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'AHS: 1984' Pivots from Fun Slasher Series Into a Dumb Waste of Time

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 17, 2019 |

By Dustin Rowles | TV | October 17, 2019 |


Last night was the fifth of 10 episodes in the AHS: 1984 season, which is to say: The point in the season in which logic is trashed, the premise is scrapped, and the show resets. What was once a riff on the slasher genre is now something completely different, having killed off most of the characters in Camp Redwood, leaving behind the Final Girl in Brooke, who lost her virginity to a ghost.

Margaret killed Xavier and Chet; Mr. Jingles and Richard Ramirez escaped Camp Redwood in a cop car; and Brooke killed Montana, who was trying to kill Brooke. However, the busload of kids arriving for camp in the morning witnessed Brooke kill Montana, they didn’t know it was self-defense, and Brooke was hauled off to jail. Margaret, meanwhile, stabbed herself in the leg and blamed all the other murders on Brooke. Full circle. She framed Brooke in 1984 just as she framed Mr. Jingles in 1970.

This would be a decent stopping point for any other series, except that this is a season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story, which means it’s time to pivot and start all over. All of those counselors who were killed in Camp Redwood are now … in purgatory. They’re stuck in Camp Redwood for an apparent eternity. They can never leave. But they can never “die,” either. They can kill anyone who comes into Camp Redwood, however, as we learn when dead Montana kills a cop.

So, when AHS: 1984 returns next week, that’s what we’ll have: Dead counselors killing other people, who will presumably join them in Camp Redwood purgatory (why all the counselors that Margaret killed in 1970 aren’t also in Redwood purgatory also remains a mystery). No consequences! But also, no real stakes. Note, however, that the purgatory rules do not apply to Richard Ramirez, because his resurrection came about because of his deal with the devil. He extended his pact with Satan to Mr. Jingles (who had been killed by Xavier), so those two are free to leave the Camp Redwood grounds, return to Los Angeles, and kill as they see fit.

As for Brooke? Presumably, she will receive a treatment similar to Mr. Jingles in 1970: She’ll be institutionalized and brainwashed into believing she was the actual mass killer, or at least, that will be Margaret’s plan.

That’s it. New show! Now instead of being a slasher show, it’ll be American Horror Story: Murder House, only instead of a house, it will be a summer camp. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before the coven shows up again. Next week’s episode, after all, will be the 100th of the series.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

Header Image Source: FX