We’re drawing near to the halfway point in the season now, and so far I’ve loved the latest round of American Horror Story. Its usual simmer and sparkle has been only enhanced by the New Orleans vibe which it has wrapped around itself like a mantle.
The last episode, though, I wasn’t as thrilled by. As I said at the time, it felt like half an episode, going through the motions and incorporating shades of seasons gone by too readily and too completely in place of innovation. Put simply it wasn’t as delightfully baffling as I’ve come to appreciate.
So it falls to episode 5 to bring back the sparkle.
The previous Halloween episodes of American Horror Story have always been a treat. It’s when the series really comes out to play.
In The Murder House, the “Halloween” two-parter showed us the real consequences of the house, as well as giving excellent story and character development, particularly with the death of Addie and the ghost-aided disintegration of Zachary Quinto and discount Alexander Skarsgård, one of the best gay relationships I’ve seen on TV.
In Asylum, it wasn’t actually Halloween themed. “Nor’easter” was still an excellent episode though, cementing the characters, including Briarcliff itself, and ending on one of the most viscerally chilling moments of the series with Shelley and Dr Arden.