FX’s American Horror Story
11×07: “The Sentinel”
Directed by Paris Barclay
Written by Our Lady J & Manny Coto
* For a recap & review of 11×06, click here.
* For a recap & review of 11×08, click here.
Mr. Whitely’s in his dungeon, talking about Custer and the Natives while he’s preparing to sew new body parts onto his macabre masterpiece. Outside, Patrick meets up with Gino, who hands over the gun from last time they saw each other over on Fire Island. When the detective heads inside he’s joined by Gino, despite his warnings; a great “Rock Hudson” joke here, too. The men head down into the serial killer’s creepy industrial lair, taking their time pushing through the dark building. They eventually find Henry, still alive but not doing well. Then, the killer drops his puzzle piece body down in its Christ pose again, which catches Patrick and Gino’s eyes long enough for Whitely to attack, knocking both men unconscious. Uh oh, not good.
Patrick comes to strapped onto one of the gurneys next to a corpse. Gino comes to a similar position, strapped down on the gurney next to Henry and his now missing ear. A perfect time for Henry to go on about how the journalist is too old for the younger detective; what a bitchy queen, that Henry. In another part of the dungeon—which Henry soon realises is a former butcher’s shop in the meatpacking district—Whitely apologises to Patrick for whacking him in the head with a meat tenderiser. He wanted time alone with the detective. He says: “I‘m a fan.” He admires Patrick for going through all the homophobia at the police station. That’s why he wants to fill his masterpiece, his sentinel, with the heart of somebody worthy; somebody being Patrick with “a noble, beating heart.”With a bit of brutal work, Henry gets a hand free and he works to rid himself of the other handcuff. But nothing works on the steel. So, Henry thinks of a Saw move for the 1980s, which works well considering all his self-loathing about what he’s done to others in the gay community. He bites down on a ball gag, then uses a hacksaw to hack off his hand.
Whitely’s removing the heart he previously placed in his sentinel, as Patrick waits on the gurney. The detective questions this whole “beacon of hope” idea Whitely has, and, of course, the killer has things to say about the whole supposed grisly mission. Whitely is a truly deranged mind. He’s about to cut into Patrick when he gets interrupted by Henry and Gino, the latter wielding a chainsaw. Whitely goes on pontificating, attempting to justify his sick crimes. Patrick has enough and shoots Whitely right through the forehead.
Patrick becomes a “hero gay cop” in the newspapers after taking out the Mai Tai Killer. He’s loved by the media; not so much at work, where his desk gets bombed with pink paint. He walks in to give his boss his badge, but Marzara’s not ready to accept his detective’s resignation. Marzara isn’t pleased that Patrick went to the press, but he’d like Patrick to help with outreach to the gay community. The detective starts trying to throw around some weight now, rather than stay quiet. He calls out all the ignored crimes due to the victims being gay. “Fuck you, and fuck this whole department,” Patrick says. He has better things to do now.
Adam wants to see if he can identify his dead friend Sully, but Patrick warns that the killer did some gruesome things and it won’t be easy, seeing as how Whitely had all kinds of chopped up limbs and pieces. Yet he wants to do what he can for his friend. Not many of the victims have someone like that. Adam goes in to see the corpse, horrified by what Whitely’s done. He’s unable to make an identification of any parts. Later, he goes to see Hannah and she says Sully was one of her first patients in her tests. More and more, the illness seems related to many of the disappearances in the city.
Dr. Wells and Adam go to see Fran and her friends. None of them are sure what to do. And not everyone with the virus seems to have the same issues. Now, they have to try and get the word out, to bring awareness, though they need to do it without spreading panic or letting conspiracy theories brew. Adam goes to Gino, hoping The Native will publish an article about all this, however, the journalist thinks things are over. He can’t let it go so easily.
On the street, Patrick sees a vision of Barbara momentarily; haunted grief? When he gets home, he and Gino talk about heading out to Fire Island together soon. He goes on blaming himself for Barbara’s death. He mentions seeing her and thinks he’s going insane. Gino tries to console Patrick, yet the latter believes “every day something terrible‘s going to happen.” Though Gino says they’re safe, his words don’t reach Patrick.
At home, Dr. Wells isn’t feeling great. Probably just a bit of pregnancy sickness. Hopefully, anyway. Hannah calls Adam to say she can’t go out to Fire Island with him, Gino, and Patrick. She then makes a call to her mother, talking about the virus going around and how she’s worried she has it. She wants to go see her mother for a while as a bit of comfort. Outside her place, Big Daddy’s watching, waiting. Will Dr. Wells be the next victim?
At The Native, Gino writes about pride, as well as death, in the context of gay lives. He writes about hatred escalating into violence. He acknowledges the presence of death in the lives of gay men daily. He talks about the general human urge to hurt others, in various ways. Gino questions the hypocrisy of society. He also reflects on Whitely and the killer’s suffering that brought about all the murders. Gino writes about “the monster” implanted in all of us by society, and that, sometimes, monstrosity is actually a matter of perspective.
And are we really seeing the Sentinel come to life?
Or is it just Gino’s imagination while he writes?