Friday, October 11, 2019

American Horror Story: 1984 - True Killers

Welcome to Camp Crystal Lake Redwood. This season of American Horror Story takes a page from classic 80's slasher films and goes to summer camp.

Here is your official spoiler warning before we dive into the events of episode three - True Killers.

We begin this week with a flashback to Montana teaching an aerobics class. Richard decides to crash the class. He's obviously high on something and Montana notices him almost right away. She goes and berates him for not taking her aerobics class seriously enough.

They flirt. He calls her Bubblegum Barbie and is surprised she's into knives when she notices that he has one. A guy in the class starts to complain about the Billy Idol music Montana is playing. He wants something fun like Cyndi Lauper. Montana is pissed and goes and blasts Rebel Yell and kicks him out of the class as Richard watches.

Montana is cleaning up after class in the locker room when she notices a body has been hung up above the lockers. It's the guy she kicked out of class and his guts are now hanging outside his body. Richard comes in to announce it as his doing. He didn't like the way the guy spoke to her or his disdain for rock and roll. Instead of being entirely creeped out, Montana is super into it. She tells Richard it's super hot. They start making out which leads to Richard licking the blood she walked in off her feet (the real Richard Ramirez had a foot fetish so that is where this is coming from). The foot licking leads to sex. Montana tells Richard he has to remove the dead body before her next class in the morning. He assures he that he's good with cleaning as he was a janitor before. Montana asks if he's killed a lot of people. His reaction is ... less than comforting:

A shrug? What is that? YOU DON'T KNOW IF YOU KILLED A LOT OF PEOPLE?! Montana asks the smart question and wants to know if he'd kill her. He hesitates but eventually says no. She next wants to know if he'd kill FOR her to which he replies "you gotta ask?" while gesturing to the dead guy in the room. My theory (which was worked out with my friend Kelly who shares the credit for coming up with it) is proven correct when it is revealed that Montana wants him to kill Brooke because Brooke got her brother killed. Her brother, naturally, was the best man at the wedding. She thinks Brooke slept with her brother. Richard is all for it. He promises that Brooke will not see another sunrise and that she'll suffer. Montana is super into THAT and they start making out again. Hmmmm, did she meet Brooke that next day?  What's the time line here? Either way, it's nice knowing I was right about why Montana wanted revenge.

We jump back to the present where Montana is still wondering why Brooke isn't dead yet. She mentions that Mr Jingles is there and she does not want him killing Brooke first. Why does it even matter who kills her, Montana? Richard not only knows who Mr Jingles is but is a total fanboy. Montana tells him that Jingles took out two guys right in front of her and Richard is impressed but Montana wants him to focus on killing Brooke for her.

Xavier and Trevor bring Chet to one of the cabins and lay him in a bed. Chet immediately passes out which they figure cannot be good so Trevor uses a shot of a epinephrine to jump start Chet's heart. Xavier isn't on board with the idea at first but Trevor assures him that it can't make Chet any worse. Chet almost immediately wakes up. Trevor mentions that he hopes Ray is back with the cops soon. Chet's over Ray's bullshit though because he's basically like "he's not going to show" and mentions that he told him that he killed someone in college. Xavier quips that he thought making porn was bad to which both Chet and Trevor are like:

Now is not the time, Xavier. Mentioning the porn gives Xavier a light bulb moment though. He remembers that Blake had his car and that the keys are still in the car which is parked right by the showers. They have an escape plan. Trevor wants to grab Margaret and Bertie and get out of there. They can't take Chet with them to get Bertie and Margret though. He's too injured. They decide that Trevor will go get Margaret and Xavier will grab Bertie. They leave Chet with a pair of scissors to protect himself which is kind of rude. Chet isn't going to be able to do anything if someone comes.

Margaret finds the two dead bodies of the Mr Jingles pranksters. Trevor runs up as she is examining the bodies and urges her to leave with him (because of all the dead bodies). She doesn't want to go though. The kids are coming in the morning and she wants to be there. She has to be there. She thinks she can keep all the kids safe with her gun. Trevor tells her that he is going to head back to the real world now because she's obviously living in a fantasy one. 

