Alright, we’re back on American Horror Story this week. In case you’re not caught up on my weird pipe dream, you can check out parts one and two here and here.
One quick note worth mentioning. I realized after having posted that I left a plot thread unresolved in the last article. Namely Evan Peters and Lily Rabe traveling to the library to meet our aging and bitter Megan Fox. In order to begin where I’d like to begin this issue needs to have been resolved in the previous episode. So for the sake of this article let’s assume that Evan Peters and Megan Fox have already met and that Evan’s quest for Kathy came up empty and, I dunno, Megan Fox did something creepy. She’s weird. Don’t judge me.
I’m also going to try to keep these episode descriptions a little shorter. I’d like to get two done this article, ideally get three done and get us to the halfway point of the season.
Anyway, moving on. Episode four. It’s nighttime and Lily Rabe is in her bedroom on campus. Evan Peters is nowhere to be found and she’s exhausted from going on an enormous wild goose chase all day. So she’s smoking and we see her ashtray that’s got like an entire pack of smokes snubbed out in it. It’s clear that she’s, y’know, frazzled. We’re also led to believe that she hasn’t had a chance to check on Kathy in a while, mostly because she’s spent all day with Evan and up here trying to unwind.
So Lily’s coming apart at the seams and then faintly she hears what sounds like a pained moan. Her eyes go wide and she rushes to her window and off in the distance we see someone on their hands and knees crawling across the grounds of the school. A fat, old, stump-legged someone. And she’s making a bunch of noise while she does it.
Lily has a little ‘oh shit’ moment and grabs a coat and her shoes and the first thing that she can think of capable of silencing a loud old woman in pain: Her ashtray.
She steps out into the halls of the dormitory in which she and the other staff sleep and as she heads for the stairs she takes one look back through the hallway and sees a couple lights come on like people are waking up because Kathy had to go and escape in the middle of the night like an inconsiderate bitch. So Lily takes off like a crazy little rocket into the night towards Kathy.
So we see her running and every now and then she stops and listens for Kathy and then alters her direction slightly and starts running again. After a couple times she stops to listen again and she doesn’t hear anything. She’s freaked out. Where’d Kathy go? She runs a little bit more and keeps listening but no dice. Finally she runs and turns a corner (or maybe they’re in the woods or something) and she comes face to face with Taissa Farmiga. And she’s got an unconscious Kathy Bates by the foot. Y’know, the foot that’s left. And she looks Lily Rabe in the eyes and says “I think you and I need to talk.” Roll opening credits.
Now, veteran viewers of American Horror Story might remember that Lily Rabe spent almost the entirety of season 2 possessed by Satan, so we want to avoid that. And besides, to be perfectly honest I’m more disturbed by the idea of someone who’s in full control of themselves and being complicit in evil anyway. Satan is Satan. We expect Satan to do bad shit to people. But just some girl being evil? That shit’s messed up. Serial killers are scarier than the devil. Anyway.
After the credits roll we see Evan Peters in the hallway that Lily Rabe left behind with a couple other teachers in various states of nighttime dress. He’s got a suspicious look on his face and he’s asking around if anybody knows what could have made those noises, and most people say no. One suggests that there’s occasionally wild animals ‘round these parts, but that “this one” sounded like it was in a lot of pain. Evan remarks that it didn’t sound like any wild animal he’s ever heard before. Most of the teachers shrug and go back to sleep, and Evan mutters to himself that he’s never heard an animal shout “help” before.
Lily and Taissa arrive at Taissa’s den of evil in the basement where Sarah Paulson is still gurgling and hissing and whatever it is that boiled people do. Lily keeps her fair distance as Taissa drags Kathy to the opposite corner and just kind of dumps her there – she’s super unconscious so she poses no immediate threat, and what’s more Sarah Paulson is by the only exit and that shit’s dangerous.
Taissa explains that she can tell that Lily is starting to come apart at the seams. She says that she can help to take care of Lily’s problems but Taissa needs more freedom of movement without fear of repercussion. Lily through context figures out what Taissa’s been doing but eventually agrees. She goes up to her room and sleeps like a rock. Kathy stays there.
We cut to another flashback. Daniel Day Lewis and Megan Fox are walking through a hallway of the school chatting about some such; and Megan’s giving him doe eyes and he’s smiling amicably at her and occasionally making eye contact with a few of the more attractive female students. Megan Fox notices but chooses not to comment. They continue on their merry way.
Anyway, in the interests of speeding things along, let’s wrap up this episode. Evan does more investigating after becoming basically certain that it was Kathy Bates screaming the other night. He begins to notice Taissa Farmiga appearing a lot in places that he’s at. In flashback we see a girl finally reject Daniel Day Lewis’ advances outright and she gets the shit kicked out of her. She goes public along with like fifteen other girls and Daniel loses his job over it. At the climax of the episode Megan Fox in flashback finds Daniel hanging by his bedsheets from the roof of his dorm room. Megan is understandably distraught.
Episode six is our halfway point, which American television tells me lately has to be some kind of mid-season finale. There needs to be significant plot development in this episode because then everyone can go on break from December ‘til February. So let’s develop some plot.
The beginning of this episode focuses largely on Megan Fox, because now that we know her tragic backstory she needs something to do in the present. The short version is that she’s decided to take the loss of her beau out on the young women of the school. She does increasingly mean and violent things to these students, but she’s careful to not be obvious about it (That’s how Daniel got caught after all). They’re tripping and hitting their heads, stacks of books are falling on them, whatever. Nobody is dying.
At this point Evan, given that he’s an adult and capable of making rational connections between events has noticed that there’s some shit going down at this school that none of the staff are talking about, so he starts investigating on his own.
Taissa starts cherrypicking the students that Megan Fox is injuring. The school is dropping students like flies. A few staff go missing as well as she gets bolder. Lily does nothing to stop this and spends the episode reassuring people that everything is fine and that there are perfectly rational explanations for the (increasingly obvious) string of disappearances.
Taissa also tells Lily that she needs a show of good faith from her so that she knows that Lily won’t chicken out in the middle of Taissa’s feeding frenzy and bring the police down on everyone’s head. Lily says sure, both because she really does want this all to go away and because at this point she’s afraid that Taissa will murder the shit out of her if she says no. They head towards Kathy and Sarah.
The culmination of this episode is Evan entering the basement and finding the boiler room. When he enters it’s dark and all he can hear is quiet sobbing and a rattling, hissing breathing sound. He flips the flashlight on his cellphone on and finds a sobbing one legged Kathy, who he says he’s leaving with. She refuses to move though because Sarah Paulson is still chained by the door, and next to her is a very large pile of organs, limbs, and various viscera and Kathy’s been watching and listening to this thing eat for probably a couple days now and doesn’t want to go near it. Evan goes all bug-eyed when his flashlight spies Sarah and as he tries to move slowly towards the door it gurgles and lashes out at him. He recoils in fear. Kathy tearfully explains that it’s been eating people and it’s been getting bigger and whatever. Lily and Taissa enter. Roll credits. We end on a cliffhanger to keep people talking throughout the holiday season.
Alright, so this one was a little rushed, but as I mentioned earlier I was hoping to get at least two episodes out of the way so that I could reach the halfway point in this article. I’m probably going to take a break from writing the second half of this series – quite frankly it didn’t occur to me that it would take this long. But I will definitely finish it at some point in the future. Stay tuned next week for something a little, y’know, brighter.
Scott Watmough has many strong opinions about many things that he knows very little about. They're usually about video games.