American Horror Story
Last Sunday was the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and instead of riding out what we hoped was the last heatwave of the summer by taking dips in the pool and sipping White Claws, we were hit by another hurricane. Ida, an old-fashioned name that I will now hate with a sweaty passion until my final days, was a Category 4, and it ravaged the city and surrounding areas to such a degree that roofs were ripped off homes and the electrical structure powering most of the area literally fell into the Mississippi River.
My wife and I moved to New Orleans about five years ago, and we did so for many reasons. The main reason was that we’d been sharing a studio apartment in Crown Heights that cost us a stupid amount of money for a thimbleful of space, but we also very much wanted to transplant ourselves to the beautifully historic locations that we fell in love with while watching American Horror Story season three: Coven. Which I will argue is the best season of the series, apart from maybe Double Feature, now shaping up to be the cream of the bloody soup bowl.
Having spent a few years in New Orleans, and on day four of no electricity, and with it no AC, I looked forward to watching a new episode of AHS in an entirely different way. Standing in my pitch-black living room, watching the flashing lights of the police cars guarding the recently looted dollar store across the street, I thirsted for more than just relief from the heat and a distraction from the unexpected turmoil my family and neighbors are actively enduring. I thirsted for an opportunity to finally, finally, have a reason to write about rosebuds, which is an in-the-know for kink reasons way of describing when a person’s rectal walls protrude outside of the anus in what, if you squint and are in a sassy frame of mind, looks like the bud of a rose. There, now you’re all as uncomfortable as I am.
Double Feature has covered a lot of ground, and we’re only on the third episode. When we last left off, I speculated that Alma (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) was going to become a pale person after sneaking a black pill from her dad; ripping through a violin session that, honestly, just sounded okay to me; passing out; and then popping up later in a cemetery feasting on what we now know to not be squirrel guts but rather rabbit guts. In episode three, aptly named “Thirst,” we see Alma in all her Kirsten Dunst “I want some more” total blood lust. She’s graduated far beyond animal parts and is now demanding thermoses of blood. Children are so greedy; that’s why a lot of people are making the decision to do without them in these modern times. Alma herself tells her dad Harry (Finn Wittrock) that she doesn’t want to get married or have children. She follows this up by saying that her own mother, Doris (Lily Rabe), is a bad mom and a bad wife. Jesus. This girl better end up actually having the kind of talent it takes to ward off a pale-person lifestyle because, well, she’s kind of a bitch. I’m still holding out for her joining their ranks, though. She needs to goth-dance her way towards a better personality.
While her mom is in the hospital for having stress-induced false contractions (that baby is so doomed), Alma and her dad bond over being talented psychos and then make a deal to lay off the black pills for awhile, which they both immediately break. Her dad makes her promise to at least not kill people, but she ends up breaking that deal too. Tasked with sourcing blood for not only himself but also his kid in a series of Craigslist caution tales, Harry knocks on the wrong door and almost finds himself the star of a rosebud-themed snuff film, but he kills his would-be directors and castmates instead. His pristine butthole lives to pucker another day, but those days may be numbered. Belle Noir (Frances Conroy) and Austin Sommers (Evan Peters) are mad at him for giving vampire drugs to his kid, which is valid, and plot to kill his entire family by enlisting the help of Mickey (Macaulay Culkin), who is more interested in his screenplay. Something about all of this feels a little off. A little, I don’t know, alien? Let’s keep an eye on whether or not the newly vamped geniuses are actually as talented in reality as they think they are in their minds. There may be stranger forces at play here.
Harry’s agent, Ursula (Leslie Grossman), makes a surprise visit to P-Town to suss out why he’s a good writer all of a sudden, and she catches on quickly. While having a bite to eat at Muse, she insults Austin and Belle’s karaoke, cementing her place on their shit list. She then becomes obsessed with finding out the secret behind the black pills and how to use them to her benefit. Next, we meet the Chemist (Angelica Ross), whose proprietary blend has mysterious origins that we may learn more about in episode four, which looks to have a great deal of backstory on how the people in this town came to be the way they are. Something’s going on here, and we don’t quite know what the hell it is yet, but it’s safe to say that we shouldn’t take things at face value. And what are those red lights?!
Lobsters From Another Man’s Pot
• When Chief Burleson (Adina Porter) talks to Alma, she makes mention that both she and her mom have old-fashioned names. Interesting to note that Alma is the name of a character who gets kidnapped by aliens in AHS season two, Asylum. There’s too much here to just be a coincidence, and AHS has already proved fond of tying elements of seasons together. Something else to keep an eye on.
• “You’re a paper airplane, and I’m a 747” is what Kanye was hoping for Donda, but this actually lands.
• The writers’ room must have had so much fun coming up with the various Craigslist items the vamps claim to be seeking before they feed. Why are coin collections so funny?
• “How do you not just wake up and kill yourself every day?” Poor Mickey. I want that Speed Racer gig for him.
Update: An earlier version of this recaps incorrectly swapped Mickey and Harry in a Quentin Tarantino reference. It has been corrected.