‘American Horror Story’ Season 1, Episode 2 Review

by Frank Martin

As part of American Horror Story‘s two-part premiere, the second episode seemed to focus a lot of the setting that was established in this season’s debut episode. It narrowed the plot in scope to basically just two protagonists, but that doesn’t mean the scope won’t expand in future episodes to feature the cast of characters at large. But it’s good that the show has decided to focus its narrative for each episode on a particular story thread rather than spread itself too thin by featuring too many plotlines at once.

Gino (Joe Mantello) was kidnapped at the end of the previous episode, so this episode picks up with the killer preparing him as his next victim. The killer is ultimately fearless as he ritualistically taunts Gino and an ultimately lets him go when he sees that he used to be a Marine. Meanwhile, Gino’s lover (Russell Tovey) further tries to play the dangerous game of being a gay detective in New York City. There are other plot lines that made some more progress, such as seeing a new and mysterious illness spread throughout the city and an art dealer named Sam (Zachary Quinto), who had taken a young man hostage. These plot lines eventually converge when Hannah (Billie Lourd) treats Sam for one of these diseases.

Sam and the disease aside, seeing the serial killer storyline play out has been interesting and different than most slasher stories of the past. The identity of the killer is not necessarily as important as the city and police department’s response. The killer even told Gino to go to the police because he knew that nothing would come of it. This dynamic has offered a very different kind of horror story that, when taken with a real life historical context, is setting the season up for something truly engaging.

American Horror Story airs Wednesdays on FX.

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