Friends, countrymen, people who enjoy watching some truly messed up stuff on a weekly basis: We’ve arrived at the 100th episode of American Horror Story! Remember back when it was just ghosts wearing rubber suits and creating the Antichrist? Ah, simpler times. Although, honestly, if the episode title hadn’t been “Episode 100” would we even have known what a momentous occasion it was? The entire time I was waiting for some big crossover or cameo from another season, but aside from a quick shout-out to Briarcliff, “Episode 100” was just your average episode of AHS: 1984. You know, just like a lot of murdering and Satanism and amazing ’80s shoulder pads. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I had just been expecting more.
Perhaps we’ll have to wait for the impending bloodbath at the 1989 Camp Redwood Food & Music Festival. You read that right, folks! This week we leave behind that one bloody night in 1984 and jump ahead to 1989, where Margaret Booth (Leslie Grossman) is living her best freaking life. “Episode 100” may not have given us any juicy cameos, but it did give us Margaret Booth’s episode of Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous and for that I am forever grateful. Her glorious ascension to the top of the stairs in her pink power suit and coiffed bouffant was something I never knew I needed but now can’t believe I ever lived without.
After pinning the 1984 Camp Redwood murders on Brooke (Emma Roberts), Margaret is doing just fine for herself. She took the money left by her dead rich husband and started buying up properties with grisly pasts (Margaret Booth owns Briarcliff, you guys!) and turning them into attractions for true crime fans. “You know what makes Spahn Ranch better? Spahn Ranch with a ferris wheel,” is Margaret’s motto these days — and it’s working. She’s made a ton of money off of people’s sick fascination with murder. And lest you think she’s making dough stacks alone, I should mention one of the episode’s best reveals: Margaret Booth is now married to Trevor’s bulge, er, Trevor (Matthew Morrison), who apparently survived that stabbing back in the camp. When Trevor came out of his coma, he blackmailed Margaret into giving him money to keep his mouth shut about what really happened at Camp Redwood. Margaret agrees to be his sugar mama, but only if they get married. So obviously that marriage is completely healthy and definitely not toxic or horrifying at all.
Just as Margaret’s business is starting to lose steam, Montana (Billie Lourd) and Xavier (Cody Fern) go on a little murder spree back at the camp (they’re ghosts who are trapped there, remember?) and Ray (DeRon Horton) refuses to clean up their mess after years of doing so. This means that the bodies are found and Camp Redwood is back in the news. And this means that Margaret is going to capitalize on it. She and Trevor head back to Camp Redwood to announce a giant food and music festival to be held there, complete with some spooky surprises. The surprise might be on Margaret though, since basically all the ghosts haunting Camp Redwood, including dear, dumb Chet (Gus Kenworthy), want revenge on the person who killed them (even the 1970 counselors are back!).
It’s not just the ghosts at Camp Redwood who are eager to get to stabbin’ at the festival either. There are several other old friends making their way back to the camp.
Last we saw Jingles (John Carroll Lynch) and the Night Stalker (Zach Villa), they were speeding away from Camp Redwood toward Los Angeles after having been raised from the dead by Satan. You know, just your typical buddy comedy premise. We catch up with them a year later, when Jingles has had enough of Richard’s murdering and helps to get the Night Stalker captured. Jingles makes his way up to Alaska to start a new life with his wife and their child, and with a very stable job as an employee at a local video store. He seems really happy, which you know means it’s all going to hell very, very soon.
Meanwhile, Richard Ramirez is waiting out his time on death row. He does manage to bump into Brooke there, who in 1989 is executed by lethal injection after refusing Richard’s proposition to join him over on #TeamSatan. Richard learns of the big music festival — headlined by his one true love, Billy Idol, might I add (that’s a big get, you go Margaret Booth!) — and has an existential crisis about being forgotten and left in the ’80s. He wants to be remembered forever. So he summons Satan, who arrives in black mist form, takes over the body of a guard who sets Richard Ramirez free, and… I guess runs up to Alaska and murders Jingles’s wife, leaving a note about Satan getting his vengeance. The note’s written on the flier for the music festival, where he’s most definitely headed. And now so is Jingles, who leaves behind his son in order to protect him while he gets some revenge. Which he’ll probably wash down with some Tab, his drink of choice.
But wait! Remember when I said Brooke was executed by lethal injection? Oh, honey, you have to know that no one on this show really dies. Brooke looks like she dies there on the table, but the execution was faked! And that’s because the executioner isn’t a typical executioner, it is a cool executioner. IT IS DONNA (Angelica Ross)! It’s all a big surprise for Brooke, too, but Donna must have stopped her heart in order to help her escape. And where do you think Brooke and Donna’s first stop on Brooke’s freedom tour will be?
You guys, so many people ready to kill are planning on attending the Camp Redwood Music Festival, it is going to be deadly in every sense of the word. And honestly, an outdoor music festival in the middle of nowhere with a questionable bathroom situation is my personal hell, so all of this really tracks for me.
American Horror Story: 1984 airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.