After the last episode of American Horror Story’s surprising and bloody climax, I suppose we were due for a slower episode with Fire Island. It would have to be. The tension meter needs to be reset, after all. We need a moment to shift our anxiety to new dangers. Or to be more clear, dangers that have been there all along, we just couldn’t focus on them because of the Mai Tai Killer. 

Joe Mantello in American Horror Story

The whole gang is off to Fire Island for some vacation fun. Gino and Patrick in particular need some downtime. Gino, I think, didn’t realize how much the Mai Tai killer affected him. But he’s sure feeling that now.

Speaking of feeling things, Theo isn’t feeling well at all. He’s pale and lethargic, puking on the way to the island. And he’s not the only one sick.

Throughout the episode, we see Big Daddy all over the island. He doesn’t seem to be doing much more than standing menacingly. That is until he attacks Gino. Adam and Patrick manage to fight him off, with Patrick finally shooting him in the back of the head. Of course, in true American Horror Story fashion, the moment they take their eyes off the body it vanishes. I know a lot of people suspected all along that Big Daddy wasn’t technically alive. Now we have proof.

Sandra Bernard in American Horror Story

Fran and her friends are also on Fire Island. And Fran is working at one of Sam’s parties as a Tarot reader. It’s supposed to be a simple game, party entertainment. But for every reading, Fran pulls the same card. The Death card.

Fire Island was the perfect episode to encapsulate all the things American Horror Story does well. It’s set in a beautiful location, reminding us that beauty doesn’t protect us from horror. It humanized Theo, who up until now has been a bit of an elite asshat. It mastered the mid-season tension ramp-up after our mini climax last episode. And finally, it reminded us that in the world of American Horror Story, no one is ever really dead. 

Ever. 

There are just two episodes left, both of which will air next week, on November 16th. I can’t wait, see you then. 

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)