American Horror Story: NYC (Season 11) Episodes 1 & 2: The fans whined and waited endlessly for a crumb of the plot, or at least some clue about the new cast. But the Gods (Murphy and Falchuk) have been cruel and aloof until the premiere just dropped to string their devotees along on a slow-burn ride of leather daddies prowling through the sleazy, sticky New York City bars and bath houses in 1981. There hasn’t been this much hush-hush-ness about a season since Roanoke. For season 11–once the multiple interlinked subplots start dropping one after another with no clear hint as to what (and who) on earth is really behind the “horror”–the secrecy only goes with and mystifies the ones in the closet.


To look for connections with other seasons is just one of the very few guilty pleasures that comes with every new season dropping, and this one has quite a few hints and teases which may or may not turn out to be meaty. With a leather mask-wearing massive murder-top who is undoubtedly a dark homage to the beloved and feared Rubber-man that haunted the likes of Murder House and Apocalypse, and a gorgeous, kink photographer mentioning a witchy ancestor; season 11 certainly isn’t going easy on us with mind games. However, it is going pretty light-handed with bloodiness and gore, at least as of now.


With his recent work, Dahmer, most likely being produced around the same time as this one; the similarities between Ryan Murphy’s treatment of the two shows are a bit too obvious to miss. Known for being loyal to his actors, Murphy also casts Joe Mantello, who plays the odd John Graff in his recent show ” The Watcher”, as one of the leads in this season of American horror story. With the star-studded returning cast consisting of the amazing Billie Lourd, Leslie Grossman, Denis O’hare, and Zachary Quinto; NYC sets expectations high and doesn’t disappoint with the first two episodes. The recurring “something is coming”, is hopefully a hint towards the morbidly fun chaos that usually follows wherever Murphy goes.

American Horror Story: NYC  (Season 11), Episodes 1 & 2 Recap: 

American Horror Story NYC (Season 11) Episode 2

Adding to the frightening list of homosexual men that are being kidnapped, brutalized, and murdered in 1981 in New York; a closeted flight crew’s beheading alarms the closeted detective Patrick (Russell Tovey) who finds out that the victim had gone out seeking his specific pleasures. “The Native” reporter Gino (Joe Mantello), who happens to be Patrick’s boyfriend, is increasingly disturbed by the murders, and having to deal with Patrick’s denial and indifference doesn’t make things any easier. To make matters even more severe, Dr. Hannah Wells (Billie Lourd) discovers a strange disease ravaging deers and foretelling a sinister epidemic that may not spare even humans.


A well-meaning gesture by Sully (Jared Reinfeldt) who just wanted to cheer up his heartbroken friend Adam (Charlie Carver), leads them to another kink haven where the menacing leather-dom shows up and Sully goes missing. Convinced that the leather man is behind the disappearances and the murders, Adam seeks out the help of the cops and gets disappointed. At a bathhouse full of scantily-clad gay men–with the atmosphere reeking of bad omen as Kathy (Patti LuPone) sings the haunting “Fever” – Adam’s eyes stop on the picture of the leather masked murderer and he’s led to the studio of Theo (Isaac Powell), who had clicked that picture. 

Theo, who mostly clicks kink pictures for his art broker sugar daddy Sam (Zachary Quinto), makes Adam pose for a few uncomfortable shirtless photographs while telling him about Big Daddy; the leather-clad man he had photographed years ago and hasn’t heard from since. Coming from a witchy ancestral line, Theo claims to have the power to sense things that other people can’t. Him trying to communicate his anxiety about something bad coming their way only ends with coked-up Sam’s cruel dismissal; hinting that their relationship isn’t all sunny.


While investigating the murders, Gino runs into the strange Henry Graham (Denis O’Hare) and learns more about the places that the mysterious murderer frequents. However, Gino’s own fate seems dangerously murky when he starts to pass out and ends up getting kidnapped. Meanwhile, aspiring actor Freddie is coerced into doing a disturbing photoshoot for Sam and is welcomed into the studio by Big Daddy, who is supposed to be dead, according to Sam’s claims. Rejected by Adam at the bathhouse, Freddie enters the shower, only to find Big Daddy standing there–probably to play the grim reaper himself. 