Xavier runs to the kitchen. Bertie tells him the kitchen is closed ... unless he wants a midnight snack (wink, wink). She is making sandwiches for when the kids arrive because they'll be homesick (which is the sweetest). Xavier tells her about all the dead people and she brushes it off until Mr Jingles walks in. Xavier hides under the table and Bertie tries to stall Mr Jingles by talking to him. She offers to make him a sandwich and even remembers his order from when they were previously at the camp together. They reminisce and talk about why Bertie came back to the camp (Bertie wanted to be there for Margaret because she felt that night was like a prison for Margaret). This plan seems to be working because Jingles sits to eat his peanut butter and jelly sandwich (cutting off the crust with his knife). Everything seems to be under control, tense but under control, until Xavier drops his flashlight and Jingles freaks out. He grabs Xavier and drags him from under the table. Bertie tries to save Xavier by hitting Jingles over the head with a meat tenderizer but she gets stabbed for her trouble and Xavier gets put into a oven that has been turned on literally being cooked alive. He can't open the door because it's been wedged shut with  a ladle. Xavier better not die!

We finally ind out where Donna (aka Not Rita) took Brooke. She's locked in some cabin. She proves herself resourceful and uses her body to break open the door. She takes off running and immediately comes across traps that have been set up. She gets caught up in a net trap that has her hanging from trees. Donna shows herself and Brooke calls her Rita and asks why she is doing this. Donna's reply made me laugh:

She tells Brooke what we already know about her taking the real Rita's place and that she is the one that set Jingles free. She is also the one that set the traps because she wants to see how a serial killer reacts to a victim being offered up on a silver platter - would he kill her or would he ignore her in favour of the chase. She claims this is all to study their behaviour and reminds Brooke that serial killer victims are overwhelming female.  She thanks Brookes for her sacrifice and tells her:

We cut back to Xavier who is not having a good time. His skin is starting to blister. It turns out that Bertie is not dead (at least not yet) and she manages to remove the ladle so Xavier can escape. Bertie, realizing she is dying, asks Xavier to put her out of her pain. He tearfully tells her that he can't but she insists and Xavier eventually does it. Goodbye, Bertie. You were a good one. Side note, how much therapy is poor Xavier going to need after this? He's too pure and his pretty face is now ruined.

Montana is walking through the woods calling out to Brooke. Brooke hears and yells to get her attention. Bad idea, Brooke. Montana comes and pretends that she is going to help Brooke get down. Brooke fills Montana in on the whole Donna not being Rita thing which surprises Montana. Montana pretends to try to get Brooke down but says she needs something to cut the net with. Brooke tells her to go and Montana tells her that she's so brave and that it'll all be over soon. She promises. Those two lines have a VERY different reading with what we know about Montana.

Margaret is back at her cabin. She takes out her gun and makes sure it is loaded. She notices a bear made out of wood in her drawer and we're treated to a flashback that shows how she got that bear. Jingles made it for her when she was a counselor at the camp. They seem to be a little flirty. The other counselors tease them which makes Margaret really angry. She says that she hates them. Jingles cuts himself on the bear and Margaret licks the blood from his finger. He says that he would do anything to protect her and it is hinted that what would protect Margaret is him killing the other counselors.

We cut to Richard doing some kind of ritual with his blood and a symbol made in the dirt on the ground. This reminds me a lot of the rituals Michael performed in Apocalypse. Montana comes and tells him that she knows where Brooke is and that she is defenseless right now. Richard wants to go by himself but Montana wants to see her die. Richard actually laughs when he sees Brooke trapped and tells her that she's as slippery as a hand full of water. He's about to kill Brooke when Mr Jingles shows up. Richard tells him that he shouldn't have crashed the party because now Richard will have to kill him. He can't resist fanboying just a little before though. He calls Jingles a 'campfire legend in the flesh' but Jingles already has his reputation set in stone. He'll be remembered forever. Richard is still trying to build his own legend. The two fight with each of them getting some good hits in on the other. Mr Jingles, eventually, picks Richard up by his throat and rams his head onto a tree branch. The branch eventually breaks and Richard's body falls to the ground. Did this show just kill off the Night Stalker?!

