Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary today. The two met on the set of All My Children back in 1995. Kelly played the popular heroine Hayley Vaughn and Mark was brought on as her love interest, Mateo Santos. I remember thinking at the time that they had incredible chemistry. Apparently, that carried over into their real lives since they eloped in Las Vegas the next year. Hayley and Mateo experienced a ton of drama, but Kelly and Mark have remained fairly steady. After they left AMC in 2002, they continued on to successful careers and raised a family. They also have a producing partnership. Currently, they’re in development on a primetime reboot of AMC, taking it back to where their love story began.
Russell T. Davies’ It’s A Sin centers on a group of young friends contending with the AIDS epidemic in 1980s England. Ritchie (Olly Alexander) has left his family, whom he is not out to yet, on the Isle of Wight to explore his sexuality in London. He meets Jill (Lydia West) at Uni, where they share a passion for performing. Jill introduces Ritchie to the studious handsome Ash (Nathaniel Curtis). Along the way they meet Roscoe (Omari Douglas) who has run away from his overly religious Nigerian family. Rounding out the group is shy sweet Colin (Cullum Scott Howells), a Welsh tailor. The friends rent a large flat where they throw wild parties, entertain a revolving door of sexual partners, and enjoy a genuinely happy life together. As a viewer you quickly grow to care about these characters. That makes it difficult to watch as the shadow of AIDS falls over them.
In the early days, there was a lot of hearsay and misinformation about the disease. News outlets weren’t covering it and doctors weren’t informing their patients. Plus, in England, it was considered to be an American disease since it seemed to originate there. It makes sense that in an age without the internet, information wouldn’t be able to get out easily. Most films or TV show about the beginning of AIDS only focus on how people in the US dealt with it. I found this UK perspective to be very interesting. I was also surprised about the denial. Ritchie claims the disease is a hoax and there couldn’t be a “gay cancer”. He is soon proven wrong.
Davies does a great job of balancing the harsh reality of the era with five coming of age stories. You see these characters trying to figure out who they are and what they want out of life. In some cases, a brief life. Ritchie and Jill strive to become actors, Colin desperately wants someone to love, and Roscoe has a secret affair with a politician. Ash doesn’t have much of a storyline though. He should have been given more to do. On the flip side, I could have done with less of Ritchie. Yes, he’s the main character, but he’s also incredibly self-absorbed and infuriating. It made him hard to root for at times. Another complaint is that Jill is often reduced to the role of the supportive caretaker for the guys. She doesn’t have much of a personal life and never has a love interest. She deserved more development.
Despite these faults, Sin is a well-done series. The writing and direction are sharp and all of the actors are perfectly cast. There’s also a soundtrack full of 80s gems that enhance each episode. It’s a beautifully heartfelt show about a tragic period in history.
The legendary Cicely Tyson has passed away. She leaves behind a prolific award-winning career in film, TV, and the stage. She was a trailblazer who opened the door for other black actresses that followed. Moreover, she used her work to show how multidimensional black women are and their deserving of respect. I’ll remember her most for the dignity and poise she possessed. Like a regal queen. She always seemed sure of herself and what she wanted from the world. Recently, Miss Tyson completed her memoir, Just As I Am. I’m looking forward to reading it and learning more about this incredible woman.
Thirty years ago, my all-time favorite show, Beverly Hills 90210, premiered. This was the OG teen drama that opened the door for all the rest. It had soapy storylines, very pretty people, and a mythic zip code that everyone wanted to live in. The fish out of water premise focused on the Walsh family moving from their comfy normal Minneapolis home to the glitzy Beverly Hills. There was stern patriarch Jim (James Eckhouse), his loveable wife Cindy (Carol Potter), and their dynamic twins Brandon (Jason Priestly) and Brenda (Shannen Doherty). B&B enrolled in West Beverly Hills High School and met brooding bad boy Dylan McKay (Luke Perry), queen bee Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth), clotheshorse Donna Martin (Tori Spelling), spoiled rich boy Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering), brainiac Andrea Zuckerman (Gabrielle Carteris), and dorky David Silver (Brian Austin Green). Immediately, I was drawn in and made Thursday nights at 9pm (and then Wednesdays at 8pm) appointment viewing. My walls were decorated with posters of the cast. I even had the dolls. Really wish I had held onto those. 90210 was my adolescence. I was 11 when the show began in 1990 and months way from turning 21 when it went off the air in 2000. It will always have a special place in my heart, so for its anniversary I thought I’d celebrate the best things about the show. And some of the worst.
