American Horror Story: 1984 – Episode 7: The Lady in White
If Episode 100 didn’t have enough 180 character flips for you, The Lady In White delivers more unravelling plotlines than there are dead bodies stacked at the bottom of Camp Redwood’s lake. Despite turning villains into likeable, nay loveable characters wherever you turn, episode 7 claws back some of the respectability lost last week.
Benjamin Richter, the once feared homicidal Mr Jingles, has lived long enough to see himself become the hero, albeit now permanent camp resident. A tragic backstory compounding his damaged yet essentially kind nature unfolds this week in heartbreaking flashbacks to reveal his guilt over his brother’s death, framing yet another stunning performance by John Carroll Lynch which should secure him a place in series 10 if there’s any justice left in the AHS universe.
The reappearance of Murder House star Dylan McDermott as mysterious hitchhiker-come-killer Bruce is enough to make long-term fans scream at their screens. However, his character feels more like an afterthought and a clutch at connecting to the first AHS series rather than a genuine plot-expanding role. Either way, his Ron Jeremy moustache is a sight to behold and the use of Alice Cooper’s Poison in his presence is a neat touch.
Furthering our original undead counsellors stories, eternal residents Chet, Montana, Ray and Xavier are no longer the biggest threat to survival at Camp Redwood. A flawless display from recurrent AHS icon Lily Rabe introduces another malevolent force beside the lake, a haunting figure lacking in basic human compassion like most of the camp’s residents. The fact that Xavier et al genuinely run in fear of Lavinia is an intriguing and unexpected development – what’s to fear when you come back to life no matter what? That said, the new character’s reveal as the driving force behind Margaret’s killing spree comes as somewhat of a poor turnaround and fails to expand upon her sudden spiritual conversion.
The most light-hearted moment of the series so far arrives in the form of Brooke Thompson and Donna at a roller rink. In a series where humanity is scarce, this rare upturn is an incredibly welcome departure from the doom and gloom we’ve seen every week so far. Emma Roberts’ delivery of Brooke’s anger at her time spent unjustly behind bars is yet another glittering highlight.
While it feels like a build-up to the camp’s festival bloodshed in the near future, The Lady In White provides much-needed hope for AHS: 1984. Unveiling the true cause behind the blood curse on the camp’s grounds and setting up fallout from Montana and Trevor’s reunion tryst, the worst is yet to come in Camp Redwood with only two episodes left to unleash it.