As American Horror Story prepares for the epic climax of its 9th season, it takes just one more episode to build and set everything in motion, for what will hopefully be an amazing ending. “Rest in Pieces” is a somewhat slow, but necessary rising action that will surely pay off in the season finale next week!
Three’s (Serial Killers) Company
The episode begins with a giant title card, letting us know that it’s October 30, 1989. Brooke and Donna are in a diner and approached by a creepy redhead named Stacy (Stefanie Black).
She goes on to reveal that she knows exactly who they are, and that she’s been stalking them. But she ends up dying halfway through the episode, so unless her spirit plays some pivotal role later, her character was just sort of a waste of a character.
Meanwhile, Bruce happens upon Camp Redwood in a stolen and hilariously vibrant pink car, thus bringing the serial killer count to three (counting Jingles as a ghost). He befriends Ramirez, and after disposing of the incredibly annoying Stacey, Margaret catches them and not only doesn’t turn them in, but convinces them to kill all the musicians at the festival so that the town itself will become a destination point for mourning music fans.
Trevor also confesses his love to ghost Montana after they sleep together (we’re still trying to figure out the logistics of that). In a somewhat rash, but understandable move, she becomes quite upset when he judges her for “dating” Richard Ramirez.
To her point, none of them are truly innocent, and this wasn’t the “life” that she ever imagined for herself. It was the first time since perhaps ever that we saw a more human side to Montana, and it’s all the more tragic that it took her dying in order for it come out.
Finally, as Ramirez and Bruce are briefed on Margaret’s plan, Jingles is put on an unofficial tribunal of ghosts once again, and they decide to drift him out onto the lake. Once out there, his brother rises from the water, much like an homage (or ripoff) to Friday the 13th.
Here it seems that Jingles has discovered something of a happy place, where he, his brother, and his mother are all playing together. The episode then ends with a bit a weak “cliffhanger” and a strong desire for the season finale to be even more impressive.
Trying to Finish the Season Strong
In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t seem like a whole lot happened to advance the plot. It’s natural for a season to slow down and build tension before something is about to happen. But this felt more like story-filler until the real stuff happens, so to speak. Hopefully we’re wrong, and something here proves to be a payoff later.
It just seems that for right now, this episode was killing time, while also setting up too many loose ends that the season finale won’t possibly have the time to correct. And this wouldn’t be the first season to suffer from this problem (we’re looking at you Asylum!).
However, next week should still prove to be interesting, if nothing else. Even with this recent slowdown in pace, it doesn’t take away from the awesome first five episodes that felt like their very own slasher film.
As this second half comes to a close, we can only see what happens, and hope that American Horror Story not only delivers in terms of compelling plot, but also in poignant character moments that its season finales are so well known for!