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Black Knight

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  1. It took me a little longer than ordinarily to finish The Starless Sea - I was in the wrong mood for a couple of days, which was unusual because this book with its stories and mythology is exactly my jam - but then I ripped through the remaining two-thirds quickly. I'm now about a third of the way through Patrick Radden Keefe's Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland. It's an uplifting read of a country coming together...no, of course not, it's people killing their neighbors for religious and sectarian reasons. It's well-written and interesting, and I'm learning a lot about The Troubles that I hadn't known, but I'm going to need a palate cleanser after this.
  2. I so love Miranda's "epiphany" about the witch in Hansel and Gretel in that episode.
  3. So Clyde finally gets killed, but it's an April Fool's? Ugh, Show.
  4. Bingewatch complete! Well, I loved the season and the finale. AHS seems to go with a quieter finale for the more frenetic seasons - I'm thinking of Asylum and Hotel. I found that the method of Montana and Trevor talking to Bobby was good for maintaining the suspense of what happened on that day in 1989. I knew those ghosts were going to get Margaret. I'm glad it really ended up being them instead of Brooke. Feeding Margaret into the chipper to shoot her remains over the property line was gloriously gruesome. Sure, it was overly elaborate and unnecessary, but that's true of a lot of kills in horror. And speaking of such, I found Richard Ramirez's outcome quite fitting. Usually in fiction it's the serial killer devising one way after another to kill, but here he's the one suffering it (and presumably Margaret will be enduring the same now that the ghosts know she's on the property). And I agree with what was said upthread, it does seem like the ghosts are using the situation to sate their bloodlust. Montana and Trevor "reasoned" with them not to kill other humans anymore, but given the ways and circumstances they all died and their being stuck there, it makes sense they still need some sort of outlet. But it's also an interesting contrast to Marie Laveau in Coven and Apocalypse, who really couldn't stand being a torturer for eternity. I'm glad Donna was one of the Final Girls. I think in a way her part was bittersweet. Yes, she survived, and as she noted, she's gotten to have a life. But, she's director of the asylum where Benjamin was kept, which to me means that she has never left Camp Redwood behind either. Also, while I do think that Donna redeemed herself, I also kind of think that her living with guilt for 30 years over Brooke's supposed death was penance she deserved (although I don't believe Brooke meant it that way). A lot of people were killed by Benjamin after she helped him escape, and she knew that was going to happen. I'm glad that she and Brooke were reunited finally, as I always liked their friendship. The final sequence with Bobby, Benjamin and Lavinia were great. But I also liked how Lavinia turned around, looked at Margaret, and said, "Take her" in such a chilling way. It was fun to see Lily Rabe turn on a dime like that. This season makes it into my top five for AHS.
  5. Whee! All these killers running around, some of them teaming up and some of them in opposition, made for such a fun episode. I evil-giggled through much of it. I think what Stacy said in the diner to Brooke and Donna is a pretty good statement of the theme of the season. You have all this rich glitzy stuff and also the "family wholeness" of summer camps and roller ranks, and allegedly "everyone was happy" (my mom made that claim to me during the 90s, which, suuuuuure), but really we had so much darkness going on, from the Night Stalker to AIDS. And the psychic uneases of a given era are often reflected in the fiction and horror of what was created then, so her point about slasher horror taking over in the 80s from what we had in the 70s was an excellent one. I don't need AHS to have a deep theme or anything, but Stacy really ties together what the writers were doing with this season. I was surprised at how quick Brooke was to go to murdering Stacy as her solution to that problem. I guess it shows how important it was that she actually became friends with Donna, or she might have killed her in the last episode. Good on Donna for stopping her from going through with it, although having Stacy run away on her own pretty much guaranteed she'd get killed anyway. Donna should maybe have thought about that. The miserable look on Courtney's face as he hauled the body bags down the bus steps was perfect. I laughed so hard. Props to Leslie Jordan for that. Of course Margaret decides to kill all the musicians (except Billy Idol). I do wonder why she continues to overlook that there are ghosts at the camp who have it out for her for good reason. The final scene of Benjamin with his mother and brother was sweet, but, I don't know. I don't think his mother would make such a complete turnaround so quickly. He may be trapped in an illusion conjured up by the creature who pulled him into the water. I wonder why the show had Montana witness it. It seems like that might be important later. Next up, the finale!
