FX’s American Horror Story
10×06: “Winter Kills”
Directed by John J. Gray
Written by Manny Coto & Brad Falchuk
* For a recap & review of 10×05, click here.
* For a recap & review of 10×07, click here.
There’s a storm rolling into Provincetown.
A couple men are headed out to fish on the water in spite of the weather, when they hit something along the way. It’s Chief Burleson’s dead body. Meanwhile, at Town Hall, Martha Edwards (Robin Weigert) is running a public meeting. She eventually brings in Trooper Jan Remy (Dot-Marie Jones) from the State Police. Remy’s there to investigate P-Town’s murdered chief, as well as take up the investigation Burleson was doing into the dead bodies with slashed throats drained of their blood. Martha says “strange things happen down the Cape in the winter.” Just common knowledge. It’s “the price of living in such a special place.” Everyone on the board tries to play off the chief’s death like it’s no big deal. They wouldn’t want any issues with tourism, y’know.
What we see now is that even those in Provincetown who aren’t on the little black pills are in on the entire scam by proxy, via Holden’s relationship with Belle, Austin, and The Chemist. They cover up whatever they need to keep the seasonal money flowing into their vacation escape by the sea.
Holden decides to go see Belle, Austin, and the Chemist about the latest issues. He says this winter’s been too much, especially with the death of the chief. Austin says it’s the “fucking Hollywood people” ruining everything, and Belle figures maybe QAnon has a point about the elite, given Harry let his young daughter take the pills. But Holden’s laying down the law: either they get rid of the “troublemakers” or things will get very bureaucratically difficult for them in P-Town from here on in. Looks as if it may get worse for Harry. He’s busy writing, getting talked up by Ursula. He’s written “five years” worth of work. He says they’re done with the pills now; forever. That doesn’t make Alma happy. Neither does Ursula think it’s smart to stop when things are going so well with his career. Yet Harry thinks he could just be a normal dad and that his daughter’s talent can speak for itself. Alma agrees. But she’s not to be trusted anyway, we know that already.
“Once you sell your soul, it’s gone.”
Alma and Harry notice someone kicked the back door in, rushing upstairs to discover the new baby boy’s been taken. There’s a note left from Belle, summoning the Gardners to meet or else baby Eli will end up as food. Harry knows they’ll walk into a trap, and they can’t call the cops, after everything that’s happened. Alma says fuck it, they have to go face Belle and the others. And Ursula may just have a plan, too.
Out in the graveyard, Ursula talks to the bald creeps, relating them to Laurence Fishburne turning down Pulp Fiction but getting a “second chance,” like Fishburne in The Matrix, in the form of new pills with a “new formula” without side effects; probably a bunch of bullshit, she just wants to convince them she’s on their side, urging them to take revenge against the talented folks who took the pills and didn’t end up like them. At the same time, Harry and Alma go to Belle’s place where she and Austin are waiting, along with The Chemist. Nothing Harry says is working. Belle’s ready to cut up that delicious baby. Before anything more can happen the bald creepers begin breaking through the windows, and The Chemist takes little Eli to safety. Both Belle and Austin get munched on by the creeps, so the Gardners make a run for it, saved from the baldies by Ursula’s gun.
In the bloody aftermath, The Chemist hands over the child. Harry insists he and Alma are going to go back to their old lives. Except his daughter has a different idea, sinking her vamp teeth into dad’s neck and bleeding him out on the floor while Ursula and The Chemist reminisce over all the madness that’s occurred. They’ll blame the massacre on Harry “going all Manson.” Ursula’s got plans for The Chemist to expand in Hollywood, as well.
“Is there anything Hollywood hasn’t fucked up in the end?”
Three months later in La La Land, a bald creeper, who’s a cop, tears into a German tourist taking pictures. It’s the fifth time this has happened. The Chemist, Alma, and baby Eli are living large in a beautiful mansion, the former having a good time fucking with racist cops on the payroll for “military scum.” Quite the life. Alma and The Chemist make a delightful Odd Couple. Ursula helps the money flow with the little black pills and she picks up people for Alma to kill/drain. A happy family, indeed!
We see Alma on an audition. She’s put in a room to wait afterwards with another older musician, Rory (Benjamin Papac). The two of them get into a bit of an argument over talent. Alma is quite confident she’ll have no problem getting the job as first chair. Yet Rory thinks the girl won’t get the job, that it’s “a novelty” or “a freak show.” Oh, my. Not good. When the people in charge come back they don’t find Rory, and Alma claims he said he was going out for a cigarette. As expected they find Rory with a nasty chomp in his throat downstairs.
A writer’s giving a talk on his “story prism.” He introduces Ursula, well known for working with Harry. She comes onstage to give her own talk. This is actually just a drug dealer looking for her clients. “Are you ready to bleed?” she asks the crowd. And underneath every seat in the auditorium is a little black pill for everyone to try. Ursula’s aggressive capitalist approach appeals to people—people to whom she lies about side effects, people who have no clue about what might happen if they don’t have the necessary talent to fuel the pill’s magic. Everyone takes their dose.
Soon there’s carnage in the streets. Bald, “no talent monsters” everywhere.
Bit of an abrupt end to this first half of the season. Still fun, and bloody, and wild. Excited to see where the second half of this Double Feature goes after Red Tide. It’ll be interesting to see if the two halves of the whole season will intertwine, or if they’re going to be totally separate stories. I haven’t read anything on this season, so I’m going in without any knowledge. Either way it’s going to be exciting, and horrific.