American Horror Story S10.05 — Uninspired

Spoilers below for American Horror Story S10.05 — Gaslight

American Horror Story S10.05 — Gaslight

Coming in late with this review because of Yom Kippur, but none the less here we are!

The penultimate episode of the first half of the Double Feature season (lol that’s a mouthful) begins with Doris giving birth to the Gardners’ second child. After the birth, Harry is overcome with bloodlust and wrings out the bloody cloths to drink. He makes a giant mess because he is, inexplicably, pouring the blood into 4 Dixie cups instead of just drinking it straight for the cloths. Think, Harry, think!

After the birth, Doris is sedated at home. This episode is aptly named “Gaslight” because the family (including Ursula, Harry’s agent, who is now part of the family whether Doris likes it or not) does just that to her from the minute she returns. When she asks why they are still in the house even though Harry said they were going to move back to NYC, he tells her, basically, to forget he said that (aka lied to her) and they can make a decision about what to do in a few weeks when she is stable.

Doris floats in and out of consciousness, which is not helped by the fact that Ursula doesn’t let her eat because she says she “needs to lose that baby weight right away.” Girlfriend, she is already so thin and also, just had the baby yesterday. Chill. Then, Doris wakes up in the middle of the night because the baby is crying. But, he’s not next to her in his crib, so she rips out her IV and looks for him. She finds him in the bathroom with Alma who is feeding off of his leg. Of course, Doris flips out, but the next morning, Ursula tells her it was just a dream.

After hearing what Creepy Daughter did, Harry threatens to break her violin. She tells him she’s sorry, but she doesn’t mean it because that girl really wants her mom out of there. Later that day, Alma tries to give her mother a black pill, which is when Doris finds out what is actually going on. Harry, Alma, and Ursula explain the pills and Alma goads her mother by asking if she thinks she is good enough. Instead of taking the pill, Doris shatters the glass and tries to escape with the baby. Unfortunately, she does not get far at all because the Pale People are outside waiting. Harry brings her back in.

The next morning, Doris grabs a pair of scissors and tiptoes downstairs where she overhears the designer who takes the pills (played by Denis O’Leary — I honestly don’t know his character’s name and don’t feel like looking it up because he is so minor), going over her mood boards with Harry. He says they are uninspired and “Pottery Barn Hell”, which really hits home what we’ve been saying for weeks: Doris is mediocre and taking the pill will turn her into a Pale Person. She returns upstairs when the baby starts crying and she starts lactating. “Gross,” says Denis O’Leary in his third line of the season.

Later that day, Alma jumps on her mom’s bed and again tries to get her to take the pill. She talks about how they can be a family together and how her dad doesn’t think Doris is good enough. Obviously, she doesn’t think Doris is talented either, which is why she wants her to take the pill. She literally puts the pill in Doris’ mouth and walks away. Doris begins sketching like crazy, but the sketches are really bad. She throws up and collapses on the bed. Alma and Ursula convince Harry to go out to dinner because they are “tired of takeout” (isn’t Ursula the only one who actually eats food, though?). Obviously, they just want Harry out of the house while Doris begins her transformation into a Pale Person, which happens immediately.

This is where the story converges with TKaren and Mickey’s, so I’ll catch you up on that. Mickey is crushing it as a writer and will be heading up the entire Speed Racer reboot universe. He is constantly trying to convince TKaren to take the pill too, so that they can move to Hollywood together and be a power couple. She vehemently rejects him and leaves to go paint (normally, because she is not on the pill as we know). Belle approaches her and demands that TKaren steal the Gardner baby for eating purposes. When she refuses, Belle says she will tell the Pale People to rip her eyes out.

Scared, TKaren asks for help from Mickey. His first, second, and third ideas for help are for her to take the pill. Finally, he tells her that he’ll help her steal the baby so that she can raise it/protect it. Doesn’t seem like that makes a whole lot of sense, but ok. They arrive at the Gardner house while Doris is undergoing her transformation and TKaren freaks out and runs away sans baby. Mickey follows her, but before he can catch her, she is surrounded by Pale People. He stops them from coming closer and hands her a pill. He explains that he has to leave her behind if she refuses to take it and right before the Pale People get her, she takes it.

Now she’s got the pill running through her veins and she needs to feed. Mickey takes her to the beach so she can feed before painting her masterpiece. Instead of killing the person walking by the water, she kills Mickey, paints her masterpiece that they don’t show us, and then kills herself. Good thing this is the second-to-last episode because characters are dropping like flies.

At the Gardners, Pale Person Doris tries to kill the baby, but Harry stops her and locks her in the bathroom. He tells her that he pretended to be a family man to make up for his own less than stellar career, but now that he has a stellar career, she was holding him back. What an asshole. He lets her out into the wild where she can join the other Pale People.

The episode ends with Alma and Ursula walking to the Chemist’s house so that Ursula can convince the Chemist to give her a steady stream of pills so she can create “the best literary and talent agency in all of Hollywood.” Alma asks why she is coming with her and Ursula says it’s because no one can refuse that cute face. Something tells me that’s a lie. I think she is going to bargain with the Chemist and offer Alma as a research subject in exchange for access to the pills.

General thoughts/questions based on this episode:

  • The Pale People do not feed on the talented people and, in fact, seem scared to even go near them. Is it because they are so untalented that they can’t be near the chosen ones? Is it because the talented people don’t have the right nutrients in their blood (the same reason they need to feed, too), so they are of no use to the Pale People? Is it something else? We’ll likely never know!
  • What happens to the Pale People in the summer?
  • Are the pills free? Seems like a bad business model. Also, what is even the motivation for Belle and Austin to give the pills out in the first place?
  • The Police Chief has been dead for 2 episodes. Is no one looking for her? There is a second in the trailer for next week that shows a police officer giving a press conference, but it seems shocking that the dead police chief did not come up at all in this episode.

Originally published at on September 18, 2021.

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