Gino wakes up shackled and drugged in the mysterious kidnapper’s home. Screaming in the pain of getting hot needles stuck under his fingernails, Gino hears the ramblings of the unhinged kidnapper who talks about a war that’s coming. However, his life is spared when the kidnapper sees his service tattoo and decides that he can not serve in war twice. Enraged Gino is met with Adam at his newspaper office, and the two start a hotline for homosexual people to call when they see anything strange. Adam gets picked up and abused by the NYPD for bad-mouthing them.


The terrifying threats aren’t just limited to murders and kidnappings. Dr. Wells diagnoses Sam, and Gino’s strange kidnapper Mr. Whitely, with rare diseases that aren’t staying quite rare anymore. Mysteries keep on piling up with Patrick’s ex-wife Barbara approaching Gino to let him know about Patrick’s leather kink that he hides from Gino. The feeling of impending doom haunts Adam through the spaced-out mutterings of a crazy woman on the subway; echoing the scary premonition of psychic Theo– “something is coming”.

American Horror Story: NYC (Season 11), Episode 2 Ending, Explained: 

American Horror Story NYC (Season 11) Episodes 1 & 2
Russell Tovey as “Patrick.” FX’s AHS:NYC premieres 10.19 on FX. Stream on Hulu.

Spooked Adam falls into a pool of feline-infused weirdlings gathering in a bizarre art show hosted by an odd man in vintage attire. His spiral continues with another mention of the incoming threat. Stealing Theo away from the crowd, Adam, who looks for romance instead of meaningless sex, manages to convince hedonistic Theo into slowing down and spending some quality time with him.


Gino decides to take Patrick along with him to a leather club in order to continue their investigation and confront Patrick about the denial-clad secret life he is living. At the bar, Patrick is approached by a man and rejects his roleplaying advances while continuing to lie to Gino that this is not his scene. Just as Gino begins facing up to Patrick’s lies, the man who had approached Patrick accepts a mai tai from a stranger–only this time the drink isn’t spiked. Hiding in plain sight, the murderer stabs the man in the neck, leaving the crowd understandably horrified and screaming.

With the police still not showing enough prudence, the murderer continues to be at large. At another bar, Stu makes the smart decision of rejecting a drink sent by a stranger. But the real danger is yet to befall him. A strange phone call inviting him to a private “party”, seduces the gullible Stu into going for it and landing himself in unimaginable torture.


Hannah receives a frantic phone call from Fran (Clara McGregor), one of the lesbian women who usually frequent Gino’s workplace with complaints about the negligence lesbians face even from the gay community. At the dark lone park, while waiting for Fran, Hannah is frightened by the sight of chain-wielding Big Daddy, who vanishes just as suddenly as he appears. Fran confides to Hannah about her conspiracy theory regarding the US government’s biological warfare on vulnerable homosexual people. 

The mysterious basement containing a frightened, locked-up Stu in a cage, turns out to be Sam’s, as he enters through the door guarded by none other than Big Daddy. Ignoring Stu’s painful pleading, rapey Sam continues to convince him that this is exactly what he wants. On the other end of the mystery string, Patrick receives a phone call that leads him to the grotesque crime scene where just the chopped-off hands of the victims remain hanging.


With several possible threats and secrets being hinted at and introduced, both episodes continue to throw fuel at the conspiracy bonfire. Even if Fran’s paranoia is disregarded as merely the ramblings of an anxious woman, the diseases spreading amongst the community are unmistakably real. None of the characters are ever shown to be interacting with Big Daddy, making his human existence itself the biggest question mark. Could he possibly be an apparition that haunts the gloominess of these macabre spots? 

Related Article: Shantaram (Season 1), Episodes 1, 2 & 3: Recap & Ending Explained

American Horror Story: NYC (Season 11) Episodes 1 & 2 Show Links: IMDb
American Horror Story: NYC (Season 11) Episodes 1 & 2 Cast: Russell Tovey, Joe Mantello, Billie Lourd, Denis O’Hare, Charlie Carver, Leslie Grossman, Sandra Bernhard, Isaac Powell, Zachary Quinto, Patti LuPone
Where to watch American Horror Story : NYC

Similar Posts