Best Character – Brenda
You can’t get any better than Brenda. Beautiful, smart, and headstrong. Plus, she usually had the most compelling storylines. You wanted to watch every week as she navigated the rough terrain of Beverly Hills. Shannen’s performances were always on point, making her the best actor in the cast. When she left at the end of season 4, I stopped watching…for a few episodes. I may have come back, but the show was never quite the same without Brenda.
Most Boring Character – Andrea
Andrea wasn’t necessarily setting the screen on fire. Her trajectory was running the school newspaper while crushing on Brandon, getting knocked up and married her freshman year of college, and studying to be a doctor. Blah. Yeah, she cheated on her husband, but it was a tedious affair. Really, the most interesting thing to happen to her was getting run down by a car in season 3.
Best Couple – Brenda & Dylan
Brenda and Dylan were an intense couple. They loved hard, leading to several fights and breakups. But no matter what, they were always there for each other. Also, Shannen and Luke had amazing chemistry.
Worst Couple – Donna & Ray
Ray was an abusive cheating douchebag who threw Donna down a flight of stairs. Luckily, she gained the courage to end things with him before it was too late. On a positive note, he did write a catchy song, “How Do You Talk to an Angel”.
Best Rivalry – Brenda vs. Kelly
Brenda and Kelly started off as best friends before quickly becoming frenemies. The minute Brenda turned her back, Kelly was scamming on Dylan, leading to the final B&D breakup. Even though Brenda got over it, I couldn’t forgive Kelly. #NeverForget
Best Parent – Cindy Walsh
Cindy was always there to listen to her kids’ problems and offer good advice. It’s funny how Carol Potter quit acting to become a family therapist. Life kind of imitated art.
Worst Parent – Felice Martin
Donna’s mom (Katherine Cannon) never failed to be the worst. She was the typical Beverly Hills snob, looking down on everyone around her. Turns out she was a big hypocrite, preaching about abstinence while cheating on her husband.
Best Villain – Amanda
Amanda made a brief indelible villainous mark on the show in the “Slumber Party” episode. From the get go she thinks Brenda’s pajama party is beneath her and isn’t afraid to tell them all. Then she suggests they play “Skeletons in the Closet” where each girl has to confess secrets about themselves. This ends in tears and humiliation. Later, it’s revealed that Amanda has been taking diet pills that are killing her personality. She finally lets her guard down and eats something. Bitchiness cured.
Best Kelly Tragedy – Cocaine Kelly
Drama stuck to Kelly like white on rice. Speaking of white stuff, Kelly getting hooked on cocaine was her best tragic moment. She spiraled downward into the bottom of a coke vial, enabled by Colin (Jason Wiles), her boyfriend at the time. After hitting rock bottom, she checked into rehab. That led to her meeting fellow addict, Tara (Paige Moss), a complete psycho who went single white female on her. Never bring home friends from rehab.
Dumbest Tragedy to Befall Kelly – LAX Drive-by Shooting
The gang was coming back from a trip to Hawaii when they found themselves gunned down by a pair of car thieves in the parking lot. Kelly took a bullet and immediately went into a coma. Then she woke up with amnesia. Seriously.
Best Exit – Dylan takes off
Dylan’s arc for season 6 involved trying to find the man responsible for his father’s death. That turned out to be mobster Anthony Marchette. In a soapy twist, Dylan fell in love with Marchette’s daughter, Toni. They got married and planned to leave Beverly Hills. Unfortunately, Marchette put a hit on Dylan, but the assassin accidentally killed Toni. A grief-stricken Dylan left town, riding off into the sunset on his motorcycle.
Most Annoying Character – Clare
Clare (Kathleen Robertson) came in during season four as Brandon’s stalker, basically. When she got over him, she moved onto David and then Steve. None of the pairings were great, but Claire was consistently annoying. Judgy and always ready to blame someone else for her problems. It didn’t help that she had a bad case of resting bitch face.
