Welcome back to the weekly American Horror Story: 1984 recap! We’re nearing the end of the season, and I hope you all have had as much fun as I’ve been having. It’s been a wild ride and I am really looking forward to seeing how it all wraps up. This episode opens on Camp Redwood in 1948, formerly known as, “Golden Star”. Lily Rabe (Miss Stevens), a common recurring actress on American Horror Story, is introduced as the cook whose sons appear to be campers. One of them is reading the latest issue of True Vice, which can only be assumed to be a crime serial. He resembles a youthful Jingles and fits the appropriate age range.
The elder boy, who we get confirmation is Benjamin (aka Mr. Jingles) is instructed to keep an eye on his younger brother as they go swimming. Some girls taunt the elder boy, who makes the decision that neither of the brothers will be swimming today. He tells his little brother to go wait at the end of the dock before he runs off to watch some counselors hook up (ew). While that is happening, the little brother falls into the water and is subsequently ran over by a boat and mauled to death by the propeller. Benjamin’s mother blames him and the counselors for her son’s death, much like Pamela Voorhees.
“[…] you can never have too many in this season of American Horror Story.”
We then jump to present day where Donna can be seen dragging Brooke from her execution into a motel room. Donna reveals she swapped the final injection with a drug that wouldn’t kill Brooke, but would resemble death. After a couple of days withdrawal from the high dosage, it’s revealed that Donna will give Brooke a new passport and identity to help her move on in the world. Donna reveals that she is trying to make amends for how she treated Brooke all those years ago, leaving her as bait for Mr. Jingles and Ramirez because she ominously says she knows there are things waiting for us after this world. Brooke spies a news article showing Margaret’s music festival at Camp Redwood, and Brooke swears revenge for being locked up for Margaret’s murders. Ironically, Donna has created another murderer.
On their way to Camp Redwood they first stop at a roller rink, which were at the peak of their popularity in the 80s, mind you. Dylan McDermott (The Perks of Being A Wallflower), another AHS recurring actor, appears as a stranger who introduces himself as Bruce to the pair. Back outside, Donna’s car won’t start. Of course, who appears but Bruce. (Not suspicious at all) He helps the ladies get their car started before stating how he believes in karma, saying what goes around comes around. Donna then offers him a ride as well. We pan out on some missing posters attached to a light post.
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On the drive with their new hitchhiking friend, he tells some nonsense story about flashing headlights and cars following you home to kill you, which he then clarifies by saying there is true evil out there. The girls pull over and tell him to get out, to which he insists he was just making conversation despite actually being very creepy. When he refuses to get out of the car Brooke pulls a knife on him as a police car shows up behind them to pull them over. Bruce shoots the cop when he brings up those posters of missing girls along the highway, revealing what is most likely yet another serial killer, because hey, you can never have too many in this season of American Horror Story.
CUT TO: Camp Redwood, where another copycat Mr. Jingles is trying to pee when the real Jingles comes up behind him, bewildered because he remembers this young man to be one of his victims that fateful night years ago. The real Mr. Jingles is then jumped by a multitude of other ghosts-of-the-past dressed in Jingles costumes. The first fake Jingles stops the others from killing the real Mr. Jingles, stating that Montana forbade killing before the festival. They drag him before Montana where the real Jingles says he’s here to finish of Richard Ramirez. The ghosts tell Jingles about their plan to murder every single attendee at Margaret’s music festival so they can receive publicity and get help moving on to the afterlife. The ghosts tell Jingles a story of a woman in a white nightgown who chases them and harasses them. Jingles responds by saying that was his mother who worked for Camp Golden Star, who was responsible for the very first massacre that occurred on those camp grounds!
FLASHBACK TO: Young Benjamin, who wakes up to find his mother missing. He checks the nearby cabin, where he discovers all the dead bodies of the counselors. His mother then appears, dressed in the aforementioned white nightgown, saying Benjamin also played a role in his brother’s death and needed to be punished as well. Somehow Benjamin gets the knife and when his mother runs at him, he stabs her, sobbing over her dead body. Back in real time, Jingles reveals that they reopened the camp 10 years later as Camp Redwood and that the ghosts are unable to move on because of his mother’s hatred.
Here, his mother (“The Lady In White”) appears to Benjamin. She at first seems pleased to see him, but there is still some clear resentment between the two when Benjamin brings up his younger brother, Bobby. She tells Jingles that she searches for Bobby every day but never succeeds, comparing herself to Demeter having lost Persephone. She says she one day found a “primal vibration,” showing her baby, but it was just adult Jingles in his first stint in the camp, with young Margaret. She says she saw how Jingles looked at Margaret, knowing he loved her and that Margaret was already wrong in the head, but she needed a little push. The wrong son died that day all those years ago and that’s why she ruined Margaret by not truly possessing her, but poisoning her mind towards murder. She goes on to state that she will ensure Jingles suffers for eternity because it’s what he deserves. She calls him a parasite, sucking her dry from the day he was born, causing everything he touches to rot.
Back to Brooke and Donna on the highway before they are rear ended by none other than Bruce! They rear end the car in front of them, whose driver gets out and Bruce deals him a shotgun blast to the chest before checking on the unconscious Brooke and Donna. Bruce wakes Brooke a few hours in the future where they are shown to be in a pickup truck in the middle of nowhere. Donna is tied up to the back of the truck. Bruce gives Brooke an ultimatum: either she puts the car in gear and drives to the festival, or he kills her now and then he drags Donna behind the car. Bruce aspires to beat Ramirez’s record of kills, citing 5 so far. Brooke puts it in reverse, saving Donna before pulling a gun on Bruce and shooting him in the thigh. Donna begins to choke Bruce after being freed.
Cut to Margaret touring the camp, making preparations for her festival. After Trevor is emasculated for sharing his ideas, he sees Montana across the road, but after a buss passes by she’s gone, much like many sightings of Michael Myers in the original Halloween (1978). She reappears and reveals that she is dead, to which he responds by saying he doesn’t care. At the same time Brooke and Donna tie Bruce to a telephone pole and cut him with a knife. They proceed together toward Camp Redwood- a crash course towards the inevitable reunion. Meanwhile, the ghost of Richard Ramirez appears to Billy Idol, who has recently arrived at camp. Ramirez states that Idol has signed a contract with the devil and needs to read the fine print next time. Margaret’s assistant Courtney then checks in on the band on the bus, only to find nothing but corpses.
The episode ends with Jingles sitting at the dock where his brother died. His mother appears saying he doesn’t deserve to take away her place to mourn. While Jingles earnestly tells his mother that he misses his brother as much as she does, even naming his son after him, she tells him that Ramirez is here to collect on his (Jingles’) deal with the devil and that suicide as the only way out of his agreement. Jingles calls out to his brother Bobby, saying he’s sorry and that he won’t curse his son before stabbing himself in the gut and bleeding out on the dock. Reincarnated Jingles stands over his own corpse as the newest member of the Camp Redwood ghosts.
“Will Bruce somehow come back? How will The Lady In White factor into the final battle? Will the curse over Camp Redwood ever end?”
We’re two episodes away from the finale and it’s time to find out what chaos the AHS writers have in store for us. Will Bruce somehow come back? How will The Lady In White factor into the final battle? Will the curse over Camp Redwood ever end? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter, in the Nightmare on Film Street Subreddit, and on Facebook in the Horror Movie Fiend Club!