scene. This shower comes with its own glory— uh, I mean peep hole that Blake takes full advantage of. Blake is mesmerized by Trevor, so Xavier uses this opportunity to quietly fall back into the forest. An unknown figure wearing a black glove comes behind Blake and pierces a spike through the back of his head and out through his peeping eye. This was almost as good as that time Jason harpooned Shelly in the eye in Friday the 13th part 3.
We come back to Brooke sitting alone at the end of the dock, dangling her feet over the edge. This is a big no-no in my book… I won’t even dangle any of my limbs over the bed. I’m proven right when Brooke’s feet bump into a dead body that resurfaces in the lake. Screaming, she jumps up and is confronted by Ramirez. He’s back, fans! He tries to attack her after some words are exchanged but she takes off running while he pursues her. She manages to stay on her feet this time, but Ramirez is not so lucky. He is tackled by the injured unknown guy (the one hit by our gang from episode one). But wait, didn’t he die? We saw him hanging on the back of the door in the infirmary. The stranger says to Ramirez, “You are not supposed to be here”. Ramirez pulls out a Karambit knife while our stranger retorts “I’m not supposed to die here”. With complete disregard, Ramirez guts him then slashes his throat. Okay, this should do it, right? Our stranger is definitely dead this time, we saw it with our own eyes… right?
This is where we start bopping like teenage girls, as the Pointer Sisters’ “Jump” plays along with Nurse Rita in the infirmary. And then, jingle, jingle. Richter pays the nurse a visit and we can assume she’s fucked.
Flash over to Brooke running to that damn pay phone only to get a busy tone (I see no one is taking my advice from last episode). Montana startles her and Brooke tells her she was just attacked by the docks. Montana asked, “by Mr. Jingles?”. Brooke exclaims it was The Night Stalker. Montana rolls her eyes. Hey, where did all that compassion go? That lasted as long as their kiss.
Cut to the next scene. Our injured stranger reappears, reminding Ramirez he’s not supposed to be here. Wait What??!! Ramirez, confused, stabs him in the throat (again) then removes an ID card from the stranger’s front pocket. Okay, he’s officially dead, you guys saw that right? Then as Ramirez looks back, the stranger is gone.
Ray and the guys discover Blake’s body, Xavier does what he does best by denying he knows who this fresh corpse is. The girls roll up and everyone has a panic session and decides it is time to get out of the camp. They all hear some jingling and run to the van.
Margaret returns to her cabin to find Ramirez sitting in the dark. He announces himself as the servant of the Lord’s son, but not the good one. He presents the ID wanting to know about the guy pictured. She tells him his name is Jonas and he was a counselor back in 1970. Our immortal stranger has a name.
Here is where things get strange. Margaret lights some candles and plays some sultry jazz while mending Ramirez’ wounds. Ramirez reveals that he is a follower of Satan and a straight-up killer. Oddly enough, she compliments him. Maybe she digs the bad guys or likes a challenge. But I’m wondering if she has been manipulating men since her teenage years. Ramirez states he killed a man twice (referring to Jonas). Margaret accounts for Jonas’ resurrection by “using God when we can’t explain things”. Margaret has a therapy session with Ramirez who reveals his painful childhood which is based on actual facts. Margaret reassures him that “if all that awful stuff did not happen, he would not be the man he was today”. She is not fazed by his love for Satan or his killing ways. Margaret tells him another great thing about God is “using him to explain why you did something even if that something was horrible”. Ok, I missed that lecture in Sunday school. She asks Ramirez to find Richter, remove him from the camp and not to kill anyone else in the process. At this point I think I am more scared of her crazy ass then I am of the two men stalking the camp grounds.
We go back to the group running into the van that takes a few times to start. Jumping the gun, they all begin cheering. As they pull out, Nurse Rita jumps in front of the van causing them to crash into Margaret’s car. Man is she going to be pissed! How did Nurse Rita escape Richter? She appeared to be cornered, is she really alive? They all figure out who has wheels, but no one has keys. They break into two groups, the first being Nurse Rita, Brooke, Roy and Chet who go to the infirmary while the second group, Trevor, Montana and Xavier go to the men’s cabin.
We cut to Margaret, who finds Jonas still spewing “you’re not suppose to be here”. We discover that Jonas thinks it is 1970, who is a ghost that did not know he was dead. He recalls what happened the night of the massacre and we see flashes of young Margaret looking like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz covered in blood. Guilt stricken, Jonas exclaims he ran away instead of helping her. He was struck by a truck, never seeing his killer, while hearing keys jingling before he was killed.
Both groups make it to their destinations to recover keys and were met with a pounding at their doors. We are left wondering who are the mystery pounders trying to get in?
This episode moved right along but left us with even more questions. We learned that the stranger has a name and is an unsettled spirit. Dr. Hopple is killed by Richter and I cannot wait for flash backs of their therapy sessions. Ramirez had a shitty childhood and pain is how the world talks to him, so he responds back with pain. Xavier has / had a sugar daddy who forced him to make a gay pron. Brooke is a self-proclaimed virgin and her wedding ended in Kill Bill style. Nurse Rita escaped Richter in the infirmary and had a potential wound which she kept covered with a scarf. How did she make it out? Margaret has a soft spot for killers and may be a class act manipulator. Did she play or frame Richter back in 1970? Is she fostering Ramirez? Also, Margaret seemed very interested in what Jonas saw – or didn’t see – back in 1970. One thing is for certain, she has ulterior motives just like our other beloved camp mom, Pamela Voorhees. We will have to wait and see if any of these back stories tie into any of the other AHS seasons, hell how do they fit into this season. Join me next week to see what we uncover in Episode 3.