Best New Character – Valerie Malone
After Brenda left BH, Valerie Malone (Tiffani Thiessen), a Walsh family friend, was added to the canvas. She was no Minnesota twin, but she did a fine job. In Valerie, the show finally got a straight up bitch (with a heart). She was sneaky, deceitful, and full of snark. Her main target was Kelly, so I took to Val pretty quickly.
Worst New Character – Gina
After Tiffani left the show in season 9, producers rushed to replace her with Vanessa Marcil, a popular daytime soap star. She played Gina, Donna’s cousin (but actually her half-sister, long story). Unlike, Val, Gina was one-dimensional and lacked chemistry with any member of the gang.
Funniest Character – Steve
Steve provided a lot of comic relief. Intentional or not. Those loud silk shirts he wore in the early seasons were quite laughable. Not to mention his curly mullet.
Biggest Waste of Talent – Hilary Swank
In year 8, Hilary Swank was cast as Steve’s girlfriend Carly. She was fired mid-season. The rest is two-time Academy Award winning history.
Best & Worst Fashion – Donna
Over the course of a decade, Donna followed every 90s fashion trend. She wore clothes well, like the red & black sweater and short-shorts set she had on when she found out her mom was a big cheater. Or her low cut, yet tasteful (thanks to a cross) sparkly black prom dress. Sometimes the clothes wore her and showcased her insane boobs too much. But she always made an effort, however misguided.
Sexiest Man – Dylan
The late Luke Perry was as hot as he was talented. You can’t resist a bad boy with a lot of forehead.
Best Track from the Soundtrack – “Love Is”
The show came out with a soundtrack in 1992 filled with a bunch of great songs. Vanessa Williams and Brian McKnight duetted on the beautiful ballad “Love Is”. It’s the track I like to play over and over again…and usually sing the Vanessa parts.
Best Musical Guest Stars – Color Me Badd
In “Things to Do on a Rainy Day”, Brenda, Kelly, Donna, and David run around the Bel Age Hotel trying to meet Color Me Badd, who are staying there. Hijinks ensue. At the end of the episode, the Badd guys serenade Donna with “I Adore”. It’s delightfully cheesy.
Best Musical Performance
In the “Wild Fire” episode, new girl Emily Valentine (Christine Elsie) sings “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” at the Hello Day talent show. Brenda, Kelly, and Donna assist with some mean lip synching and Robert Palmer backup dancer realness.
Dumbest Line – “I choose me”
Faced with a marriage proposal from Brandon and a trip around the world with Dylan, Kelly went with “I choose me”. Wrong choice, girl.
Most Character Growth – David
David started out as a skinny little geek in season 1 who was obsessed with girls and being popular. He grew up quickly (emotionally and physically) and became more secure with himself. Plus, he won over Donna and joined the group. There were dramatic lows, like his drug addiction and mental illness issues, but he overcame them. By the end of the show, David proved to be a good friend, brother, and partner.
Heart of the Show – Nat
Nat (Joe E. Tata), the owner of the Peach Pit, was like a second father to everyone in the group. He provided a shoulder to lean on and a delicious burger to eat.
Best Trip – Paris
In the summer episodes of season 3, Brenda and Donna traveled to Paris for a study abroad program. Brenda pretended to be French (complete with a bad accent) while being romanced by cute American tourist Rick (Dean Cain). Meanwhile, Donna tried her hand at modeling. That didn’t go far. The trip overall was a fun retreat from the usual Beverly Hills stories, plus the girls grew closer as friends.
Best Event – Spring Dance
At the end of season 1, the gang gathered together for West Beverly’s spring dance. Brenda and Kelly wore the same little black and white dress. Brenda did it better. Donna wore a ridiculous dress with a hoop skirt no less. Steve was a jerk because everyone forgot his birthday. Andrea nearly missed the whole thing. And Brenda and Dylan made love for the first time. It was a night to remember. Btw, the senior prom in season 3 is a very close second. Donna getting drunk and nearly getting tossed out of school will never get old. #DonnaMartinGraduates
Worst Event – Brandon & Kelly’s almost wedding
Viewers were prepared for longtime couple, Brandon and Kelly, to get married in the season 8 finale. They’d been through so many dramas and this was the natural next step. Instead, they both got cold feet and called it off. Wtf?? Not cool, show.
