It’s the final episode of the season and I know I’m not the only one who was relieved by this.
It’s 1972 and Richard Nixon is in office. The Vietnam war is raging and while Nixon is upset about it “destroying his presidency,” Thor is saying that it’s serving a function in the overall picture: it’s distracting people from what is really going on. If people are focused on the war, then they will be less concerned about all of the missing people who are being experimented on by the aliens. When asked how long it will take for the hybrid species to be a reality, Thor says they expect the first functioning hybrid in 2021. He also assures them that when the Vietnam war is over, they have lots of other distractions to be put in place for the next fifty years. Are they really trying to tell me that they are taking credit for the Satanic Panic, the AIDS crisis, well…if the aliens put Regan in office that would actually make a lot of sense.
Ike is in his sick bed and while watching tv, he points out the reptile look to Henry’s eyes and explains that there is a whole other group of people on earth who are also trying to take over. Thor’s people accidentally abducted one of them and disposed of the body because they didn’t want the Americans to know there was any competition. Mamie has no time for this, though, because she is too consumed with her ability to “bring back holidays”. This storyline is beyond ridiculous and exhausting and while she is credited with putting up Halloween decorations in the White House, there doesn’t seem to be any actual historical evidence to back up this idea that Mamie Eisenhower is the reason we celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving and our birthdays. Her fudge was, in fact, very popular, though. The recipe was shared in a magazine and housewives across the country made it.
It sure is cool that she had time to make fudge and also moonlight as Deep Throat. This last minute storyline of Mamie and Thor being some sort of lovers/coconspirators is just beyond lame. And to watch Sarah Paulson actually utter lines about achieving more than anyone could dream of because she made people appreciate the color pink and freed them to celebrate their birthdays is harder to digest than the idea that Kaia Gerber is a good actress.
Speaking of…we are in modern times and Kendall and Jamie are about to give birth. Jamie’s baby is a dud so they kill both of them, but Kendall has produced the perfect specimen and now the aliens will stay on earth because they have done what they set out to do. Kendall gets sassy and tells them they will get lazy and complacent: she is rewarded with having her head cut off and a giant silver sphere is put in its place. Her body will now just produce more perfect specimens. I’m sure this was supposed to be scary or upsetting, but it was hilarious.
Thor explains to Mamie that now that they have a perfect specimen, they need to make lots of babies and get rid of humans. “One person cannot possibly produce enough thetan hybrids to populate this world,” he says and she is actually shocked by this. I really love how they just snuck the word thetan in like that. It also explains all of the shaming of Hollywood that has been going on this entire season.
Theta, whom I have incorrectly been referring to as The Chemist, shows Mamie the baby and they have a little chat where Theta finds out that the plan is to eradicate humans. Mamie and Calico partner with Theta to kill the new species, but Theta was pulling a fast one and lectures them on how humans are trash because we are never kind to anyone, not even each other, Calico agrees and she is now the mom to all of the new babies that will be born. And that’s it. That’s the end of the episode. It took four people to write this 41 minute episode that just ended abruptly.
Traditionally, a double feature partners one good movie with one B movie and that is what was accomplished with Red Tide and Death Valley, so I do think they achieved that aspect of whatever the mission was for this season of AHS. Overall, we were gifted with a lot of series regulars that we have come to love and they reliably turned in good performances. It was also fun to have Macaulay Culkin join the AHS family and watch Leslie Grossman finally play a likable character. The stories were wackadoo, but that is why we consistently tune in season after season and while the majority of viewers seem to be obscenely displeased by this season, I think we can all agree that most of Red Tide was pretty cool and the story in Death Valley is a fun throwback to the trashy movies we all watched on lazy Saturday afternoons. I’m not certain that they ever intended for the two stories to be connected in any real way, but rather, gave us a double feature of two stories that run parallel to one another in a small way. There was one constant throughout, though, and that was the incessant need to find a way for a character to speak poorly of Hollywood and the kind of people that inhabit it. In what may have been a throwaway moment for some viewers, this Tom Cruise apologist immediately perked up when Valiant Thor spoke of thetan hybrids. In Scientology, a thetan is the spiritual identity of a person: like a soul, but Scientologists always have to be creative and we all know how they love to infiltrate Hollywood. Maybe this entire season was written by L. Ron Hubbard. If the writers are smart, they should definitely place the blame directly onto him and Xenu because this season was a bit of a let down.
Time will tell if this season holds up when binged, but between these last four episodes and the episodes in American Horror Stories, it does seem as though Manny Coto isn’t necessarily the best writer for this franchise. He also worked as a writer on the fifth, sixth and seventh seasons of Dexter, so take that as you will. The strongest episodes of Double Feature were mostly due to Brad Falchuk and as the season wore on, the amount of writers on each episode slowly began to increase. More writers = more problems. Well, AHS is still on the hook for more seasons, so I’m sure I will see you back here to continue complaining about the show that we love to hate and hate to love.
Henry Kissinger is a lizard person? I’ll accept this.
Evacuation Day? I need to evacuate from this show.
In the opening music, you can hear “Red Scare” being continually uttered with the beat.
I wonder what Mamie Eisenhower’s family thinks of how she’s been presented on this show because it isn’t favorable.