  6. What an amazing episode! I love the pantheon of serial killers, from the AHS creations like Montana to the AHS homages like Lavinia to the real life one in Richard Ramirez. I see upthread that lots of people mentioned Lavinia being a homage to Jason's mother, but I'm surprised nobody referenced The Hitcher for Dylan McDermott's character. That movie came out in 1986, and much like the Night Stalker, had a deep psychic impact on a region like SoCal that is so car/freeway-driven. I love, love, love Lily Rabe, and it was great to see her playing an extremely malevolent character this go-round. And wow, until her final scene, I was thinking that she just might have the title of "worst AHS mother ever." But she did soften once she heard that Benjamin had named his son after Bobby. Also, while she's based on Jason's mother, Lady in White was a 1988 horror movie popular among pre-teens. I watched it at at least three different slumber parties. There are no plot/character similarities, but I'm sure the ep title is a small nod to the film. I keep forgetting to mention this, but Margaret has said at least twice over the course of the series that the lake is bottomless. I wonder if that is going to play in somehow - like maybe that's why Lavinia can never find Bobby even though she senses him sometimes. I'm not sure which place/time would be worse for a living human being to be at - the house at the end of Roanoke, or this music festival. Montana's plan to escape, "If we kill all these people, paranormal experts will come to investigate and one will break the curse!" seemed hilariously poorly-conceived...but then, thinking of horror movies, she's not really wrong, is she? I liked the burgeoning friendship between Brooke and Donna - I don't feel like the inclusion of the roller rink sequence was just nostalgia-service (though of course I loved it for that), it was important in making the characters actual friends. I knew there was no way Brooke would kill Donna. The first part of that scene was horrific to watch, though - I gasped when I saw Donna lying in the road, tied to the truck. I kept thinking of James Byrd Jr., the black man dragged to death in 1998. The other ghosts are going to be so unhappy when they realize Benjamin already killed himself and so none of them can. Hee. I love the way everything and everyone is converging on this music festival, with various agendas at play. ETA: Also, interesting to see that Donna and Benjamin have the same experience of walking in on a parent to discover they're a serial killer. I wonder if in some weird way that's what made them connect on a subconscious level at the asylum.
  7. One of my memories from childhood is reading the morning newspapers the day after Ramirez's arrest. I remember one line in particular, that "he had stumbled into a neighborhood of heroes." Except for the involvement of Benjamin, and the simplification from multiple attempted carjackings to just one, this was basically how his apprehension went down. I was actually expecting Benjamin to find out his wife was cheating on him. There was a bit of a weird camera shot on her when he told her he was up for a promotion, so I thought maybe she was carrying on with his boss. I thought he'd find them together and snap and go back to his old ways, especially since Ramirez making it to Alaska so quickly, without Benjamin hearing about his escape on the news, seemed unlikely. But I guess Lorraine was indeed faithful, and just really unlucky. I didn't care for the dialogue written for her that essentially equated being a murderer and being a prostitute. Okay, Brooke has won me over. Refusing to make a deal with Satan, staying strong through her execution - she really is an actual heroine. It was good to see after the disappointments of Trevor and Xavier going over to the dark side. And I was delighted that Donna was the one who saved her. Good on you, Donna. I definitely visualized Ivana Trump when I saw Margaret. I really wonder what she's thinking with this concert. Okay, she doesn't know Benjamin is coming down from Alaska nor that Brooke actually survived the execution, but she surely knows there are a bunch of ghosts at the camp who hate her.
