Review: American Horror Story: 1984 S09E02 — Mr Jingles [2019]

Cᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ Iɴᴅᴇx —

a (rather short) review by the Crow.

Mr Jingles

SPOILER LEVELS at CONSIDERABLE

Following last week, I had expected something quite different from American Horror Story: 1984 than what it delivers in this latest episode. Mr Jingles — the episode, not the character — features very little of the titular character, but it does establish, within the opening act, that he will not be a silent killer like Jason Voorhees. However, something strange is also revealed; something involving a certain body part we have not directly seen him engage with up until now. However, I think that what we are seeing is not behaviour natural to Mr Jingles — especially seeing how he takes Dr Hopple (Orla Brady)’s right ear.

This episode also sets up a few nods to what might be going on with Ms Booth, especially when she talks to Dr Hopple about how she won’t allow Mr Jingles to take her “power” away again. What I mean by that will be made clearer the further I get into this review.

First, I need to address the “white wedding” sequence. It sets up Brooke’s back story, and it works fine enough, given the short time in which it had to be fit, but something about it just doesn’t feel right to me. It’s hard to put my finger on it, so I won’t hold it against the episode.

Following this, we get some character moments, in which Montana is “not a lez”, and we are given quite a bit of background on Xavier. We find out that the voice on the other end of the phone from the previous episode is one Blake (Todd Stashwick): a gay porn producer who has his hooks sunk into Xavier. This is a story arc I thought would become a major element of the show over the course of the series, that Blake would go on to become a fourth villain in the series, but unfortunately, the show decides to end this plot as soon as it begins, with Blake falling victim to (what we are led to be) Mr Jingles while ogling Trevor’s… “act of god”.

The Night Stalker makes his presence known to Brooke, and we have another chase sequence through the woods, where Ramirez ends up colliding with the hiker from the last episode. And this is where we must talk about the elephant in the room.

Last week, I had assumed that this series of American Horror Story would feature no supernatural elements, but this episode makes it clear that we are going to be encountering quite the array of supernatural elements this season. The hiker is revealed to be some form of ghost, who has a connection to both Booth and Mr Jingles — the man who originally killed him on the street our core cast picked him up from. It’s also pretty much revealed that Booth was responsible for the original massacre, since Jingles is nowhere close to the scene when the masacre is being carried out. The hiker seems to have varying memories depending on who he’s interacting with, and we are left guessing what his connection to — or relationship with — Booth actually is.

The scene between Booth and the Night Stalker is an… interesting one, especially considering the mood Booth sets for the scene with her choice of music. In the end, the Night Stalker ends up becoming Booth’s — whatever she is — lackey, charged with finding out a way to get rid of Jonas the hiker.

And there we have it: the central conflict of the series (for now). Nurse Rita encounters Jingles, and our characters split into two groups to deal with the two killers stalking them through the woods. The episode ends with both groups stuck in separate buildings, threatened by whoever is on the other side of the door.

There are two other minor things I’d like to mention. The first is that Blake’s left ear is taken, which is why I doubted Jingles’ involvement in his death, especially considering we see Booth enter her cabin at a much later time. The second is that Jingles has most likely added Rita’s keys to his collection, upping his Jingle-game. And thanks to the second, the only means of escape our core cast has left (to their knowledge) is Trevor’s Ninja.

For now, we’re left to wonder as to the nature of both Jonas and Booth, and about what exactly happened in 1970. I won’t say that I liked this episode a lot, but I am a little interested as to the truth of what’s going on. The series so far has been a little messy, and has yet to find its feet. Hopefully, next week will fare better.

— Crow out.


Final Ratings

THE CROW: 4/10
THE RAVEN: 5/10


Here’s the official poster:

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