This post contains spoilers.
So this episode was the big one, the change. Everyone seemed to collectively know that something was going to shift, especially after how things ended in the previous episode. I did suspect some of the things that happened, but not all of them.
This episode for me was a little boring to start off with, maybe because it was so different to the previous episodes. It was intriguing, don’t get me wrong. That kept me watching and eventually the episode got better and I started to really enjoy it. I can’t help but wonder if maybe it would have worked better if they took a weeks break?
One change I love is the choice to use found footage. Not all of it will be shaky footage filmed on their phone characters, but either way I’m excited. I think so far they’ve done a good job of not drifting away from the overall tone this season has set so far. For example, seeing the pig man jump out from the back seat of the car was in keeping with the earlier episodes.
Throughout I always feared that knowing that Shelby, Matt, and Lee survived at the very least would take the suspense out of any life-threatening situations, but now things have changed and nobody (except one person apparently) is safe. It adds back a lot of that mystery, although it was obvious that Evan Peters’ character Rory Monahan was going to die. The flames in the background when he’s in the tub were a pretty huge hint that something or someone was coming. From the moment Rory was left alone in the hot tub it felt like he was going to be the one to die. I was admittedly a little shocked when it happened, but only because it wasn’t the pig man that Audrey Tindall had seen, however, it was still obvious it was going to be him. I can’t decide if it was a good or bad thing, on the one hand it felt like it was going that way and it delivered, on the other hand maybe it was too predictable? I can’t decide.
It could be predictable in another sense, we know the nurses needed another R to spell out “murder” and Rory seemed like the best candidate for that. I personally didn’t think about this at the time, but then when we saw it spelled out on the wall, I realised. Hopefully because of where he was killed it’ll mean we still get to see more of his character, because I was really starting to like him!
The shift from characters to actors was an interesting one, but my question is: who will play characters like the Butcher now? They could get the same actors and ignore the strangeness, for example, in Hotel they had Billie Dean Howard (from Murder House) show up and none of the other characters pointed out that she looked like Sally.
Audrey and Rory are surprisingly adorable and I personally fell in love with them straight away. I’m not sure if I trust relationships that much in this show at the moment, but when he was hugging her and telling her it’s okay and that she’s safe, it made me have faith. Then of course he was killed.
Talking about not trusting relationships, Matt and Shelby were a shining example. I was upset to find that after everything they weren’t able to hold on to each other. Despite only focusing on the “real” Matt and Shelby this time, I found myself still invested in them. I think it helped a lot that they interjected during the reenactments in the first 5 episodes.
The little blooper they showed where Audrey fell over and Rory asked her out on date, it was a nice little moment, and I don’t think they’ll have any more bloopers, but if they do let’s hope they keep it under wraps because having them could easily change the tone that was set during the first 5 episodes.
I do have to say that as much as I love Sarah Paulson and appreciate her talent, I don’t really know what to think of her English accent. I’ve heard some appalling ones in the past and it’s definitely not the worst I’ve heard, but it’s also not the best either. Maybe it was unsettling just because her real voice and accent sounds much different. I just hope I can put up with it for the remainder of the season.
Overall the episode ended up being a good one, and they didn’t do too much to take away from the overall tone, so hopefully the rest of the season will continue to good or perhaps better, even if it is a bit different to before.
Also, let’s hope “fuck you, Sidney” becomes a common phrase for the rest of the season.