  8. "It's your fault my future is in radio!" Hahahahahaha! I haven't laughed so hard at a line in AHS since Sarah Paulson's "I'm not American, I'm not used to this carnage!" in Roanoke. I work in radio, as did a bunch of my relatives (you could say it's been the family business), so that just really tickled me. The busload of excited campers pulling up to see Brooke stabbing Montana repeatedly was everything. Loved all the screams. So Montana plans on essentially running wild in Purgatory. I wonder if that'll mean conflict later with Margaret, who is pretty possessive of the camp. Or maybe they'll just bond over how they like killing. I would think that Ray and Jonas do not understand what they're getting into with Montana, but they saw her kill that cop and seemed weirdly chill/fine about it. Yup, definitely have no sympathy for Mr. Jingles, or perhaps I should call him Benjamin. He did not have to sell his soul to Satan. But I loved him driving off with Richard Ramirez. Now there's a pair... Donna's backstory was amazing. To think she was going to catch her father having an affair, and instead finding out he's a serial killer? No wonder she is so royally screwed up and also so desperate to believe that evil is always and only ever made, not born. I think she might turn out to be the season's counterpart to Benjamin (Mr. Jingles), as she does seem truly remorseful and desirous of making restitution. I don't think she'd agree to sell her soul to Satan. I'm interested to see what happens next with her. It was a nice scene between Brooke and Ray before they slept together, and so I wasn't wrong about the chemistry between them earlier in the season. I felt bad for him when she just abandoned him as he was realizing that he's dead. But maybe it was also kind of karmic for him to get a taste of his own medicine, about how it feels when someone abandons you because they're afraid. That said, I am a little more sympathetic towards cowardliness than I am malicious, sadistic murders. He is not even close to being the worst person this season.
  9. Another fun episode! It feels like we're reaching the end though, and then the story will shift to the survivors going back to LA or something like that. I'm impressed at how they got 5 episodes (counting next week) out of sleepaway camp...I thought they would be done with it after two, but the plot twists worked for extending it. I don't understand the complaints about victims not staying dead. A bunch of people have died and are still dead - Ray, Trevor, Dr. Karen, Blake, Chef Bertie, the three fake Mr. Jingles, the real Rita, the gas station guy, the asylum guard...eleven in four episodes is a high body count. I liked Richard Ramirez's resurrection due to the spooky filming of it. Creeped me out. The two murder teams fighting with each other while Brooke swung around was hilarious. Finally I was right about someone being evil - I was sure Margaret had been the one to slaughter everyone back then. However, I still don't feel much sympathy for Mr. Jingles, because we've seen him kill so many people since - his killing the chef grated on me especially because all she did was try to protect someone else - and with real cruelty in some cases. Sticking Xavier in an oven to broil? His "you made me a monster" complaint doesn't work for me because we saw in his sparing of the third fake Mr. Jingles that he isn't compelled to kill. He also has not tried to kill Donna, and he initially wasn't going to kill the chef either. Margaret is horrible, but take some responsibility for yourself, dude. You are clearly making choices.
