American Horror Story recap: Licking Satan's what-now?
The ghosts of Camp Redwood are numerous, and fabulous.
Gather ’round the campfire horror fans, for tonight we celebrate our holiest of holies! After 9 seasons, four Emmys, and countless shrieks of “OH NO THEY DIDN’T,” American Horror Story celebrated its centennial episode on Wednesday, Oct. 23 — at the illustrious Camp Redwood. We hope you lit some candles and put out your best chinoiserie for… “Episode 100.”
For the first half of American Horror Story: 1984, we’ve been all about the early ’80s (plus the occasional flashback blast from the past.) But now, it’s 1985: one year after the killings at Camp Redwood, and one year into the serial killer bromance between Nightstalker (Zach Villa) and Jingles (John Carroll Lynch), who don’t make the greatest roommates. Jingles has trimmed his facial hair into a truly weird goatee that looks like a clown mouth (perhaps an intentional nod to his season 4 turn as Twisty), and just wants to start over in a new life that involves less murder, more REO Speedwagon slow jams. When an opportunity presents itself, he sells out his fellow killer and flees into the Mexican afternoon, sippin’ on a cool can of Tab.
Roll the title credits, and another hop forward in time: it’s 1989, and at Camp Redwood, there’s nobody here but us ghosts! Montana (Billie Lourd) is camped out by the lake in a brand new bikini, just waiting for hapless passers-by to stumble into the murder zone — to the chagrin of some of the other ghosts, particularly Ray (DeRon Horton.) To kill or not to kill? That’s the question the Redwood ghosts get to spend eternity reckoning with. (Sidenote: Why are all the original counselors still wearing their circa 1980 t-shirts, while Montana has an endless series of wardrobe changes? What are the ghost fashion rules?! Asking for a friend… who is a ghost.)
Meanwhile, the outcome of the murder trial is just as we anticipated last week, with the real Redwood killer getting off in the manner to which she’s become accustomed: scot-free, and filthy rich. Five years after the massacre, Margaret Booth (Leslie Grossman) is a real estate mogul who specializes in haunted properties, she’s got a personal assistant (Roanoke‘s Leslie Jordan, always a pleasure!), and she’s married to Trevor (Matthew Morrison), who survived the attack in 1984 and blackmailed Margaret for a piece of her killer’s fortune. Not so lucky is Brooke (Emma Roberts), who took the fall for everything and is now awaiting execution on death row. She’s traded her Peter Pan collars for a prison jumpsuit — and her virginal innocence for something, uh, else. What does Brooke have to say about her role in Montana’s murder?
“I gutted that bitch from the inside out, now she’s in hell, licking Satan’s balls!”
Brooke’s impending execution makes the papers, leading Margaret to see a branding opportunity: a music festival at the old Camp Redwood grounds, which she still owns. Returning to the scene of the crime? Seems a little cliché, girl, even for you — but the plan gets all kinds of attention. The ghosts of Redwood are furious, and also hell-bent on revenge. The Nightstalker, who’s now in the same prison block as Brooke and unsuccessfully trying to recruit her as Satan’s minion, sees the festival as a chance at immortality. And Mister Jingles, who has long since moved to Alaska and started a wholesome new life with a new wife who accepts his dark past and doesn’t judge him, feels… nothing! He’s totally over it! Hooray! This will definitely end well.
Cut to the day of Brooke’s execution, which is attended by Margaret and mourned by the Nightstalker, who couldn’t convince Brooke to swear fealty to the Dark Lord. While a series of injections send Brooke to meet her maker, Nightstalker sends a Satanic mist to possess a guard and escapes. His next stop? C’mon. You know. The next thing we see is Jingles coming home from a late shift at the video store, finding his home splattered with blood and his wife stabbed to death on their bed. The past has come calling at last. In a closet, in the lap of his crying baby son, Jingles finds an invitation to the Camp Redwood anniversary festival.
Dress code? MURDER PONCHO.
With Jingles once again donning his villain’s raincoat — or is it a hero’s cowl now? — it’s time for a reunion at the place where it all began. And that’s not all: at least two surprise guests will be in attendance, too. Back at the prison, Brooke’s lifeless body is wheeled into the autopsy room, where a hooded medical technician removes the needle from her arm… and replaces it with another, filled with the serum to revive her. Brooke isn’t dead at all! And her hooded savior? It’s Donna, a.k.a. Rita (Angelica Ross), still fighting the good fight after all these years.
“Welcome back to the land of the living,” she says.
And we say: That’s all, until next week. Lights out, campers.
American Horror Story
An anthology series that centers on different characters and locations, including a haunted house, an insane asylum, a witch coven, a freak show, and a hotel.