FX’s American Horror Story
Directed by Loni Peristere
Written by Brad Falchuk
* For a recap & review of 10×02, click here.
* For a recap & review of 10×04, click here.
Doris is trying to scrub her daughter Alma clean from the blood, since she found her daughter chewing into a dead rabbit. And once Harry finds out, he, of course, knows what’s going on, even if he can’t admit it quite yet. Worse, Chief Burleson is knocking at the door. There have been complaints about Alma walking around covered in blood. The chief’s hauling the girl in for questioning because of the dead bodies that have turned up. In the middle of it all Doris has a contraction and falls over the stairs. Luckily, at the hospital outside Provincetown in Hyannis, doctors determine Doris is okay but they want to keep her there for four or five days. While they’re at the hospital Alma sees blood and gets transfixed, which her father witnesses, further confirming his fears. Doris urges her husband to stay there, but Harry claims he’ll take Alma back to New York instead, leaving P-Town.
However, Harry’s a liar. He and his daughter are going back to Provincetown. He asks Alma about taking “the pill.” She has a pretty fascist view of talent, believing the world could be rid of the talentless and it wouldn’t matter. She’s definitely her father’s daughter. Or maybe they’re both just children of the pill now. More than all that, Alma starts to figure out “the price of being the greatest” means murdering something, and something bigger than the rabbit. Her father tries to convince her not to take the pills anymore, he knows she can succeed without that. But Alma says Harry has to stop if she’s going to, and we can all probably guess already he’s not about to do that.
And so, without aide of the pills, Harry faces the terror of a blank screen. He can’t write anything. So he rushes to the garbage, where he’s tossed the pills, and he pops one. Immediately his daughter’s there to ask for one for herself. Harry gives it over without fuss. Later, they go to supper for rare steaks. Harry tries to level with his daughter, wanting to be a “hands on” dad, even if he’s giving Alma drugs. They’re going to keep a secret from mom, too. Then Alma starts asking why Harry’s even with Doris: “We don‘t need her.” Yikes! What a mess of a situation. How long until Harry’s not bringing blood to sustain his daughter and Alma takes killing into her own hands? And would she dare kill Doris? Who can tell. Plus, she’s already starving for a bit of food, and not the steak.
Harry hops on Craigslist to find a potential victim. He meets a woman at her home to buy a couple items. She’s naturally a bit cautious, asking to see his ID. She offers him a beer inside, lighting up a joint. She even offers a blowjob. Before Harry can pull his murderous vampire routine he’s knocked out from behind by the butt of a gun. He wakes up in a basement with buckets to shit and piss in. There are even rules written on cardboard, posted on the wall. Then the woman offers him viagra, because apparently the guy’s gonna rape Harry until he has a “rosebud for camera.” It’s a snuff tape in the making. They’re going to make a “daisy chain,” hence the viagra, so Harry can fuck the woman. Absolutely depraved insanity. Harry takes the viagra at gunpoint before he’s brought out of his cell and bent over. He manages to get free while the couple start their tape, biting the woman’s neck open and shooting the would-be rapist with his own gun. “I‘m gonna finish eating,” Harry says before chowing down on the lady.
Harry survives nearly being a snuff tape victim to bring his daughter home a nice, warm bowl of blood. Alma wonders who it is but dad says nobody’s going to miss them. She has food now, sustenance for her artistry, and she LOVES the taste. What a family! In the morning, Ursula drops by to see Harry about Quentin Tarantino, who’s gloating over Harry’s talent and wants the writer to pen his “first limited series” at Hulu, greenlit and everything. She also thinks Harry’s worked has changed, become more inspired. She wanted to figure out what’s so inspirational about that place. Wonder if she’ll survive her stay in P-Town, or if she’ll wind up as food. Harry warns her, as best he can, anyway.
