FX’s American Horror Story
10×07: “Take Me to Your Leader”
Directed by Max Winkler
Written by Manny Coto, Kristen Brad Falchuk, & Kristen Reidel
* For a recap & review of 10×06, click here.
* For a recap & review of 10×08, click here.
We begin this second half of the season, Death Valley, in another time.
Albuquerque, New Mexico circa 1954. A woman listens to “That’s Amore” while she makes pie while her son Timmy rides his fake care outside. In the distance dust devils start to swirl., and the power inside flickers. Then the record playing spins backwards, as does the clock on the wall. And when mom looks out the window she can’t find her son; he’s gone in a circle of light extending into the sky. The house is shaking. Mom tries to make a phone call, only to hear her son on the other end. After that, little Timmy comes back inside, telling her: “You don‘t have to be afraid.”
That night when the husband and father gets home he discovers his wife Maria floating above the floor. She hypnotises him until his head explodes into bits. Already I’m wondering whether this half of Season 10 is going to connect back to Asylum in some way, considering the series loves to loop different seasons into one another.
On a golf course in Palm Springs during 1954, Dwight ‘Ike’ Eisenhower (Neal McDonough) is playing a round with his buddies. Soon he’s interrupted with urgent “Mr. President” duties. He’s told about an “incursion into US airspace.” But it’s no Red Scare. Later, Ike and his wife Mamie (Sarah Paulson) talk briefly before he’s off to deal with things. He can’t fool her, though, trying to keep her in the dark. Nevertheless, he doesn’t tell her exactly what’s going on. Quick as that he’s gone into the desert.
President Eisenhower’s told about a body found in the crash and issues concerning radiation. He gets to the crash site and sees what landed in the ground: a flying saucer. He’s shown the body recovered, noting it “looks like a child,” ordering the corpse taken back to the nearby military base. Eisenhower’s most concerned with why such a craft is here. They’re interrupted by the discovery of a woman found not far off from the site: Amelia Earhart (Lily Rabe).
Naturally, Earhart’s taken in to be examined medically. She later tells President Eisenhower about what happened to her. The plane’s instruments went wild over the ocean, then they realised they were going down. Except something else happened, as if they “flew into the sun” and all went white. She can’t remember anything else. Although she remembers needles, resulting in the strange marks on her back. She says “they” put things inside her, pricked her with needles, so on. Poor Amelia’s very confused, especially because when she disappeared FDR was POTUS. She goes into a state of shock and has to be sedated.
Next is the autopsy of the alien found after the crash. Doctors start slicing into the corpse, opening it up to have a look inside while President Eisenhower and his Secret Service agents watch outside. The doctors see there are “no internal organs,” as if the carcass is merely a shell. They hear something coming from deeper inside. So they try to have a look and a strange, sticky thing shoots out, attaching to one of the doctors’ faces, strangling him. The other doctor tries to help and gets it on his face, then the first doctor’s head explodes, just like in the opening sequence. Speaking of which, alien Maria turns up to explode more heads, confronting the POTUS and his Secret Service agents. Ole Ike tries to talk to the alien woman. But the alien wants to talk instead.
Cal (Nico Greetham) is an obnoxious white American who goes to Princeton. He meets his friends Kendall (Kaia Gerber), Troy (Isaac Powell), and Jamie (Rachel Hilson) at a nice restaurant to celebrate the summer. It’s their first time together since college began. They’ve all got their own things going on, from school to work and personal issues. Troy and Cal also reveal they’ve been fucking/dating, a surprise only to Kendall. Jamie tells her friends about a guy she met, but she found out she’s allergic to his “venomous jizz,” ruining the whole relationship before it really got started. Later, Kendall starts trying to convince her friends to ditch their electronics, suggesting a camping trip for them to unplug. It takes a bit of convincing but she gets her friends onboard to do “luddite summer.”
It’s not quite what you’d call actual camping with all sorts of bourgeois gear, but it’s definitely an unplugged vacation in the desert, as Kendall, Cal, Troy, and Jamie have fun without phones and other modern nonsense. They hike through the hills, they bond, they swim. Much nicer than the hustle and bustle of the city. One day, the crew go for a swim, but there’s no longer any water, even though Troy said there was yesterday. Then they smell something foul, foolishly rushing towards it instead of away. They come upon a bunch of mutilated cattle, suspiciously free of pooled blood. Kendall takes a closer look and sees the animals cut in half perfectly. One of them actually comes to life and scares the friends away.
The friends smartly now pack up and leave rather than stick around. As they drive through the desert in the dark, the vehicle suddenly dies. Then a bright light flashes on them from the sky. After that tentacles worm their way into the vehicle, wrapping around the friends. After a while, everybody wakes up in the vehicle, except they’re all in different seats than before. And Jamie’s nowhere to be found. They drive and nearly run Jamie over in the road, so they get her inside. Nobody knows what’s happening, but they just keep going, only wanting to get back home.
Kendall starts wondering if her and her friends’ lost time has to do with “alien abduction,” like she saw on TV as a kid. She isn’t well, and Jamie feels terrible, too. Jamie thinks they could be pregnant. Yet Kendall doesn’t believe it, unless the guys drugged them and had sex with them, and Jamie doesn’t think that’s what happened, either. Meanwhile, Troy and Cal aren’t well, either. Cal thinks it might’ve been from eating ass, but it’s been a while since he ate Troy’s butthole.
What’s the “rational explanation” for all this? Kendall’s more sure than ever it has to do with aliens, referencing Barney and Betty Hill, as well as the rumour Amelia Earthart was abducted. She gets Troy and Cal to take a pregnancy test, which both come up positive; the whole gang’s preggers!