Welcome to the new season of American Horror Story: Trigger Warning (j/k it’s Cult). But really it is trigger warning because it is too real. We’ve got clowns, trypophobia, blood, cheetos, Donald Trump. EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD TO BE SCARED OF.
We all know that this season will go off the rails spectacularly, because every damned season does. What’s the over/under? My money is on episode five. This show is so inconsistent in quality, even episode to episode, not to mention season to season, that it almost feels like a bad relationship. BAD ROMANCE, dare I gaga? Sometimes we are riding high on Jessica Lange singing anachronistic David Bowie songs, and sometimes we are left vomiting in confusion over dropped plot lines, vampire measles children, and one episode villains. What keeps me coming back? Like a bad romance, the highs are great and the crazy is addictive. But at the end of every season (save Hotel) I am so disgusted by the inconsistency I consider swearing off--all the while knowing that I will be back in nine months to see what beautiful garbage is spewed.
Anyway, AHS opens this season with a terrifying montage of the election. If that isn’t enough to make me crawl under the sofa forever, what is? (THINGS WITH HOLES IN THEM). Then we cut to Election Night, and Sarah Paulson freaking out at the results. She’s a liberal lesbian with a great wife and an adorable curly headed, spectacle wearing son, and her whole world is shattered by the election. “I won’t believe it until I hear Rachel Maddow say it!” she shrieks. Then she collapses into hysterics.
Too real, AHS! Did you have hidden cameras in my house that night? The show cross-cuts with Evan Peters, our blue haired Joker figure/villain of the season, screaming in jubilation, humping his flatscreen, and “Fuck ya, America”-ing all over the place.
Sidenote: what’s your favorite AHS Evan Peters? Psycho Teen? 1950s Nice guy? Frankenstein boyfriend? Lobster Boy? 1920s Serial Killer ghost? 1700s ghost/cool guy actor? My very favorite is Hotel’s 1920s Serial Killer ghost. First of all, he was dapper as f. Second, he had the best accent that was ever created. Third, he was married to Vampire Lady Gaga and working hard on their marriage. He was probably a Sagittarius. HE IS THE BEST AND SO IS HOTEL EVEN THOUGH EVERYONE HATES IT. Fight me.
Anyway, Evan Peters dumps cheetos into a blender and paints his face with them. He swoops his hair into a Trumpian pompadour and goes to bother Billie Lourd, who is perhaps his sister? She’s also upset because she dropped out of Vassar to work for Hillary and everything is ruined forever. Right there with you, girl. Okay, so, on this show, in the first 15 minutes, a character has ground up cheetos and painted his face. I just want to make everyone feel safe--yes, this did happen.
Sarah Paulson is just losing her shit all over. Her adorable son says “I don’t want you not to be married anymore,” and I totally almost cried. We have a tricky imagination trick of Twisty the Clown, from season Freakshow, stalking two disgusting modern teenagers. There’s a lot of stabbing and running and tongue gouging. But, it is a trick, so we cut to the adorable boy reading a comic about Twisty in bed. Sarah Paulson busts him, and when he hands over the comic, she straight up turns into a .gif of horror. Complete Dolly Zoom Time! Apparently, she is very clown-phobic.
We cut again to her therapy session. This bitch is pacing around, talking about her phobias to Dr. Cheyenne Jackson. He’s basically very condescending and seems like a suspiciously terrible therapist. She tells him about her phobias returning, and mentions even the coral he has in his office is freaking her out. THEN THEY CUT TO A CLOSE UP AND GIRL SAVE ME FROM THIS LIFE. Trypophobia is a real thing and I have it! I can’t stand the sight of little holes in things. Especially natural things? Like lotus pods? Therapist’s decorative corals? Very dark beehives? It has something to do with the blackness of the holes. It is disease! (When they cut to the close up, I literally threw my hand up in front of my face and my husband was like, WTF is wrong with you? Holes, I said weakly.) (Also, the fact that I linked to that term and its attendant google images shows how much I love Heauxs.) Anyway, Dr. Bad Therapist Jackson is like, chill out, take a media fast, and also these pills. Sarah Paulson doesn’t like pills (what’s wrong with her, pills are grrreeeattt!)