Montana decide she felt like fighting and while Jingles and Richard were busy she went after Donna. The two women fight with Montana getting the upper hand enough at some point to knock Donna out and run away.

Margaret is praying back at her cabin. Jingles interrupts but Margaret seems happy about this. She calls him Benji. She asks why he is there. He wants to finish what he started. Margaret replies with "what YOU started?" and we go into a flashback where we see that Mr Jingles wasn't actually who killed all those counselors at the camp years ago. He took the fall and underwent shock therapy. He now believes that he actually killed those people. However, it was Margaret. She tells Jingles that he broke his promise to protect her so Margaret took things into her own hands. They other counselors made her life miserable by teasing her and she needed it to stop. We get flashes of Margaret killing all of the counselors. We see her cutting off her own ear. She put all the evidence in Jingles cabin and he finally protected her by taking the fall for her actions. I knew I didn't trust Margaret. This also makes Mr Jingles' backstory really freaking sad. He adamantly insists it was him but Margaret is just as adamant. Mr Jingles finally gets it and realizes that everything he went through was because of her. He was never a killer, but he's now the monster that she made him. He lunges after her but he literally brought a knife to a gun fight because Margaret shoots him (a few times for good measure). I am not 100 percent convinced Mr Jingles is dead. I have seen a horror movie or two so I know how this works. I will also not rule out him being actually dead though.

Trevor obviously went to get Chet as we next meet up with them walking together. They hear a noise but it's just Montana. Trevor is happy to see her. She tells them that she was looking for Brooke. They hear gun shots (Margaret shooting Mr Jingles, obviously). Trevor tells Montana to take Chet and head towards the car that they now have and he takes off running to Margaret's cabin.

Trevor arrives to find Mr Jingles dead and he is relieved. He express that he cannot believe she actually killed him. Margaret replies that she killed Mr Jingles right after Jingles killed him and stabs Trevor. She starts spewing stuff about how right it feels to stab someone again and that she needed to restore the proper balance because her and Jingles lost their way. Trevor tries to grab the gun on the floor but Margaret stabs him again and cuts off his ear. Goodbye, Trevor. You were, surprisingly, the smartest and most decent person at this camp.

Xavier stumbles along the path and runs into Mr Jingles. It's not clear if it is a hallucination or if Xavier is seeing Jingles' ghost. Brooke runs up which startles Xavier and Jingles (ghost or otherwise) disappears. Brooke is, understandably, horrified by what Xavier looks like and asks what happened. Xavier is barely coherent and tells her that he saw Jingles just a second ago. Brooke is confused but before they can really get into it an explosion happens. They follow the source and arrive at the car that they were going to use to escape. A car that is now on fire.

Poor, Xavier. He's so done with everything. Monatana and Chet are at the car and Chet mentions that the car was on fire when they arrived when Brooke asks what happened.  Margaret shows up right after and tells them the lie about Jingles attacking her and killing Trevor.

We end the episode with Richard Ramirez's body starting to float off the ground. He slowly begins to rise and his wounds begin healing themselves as his eyes flash black.

My guess is that the blood ritual he did invoked some kind of deal  or connection with the devil who brought him back. 

Richard sees that Donna, who has regained consciousnesses from her fight with Montana, is hiding in the trees and smirks has he walks towards her.

We now have both Margaret and Richard going around killing people so we don't really need Mr Jingles anymore but I am fairly certain we'll see ghost Jingles again. We're not even halfway through this season yet and so much has happened. If the beginning of this season ends up being a movie or something I am going to be super unimpressed, but we're burning through plot so quickly that I feel like a twist has to be coming to give us our back half of episodes. We'll have to wait and see what it is. We need the ghost counselor explained along with whatever it is that brought Richard back to life.

Our body count continues to rise with us losing Bertie and Trevor this episode. At this point I want Chet, Brooke, and Xavier to make it out alive. They're literally the only ones not going around murdering. Minus Xavier, of course, who did murder but as a kindness (I know, I know. Cool motive, still murder). I guess if Montana can also live if she gives up this revenge fantasy.

Until next week ... always check that the killer is ACTUALLY dead.

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