SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Red Dawn,” the fifth episode of “American Horror Story: 1984.”
After five episodes, “American Horror Story: 1984” is moving onto another day within the story. The sun finally came up in “Red Dawn,” but not every would-be counselor at Camp Redwood survived to see it.
“Red Dawn” started with another flashback — this time as Faux-Rita (Angelica Ross) watched her dad bring a prostitute home to disembowel in a bedroom. She caught him and found photos of the other victims, begging him to try to change because she didn’t think he could be evil. But he thought she was lying and killed himself right in front of her.
Back at camp, Faux-Rita was watching the Night Stalker (Zach Villa) float above the ground after he seemingly bit the dust. Now it was time for her to reconcile that he may have been resurrected by Satan. He claimed the darkness resides in everyone, telling her she is just as evil as Jingles (John Carroll Lynch) because she released him into the world. Rita then saw a vision of her father, also telling her the darkness is inside. But what that means for their futures still remained to be seen.
Meanwhile, the others took refuge in a cabin, with Margaret (Leslie Grossman) suggesting that two of them take a boat across the lake to get help. Montana (Billie Lourd) volunteered Chet (Gus Kenworthy) for this job, mostly because she wanted to be alone with Brooke (Emma Roberts) to get her revenge for her brother’s death. So that is what happened. While in the rowboat together, Margaret preached the word of God to Chet and then bashed his head in with an oar and dumped him in the lake with the anchor tied to his ankle.
Back at camp, things were just as gruesome — but in slightly different ways.
As Montana sneaked up on Brooke with a hatchet, Brooke spotted Ray (DeRon Horton) wandering around outside. Ray had been decapitated in a previous episode, but Brooke didn’t know that, so she just grilled him about where he was and why he didn’t get help. Ray said things were fuzzy and he vaguely remembered going off on a motorcycle, but not that he died.
Ray and Brooke ended up hiding in the mess hall, where Brooke confessed that for so long she had been pretending to be dumber than she really was just to get a man, and now she didn’t know who she was. Ray could relate and told her not to be anyone but herself, so she kissed him — and perhaps lost her spot as the Final Girl because they had sex.
But even though Brooke revealed to Ray that she was a virgin mere moments after they consummated their relationship, that wasn’t the bombshell moment. Right after their pillow talk, Brooke found Ray’s head in the fridge and ran off screaming. She told Montana and started gasping about everyone being dead. Before Brooke could freak out too much, though, Montana knocked her out cold. When Brooke came to, Montana railed on her for being the perfect girl everyone loves, and the show flashed back to when first Montana sent the Night Stalker after Brooke. Montana yelled at Brooke about her brother and they fought, ending up in the canteen.
Back at the cabin, Faux-Rita burst in and confessed to Montana and Xavier (Cody Fern) that Jingles’ recent rampage was all her fault. Xavier went insane, blaming Rita for his burns and chasing her out into the forest. Faux-Rita got away from Xavier but ran into Jingles, who confessed to her that Margaret was the actual killer, not him. She begged him to kill her, but he wouldn’t; he told her it’s worse to live with what she did.
When Jingles left Faux-Rita, he ran into Margaret. And for her, living with what she did would not be a suitable punishment. Jingle began choking Margaret, but Xavier, who had not heard any of the confessions, shot him with some arrows. He revived Margaret, but his kindness was quickly repaid by Margaret stabbing him.
Because of Ray’s fate — and the fate of the counselor from 1970 — it seemed like anyone who died on Camp Redwood’s grounds would be doomed to roam them as a spirit, probably for all of eternity. But if that was a rule, shouldn’t the other massacred counselors Margaret killed almost a decade and a half ago be around somewhere? Since the Night Stalker dabbled in the Dark Arts, his return from death was a true resurrection — and he offered the same to Jingles, if only he would fully accept Satan into his heart and soul. So maybe others made similar deals years ago.
That is a question to be (hopefully) answered in a later episode, though. Instead, the show jumped a bit in time to sun-up, when the bus full of campers was finally arriving. Just as they were pulling through the gates Brooke and Montana were fighting out in front of the cabin. Montana got a couple of solid stabs in, but Brooke ended up with the upper hand and sat on top of Montana, plunging the knife into her over and over as the kids on the bus watched — and then shrieked.
Naturally, the police and paramedics were called. Brooke was put in the back of a squad car in handcuffs, while Montana was zipped up in a body bag. Margaret, still clutching a knife of her own, stabbed herself in the leg to blame everything on Brooke.
But then Ray wandered up, still confused about what happened to him. An EMT took his vitals, didn’t seem alarmed by the fact that he shouldn’t have any if he’s dead, and put him in the back of an ambulance. But as the bus sped through the camp gates, Ray ended up back on his butt on the road, finally realizing he was not going to be able to leave.
While he was bummed about that, Montana seemed to be in her element, even point-blank telling Ray to lighten up because he was doing “this purgatory thing” all wrong. Being dead would be a drag for a regular person, but now she could murder on a whim and see no consequences — something she promptly did by grabbing one of the cops’ guns and shooting him multiple times in the chest. How he didn’t recognize her as the woman they just took away in a body bag, though…
As the episode ended, the Night Stalker and Jingles stole a police car and drove off together — with an excellent joke about putting on your seatbelt — proving the difference between the dead who returned as ghosts and the dead who were resurrected by evil. The duo was heading for Los Angeles, Calif., where the Night Stalker will likely go on the killing spree for which he is known in real-life history.
But the question that still lingers is whether or not Montana’s comment about purgatory should be taken literally. “American Horror Story” is nothing if not full of twists, and with five episodes left, there are surely a lot more details to come that will turn this story on its head.
“American Horror Story: 1984” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.