FX’s American Horror Story
Season 9, Episode 9: “Final Girl”
Directed by John J. Gray
Written by Crystal Liu
* For a recap & review of the penultimate episode, “Rest in Pieces” – click here
* Season 10 to come next year!
How ’80s! “I Ran (So Far Away)” by A Flock of Seagulls stats out the episode. Anybody else want to bet that, in 2019, we’re seeing Finn Wittrock return to American Horror Story as a grown up Bobby Richter? He’s searching for the old grounds of Camp Redwood. He sees the 30-year-old ruins of the Food and Music Fest left standing in disrepair. Then he runs across Montana. She’s fascinated by his futuristic phone. He explains it’s 2019, and Montana says there have been very few people, even the “hardcore death tourists,” who’ve come to the camp. He says he’s there “for answers” about his father.
Oh, yes, it’s Bobby after all. And Montana is happy to see him, too.
Montana takes Bobby on a tour of the place, to the cabins where many of the murders occurred. He starts to figure out something strange is going on because he knows Montana Duke was a victim during ’84. She only wants to know more things about how pop culture has changed. Bobby meets Trevor, recognising him right away. He tells them about getting cheques sent to him anonymously all these years, believing it must’ve been his father. Montana gives him the news: “Your dad‘s dead.” She also says “dark forces” took him away after he came back to the camp to do some good. Bobby’s having a hard time grasping the ghosts, until the violence starts and horrifies him.
So he’s told the story of what occurred in ’89.
Margaret had Bruce and Richard Ramirez on her side, ready to commit an absolute massacre. Courtney showed up to tell his partner that Trevor had blocked the entrance to the camp off, trying to shut the whole festival down. He gets shot in the head by Margaret for incompetence. Meanwhile, Trevor was out at the gate telling people to turn around, hoping to save them from certain death. He was confronted by Margaret, who quickly pulled her gun on him. She put a few bullets in him, including one in his massive dick. She left him there, just outside the camp’s gates, where he’d die forever. So Trevor crawled, bleeding out, but he couldn’t make it. Brooke arrived at the right time, helping him up across the border to Camp Redwood. She proved her true colours to Montana after all. This forever altered Montana. She and Trevor didn’t want any more killing.
Stopping the killing wasn’t so simple with guys like Ramirez and Bruce around, as well as Margaret. Trevor lured Bruce out to “public land” in the forest and killed him, so the guy wouldn’t return as a ghost. This left a much scarier animal still out there in Ramirez. He ran into Montana. She was attempting to lure him, too. But Richard knew things weren’t quite right. She was able to convince him finally that Billy Idol wanted to meet the Night Stalker. That’s how she got Richard to a secluded place where all the ghosts surrounded him and they all took turns stabbing him brutally. The serial killer had “already died” once. This meant the ghosts went on a 30 year “deathwatch” to make sure Ramirez wouldn’t get up to anything nasty. They each took shifts butchering him.
All for Bobby.
The ghosts tell him they did what Mr. Jingles wanted to do himself— protect his son. They want Bobby to leave and get someplace safe. He’s determined to find his ghostly father there and talk to him.
Skip back 20 minutes earlier.
Chef Bertie was flirting with Chet while playing games and watching over the Night Stalker. They weren’t paying attention just long enough for Ramirez to be freed by his dark master, Satan. And now, Richard is right outside the door listening to Bobby and his new ghost buddies. He busts in on the attack, killing Trevor, as Montana rushes Bobby out the door. All the ghosts gang up on Ramirez, and Bobby runs for it. The serial killer tosses a knife at Bobby, getting him in the back. This pits the killer against Bobby, looking to settle a debt for Satan. The ghosts catch up again so Bobby can get out of there. Montana urges him to go to Red Meadows Asylum for his answers.
Bobby goes to the hospital, looking to speak with the director. But he’s nearly hauled off by orderlies and forcibly admitted. Thankfully Donna is the director there now, and she runs into Bobby as he’s talking about his father. They go have a chat together. Donna tells the son of his father being an “innocent man” and Margaret was the true killer during ’70.
More about Halloween in ’89. Marg found herself surrounded by the vengeful ghosts of Camp Redwood. She was then attacked by Brooke, but shot her. This led to a vicious death by wood chipper. The ghosts chopped off her limbs first and tossed those in, letting the gore spray over the border onto public land.
Who was the true “final girl” of Camp Redwood? Not Brooke. Not Donna, either. She isn’t the one who’s been sending Bobby cheques. Who else could’ve escaped? This intrigues Donna as much as it does Bobby. They go on a stakeout together using the routing number from the cheques, taking them to Pineville, Oregon.
They trail a truck back to a house where Brooke opens the door and greets them. Brooke didn’t actually die after Margaret shot her. She’s living a great life, stress-free, and she’s married to a doctor, they have children. Donna feels betrayed for being allowed to live in guilt these past 30 years.
Brooke recounts how, in ’89, she was found bleeding out by Ray. He helped stop the bleeding and got her over the border of Camp Redwood’s gate. She collapsed in the road, waking up later in a hospital. She never looked back since. She saw how the camp pulled Benjamin back after he started a new life and wanted to help Bobby by sending him money, so that he might have a good life despite losing his dad.
And Bobby still wants to go back there anyway.
The first person “Jingles Junior” runs into is Margaret. She was able to stay a ghost because she died right before the chipper spewed her out. She says she’s able to find Benjamin for him, but he’s not willing to trust her blindly. Bobby follows her into the woods, nearly getting stabbed before Benjamin rushes in and kills her first. He hugs his dad tightly for the first time. He only wanted to say “thank you” to Benjamin for the sacrifice he made. He has to watch dad get stabbed by Margaret, though.
Bobby runs from Margaret and he’s saved by none other than Grandma Lavinia. He leaves the ghosts behind at Camp Redwood. Montana tells him “the ‘80s will never die” if he tells their ghost stories to his children. At the gates, Bobby sees his spirit family there to say goodbye to him. Although they’re always there should he want to return.
Soundtrack: “The Living Years” by Mike & the Mechanics ends the episode
A beautiful, bloody end to this season!
Father Gore loves how most seasons end, at least partly, on a sweet note. Not all characters get a happy ending, but some do, and others get their just desserts. Definitely one of the best seasons, in this site’s opinion. Lots of slasher goodness, mixed with the supernatural for interesting effect. Bring on Season 10!