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American Horror Story: 1984 9.6 Review – ‘Episode 100’

October 24, 2019 | Posted by Wednesday Lee Friday
American Horror Story: 1984 - Episode 100
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American Horror Story: 1984 9.6 Review – ‘Episode 100’  

Back in the day, a TV season was made up of 20-28 episodes. So, the 100th episode (often a clip show) would tend to happen in the fourth or fifth season. Not so here. These abbreviated seasons mean we’re just now getting around to ep 100—and we’re doing so with almost no mention of what came before.

The first lesson of American Horror Story‘s 100th Episode? Billy Idol only plays one way—full throttle. The show has always given us great music. “You Belong to Me” from “Murder House” or “Dominique” from “Asylum” or the plethora of song covers in “Freakshow,” they’ve been serving up great tunes all along. And that’s not even counting “The Name Game.” The plot moves way forward this week, as this spoilery review will explain.

The year is 1985, so 12 months after last week’s episode. We see that Richter and Ramirez are on a joyful killing spree in Satan’s honor. Well, one of them is joyous about it. But Richter was never a killer, not really. So, he’s not into this. When he actually prevents the Night Stalker from killing a German tourist, they have words. Next thing we know, Richter is enjoying the worst–tasting soda in the history of beverages, and sets his companion up to be recognized.

In real-life, Ramirez was captured in circumstances pretty close to those shown, but a year earlier. The fence jumping, attempted carjackings, newspaper photo, chase through the streets, and old ladies recognizing him and yelling for others are all accurate. The real mob beat him nearly to death. Ramirez went to prison, got married to a fangirl (later divorced) and died in prison before he could be executed. His reported victim total was 14, but he’s suspected of several more. I will say that if I’m ever running for my life from a mob, I hope someone will be kind enough to blast some “Black Sabbath.” It’s solid running music.

Back at Camp Redwood, we see that Xavier and Montana are a murderous couple, pretty much killing everyone they encounter. Brooke is the new Jingles—even to the point of a graffito warning. “Brooke wants your blood” is not very scary given what we’ve seen of Brooke. Ray is tired of cleaning up after other people’s murders. Given his history, that’s not surprising. There are more ghosts than we realized at the camp, so Jonas should have had more friends.

Montana seems to believe that there’s “no rules for the dead.” But since we already know what the rules are, we have to assume she’ll learn soon enough. Like, ghosts can steal clothing if they want to. But maybe eyeshadow is harder to steal, because Montana has been wearing that same hideous shade since Ep1. Xavier decides that being good got him nothing (it’s not supposed to, duh) but being bad feels awesome.

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous is a real show, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ep. I think gold is ugly, but I digress. They cover Margaret Booth, who is now a rich AF real-estate magnate married to Trevor with the giant wang. They hate each other, but that seemed common for rich folk in this time period. She was there when he woke from his coma, surely to see if he remembered her murderousness. Their mutual blackmail is pretty gross, but again—rich folk in the 80s. Margaret’s gig is buys up properties with a murderous history (but not the “Murder House” for whatever reason) and turns them into garish tourist traps. These include Spahn Ranch (Manson family), John Wayne Gacy’s old house, Briarcliff Manor, and the Lizzie Borden house—which actually is a Bed and Breakfast now. Then Leslie Jordan returns with the best hair in the entire 80s. Delightful!

Richter winds up in 1989 working at a faux-Blockbuster in Alaska. Could it be that one that’s still in existence? He’s happily married to a former sex worker with whom he had a child. He’s quite content to be a simple guy with a happy life. We have to know that doesn’t last, even for the guy who invents the phrase “Be Kind, Rewind.” One by one, the survivors all learn that Margaret is planning a music festival (more on that) at Camp Redwood. Also, Brooke already lost her last appeal and is to be executed for “her” crimes. That her execution would take place before Ramirez’s is pretty silly, and it happening within a decade of the murders is outlandish too.

Why is Brooke in a prison with men? Is that a thing when women are sentenced to death? Could be, since women on death row are pretty rare. I have a hard time believing even under these circumstances that an attractive white woman with no record would be convicted of everything and put on death row so quickly. Trevor’s reasons for not defending her are weak and stupid. But then, we could say the same of Trevor. Richard’s explanation of lethal injection was chilling and accurate to my understanding. One thing we do know is that Brooke did not have a devil baby as a result of her ghost sex with dead Ray.

Marge can’t use computers worth a damn, which is as funny as the floppy disc talk. She explains that she has a guy making lampshades out of fake human skin. We have to wonder if this is the son of Bloodyface, and if that could mean another appearance by Dylan McDermott later on. The timing would be off on that, but they’re playing loose with timelines this season. Meanwhile, Ramirez shares his thoughts on music, art, and immortality. With a little help from Satan, Ramirez escapes from prison. He offers Brooke immortality via his dark lord Satan. She refuses that, and the last rites. She’s executed. We all know, though, that death means pretty much nothing on American Horror Story.

The lineup at Margaret’s music fest is hilarious. Billy Idol headlines, but there’s also Flock of Seagulls, The Go-Gos, Debbie Gibson, Toni Basil, REO Speedwagon (not to be confused with the cult follower/traitor from “Cult”), Men without Hats, Gary Numan, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, Thompson Twins, and Rick Springfield. That last one is especially funny since he appeared as a violent whackadoo in “Cult.” Most of those are indeed, one-hit wonders as Ramirez said. The episode featured far better 80s’ music like more Billy Idol, Black Sabbath, Motley Crue, REO Speedwagon, and The Smiths. You’d think Chet would be jazzed for the show, but he’s intent on killing Margaret. I can’t blame him; her hair and awful dresses make me want to kill her too.

When Richter, now totally averse to violence, arrives home to find his wife killed—probably by Ramirez—he leaves his infant son with an aunt and goes off alone. Will he kill himself? Will he find and kill Ramirez? Was the “son and heir” lyric in the background telling us something about the baby’s destiny? Camp Redwood is poised to have their biggest massacre yet. Brooke’s last words were a stern admonishment to Margaret. So, I admit I was curious about who was actually rescuing the framed non-killer. Surprise—it’s Donna! Donna is almost as responsible for Brooke’s predicament as Margaret, though she was less malicious about it.

Before the season ends, there will obviously be a lot more killing. Ramirez is out of real-life story, so he’s a total wild card. I’d certainly like to see Richter/Donald avenge his wife’s murder. But what I really wonder is—will Brooke turn bad after her experiences? Her demeanor suggests a lack of innocence, but what else is going on in there? That’s all for now.

See you’s next week!

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Is it possible that the writing this season is meant to emulate that of low-budget slashers from the 80s? Maybe. That's probably the best way to explain all the timeline errors (Ghostbusters was released December of 1984—months after Montana made her "Only Zuul" joke) and writing gaffes (like painless burns).