FX’s American Horror Story
11×04: “Black Out”
Directed by Jennifer Lynch
Written by Charlie Carver & Ned Martel
* For a recap & review of 11×03, click here.
* For a recap & review of 11×05, click here.
While Gino’s stuck in the refrigerated morgue drawer, calling out for help, Whitely’s escaping through the hospital and mockingly waving at Patrick before disappearing in the crowd. The detective loses Whitely amongst the commotion at the hospital, then he heads downstairs, through the stairwell where Whitely emerged. He yells out for Gino, hoping to find his lover, then he arrives at the morgue. Patrick calls out more but gets no answer. Then there’s a faint noise, alerting Patrick; he finds a passed out Gino inside one of the morgue drawers. But will it be too late?
Thankfully, no: Gino survives. But Gino’s already been traumatised once. Now, he’s traumatised again. On top of that, Patrick’s weird rash has rubbed off on Gino, who believes it’s a case of the fleas. Then there’s a major heatwave in NYC, making life all over just a little bit more miserable.
At The Native, Adam and Gino talk about the situation at Ascension. Adam’s writing at the newspaper under a pen name, but Gino thinks he should write under his own name. Meanwhile, Gino heads down to the club/bathhouse where singer Kathy (Patti LuPone) is auditioning another singer to help share the workload. He confronts Kathy about one of the missing men last being seen there at the bathhouse. He claims she doesn’t care about the gay community from whom she takes money every night. He threatens a bit of “bad press.” Gino says the community needs help, and it seems to get through to Kathy. They sit for a drink together. Kathy mentions being Grand Marshal of the Pride parade in 1971 and more to give her a little credibility. Gino ultimately wants her to speak openly in an interview, though Kathy isn’t sure it’ll help. She says “something strange” is happening to the community lately and she’s scared. She offers to go on record with a quote, pushing the cops, and everybody, to do more in the face of increasing numbers of missing gay men.
Dt. Read and another detective arrive at an apartment building, where cops are pulling out a suspect whom Patrick recognises from the underground theatre. In an apartment upstairs is a victim, the theatre performer Hans, decomposing in a bed; his body is full of contusions and that weird rash. The captain is there, chuckling over “blow buddies” and a potential “crime of passion,” whereas Patrick takes things a bit more seriously. Dt. Read thinks the man in custody isn’t a killer, advising to let him go. He takes an extra bit of time to look around the apartment after everyone else leaves. Then he calls Gino about the likelihood of another victim.
Theo gets back to the apartment with Sam after a long night following the fire. Sam’s immediately looking to see if his partner cheated on him, which pisses Theo off. Theo also worries about the things he’s heard of Sam, which begins a big argument between the two. “You are dark,” Theo says, claiming whatever’s happening in the city feels like it’s connected to Sam. Theo thinks things have changed between them, too. He’s feeling interested in Adam now; he wants a normal life instead of whatever Sam’s offering. Theo suggests that, one day, Sam may kill him. That seems to offend Sam, who plans to revoke all the privileges he’s afforded Theo if the artist is actually willing to call the police. But Theo just leaves instead.
The city is preparing for a potential blackout. Gino’s not concerned about that, he’s upset by the bodies continuing to pile up around them and he doesn’t know why every gay man in NYC isn’t up in arms terrified about what’s going on. Adam tries to tell Gino he cares, but the writer only replies: “Once you‘re dead, it‘s too late.” When Adam leaves he winds up running into Theo. The artist tries to apologise for their last conversation, then Adam invites him upstairs. They don’t do much cooling off; they go straight for the bedroom together.
Later, parts of the city start falling into a blackout. Adam gets a weird message at home right before the lights go out. Then he gets a call about a blackout party. At the police station, Dt. Read hears about Gino’s writing from the captain, who isn’t happy about the writer. The captain thinks someone under his command is sharing info with “a newspaper for queers.” Patrick denies any involvement, then he takes the chance to tell his captain he’s gay. Then, the power goes out.
At home, Gino gets a visit from Barbara. She claims there’s more to tell about her ex husband. She says she’s scared Patrick may be involved in something awful. Gino thinks it’s all very silly, but Barbara pulls out more of the bondage gear she found. He thinks it’s only her attempting to push the two men apart. Barbara starts talking about going to the cops. And then, the power goes out at Gino’s place, too. Barbara claims she’s only trying to help Gino, she urges him to get the truth out of Patrick. At the same time, the cops are overrun with calls from concerned citizens, as Dt. Read receives a call from Mr. Whitely. The murderer’s been keeping an eye on Patrick, and longer than since the hospital. They talk a bit about military service. The murderer says he wants to give Gino “something to write about, something memorable.” Then the call’s over. Dt. Read takes another detective immediately and they head for Central Park.
On the street, Sam finds Adam and asks him to get in his town car. For some reason, the younger man agrees. Adam and Sam talk about Theo, and everything Sam has done for the young artist. Sam wants Adam out of their lives, offering to pay him if that’s what it takes. But Adam won’t have any of that, even as Sam continues to rail on about Theo and their relationship. Adam gets out of the car, but it can’t be a good thing to get on Sam’s bad side, can it? Across the city, Dt. Read heads into the park and ends up getting a scare from Big Daddy wielding a mace. The big leather man nearly plants the mace in Patrick’s skull before the detective runs off. Dt. Read isn’t able to contact the other cop back at the car and he has to confront Big Daddy in the dark trees. And suddenly, Big Daddy’s gone.
Yet Mr. Whitely’s in the park lurking somewhere, too.
Adam and Daniel, the guy originally arrested for Hans’s murder, try to warn others in the gay community. It takes a bit of argument, but it looks like some of them are finally willing to listen. Back at home, Patrick returns to tell Gino he came out to his captain. That doesn’t thrill his partner, who takes out the leather mask Barbara brought over. Gino wants to know about Patrick’s secret life: “Come out to me. Tell me all of it. Or leave.” So, Patrick starts to tell Gino about the anonymous sex he has in various places. He never brings anybody home. He just finds random men, wherever he can. But Patrick wants to be in a relationship with Gino. Except Gino knows Patrick gets off on the lying and the sneaking around. He thinks Patrick loves that more than him. He also believes Patrick is too full of shame. And out of nowhere, Gino falls over. Later at the hospital, Gino finds he has the “hallmarks of cat scratch fever,” even though he doesn’t have any cats. So what has Patrick brought home?
In the park, Mr. Whitely’s doing something terrible, as Daniel and a friend stumble upon a gruesome scene. He’s busy decapitating. The friend wants to follow Whitely, but Daniel worries it isn’t safe. Still, they follow Whitely to an apartment building and they get into an elevator with him. Perfect time for the elevator to shut down halfway up. Not good for the two men. They won’t be making it out alive.