Meanwhile, Evan Peters has washed off his cheeto mask and tied his hair up into a respectable blue bun to attend his city council meeting. I had Parks and Rec flashbacks here. Apparently, Sarah Paulson’s neighbor (there at her election night freakout) is a councilman. The council is debating increasing police presence at the local synagogue, and Evan Peters is here to protest. POLITICS ALERT: basically he is like the worst Bernie Bro. The kind who was like, well, let’s let the whole country burn down and then we’ll build something better. Also, this is Steve Bannon’s philosophy. So he gives a long rant about fear being the best thing and the emotion that can be exploited to gain power, and the neighbor councilman is like, shut up you Internet troll and gtfo. As he leaves, Evan Peters warns that a humiliated man is the most dangerous creature and I laughed because men are terrible and that's true. Some (Stephen Colbert) have even suggested that Donald Trump’s humiliation at the hands of Obama during a Press Corp dinner is why we are in this hellscape. Of course, we know that Evan Peters means clown murder.
Sarah Paulson goes to the grocery store and Chaz Bono is there! With a stump for a hand. And a MAGA hat. Girl is unsettled but she goes about her business. Until--CLOWN ATTACK. Clowns humping in the produce section. Chasing her down the aisles. Like a true white lady liberal, she keeps hurling rosé at them. ROSÉ can't help you now! She barely makes it to her car and then crashes her Prius when she spies a clown in the back seat.
You may remember that I mentioned that Sarah Paulson is married. That's true, I did. She's married to a lovely lady played by Allison Pill, who is adorable. They have some real talk. Paulson hasn't left the house and has been neglecting the restaurant they share. This clown stuff is dumb. She needs to take her pills and get it together. They also need to hire a new nanny, since theirs fled. Enter Billie Lourd, who is just goth enough. We see her having an intense pinkie promise interrogation with Evan Peters about butt stuff as she is interviewing with our lesbians. She knows just what to say: women’s studies! Vassar! Lena Dunham! Hillz forever Benghazi Never! They snap her right up.
What's going on between Evan Peters and Billie Lourd? Man, I don't know. Something! (butt stuff possibly)
Our ladies are having an argument and Evan Peters throws coffee on them. They are vexed.
Meanwhile, Evan Peters harasses some hardworking Spanish speakers. HE PEES IN A CONDOM AND THROWS IT AT THEM. Of course they beat the shit out of him (how we cheered) but then, gasp! Someone is filming the beating.
Paulson and Pill have dinner at the restaurant they own. The first dish is delivered--holes! Holes with blood! Clowns ensue, followed by freak outs. Pill has had enough! Take your pills and admit you voted for Jill Stein! Clowns aren’t real! Stop being so crazy!
At home, (and what a home. This show is as sumptuously designed as it is crazy) Billie Lourd gets weird with the son. She takes him on the dark web to look at stabbing videos. Things are not okay.
On the way home, our ladies come across police lights. They rush through the boundary to their son. He tells them that clowns came in an ice cream truck and killed the neighbors: the councilman and his wife. Said clowns are identical to the grocery store humpers earlier, although we as the viewers are the only ones who know this because this is a serious point of view issue that either 100% confirms the clowns are real or shows the sloppiness of the writing, or, who am I kidding, does both! The babysitter brought him over there and let him peek through the window. Of course, Paulson and Pill are horrified. BUT, Lourd tells them that's all made up and hands over the clown comic. The police say that it was a murder suicide. Wtf is going on!
Call me Ingrid Bergman because I smell a gaslighting.
THINGS THAT HAPPENED
Cheeto face mask
HOLES DEAR GOD HELP ME
A severed tongue with tongue stud
Rosé throwing (x2)
Jill Stein voting
Donald Trump became president (oh, that's real life)