AHS 1984: “True Killers” Review (Spoilers)

In a season dealing with serial killers at summer camp, the fourth episodes opens with a flashback to perhaps the most 80’s thing we’ve seen thus far.  We open on Montana teaching an all-male aerobics class to the sounds of Billy Idol.

Richard Ramirez walks in and while she’s initially annoyed by him, he kills someone who was rude to her and after they make love over it, she reveals that her brother was the best man that Brooke slept with before her wedding, resulting in his death. So her entire motivation to have Brooke killed suddenly becomes quite clear.

Aerobics really does come in handy for serial killers.

Showdown of the Century
The episodes wastes no time in the present as the most eventful night in history continues.  Mr. Jingles continues to terrorize the counselors, this time using a large oven as his weapon of choice.

Brooke wakes up after being drugged by fake Rita, and even manages to escape the cabin she was locked in.  Her victory is short lived as she ends up running into a cliché net trap.  This leads a very frustrated Montana to direct Ramirez over there to finally kill her, all in time for Mr. Jingles to arrive at the same time.

In a scene that we’ve all been waiting for 3 episodes, we finally get the serial killer fight between Mr. Jingles and Richard Ramirez, and it doesn’t disappoint!  There’s something inherently fun and entertaining in watching two villains battle it out because unlike when it’s good vs. evil, either of them has equal chance of winning.

It’s not quite as iconic as when Freddy fought Jason, but it’s still a lot of fun.  In a moved displaying his overall brute strength, Mr. Jingles lifts Ramirez and impales him through the back of the head with a sharp tree branch.  It’s gory and brutal, and everything that fans are expecting to see in the slasher-based season!

Well, that’s gonna leave a mark!

So Many Revelations
Just when we thought the serial killer duel would be the most memorable aspect of this episode, it went and surprised us with a twist that, to be honest, many saw coming.  We finally get a flashback explaining just what happened at Camp Redwood back in 1970.

Mr. Jingles was a lowly maintenance worker who was ridiculed greatly by the counselors.  So too was Margaret, whom they despised for her propensity to always stick to the rules.  They become friends, or so Mr. Jingles thinks, because, as we see, Margaret was behind the 1970 murders but she allows him to take the fall for them.

And in a revelation that’s equally tragic and disturbing, he actually believed he did, and only killed people recently because he already thought he was a killer.  It raises some very serious ethical and philosophical questions.

Mr. Jingles only killed people recently because he was reserved to the fact that he was already a killer.

As the counselors regroup, we the audience bear witness to Ramirez’s body floating in air, as his eyes open in what appears to be some satanic resurrection.  It’s a cool and creepy scene, and admittedly, it’s probably a good thing we’re not done with Ramirez.  Thus far, he’s had a hypnotic quality that makes him all the more compelling and fascinating.

Season Changing Shift?
So where do we go from here?  We saw the killers duke it out, it’s been revealed to us that Margaret is a killer and Montana and fake Rita are enabling killers.  With all these major twists and events happening by episode 4, it’s tough to know where the season will go from here.

On the one hand, things were starting to get a little slow, and this action-packed episode really shook things up.  But now the remainder of the season will have to go one in a completely different way, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  Hopefully we get more of Brooke, because she’s felt criminally underused in the last two episodes.

Other than that, it would be cool and kind of terrifying to see the children actually arrive in the morning.  To do so would only raise the stakes of danger in a season that’s proving to be one of the series’ most tense and unnerving!

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