Considering American Horror Story: Double Feature largely revolves around Provincetown’s secret supply of life-changing (and occasionally life-ending) pills, we’ve spent relatively little time with its creator, the mysterious Chemist. But all that is about to change.
Episode 4 finally affords us some quality time with Angelica Ross’ character by flashing back to her fateful arrival in P-Town five years earlier. As she explains to a highly skeptical Holden, she recently left her job at a lab in Providence, referring to it as an “ugly divorce.” And Holden is absolutely right to be skeptical of her, just not for the reason he initially suspected. (Meth? Please. “I have a PhD from Harvard,” she informed him. “Meth is well below my pay grade.”)
After settling in, the Chemist hits the town in search of potential guinea pigs for her miracle drug, eventually bringing home poor Mickey, who offers to do literally “anything” for 20 bucks. But the Chemist isn’t interested in his Halloween special, even if it is a straight-up bargain. Instead, she tells him all about her government-funded discovery of a pill that supercharges the neurons in a talented person’s occipital lobe. (I won’t even tell you how much of that I had to Google. It was… most of it.) Mickey is intrigued, but he’s not quite ready to sign up for her secret human testing. He does, however, agree to send potential subjects her way for $50 a head.
His first find is a karaoke singer — and not a very good one, hence the tone-deaf schmuck’s gradual transformation into the town’s first pale, bald freak. (Again I ask: Did we ever settle on a name for these monsters? Because let’s not forget that Holden offered up “pale, strange homeless creatures wearing the AIDS-era couture” as a perfectly valid option.) In fact, this week’s episode even reveals where this season’s creepers obtained their signature look. Can you believe that Lark owns a vintage clothing store and still finds time to dabble in tattoos and dentistry? A jill of all trades, that one.
The Chemist finds considerably greater success with Belle Noir, whom we meet in the midst of a loveless marriage with one of the most loathsome Horror Story characters in recent memory. Seriously, the guy is just an absolute dick. He won’t sit in on any of his wife’s book readings, he refuses to do “something totally gay” like watching the sunset with her, and he brags about boning a townie (twice!) before announcing that their marriage is over. Of course, he has no idea that Belle has taken the pill, so it’s a real O-M-G moment when she kills him, drains him and leaves him strewn about the beach in pieces. Honestly, he deserved worse.
Two years later, Belle has become a best-selling author in search of a new look. Naturally, she ends up in Lark’s shop, where we learn that Billie Lourd’s character is also a friend of the Chemist. “I killed my last boyfriend,” she says way too calmly. “He could bang me pretty good, but he was boring as f–k, so I drank him dry and burned the body.” You know, just a casual chat between murderers.
Then comes the moment we’ve all been waiting for. Maybe our entire lives. Belle hits up a local gay haunt, where she first encounters Austin Sommers as a young (and really terrible) drag queen by the name of… please don’t make me say it… OK, fine… Patty O’Furniture. There, you happy?
We also get a fun cameo from RuPaul’s Drag Race star Eureka, though it isn’t quite as much fun for Austin; Eureka and the other queens spend most of their screen time picking on Austin’s busted drag. So it’s only natural that, upon popping his first pill, Austin returns home to brutally murder all of the queens who wronged him. Well, most of them. We have yet to see what really happened to Eureka. I hope she’s OK.
Your thoughts on this week’s AHS: Double Feature? Drop ’em in a comment below.