American Horror Story: Fire Island
November 10, 2022 6:50 PM - Season 11, Episode 8 - Subscribe

A much-needed getaway vacation makes everything worse.
posted by kittens for breakfast (9 comments total)
Random Notes:

*So Hannah is...dead? I guess?

*Apparently it's not as simple as Patrick just dressing up for the role of Big Daddy. Maybe Big Daddy is a tulpa or something, some manifestation of Patrick's rage? Alternatively he could just be Michael Myers: Weekend Mode.

*It's genuinely upsetting to see these characters in the early stages of AIDS. This is not my favorite season of this show -- it may be my least favorite, although Death Valley was not great -- but for all that it doesn't quite work for me, the looming tragedy of these people being cut down in their prime really snuck up on me. I was so preoccupied with the silly horror plot that I didn't think too much about the greater context of these times. I'm prepared to see these people meet their end under a buzzing chainsaw; seeing them puke and cough and get covered in cancers is something else.

*At least this story ended happily for Theo. That's nice. He seemed like a nice guy.

Next week: The end, parts one and two. For real this time!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:05 PM on November 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

I think one of the things I dislike about this season is that all the danger comes from within the community (at least so far). You have Whitely, Sam, even Henry. While there is a montage that includes gay bashing in the previous episode and some obvious bigotry in the police department, we don't really see much serious danger from outside the community. I'm not denying that there weren't and aren't predators within the community but for all of the danger to come from within especially set within the context of nyc in 1981? That's just bs.

There's a lot of great acting talent in this season and that's what keeps me watching. I wish they had been given better material though.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:26 PM on November 10, 2022 [1 favorite]

The writing just isn't there to support what they're trying to do, and it's too bad. The cast is wonderful, the show looks great, the music -- wow! I love the music this season; the giallo-like theme they used when Big Daddy attacked this episode is really fine.

AHS is by scripts. For once, though, the plotting is not the problem; sure, there are the stray wonky, go-nowhere, filler elements (what the fuck are they doing with Denis O'Hare stalking Gino? terrible), but it's mostly a pretty focused story. For me, the problems are that (a) it's not an especially good story, and (b) it's not much of a horror story.

If the story were better, the lack of horror would be okay. If you sit down expecting a big bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream and get a pizza instead, you can be satisfied -- but only if it's some really fucking great pizza. This is okay pizza. The question I asked myself today was: If this series were not an installment of American Horror Story -- if it were the exact same show, without any horror/suspense elements -- would I be interested in it at all? I can't speak for everybody, but I wouldn't be; I don't think the hallmarks of either Great Drama or High Trash are here.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:14 AM on November 11, 2022

I mean it's definitely a horror story-you have Whitely's sentinel, Sam, and Big Daddy. If most of the characters weren't suffering from AIDs this would be enough. It's just when you put this into historical context, those three pale in comparison to the real horror going on. Like Whitely's sentinel seems positively charming considering the fate that awaits the cast even if they manage to survive this and Big Daddy. I can see them being like "That's the twist. They're all doomed anyway." But it's just a really bad idea to do that with an actual historical backdrop recent enough for many people to have lived through it as well as in the context of covid.

In terms of if I would watch this if it wasn't AHS, probably as I am a fan of Russell Tovey and Zachary Quinto. And I especially love Quinto when he's being a villain. He is just deliciously evil. So yeah the cast would still keep me involved in this. But I think it's time they end this series and just focus on Stories.
posted by miss-lapin at 9:35 AM on November 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I think you'd have to have a pretty narrow definition of horror to find this not-horror.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 9:06 PM on November 12, 2022

I mean, it's horror, but it's...*sigh*'s pretty light on the horror. It's more a dark procedural, Dexter or Luther type of thing.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:56 AM on November 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

Yeah this is not Luther. (I love Luther and think it had FAR better writing incidentally.) And also not Dexter as there is clearly a supernatural element as well as multiple predators at play with various motives. However, the paranormal/otherworldly horror element is indeed muted when you consider previous season of AHS. It's really just confined itself to tarot card predictions of death and big daddy (possibly). I get being disappointed in that but I'm not sure more paranormal shit would save this incredibly misguided season.
posted by miss-lapin at 4:51 AM on November 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

Oh, it's definitely not as good as Luther! (It is, for what it's worth, about as good a whole lot of Dexter.) But it's a similar subgenre of horror; I guess a better comparison might be Seven. And I love Seven, but AHS is at its most fun when it's mixing in fantasy and sci-fi elements. Of previous seasons, I think NYC is most like Cult, minus the batshit insanity of Cult...and I wasn't that crazy about Cult, either! Oh, well.

I don't want to come across like I hate NYC, though. I don't love NYC, but I am not some monster who can find it in their heart to discard a production that has so much going for it. Kinda like House of the Dragon, it may not be perfect, I may have some serious issues with it, but I'm chomping on the bit (as it were) to watch it the instant Hulu jailbreaks it.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:19 AM on November 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

Yes, I was so happy to see Quinto back on the show this time around. He plays a great sleazeball. Plus, how fun was it to see one of the top shelf Spocks getting prescriptions from Lt. Connix? Human sacrifice, Star Trek and Star Wars living together... MASS HYSTERIA!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:46 AM on November 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

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