Friday, October 28, 2016

American Horror Story, Season 6, Episode 7, Chapter 7

While this episode has a lot of tension – I really think this season of American Horror Story has done horror story tension and creepiness way better than any previous – but it’s also going far too fast and suffering from moving waaay too fast and us already know the ending with that whole “one person will live.”

See, I only know three of these characters – so I already know it’s going to be one of those three since there’s been no attempt to make me care about the others or invest enough to think they’re going to live (Shelby, btw, Shelby’s so going to survive). And I think the show has really missed a huge opportunity in not having all these characters – the people and the actors who played them – interact with each other. Lee trying to sponsor the alcoholic Monet? Audrey and her happy married against Shelby’s wreck of a love life? Kathy Bates chewing the scenary in the corner? That would have been pretty good.

Instead everyone’s dying way too quick. At the very beginning of this episode Sid, the cameraman and a random intern are all hacked to bits by Agnes who is full on scenery chewing now, ranting and raving, dropping into and out of her accent, alternating between Butcher rants and grief and horror about what she did (especially poignant is her going from “my land!” to “she was a mother! I robbed that child of a mother!”). But you spend all that time setting up Sid’s reality TV nonsense and then kill him off already? (I’m going to take the high road and not at all mention having Cheyenne Jackson fully clothed for both the episodes he’s been around) Too soon! Too Soon!

I do have to say Kathy Bates killed it though. Though, of course, mental illness as a source of danger, the insane murderer, the violent mentally ill person – that’s a horrendous trope. It’s overplayed and damaging, the vast majority of mentally ill people are not dangerous yet a ridiculous amount of portrayals of mental illness are violent and dangerous.

Kathy Bate’s incredible, frightening and pitiable performance here doesn’t change how damaging it is – her excellence doesn’t change the awfulness.

Agnes continues to rave her way around the scene – attacking and badly injuring Shelby with a cleaver, before being slammed into a mirror and later shot by Lee. She still keeps on coming back going more and more off the deep end.

Because at least Lee has some level of sense and has brought a gun. Not a lot of sense, she’s there after all.

Since Shelby is now bleeding messily everywhere, Dominic and Matt are being manchildren (though Dominic has a method to this – he’s an actor. He knows the rules of reality TV – we all watch the awful one. So he is there to be as awful as possible and get all the screen time because that’s his career. He’s not wrong. I wish he was but he isn’t. Let’s face this, if this were Big Brother, he’d be the one we’d watch. Also Big Brother needs to introduce a cleaver wielding Kathy Bates) so Lee, Monet and Audrey (who has convinced herself that Rory has fakes his death to leave and go to a shoot in LA – along with her terrible and powerful insecurity about being 15 years older than her husband and the sexism of that- something which would be really fun to explore if these characters lived long enough to explore anything) are the ones who set off to get help

Remember they have no phones. Trying to leave via the tunnel to avoid Agnes they find a bullet proof-hardly seen monster which means they quickly choose another route. They find the trailer with Sid the awful – which is full of bodies and Audrey promptly loses every bit of shit she ever had while Lee, infinitely more sensible and collected, searches for a phone among the bodies

To add to Audrey’s melt down, they find Rory’s body, in a tree

Monet and Audrey begin to realise, as Lee angrily points out, that they weren’t lying about the house.

One of those real things they find is the family of redneck, pig loving hillbilly cannibals who reappear to kidnap all three of them and begin torturing killing and feeding Lee to Audrey and Monet. Of course they do. Even if these three aren’t dead they’re soon to be

Back at the house things are not getting better – Shelby seems to be getting quite well despite the sucking chest wound. Well enough for Dominic to lead her downstairs to the basement where Matt is having sex with Forest Gaga. He also declares his eternal love for Forest Gaga, suggesting that terrifying face he makes may actually be his O face.

Shelby reacts to this by brutally beating his head in. And lo, Matt is dead because Shelby can’t take it that the man she cheated on cheated on her. Dominic reacts by calmly telling her to turn herself in.

Hmmmm, I think he is surprisingly calm about this brutal murder right in front of him

He’s a bit less blasé when Agnes shows up on the garden to rant and rave and throw accents around

Until the Butcher arrives… Agnes is terrified, guilty, worshipful… and dead. Very dead

See, that’s a lot dead or nearly dead characters in one episode – too fast, American Horror Story, far too fast

Though points for “if it’s not breaded and deep fried it’s not edible” was a good line.