The episode opens with another Ally hallucination when she wakes up to a clown in her bed. She runs downstairs and Ivy, being the most logical character, grabs a knife and checks the bedroom, while still proving to be a mindless horror character by ONLY checking their bedroom and completely ignoring their sleeping child and the other rooms ant murderous clowns could have moved to or been hiding in.
But at least Ivy reacted more supportively than last week, that is, until Ozzy dreamed Twisty and another clown were terrorizing him. The traumatized little boy called out for his “mom” who apparently he only views as Ivy, as he states when he makes a hard pass on Ally’s attempts to comfort him.
The next morning we see the news cast of Kai and his hororble blue man bun announcing he is running for the now open council seat left open by the Mayfair-Richard’s dead neighbours.
Speaking of dead neighbours, Ally acts like any normal person and spies on the new neighbours moving in by look. In their windows; unlike any normal person, she does this while they are home and just moving in and doesn’t bother intriguing herself until much later when they go over as a family.
Before we get to that, we have Ozzy trying to avoid talking to Winter, until she brings him a Twisty doll and they have a strange conversation about the murder and she uses Kai’s flesh-to-flesh pinky promise weirdness on Ozzy. Everyone seems to be in agreement that Billie Lourd is doing a marvelous job in this role (as she should since she’s had practice playing a similar character in scream queens).
Ally and Ivy return home to learn that their evil nanny left their son with the new neighbours and then they go over as a family to meet the new tenants.
The new neighbours are eccentric and we can’t trust them, and Ally is suspicious of anyone quick to move into a murder house, and she is extremely cautious of a beekeeper and his porous hive. The way Billy Eichner salivates when describing the benefits and perfection of a hive mentality was surprisingly well delivered and have us equally distrustful and excited for more of his character. They do admit to being an unconventional couple with her being a cancer survivor and his being gay and besties that made a pact to marry if they were still single at this point in their lives, which doesn’t make them evil but does make us raise an eyebrow on the off color comments the wife made about how lesbian couples up properly values. Eccentric doesn’t mean evil, but we are firmly in the camp that most people in this show are villains and Ally’s mental disorder doesn’t make us doubt the real troubles surrounding their family.
Later that night Ivy gets a call that the restaurant-s alarm was tripped and is about to leave Ally and Ozzy to fend for themselves when he starts to complain, and Ally volunteers to check it out (a means to show bravery and that she is willing to be an asset). WEIRDLY the alarm is till going when she gets across town and 0 police have responded. Ally disarm the alarm and does a sweep, finding their sous chef hanging in the meat freezer. We saw him fight with a Latinx employee, Pedro, earlier in the episode, so naturally he is the number one suspect. Our theory is that their restaurant has been infiltrated by one of Kai’s group who saw the altercation as a means to further their groups rhetoric. We include a silver-haired Colton Hayne’s, as the detective who tries pushing them to finger Pedro, as part of Kai’s group as well.
A few days later Ally has strong reinforced bars put on their house’s doors. Ivy responds by having Ally’s psychiatrist make a house call, and we still believe almost everyone this season is secretly a villain and is out to get them –including this therapist. Ally has extra guilt for being their in the chef’s final moments and him dying when she tried saving him. Her response to this feeling and needing to feel more secure? Telling her new neighbours all her problems and accepting a gun from Harrison’s collection. The therapist was very against this, which is possibly legitimate, but we believe he was against her ability to protect herself because he wants her to be defenseless for whatever he knows is coming [If we see a clown sporting a kevlar vest under their costume and resisting the bullets we will take this as confirmation and make a big Told-You-So about it. You’ve been warned!].
Not missing a beat, Kai comes to their newly gated door to politic and ask for their vote. She reminds him of the (hilarious) latte incident and refuses to bend to him or let him in, which we are very proud of! Survival 101: don’t let strangers into your house! He gets angry and a little too threatening and it is extremely unnerving to watch — kudos to Evan Peters.
That night Ivy is away at restaurant, trying to recover from the murder and needing to restock their tainted meat freezer.
Winter puts Ozzy to bed and then walks in on Ally agonizing about her medication. Winter suggests wine and a bath, and it all felt too sexual. Suspicions are confirmed when the nanny runs the bath and then sponge bathes a middle aged woman’s back and then puts her hands in places they shouldn’t be. This scene makes it harder to root for Ally and be on her side, but we still believe the clowns are real and danger is coming.
Their sensual moment is (thankfully) interrupted when the powrr goes out and we (supposedly) see a clown in Ozzy’s room. Harrison is quickly at the door with homemade beeswax candles and says he heard on the radio it’s a multi-state blackout and must be terrorism. Winter ditches Ally anf Ozzy after this, throwing Ally into a full blown panic attack. Ally’s phone is low on battery but she calls Ivy and the power is our at the restaurant too, but she needs to save the restaurant’s cold stock and can’t come home. Ivy tries her “best” and sends Pedro to take her family a box of supplies including a charger (pointless since they have no power) and salt! She should’ve just had him bring them to the restaurant, but whatever, be tropey and awful in a crisis.
After seeing the terrifying ice cream truck pull up outside Ally notes the alarm should be working wit battery backup, but then discovers her circuit box seems to be destroyed (why would this affect a battery backup alarm?). Ally then starts (supposedly) hallucinating clowns. One blows out her candle, then vanishes. Another cloen blocks her path on the stairs but adrenaline propels her past it and she knocks it over the banister. She gets the fun and then gets Ozzy (we are really rooting for her again at this point), and they make for the front door. When there is a figure at the door she instantly shoots and kills Pedro, ending the episode.
We are loving the season and how much discussion it’s causing amongst fans with the million theories. Seasons like this bring back the feeling of fandom community that we love our shows to have.
One of our criticisms is the overwhelming amounts of hippy-dippy names used this season. Winter? Ivy? Meadow? Is this a season of American Horror Story or a children’s cartoon? It’s a minor criticism, but a major “wtf moment” when Meadow was introduced.
Of our biggest criticisms are lack of flash-backs to supplement Ally and Ivy’s development. We only came into the story when Ally starts to spiral and aren’t given the means to understand Ally as a fully complex character outside of her mental disorder and responses to it. That being said, it adds to the unreliable quality of her character and the season at large, so we aren’t complaining too much, but we would like the action to be cranked up a notch or two in episode 3!
Our over arching theory this season is: everyone is a villain/in this “cult” and working against the Mayfair-Richards family.