Best Season – Season 2
Fox was thinking out of the box when they started airing the second season in the summer. Kids at home had nothing else to watch and quickly latched onto the fledging show, making it a hit. Brenda and Dylan’s drama took center stage. She had a pregnancy scare and they broke up (in Dylan’s vintage Porsche while R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” played). Meanwhile, Brandon diched his job at the Peach Pit for a run as a cabana boy at the Beverly Hills Beach Club. To remind you, Beverly Hills is landlocked. How did we not question this alleged beach? When school started, we met wild girl Emily, who introduced us to U4EA. Scott (Douglas Emerson), David’s former best friend, accidentally killed himself. Everybody was talking about sex. David’s dad Mel (Matthew Laurence) and Kelly’s mom Jackie (Ann Gillespie) got together. Jim and Dylan waged WWIII with Brenda stuck in the middle. And Kelly had a brief romance with older man Jake Hanson (Grant Show). A handyman who lived over on Melrose Place.
Worst Season – Seasons 9 & 10
One thing is clear, 90210 stayed too late at the party. The show could have ended with the gang graduating from college in season 7. Or with Brandon and Kelly’s wedding in season 8 (if they hadn’t called it off). But instead they dragged it out for 9 and 10. Brandon left town, leaving no Walshes in Casa Walsh. There was too much focus on newer characters like Gina, Noah (Vincent Young) and Matt (Daniel Cosgrove). Eternal playboy Steve suddenly married his girlfriend Janet (Lindsay Price) and had a kid. Donna developed a pill addiction. Kelly was raped. Yes, Dylan came back, but he was on yet another booze spiral. Nothing was really clicking in those last two years. The show lost its spark.
Best Moment from the Series Finale – Donna & David’s Wedding
As mentioned above, by the time we got to season 10 it was REALLY time to end things. But it was still a sad moment. I was going to miss this show that I grew up with. In the final moments, soulmates David and Donna got married. Their friends and family gathered on the dance floor to dance to Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration”. It was a bittersweet moment.
Ryan Murphy’s latest project, Hollywood, concentrates on the infamous movie industry town in the post-WWII 1940s. But this isn’t a straight up version of what happened back then. Instead, Murphy takes a detour and imagines “what if”. What if a black woman could have been the lead in a major motion picture? What if a woman ran the studio? Or what if a gay man was able to come out and still have a career?
A variety of characters bring this vision to life. Jack Costello (David Corenswet) is an actor who dreams of making it big in the movies. Unfortunately, he can’t get work and needs to support his family. That leads him to Ernie (Dylan McDermott) a colorful character who runs a gas station that is front for a prostitution ring. The attendants are all hot guys who fulfill the needs of customers looking to go to “Dreamland”. Jack’s first client is Avis (Patti Lupone), a former actress who is neglected by her brash studio boss husband, Ace (Rob Reiner). We also meet longtime Ace Studio executives Dick (Joe Mantello) and Ellen (Holland Taylor). Then there’s black aspiring ingenue Camille (Laura Harrier), her Filipino director boyfriend Raymond (Darren Criss), and Archie (Jeremy Pope), a gay black screenwriter. The show also includes real people from the era. Anna May Wong (Michelle Krusiec) was an Asian actress who never got the chance to break out of the stereotypical roles Hollywood put her in. Murphy seeks to rectify that. Henry Wilson (Jim Parsons) was one of the slimiest talent managers in town. He sexually abused his clients, young men who trusted him with their careers. Parsons is fantastic at playing this reptilian character. Henry’s most famous client was debonair matinee idol Rock Hudson (Jake Picking). I’m a big Hudson fan, but this particular portrayal is horrible. He’s written as a clueless buffoon, stumbling in every scene. It’s a weird choice.
After the first few episodes, the new reality begins. Ace has a heart attack and is sidelined in the hospital. This allows Avis to step in and run the studio. She greenlights Meg, a film directed by Raymond, written by Archie, and starring Camille. None of these people would have been able to reach these goals in the actual 1940s, but in Murphy’s world all of the “others” can finally win. It’s an exciting concept to push aside the old straight white men and let someone else have the power. The problem I found, though, was the execution. Murphy hits us over the head with how monumental these fictional events would have been. Think of what it would have meant to a little black girl to see Camille on the big screen. And then he cuts to that girl. The same thing is done with a black gay man and an Asian family reacting to Archie and Anna’s successes. He doesn’t just show us, but also continually puts it in the dialogue. You can only hear people go on and on about their previously unattainable dreams before it begins to sound trite. I get it, this is a big deal. The other thing is that these triumphs are reached with very little pushback. It comes too easy, eliminating any tension in the plot.
