Thursday, September 14, 2017

American Horror Story, Season 7 (Cult), Episode 2: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

Time of the second episode of this hot mess. On the plus side it can’t get any worse

On the minus side; I just said that so now feel vaguely responsible for the awfulness I must now endure. Hey if I’m going to be punished like this I suppose I should have done something wrong.

So we begin an hour of Sarah Paulson screaming and my gods American Horrror Story first Lang, then Bassett, now Paulson - how many more actors I like are you going to turn into sources of irritation for me? And we have an important political message: fear turns people into monsters

It’s possibly you may miss it - or so the writers think - because they hit us with the same subtlety of being bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer.

We open with Ally having a clown moment deciding there are murderous evil clowns in the house and Ivy being either gullible enough or kind enough to treat this seriously and not act like Ally is hallucinating.

Of course the clowns aren’t there.

Oz is also having nightmares about clowns - and Winter continues to mess with him. She plays the same “honesty tell your fears” tactics that Kai abuses her with and among other things advises Oz that if he can’t tell if he’s in a dream or not he should ask.

His nightmares also ruin Ally and Ivy’s sexy time.

We also have new neighbours who start to freak out the already constantly freaked out Ally even more. They’ve moved in while the blood of the last residents still stains the carpets. Also they keep bees so we can be reminded of Ally’s fear of holes and move in big barrels which makes Ally extra paranoid. Harrison and Meadow conveniently decide to info dump their entire lives in one painful convoluted splurge. With added awfulness: Meadow stereotypes her new lesbian neighbours. Also Harrison is a gay man who married Meadow because gods alone know why, apparently 35 year old gay men and 35 year old cancer surviving women decide to marry because reasons and she throws in gay snark as well. yay.

To sum up the rest: she’s survived skin cancer, he’s a gun nut (and parroting shallow nonsense about Obama and the second amendment), they’re Nicole Kidman fans and they’ve had financial troubles. Also he talks about Hives being the ultimate society because there are no individuals only The Greater Good. Which is more Unsubtle politics.

Alas, we move from that mess to a bigger, hotter mess whereby American Horror Story takes on the racism of President Trump and decides to turn it into a plot line on a show about hallucination clowns and invoke hate crime and persecution with no real chance of this being analysing

So Kai took his provoked hate crime and turned it into a pitch for city council by repeating all the evil shit Trump says about immigrants while the latinos he fought face deportation. Yes we get it, he’s the worst.

We also have another murder. Oz has a nightmare and feels safer with Ivy around rather than Ally since Ally has done nothing for 2 episodes but scream - so when the alarm goes off at the restaurant, Ally decides to go check it out. Alone. At night. To a deserted restaurant. With an alarm that was just tripped. Why Ivy would remotely, ever, trust Ally to do this bemuses me.

There we find one of her chefs has been impaled on a hook. Earlier we saw him bullying one of the employees, Pedro, for speaking Spanish because American Horror Story is hammering this home.

Of course the police suspect Pedro and despite Ally and Ivy speaking passionate in his favour the police not only continue to suspect him but even assume he’s an illegal immigrant (he is American). I would love to think this is going to be an analysis of the terrible persecution latinos and immigrants face, but it’s setting us up for another Object Lesson using them as disposable tools.

This does not help Ally’s stability and she decides to get a gun (much to her therapist’s shock which she puts down as a “liberal knee-jerk reaction” because the show fears we may miss Ally changing as she becomes more scared) and turn her house into a fortress.

Actually I’m more bemused why Ally and Ivy’s restaurant needs a walk in, meat-hanging deep freeze which is bigger than most butcher’s. What restaurants have this many whole hanging sides of animals? Really?

Kai visits to pitch his campaign for council “hey, I’m a terrible racist, and you’re afraid, vote for me! I lie a lot”. So basically copying Trump. Ally insists she likes to open her arms to others - from the fortress house from which she refuses to let him in. Kai considers this hypocrisy. I see reasonably recognising the self-declared bigot is not someone you want in your home isn’t the same as lying and demonising a whole set of people. But it’s American Horror Story with zero depth.

But have we got the message yet? Fear changes Ally! C’mon they’ve hammered it come enough

So after Winter starts flirting and almost kissing Ally (so not going to a bad place), all the power goes off. Harrison arrives from next door to declare the power cut covers several states and is therefore terrorism and the beginning of the end! Winter runs home despite Ally begging her not to (“Not everything is about you Ally.” Yes, this is the one thing I agree with on this show) leaving Ally alone to collapse into a mess of panic

Into which we add possibly hallucination clowns - causing her to flee into the night and be surprised by Pedro who has been sent by Ivy with supplies. In shock, Ally shoots Pedro.

And there are many ways they could take this, but we have disposable Pedro and deadly mentally ill Ally and a whole lot of no doubt ridiculous “I told you sos” about Ally shooting Pedro to stay safe which should serve as an indictment of guns but I rather doubt it will be

I survived another episode. I’m now going on holiday for 2 weeks which means either a) I have to marathon 2 episodes when I return (Killl meeeeee) or b) I convince Renee to do it (help me reader minions! Persecute Renee, save me!)