By the end of “Red Dawn,” the sun has risen at Camp Redwood and AHS:1984 has blown up its entire premise. Or is beginning to reveal its actual premise, depending on how you look at it. Either way, by the end of the hour pretty much everyone is dead — Chet (Gus Kenworthy), Xavier (Cody Fern), Mr. Jingles (John Carroll Lynch), and Montana (Billie Lourd) all meet their demise in various bloody ways. But also they’re not completely dead because they’re all ghosts (mostly) trapped at Camp Redwood, just like our old friend Jonas (Lou Taylor Pucci). That’s right friends, we have a purgatory/Murder House situation going on.
In fact, there are really only three main characters who are definitely (I think? Honestly, it’s hard to tell) not dead yet: Brooke (Emma Roberts), Margaret (Leslie Grossman), and Donna (Angelica Ross). Now, before you celebrate on Brooke’s behalf, you should know that she’d probably be better off as a ghost wandering around that camp. Her fate is grim. And by that I mean, the best thing that happens to her in this episode is that she sees Ray (DeRon Horton) — yes, previously decapitated while running away from Camp Redwood like a coward Ray — running around. The two then open up to one another while hiding from Mr. Jingles, end up having sex, and then Brooke finds Ray’s head in the fridge and realizes she just lost her virginity to a ghost. Bless that sentence!
You guys, people having ghost sex on this show has never yielded great results (see also, the Antichrist), and yet still things get worse for Brooke. You see, the worst thing that happens to Brooke in this episode is that she runs away from Ghost Ray back to Montana, who finally reveals she wants revenge for her brother dying at Brooke’s wedding. The two beat the crap out of each other and then the sun comes up and a busload of children arrive just in time to watch Brooke stab Montana to death. Brooke gets arrested and taken away. Not only did a whole host of children watch her go to stab town, but Margaret — who killed both Chet and Xavier for kicks earlier in the evening — shows up with a self-inflicted stab wound to the leg, telling the cops a sad story about Brooke going insane and killing everyone. So, yeah, Brooke had a rough night.
Not that Margaret is really free and clear of all of the murder she’s been committing. She thinks that Jingles is dead, thanks to a misguided rescue from Xavier (who she then kills, because, sure), but she doesn’t know that after she leaves Richard Ramirez (Zach Villa) appears.
You may recall that at the end of the last episode, Donna watched in horror as the Night Stalker rose from the ground and came back to life. In “Red Dawn” he tells Donna that it is all thanks to “the unholy one.” He also knows all about Donna’s backstory: Four years ago she caught her dad murdering a woman and it was definitely not his first, or even his 20th. She tried to stop him, telling him that he could change, but that dude stabbed himself right in front of her. Talk about daddy issues, you know? Now we know what spurred Donna to release Jingles into the wild and why she’s studying serial killers. Richard, of course, has a different theory: He tells her the darkness is inside of her, too, and when she doesn’t believe him, he conjures up her dead father to tell her all about it. Just like a lot of ghosts popping in and out of Camp Redwood. You can see why keeping track of people’s pulses is exhausting!
Once Richard properly sets Donna on edge, he runs off and finds a dead Mr. Jingles, who he brings back to life… as long as Jingles promises to “accept Satan as his master.” It seems like Jingles does, in fact, accept Satan, since the last we see of these two they’ve stolen a police car and are making macabre jokes about wearing seatbelts as they head straight for Los Angeles. It’s almost kind of nice, two broken men finding a friend, until you remember that these two have murdered a lot of people and are probably going to murder a bunch more in L.A. Then it is terrifying.
But we have very little time to worry about what’s going to happen in Los Angeles. What the hell is happening at Camp Redwood? Once the cops leave with Brooke, Jonas, Ray, and Montana all come to the realization that they’re stuck at the campground in some sort of purgatory (can the Night Stalker and Jingles leave because they are pals with the Devil or is there another explanation?). While Ray is freaking out over this revelation, Montana takes a different approach: Oh, she’s going to murder so many people, you guys. Just in time for American Horror Story‘s 100th episode! It should be one to remember.
American Horror Story: 1984 airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.