At night, Ursula goes to The Muse, where Austin and Belle are onstage performing a duet: Silver Sun’s “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late.” She does a no-no and openly criticises the couple’s song, very loudly. This doesn’t sit well with Belle or Austin, who give off a dark vibe in response. Mickey tries to drum up some business but Ursula’s having none of it. The next day on the beach she runs into him again. Mickey found out Ursula’s an agent and he wants her to read one of his scripts. She’s not thrilled, though agrees to read his spec scripts.
Ursula reads Mickey’s scripts and she’s impressed. Yet she doesn’t believe he wrote those scripts; they’re too good. “There are fewer talented writers in the world than there are astronauts,” says Ursula, a decidedly depressing outlook for an agent. She understands something strange happens in Provincetown. She already knew Austin and Belle before seeing them at The Muse, too. She also knows Harry isn’t suddenly becoming a great writer because of the “consistent architecture” in town. Mickey tells Ursula about the pill, as well as how things get “fucked up” when you take it. She wants him to get her some, or she’ll toss his scripts. This sends Mickey across town where he breaks into Belle’s place to steal a few pills.
Simultaneously, Harry’s with Belle and Austin sucking on a new Craigslist victim. Dad takes the time to fill a thermos with blood for his daughter at home; how thoughtful of him. But it makes his vamp friends curious, so he tells them about Alma. They’re unimpressed with absenteeism as a father. They tell him “no more pills” for his daughter. They don’t want their cover being blown because of a child. And we soon see the couple are already plotting to kill Harry, as well as Alma.
Under the docks, Mickey tries to get himself some blood and nearly gets himself killed by a guy he knows. He murders the guy right on the beach, drinking blood from the dude’s throat in broad daylight. He goes back home to discover Belle waiting for him there. She disparages Mickey about how he lives, comparing his place to some of the shitholes she’s written about in her books. He admits to having stolen the pills but he also says he isn’t like the pale folk, he’s sure he has talent. Belle doesn’t think much of him: “Your poverty offends me.” She also asks him to gather blood for her whenever he kills, further tasking him with killing off Ursula.
Apparently someone witnessed Mickey’s kill. It’s a man named Holden Vaughn (Denis O’Hare), a famous, bourgeois interior designer. He claims the incident on the beach was a “gay bashing” before quipping that the pale folk in town wear “AIDS era” fashion. Brilliant moment to bring O’Hare into the fold again.
Mickey takes a knife and goes to see Ursula, who’s in the bath. She submitted one of his scripts and got him a job writing a new Speed Racer. He’s inclined to drop the knife when he hears this, happy to be somebody. That is, if he doesn’t murder Ursula. She still wants to get to the bottom of the pills; she needs to know who makes them. Mickey talks about the Chemist (Angelica Ross), but says nobody goes to the Chemist’s house. That’s not going to stop Ursula. At least she didn’t get stabbed to death in the bath, I suppose. A relative win.
And so the next day, off Ursula and Mickey go to the Chemist’s house, though she’s not happy to see them. Ursula talks her way inside for a chat. She wants to help take the Chemist’s “proprietary recipe” wider. She wants to put together an exclusive list of clients for the Chemist, along with back end deals and so on. But the Chemist refuses. She goes to see Austin and Belle, telling them they have to take care of Ursula or they’ll get no more pills. She also wants Mickey and Harry dead, along with Harry’s family.
That night, Harry’s taking his thermos out to fill so he leaves Ursula to babysit Alma a while. Ursula wants to take a nap, so she heads upstairs. We all can see where this is headed, right? Or, maybe. There’s also Chief Burleson outside watching the place. She knocks on the door as soon as Harry leaves, looking to talk with Alma. The little girl lets the chief inside, too. They have a talk. The chief tries to push Alma to talk about the murders, convinced the girl’s part of a cult or maybe has a “blood disease.” Alma talks about having dreams; aspirations and such. She talks about killing to achieve dreams. And this makes Chief Burleson uneasy. She says she’s going to arrest Harry when he gets back, as well. So Alma stabs the chief in the neck, watching the woman bleed out. Time to feed! When Harry gets home a little while later he sees the corpse. He also sees Ursula playing cards with Alma, not a care in the world. What in the fuck?