AHS 1984 Recap: With God And Trauma, You Can Do Whatever You Like

Emmy has been caught up at work so I’m taking over recapping duties for this week. So the second episode of American Horror Story: 1984… I’m still unsure about this season. I love the 80s cheese, I like the theme… I’m not 100% sold on the execution of it all just yet.

So last week our camp counselors left LA to the Olympic hordes and the mercy of the Night Stalker to head our for some fresh air and RnR at the newly re-opened Camp Redwood, a summer camp whose gate had been shut since Mr Jingles’ killing spree in 1970. The sole survivor from his attack, Margaret Booth has found God and wants to create a clean living, God-loving utopia for today’s youth. However, Mr Jingles has escaped from prison and has his sights set on Camp Redwood once again. Gather round the camp fire, it’s time for “Mr Jingles”.

You Were Right, I Am A Monster: Karen, the head of psychology at the institution that Mr Jingles broke out of, has high-tailed it to Camp Redwood to warn Margaret that he has escaped and that he is still obsessed with the camp. Karen urges her to shut the camp down, but Margaret is not intimidated. She’s come prepared showing Karen the gun she has for protection. Karen, like any smart person, gets out of dodge. Unfortunately, she blows a tyre due to a spike on the road. A guy in a tow-truck pulls up… it’s Mr Jingles who proceeds to kill her with the spike, taking her ear as a souvenir.

There’s Something About Brooke: Brooke is still jumpy following her attack in LA and then hears a news report about the death of the service station attendant where the gang stopped to fill up on their way up. After Margaret breaks up the counselor’s social gathering and sends the boys to shower and their cabins, Brooke confides in Montana about her sordid history: last year as she was about to exchange her vows, her fiancé accused her of cheating on him with his Best Man and proceeds to shoot dead the Best Man and Brooke’s father before turning the gun on himself. Montana kisses her, Brooke jumps up and runs out of the cabin.

Retreating to the lake for some solitude, Brooke discovers a body float up beneath her feet. In her attempt to escape the pier, she comes face-to-face with the Night Stalker… He followed her from LA. They tussle and she manages to escape.

Wait I Don’t Die Here: When chasing Brooke, the Night Stalker trips over Jonas, the hiker from last week. He’s somehow still alive… or is it back alive? Jonas is shocked to see him there saying, “You’re not supposed to be here. Wait, I don’t die here!” Well yes and no. The Night Stalker makes short work of him, leaving him dead, however, he resurrects again, only to come across the Night Stalker again, who well and truly guts him this time. He pulls off his identity card and sees that it’s from 1970 and that Jonas hasn’t aged a day.

With God And Trauma, You Can Do Whatever You Like: The Night Stalker ends up at Margaret’s pretty glam cabin. He reveals his name is Richard Ramirez and tells her about his tragic past. Margaret believes it was God’s will that brought them together and that “you can use him [God] to explain why you did something. Even something horrible.” Something tells me this pair teaming up is not something the world needs.

You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down: Margaret encounters Jonas and they discover they were both at Camp Redwood that fateful day in 1970, however, Jonas still thinks it’s 1970. When asked what he last remembers, he remembers seeing Margaret, all the blood and running. He knew Margaret survived and he ran away, only to be hit by a car. Someone (Mr Jingles? Someone else?) gets out of the car to finish the job, but he never got a good look at the person’s face. Now he just keeps appearing and disappearing, dying and coming back to “life” without a scratch on him.

You Can’t Escape Your Past: It’s not just Brooke that we get some backstory to this week. Xavier’s “Daddy” makes an appearance and we discover he was the one on the phone last week. Blake found Xavier when he was strung out in MacArthur Park and picked him up, dried him out, got him clean and also a starring role in a “gay-for-pay” video. Something that Xavier is trying to forget, focusing on being a “serious actor”. Blake demands he make another tape, Xavier refuses but offers up one of the other counselors instead… Trevor. While perving on the boys in the shower, Blake is impressed (“That’s no cock. It’s an act of God!”), only to become the latest victim of Mr Jingles (we’re guessing) with a spike right through his perving eye.

We Gotta Get Out Of This Place: The gang have finally seen the light and run to escape the Camp. They get to the van and after some starting difficulties, they are on the road, only to encounter another person in the middle of the road. Xavier swerves to miss Rita the nurse and hits Margaret’s car. There’s no getting out with the van now. Rita reveals she has a car and Trevor has a bike so they can all escape, however, the keys are back in Rita’s office and the boys cabin. The gang split up to get the keys, agreeing to meet back at the cars. They make it to the various cabins but can’t find the keys. Each group is left cornered in their cabin with someone trying to break in.

This was a good background episode and we see the groundwork laid for the upcoming season. Am I completely invested in this season? No not yet, however, I can see the potential in the season. I just hope that it picks up soon, rather than falls flat.

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Clare Sidoti

Clare Sidoti is 4 Your Excitement's Editor-at-Large. Clare has a BA (Theatre and Film Studies) from the University of New South Wales, Australia and an MA Theory and Practice of Human Rights from the University of Essex, UK. She currently works for an NGO that runs human rights training in the Asia Pacific region. You can find her on twitter with her eclectic musings on the arts, entertainment and human rights. Some of her favourite topics to cover include Darren Criss, Chris Colfer, Glee and Star Wars.
Clare Sidoti
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