American Horror Story: NYC (Season 11), Episodes 7 & 8: With more hauntings and killings, the two penultimate episodes really embrace the AHS vibes but not before developing the mysterious disease that is now too obvious to ignore. Blurrier than the rest of the season but still with a lot happening; The Sentinel and Fire Island deliver blow after blow of deaths we don’t see coming and the creeping omen of more to come. For a season that doesn’t quite tug on the heartstrings, this week’s episodes don’t seem to shy away from real emotions being communicated by the unlikeliest characters.
This time with more gore and mutilation: The Sentinel is of acceptance and bonding that doesn’t particularly have much hope of lasting. The episode sits a while to gasp and catch its breath after the first shocking death that leaves both Gino and us with a moral dilemma. But why would Gino want to go back to Fire Island and that too to blow off some steam? Wasn’t re-burying the chopped-up body in the sands more than enough? A bit too convenient of a setup for the horrors to follow. But we’re not complaining. After all, we now know something about the leather-clad Big Daddy.
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: NYC (SEASON 11), EPISODES 7 & 8 RECAP:
For a police detective, Patrick shows a real lack of judgment walking into the den of the Mai tai killer with Gino. Distracted by the Frankensteinian sentinel, neither see the massive blows coming. Gino wakes up beside Van Gogh-ed Henry who even in his terrible state of being, doesn’t miss a chance to hit on Gino. Whitley decides to replace his sentinel’s unworthy heart with that of Patrick’s, someone he admittedly is a fan of. But not before the insane killer describes to Patrick how he actually hopes to bring his gruesome creation to life on the day of Pride. To avoid certain death, Henry saws off his own hand and frees himself and Gino.
Whitley’s vicious plan of uprooting Patrick’s heart is stopped by the two rushing in wielding weapons. When Patrick is freed to hold a gun to Whitley, the killer begs for some understanding from the community he’s trying to protect with his wicked designs. Blurred by the visions of ghosts standing behind Whitley, Patrick shoots him in his head and ends the psychotic killer’s mission of “saving” the gay community.
Being celebrated by the whole city for taking down the Mai tai killer, Patrick does what has been brewing for a long time–he quits the homophobic department that has been unappreciative of him. Finally having nothing else to hide frees him in a way that even makes him more compassionate overall.
He accompanies Adam when he goes to see whether any part of the killer’s sentinel belongs to his friend Sully. Unable to find any bit of him in the grotesque, sewn-up corpse, makes Adam certain that there must be more than one killer out there. His concerns which make a lot of sense given the cops just found 7 bodies from Whitley’s butcher house, are however dismissed by Gino who clearly needs a break. A break that he’ll be taking at the ominous Fire Island and everyone is invited.
There’s no comforting news for Adam anywhere–especially not with Hannah telling him that the disease of the community that even she now has, lowers their immunity and platelet count. What seems to be pregnancy-induced sickness, has Hannah take a rain check from the trip and plans to visit her mom instead. But what happens to her after is a question grappled with anxiety brought in by Big Daddy standing outside her window. Nothing good comes out of his visits.
Patrick’s guilt for not being able to save Hannah manifests as her ghost haunting him. Gino’s editorial cover for the Native’s Pride month is of a frustrated and passionate urge, calling out to his people that should clutch their anger and fight back. His fervent rage even empathizes with what Whitley’s grand plan was for the community. In his moment of truth, Gino visualizes monsters that don’t look too different from Whitley’s Sentinel, ravaging every wrongdoer and taking the power back.
Theo getting violently sick on the ferry sets the tone for what’s to come at the Fire Island vacation. Patrick and Gino’s relationship that’s taken way too much blow lately from Patrick’s shadiness and the insanity that’s been going on finally finds a break in a cuddle session. But oh well–even that ends in a fight when Patrick doesn’t take Gino’s anxiety about the new lesions on him seriously.
Walking on the beach, Gino has no clue as to what obnoxiousness is about to befall him until he meets Henry. Shooing him away doesn’t work as he won’t stop talking about how he saved Gino’s life from the mob. And it doesn’t end there. To persuade Gino into being with him, Henry gets down on his knees and practically threatens him with an “if I can’t have you, no one can.”
Fran and the group are visited by Big Daddy who is now haunting the Fire Island. Getting rid of him doesn’t stop Fran’s nightmare as every tarot she reads at the party comes up as the Death card. After giving the girls quite a scare, Big Daddy attacks Gino, and Adam dives in trying to keep the giant leather man away. As the two struggle to overpower Big Daddy, Patrick plays the savior again by showing up and shooting him on the back of his head. That’s a lot of headshots for Patrick. But too bad, before they can take care of the “body”, Big Daddy vanishes yet again.
To soothe Henry’s broken heart, sleazy Sam offers him the romp of his life and sets up a meeting at night in a place they call the Meat Rack. With jealousy pouring out his eyes for the whole trip, Sam finally manages to get Theo alone and offers a truce.
AMERICAN HORROR STORY: NYC (SEASON 11), EPISODES 7 & 8 ENDING, EXPLAINED:
Letting Sam make good on his promise of a good time, Henry reaches the Meat Rack–visibly uncomfortable with the name reminding him of the hell he experienced not too long ago. In the pleasure park, Sam reassures him that everyone here wants to let go of their inhibitions and be taken. The two walk up to a foggy clearing which reveals a tied-up Theo.
Theo thought, or he at least hoped that he was being smart when he accepted the drink that Sam was keeping for himself during their truce. But that was the drugged drink and evidently, Sam can read him like the back of his palm. Sam gets close to sedating Theo and reminds him that he will always belong to Sam. Henry, not knowing what is actually going on, takes Sam’s word for it–or maybe he convinces himself of it in the moment of his dark urge–that Theo actually wants it.
While lecturing Theo about the fleeting thing that is youth, Henry struggles to undress himself with the one hand he’s left with. Just as he’s about to kiss Theo, Big Daddy shows up–making Henry run for his life. Through the blur of his drugged-up eyes, Theo sees a herd of beautiful antlered men coming his way. He recognizes the men that appear like angels to him. These are the men that he had photographed. As the deer-men carry him away, one of them comforts him–he will be remembered.
Going quite gritty in the season so far, the story sees its first moment of genuine emotional vulnerability in this very scene that fades into nothing. The metaphorical deer-men which are a combination of the Fire Island deers that lost their lives on the first episode itself and the victims of both the disease and the murders, come together to take poor Theo in their arms in his most excruciating moment. Although vague at the end of the episode–Theo most likely has succumbed to the disease and has died. As of now, only one thing is undeniable about Big Daddy; he isn’t human.