SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Episode 100,” the sixth episode of “American Horror Story: 1984.”
One hundred episodes is a big milestone in television these days, so kudos to “American Horror Story” for getting there. Also kudos for pulling out all the stops for this big episode — it definitely turned the construct of the season on its head.
“Episode 100” began a year later from the main events in “American Horror Story: 1984” — jumping to in 1985, where a woman in a hotel went banging on the door of a room with music blaring from inside (“Idol only plays one way — full throttle”). The Night Stalker aka Richard Ramirez (Zach Villa) answered the door and tried to drag her into the room, presumably to kill her, but Jingles (John Carroll Lynch) stopped him. Jingle told the Night Stalker he’s tired of being the sidekick and he can’t stand by anymore and watch Ramirez kill people. Ramirez told him there will be literal hell to pay if he abandons him since Jingles was supposedly resurrected by Satan and all that.
As Black Sabbath played over a violent murder montage, Jingles finally had enough. He changed the tape deck to REO Speedwagon and decided to turn Ramirez in. He alerted a crowd of people to a newspaper featuring Ramirez’s picture and the mob chased the Night Stalker down the street and beat him to a pulp.
While there is a lot in “American Horror Story” that is the result of wild imagination, what happened to Villa’s Ramirez actually happened to the real-life serial killer — with the exception of Jingles being the cause of capture, of course. In reality, a group of elderly Latina women saw Ramirez’s photo on the front page of a newspaper and when he noticed them IDing him, he fled in a panic and tried to carjack a woman. He was chased by a bunch of bystanders and and subdued by them, one of whom hit him over the head with a metal bar, just like on the show. The mob beat him repeatedly until the police arrived and arrested him.
Anyway, back at Camp Redwood, there was another time jump — this time to 1989. Montana (Billie Lourd) was lounging by the lake and caught the eye of a nature photographer there to look at birds. The poor schmuck never knew what hit him as she stabbed him repeatedly. Xavier (Cody Fern) wandered up to make out with Montana while her hands were still slick with the guy’s blood, as some dead counselors from 1970 rolled their eyes at how “gauche” Montana was being by murdering people all the time.
Meanwhile, Margaret (Leslie Grossman) had become an Ivana Trump-esque real estate mogul, “gobbling up” death sites — Spahn Ranch, John Wayne Gacy’s house, Briarcliff Manor (the setting for “Asylum”) — and turning them into tourist attractions. She was also married to Trevor (Matthew Morrison). It turned out (in a flashback to 1985) that Trevor survived his stabbing and basically blackmailed Margaret into becoming his “sugar mama” in exchange for him not spilling the beans that she was the true murderer. She demanded they make it legal by marrying so that he couldn’t testify against her — even though technically that’s not how that works. (A spouse cannot be compelled to testify against his or her partner, but a spouse certainly can testify.) But either way, Trevor and Margaret then lived unhappily ever after.
Back in 1989, Leslie Jordan showed up as Trevor and Margaret’s assistant, informing them that Brooke, who Margaret framed for the 1984 massacre, lost her last appeal and is going to be executed.
The Camp Redwoodians also got the news, via the newspaper they found while rifling through the photographer’s campsite. Ray (DeRon Horton) took it upon himself to chastise Xavier and Montana about how they can’t just kill everybody who wanders through the camp, but they begged to differ — that’s exactly what they can do now that they’re dead and stuck in Camp Redwood. To prove it, Xavier killed the photographer’s girlfriend when she found them at the campsite.
In prison, Brooke ended up in San Quentin with Ramirez, who promptly began talking to her in her head (or was it?) about the different ways to die via capital punishment. His personal choice was the electric chair. (The real Ramirez actually died in prison from cancer at the age of 53.) He offered Brooke a chance to be saved by Satan, but she told him to “f— off.”
Back with Margaret and Trevor, there was concern about losing out on deals due to people thinking their company was morbid and disrespectful to the dead. But, with the new murders at Camp Redwood, Margaret saw new dollar signs and set out to organize a food and music festival at the camp. Montana and Xavier were ready to have a field day with this, plotting how to kill Margaret, and even Chet (Gus Kenworthy) was pretty steamed about Margaret bashing him over the head and drowning him in the lake. As anyone would be.
Back in San Quentin, one of Ramirez’s groupies told him about the concert at Camp Redwood — because Billy Idol was playing and he loved Idol — and he vowed to make sure nobody forgets him. So that night in his cell, he painted a pentagram on the floor in blood and called upon his master to grant him immortality. As he was summoning Satan, Brooke was being strapped down for her lethal injection, so when it came, Satan’s darkness flooded the facility and took over a guard, who let Ramirez out just as Brooke was declared dead.
During all of this, Jingle had moved to Alaska, gotten married and had a kid. But he couldn’t stay happy for long. Ramirez found him and brutally murdered his wife. But thankfully, the baby wasn’t hurt — that would have been a lot, even for “American Horror Story.” Jingles dropped his son off at his wife’s sister’s house and took off to get his revenge.
Almost simultaneously, Brooke was brought back to life by Faux-Rita (Angelica Ross), who was the hooded executioner at the prison. It seemed it wasn’t just Camp Redwood’s grounds that would refuse to let these characters die: It was “American Horror Story’s” writers and producers not wanting to say goodbye to the actors mid-way through the season.
The “1984” season is now on an entirely different timeline and trajectory from the beginning of the season, but the Camp Redwood setting is still integral to the storytelling, so the final four episodes should see everyone congregate back on the campgrounds for some more murderous fun before season’s end. “Episode 100” didn’t offer any cameos from quintessential players from “American Horror Story’s” past, such as Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson or Jessica Lange, but who knows what may happen in the back half of the season?
“American Horror Story: 1984” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.