  10. Dreama Walker! I just binge-watched all of Don't Trust the B- in Apartment 23 last month, so I love me some Dreama. Of course, this time I knew not to get excited when I saw her name come up in the credits. But then it was revealed Donna didn't kill her, and I got excited...and she died thirty seconds later. Still, she would be great to add to the AHS stable, so, maybe fingers crossed for later. I really don't think that the theme has anything to do with a lot of the AHS regulars not here. They did Murder House and/or Roanoke, why would they turn up their noses at this concept? I think it's as simple as that this is a season that calls for a younger cast. They got John Carroll Lynch for the one older role of real note. Heh, here I was so suspicious of Brooke and Margaret (and I am still suspicious of them), and it's the other two women who do heel turns! I'm having a lot of fun binge-watching this, and maybe this season works better as a binge-watch. When Ray was saying that three people could get away or whatever that was, and then he ran smack into Richard Ramirez, Rita/Donna said exactly what I was thinking at that moment. That was a great death he had later. I've wondered if Mr. Jingles was framed for the original deaths, by Margaret, and when he mentioned to Donna that he doesn't remember doing it, that made me more suspicious. Buuuuuuuuut we've also seen him kill a bunch of people, so I can't really feel sorry for him. You certainly know what exactly what you're doing this time, dude, and you've also demonstrated that you have the ability to choose not to kill. I loved when Trevor did the smart thing and shoved Mr. Jingles into the pit, because so often in horror, as we all know, characters don't take advantage of the opportunities they have. Of course, I had completely forgotten that there was still the fake Mr. Jingles wandering around, and of course, that turned out to be who it was. Looking back, Montana targeted Brooke right from the start. I like the theory posted here that she has a connection to one of the people killed at Brooke's wedding. We know that she assumed that Brooke did bang the groomsman; she said as much after Brooke told her the story. And although Brooke has denied it, I doubt Montana believes it even now. I don't really believe it either. There was no one more appropriate Brooke could have asked to stay the night with her? She couldn't have stayed at her parents' place? Why did Brooke have such night terrors in the first place? On to the next!
  11. I grew up in Orange County in the 80s. The Night Stalker was huge in the region's consciousness. There's no way a horror show can be taking place in the summer of 1984 in southern California and not have Richard Ramirez, particularly if my theory that the title of the season, 1984, is indeed indicative that the season is about the various horrors and nightmares of that era, rather than just a parody of/homage to a summer camp slasher flick. Welp, I was excited to have Orla Brady and hoped she'd last for a while, and her character gets killed in the first couple of minutes. Thanks, Show. Reminds me of when I was excited to see Dina Meyer in Apocalypse. Clearly, I need to stop getting excited. But I enjoyed this episode a lot, more than the pilot. I see Tim Minear wrote it, and I generally like Minear's stuff. The hiker turning out to be the ghost of one of the murdered counselors is a nice wrinkle. There were a couple of things in the scene where he talks to Margaret that tingled my spidey senses. First, in his memories, he was seeing her standing up - yes, bloody, but still, standing up, and weirdly calm for someone who was being murdered along with a bunch of others. Second, there was something about the way she was asking him about who was driving the truck that hit him. It was like she wanted to find out what exactly he knows. But if the story of what happened back then is as simple as Mr. Jingles slaughtering a bunch of counselors, she wouldn't need to do that. Her whole claim that she managed not to twitch or make a sound while her ear was being cut off - maybe that's not just '80s horror schlock, maybe it really didn't happen. Maybe she was helping massacre the counselors. Especially considering how she's being cozy with Richard Ramirez now. I'm not sure what to believe of Brooke's wedding day story, but the sequence was great. Hi Rex! (Steven Culp.) Bye Rex!
  12. He actually used to look exactly like Patrick. I remember about a year or two after Dirty Dancing, my mom and I saw Don doing a guest stint on some TV show and couldn't stop marveling over the resemblance. We had had no idea Patrick had a brother until then. That may have been the point, he wasn't in the more famous ad campaign, for the hotter soda. (Though I personally was always a Coke drinker!) I didn't know and am quite pleased to see that Orla Brady is in this season. I hope her character lasts a while. It took me a moment to place DeRon Horton without the glasses he wears as Lionel for Dear White People. He and Brooke seemed to be flirting when she was tending to his hand, so maybe despite being a black guy in a '80s slasher flick parody/homage he'll survive longer than the first act. I am thinking there'll only be a few episodes at the sleeper camp and then the action moves back to LA. There isn't enough at the camp to sustain a season of episodes, especially given how quickly the action's going, and the season is titled 1984, not Sleepaway Camp or some such. I think the Night Stalker thing is an indication the season will be about various horrors of the era. If so, I expect AIDS will make an appearance.
