'American Horror Story 1984' Review: "True Killers"

Who would’ve guessed that Montana was such an intense aerobics instructor? Girl, don’t slap yourself across the face when people can see you.

Rapist of the elderly, Richard Ramirez (funny that they haven’t touched on that aspect of his “career”), meets Montana during a session. The two bond over sex and a gutted corpse. It’s a stretch to imagine the Night Stalker hanging out at an aerobics club, as that would seriously damage his devil worshiper cred, but hey, he still smokes and wears a leather jacket.


'American Horror Story 1984' Review: "True Killers"

Trevor and Xavier, who rescued Chet from the pit trap, now have to figure out how to keep him from dying. Salvation comes in the form of an adrenaline needle to the heart. The two healthy boys decide to split up. No, no, I’m not going to say anything—you guys do you.

Meanwhile, Margaret Booth (who apparently never leaves her cabin) waits for the campers to arrive at sun-up. Trevor finds her, but she won’t listen to his concerns. He leaves in frustration. Xavier, on his trek, finds lunch lady Birdie, who’s oblivious to the night’s events. As he tries to persuade her, Mr. Jingles (whose name we learn is “Benji”) arrives, prompting Xavier to hide under the table. Instead of eviscerating her, Jingles sits down to discuss the past. They both remember each other from the original massacre, and they reminisce as she fixes him a PBJ sandwich.

This peaceful exchange doesn’t last once he spots Xavier. A brawl (the first of several) ends quick, as the larger Jingles takes out both. He’s 1-0 for this episode.

'American Horror Story 1984' Review: "True Killers"

Last time we saw Brooke (Emma Roberts), she was the captive of not-really-a-nurse, Donna Chambers. Brooke tries to escape but runs into the Rambo-esque traps. She gets netted, and Chambers restates her dedication to science, but that’s interrupted by Montana. And then Richard Ramirez. Brooke’s suddenly surrounded by people out to kill her. Her chances don’t improve when Jingles arrives. Looks like we’re finally getting that Super Fight!

Xavier’s still alive, hooray, but he’s trapped in an oven. A particularly sadistic fate, as the boy’s skin begins to bubble. With her last gasp, the lunch lady frees him. He escapes burnt, but alive.

'American Horror Story 1984' Review: "True Killers"

Back to the throw-down. Montana rolls Chambers while Benji and the Night Stalker go hard. Jingles slices up Ramirez, but the two go blow-for-blow. Montana looks shocked when Jingles impales Ramirez with a broken tree branch through the back of his head, straight out his mouth. It’s a great moment, but the established “people don’t stay dead in these woods” dampens my joy. Still, screw that guy. Jingles 2-0.

Booth’s still in her cabin—praying—when our undefeated fellow arrives. Here we find out what I suspected—Margaret used “Benji” as a patsy. She committed the murders, and with his PTSD (plus eventual shock treatment), he believes he did the deeds. With this revelation, he tries to kill her, but she shoots first. Jingles 2-1, I suppose. The sadder news comes when Trevor comes by and she kills him (a self-made Final Girl). Let’s hope that the resurrection rule applies here.

Jennifer Lynch directed this episode, and she’s been here before. Daughter of David, Lynch’s resume is an interesting one at this point. She wrote the published version of Laura Palmer’s diary from Twin Peaks, and she got a great weirdo performance out of Bill Pullman in Surveillance (2008). I was never bored here, but I am a bit wary. American Horror Story tends to begin with one scenario/story before introducing another halfway through. This can lead to disappointing or messy seasons, so I’m bracing myself.

'American Horror Story 1984' Review: "True Killers"

The last thing we see is Richard Ramirez’s levitating corpse (greatly shot scene). His eyes gloss black, and he gasps, alive again.

Well, damn. Are the Asylum aliens back for more?

AHS 1984 airs Wednesday nights on FX