(This is a recap. Spoilers below.)
Well, well, well, American Horror Story fans who hate Andy Warhol and are unreasonably scared of female-empowerment, have we got a recap for you!
Last night’s episode, “Valerie Solanas Died for Your Sins: Scumbag” was a bit of a stretch, albeit a fun stretch. But here are 10 Times It Went Too Far…
1. Lena Dunham’s Accent
Kudos to Lena Dunham for not feeling pigeon-holed and reprising her role as Hanna Horvath.
Jokes aside, this sincerely would be the 1960’s version of the GIRLS character, rejected and abused and thrown into institutions, probably turning violent, maybe leading a cult?
But while the idea of Dunham as would-be-Andy-Warhol-assassin Valerie Solanas seems great on paper, and is pretty cool, the forced New Je'sey/New Yo'k accent doesn’t work. You gotta drop the “r’s.” It’s sacrilege if yous dohn’t. And just sounds wei’d.
2. Evan Peters As Andy Warhol
Earlier this year, it was rumored that Evan Peters might be playing multiple cult leaders during the season, including Andy Warhol and Charles Manson. By now, fans probably gave up hope that this would actually happen. But, here we are! And, you know, it works. The makeup (sort of) and mannerisms are all there - and the shitty misogyny, too.
Why is it too far? Because it does destabilize the creepy reality of Kai Anderson (Evan Peters) and his legitimately scary agenda. Even though there’s been camp-a-plenty this season, his existence keeps the show grounded. But, heck, whatever. And Peters’ Manson will probably be awesome.
3. This Photo
Of course we can’t truly say goodbye to Leslie Grossman without this loving homage to Harrison and Meadow’s dumb relationship.
But gags like these beg the question - is this still a horror show or is it secretly now a comedy? Who knows sometimes. But this season has been the scariest and funniest all at once. And it’s this ping-ponging from gory to satirical that keeps viewers tuning in.
4. Kai’s New Entourage
Kai is having a moment. The botched-assassination plan worked and he’s in the lead for city counsel. Now that he has everything he wanted, his social circle seems to be “evolving.” Enter 20 or so dudes in blue button-downs who now live in his house and hate all women. Why is Kai suddenly abandoning his loyal followers and trading them in for bros? Because #men, right? We later find out Kai’s motive for betraying his insane clown posse is a little more nuanced. Still, where is it written down that if two dozen overgrown boys live in a house they will start a fight club?
5. So Many New Faces!
This episode is not just a vehicle for Frances Conroy’s excellent wig acting, it is also a flashback episode. So, there are a ton of new characters we’ll probably never see again, introduced via Ocean’s Eleven-style narration. The gang are followers of Solanas and her SCUM Manifesto, rejects of society who see no way forward other than to murder random people. The 60’s were a wild time, man.
6. Wild Theories
Ryan Murphy, you old dog. You did it again. You tied a mysterious historical murder to a random historical figure and it doesn’t make any sense. And that’s why we love you.
For fun fictional reasons, Solanas and her followers are blamed for the Zodiac killings, where random happy couples were mysteriously murdered. The rationale here is that Solanas’ misanderist cult orchestrated these killings to send a message to women in couples - lose the dicks (all the meanings) or lose your lives. But any good serial killer nerd knows that the Zodiac was one person who sent cyphers to the police and press, right? Maybe. Or, perhaps, as Dunham’s Solanas insinuates, the male ego couldn’t sit back and NOT take credit for the sweet, sweet female-driven carnage.
7. Bruce & Maurice
Okay, all of Bruce and Maurice’s scenes were pointless and weird. First, we have two homosexual men who sign up to be ridiculed by a bunch of murdering women, one of them betrays the other because he “didn’t want to…but (is) still a man” and then gets cut up into chunks and arranged into an elegant Thanksgiving centerpiece. What is the message here? Men and women are, like cartoon cats and dogs, natural enemies? Men, gay or straight, can’t let women take the credit or blame for anything? This is a recurring theme throughout the episode, first with Warhol humiliating Solanas and then, at the end of the episode, with Harrison proclaiming he’s a man, too before he’s cut into pieces. Whatever the point, it’s an interesting one. Let’s discuss it in a more civilized setting.
8. Police Incompetence
Solanas goes to the police and takes credit for the Zodiac murders. Except the cop won’t take her seriously because she’s a woman (and probably because she’s been committed before and doesn’t have any evidence.) But, come on, police would never let a convicted shooter leave the precinct after confessing to a violent crime spree! Just kidding, they totally would.
9. Killing Off Harrison
Harrison’s departure is a bittersweet one. He started out creepy, then turned out to be adorable and misunderstood, then became a complete shit-bag. Over the course of the season, it wasn’t clear if Harrison hated Meadow or just women in general. But, he sort of had a point. Men never sawed him into pieces.
It was probably time for old Harrison to kick the bucket. But what’s going to happen to his bees? And what about his boyfriend, Detective Hot Mike Pence? Who’s he going to raw-dog now?
10. This New Conspiracy
Oooh. Kai had an ulterior motive all along and is working with Bebe Babbitt (sick name) to further radicalize his female disciples.
But what’s the end-game here? A female assassin targets an alt-right candidate for local government because of quote unquote Hillary Clinton. Another is taken into custody. A group of murdering women murder some more, this time targeting men and aiming to undermine Kai’s campaign.
The theme being, women are dangerous, disruptive. Could the goal be to scapegoat half the country’s population? Tune into Fox News, uh, the next episode of American Horror Story to find out.