  13. Something that occurred to me this morning is, we do know that the informant came from the Jerry Colombo "group" of family members, lottery winners, and their close ones. That's because the one name that the FBI confirmed they were given was that of "Uncle Jerry," and that is a name for Jerome Jacobsen that was only in use in the Jerry Colombo group. As Robin explained in a previous episode, Uncle was a title given to Jerry Jacobsen by her husband out of respect. It was not in use among the other recruiter groups. I wonder if Robin was not just directing suspicion away from her mother-in-law, whom she wouldn't want to piss off for obvious reasons, but actually right. Frank and Ma Colombo do have the strongest motives to turn informant. Frank might have been pointing the finger at her not out of bitterness, but to cover up for himself. We never got to hear from Ma Colombo directly, so we don't have much of a sense of what she's like as a person. Frank absolutely does seem like someone who would impulsively call the FBI. I really wish we knew why his family won't have anything to do with him. Seems like violating omerta is one of the few things that would get one cut off in a family like that. It might have been something where Frank thought it was okay because his brother was dead, but the rest of the family didn't agree, whether just out of general "principle" of omerta, or because they didn't like Jerry Colombo getting tagged for something even after death, or because so many people they knew ended up getting caught up in the maelstrom, or because while Robin obviously wasn't popular with the family back then she was still Jerry's widow and mother of his son. As Frank and his wife noted, the family let her live even though her driving got her husband killed because they believed it was accidental on her part, so they clearly weren't irrational haters.
  14. I really doubt that, because she would have been a major suspect due to her employer and connection to the ringleader. There's no way they didn't check her over top to bottom like they did the CPA, Hilda, who accompanied Uncle Jerry. But it's just not that hard to determine that neither she nor anyone in her circle benefited financially and so she wasn't involved. So in the end I think she's right that her ex did not tell her what he was doing because he knew she would blow the whistle. I think this show works pretty well as a binge-watch, which is what I just finished. It's a little padded, but on the other hand I didn't really mind that because I got into the various people being interviewed. They were such characters! I was relieved that Gloria did not have to serve time. And I don't know where she was being interviewed, but if it's her house like it was for most of the interviewees, she's doing well for herself now. I'm glad Amy has risen to the senior management position she now holds at McDonald's. She seemed like such a trooper during all this. AJ Glomb probably ended up being my favorite of all. His humor really cracked me up. Yes, he is a scumbag, but he's a charismatic scumbag. I also really enjoyed Robin, and learning that she is regularly involved with her husband's family (aside from the brother-in-law, who apparently with his wife has been shut out of the family for years, wonder what that's about) makes sense of some of her interview tidbits from earlier in the season. For instance, when asked about Uncle Dominic's death and her reply of, "We don't talk about that." It also puts her naming Frank as the informant in a different light - like she was trying to point the finger away from her mother-in-law, at the relative who's on the outs with the family. I don't know if the mother-in-law really did it, but I'm guessing Robin at least understood that the Colombos look suspicious because all the family drama meant that Colombos had great motives for turning informant, especially her mother-in-law and brother-in-law, and so she directed it at Frank. "It was Ma Colombo!" is certainly an amazing answer, but there's that family estrangement we never got any information about. Frank may just feel bitter towards his mother. Or maybe he truly believes it was her, but that doesn't mean that he's correct. Apart from whatever's going on between Frank and the other Colombos, it was actually really nice to see some of the healing and connections others had.
  15. Embassy Suites was just Doug's suggestion when he was describing the idea he had of gathering everyone in Vegas and mass-arresting them all - I assume he was trying to pick something more low-key to get his idea approved. The FBI still nixed it for budgetary reasons among others, but also realized that they could tell the winners anything since the trip was never going to happen and wouldn't need to be paid for anyway. So I'm sure in the pitch to the winners, they name-dropped a flashier hotel.
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