On the plus side, the production is gorgeous. Murphy and crew meticulously recreate the decade through the sets, costumes, and music. Lupone’s hats deserve their own special Emmy. The younger actors are very charismatic, particularly Costello and Pope. I also liked the inclusion of the veteran actors who get to do a lot of heavy lifting. Seeing Mantello, Holland, McDermott, and Lupone in scenes together is captivating. I only wish that the story matched the strength of the other elements in the series.
Yesterday it was announced that actor Roscoe Born had passed away. He was known for his roles on soap operas like One Life to Live, Ryan’s Hope, Days of Our Lives, and The Young and the Restless. Being an OLTL fan, I remember him as the villainous Mitch Laurence. I missed his first run in the 80s, but caught him when Mitch returned from the dead (wouldn’t be the last time) in 2002. Mitch lied, cheated, blackmailed, kidnapped, assaulted, and murdered his way through Llanview. At one point he started a cult and called himself The Messenger, seducing followers into doing his bidding. He really was a son of a bitch. Yet, he was very entertaining. The success of the character was because of Born. He was an incredible actor that made you love to hate Mitch as opposed to plain despising the guy. Of course, you wanted the heroes to win, but you enjoyed seeing Mitch torture them a bit. It takes a smart charismatic actor to pull that off. It helped that he was quite handsome and had a delicious voice. I’m glad I got to see Born in one of his defining roles. He’ll be missed.
It’s time for the finale. Oddly, this season has felt both
long and short. Ryan Murphy has that effect. I’ve enjoyed 1984, though.
There were some rough spots, but it held my attention. Plus, it had a great 80s
soundtrack. Always a plus. Let’s see how this ends.
Were’ in 2019 with AHS veteran Finn Wittrock. He has
ventured into Redwood. Voluntarily. The camp grounds are overgrown and the
stages from the 1989 music festival are still up. Montana arrives on the scene.
She’s surprised to see anyone since they haven’t had visitors in years. Finn
reveals that he’s Jingles’ son, Bobby, and he’s looking for his dad. Didn’t see
that coming. His aunt informed him that Jingles came to Redwood to avenge his
mother’s death and was never heard from again. But Bobby has been receiving
anonymous checks ever since. He thinks it’s his dad. Trevor pops up and he and
Montana graphically show Bobby that they’re ghosts. After he finishes freaking
out, the two tell him that Jingles is dead too, but they haven’t seen him since
In a flashback, were at the music festival. None of the
talent has shown up. No Debbie Gibson or Belinda Carlisle. Oh, that would have
been a good lineup. Courtney confesses to Margaret that he told Trevor about
the Kojagoogoo massacre causing him to send the concertgoers away. She reacts
by shooting Courtney in the head. It really doesn’t pay to be her assistant.
Margaret confronts Trevor at the camp entrance. He threatens to tell the cops
about all of her evil deeds. In response, she shoots him in the crotch. Oh no,
not the dick! She does this just outside of camp so he can’t come back to life.
Margaret takes off as Montana shows up. She begs Trevor to crawl into camp, but
he can’t make it. Luckily, Brooke happens upon them and helps Trevor get into
camp. He dies and is quickly resurrected. Montana is moved by Brooke’s selfless
act. She decides to be a better person. She and the other ghost folk bond
together as a community. We see Trevor and a counselor trick, stab, and kick Bruce
over the camp line so he won’t come back. Then all the ghosts kill Ramirez.
It’s disgustingly bloody. Or bloody disgusting. In order to prevent him from
being saved by Satan and leaving camp, they’ve been killing him consistently
for 30 years. That’s dedication. Back in 2019, Montana and Trevor wrap up their
story and order Bobby to go. Ramirez will kill him if he finds him there. Of
course, Ramirez has come back to life just then and managed to avoid being slaughtered
by that night’s ghost watchers. He nearly succeeds in killing Bobby, but the
ghosts save the day. Montana tells Bobby to go to the asylum and look for the
medical director. They’ll have answers for him.
At the asylum, Bobby meets the director: Donna. Yay, a black
person survived! She tells Bobby that his father was innocent and Margaret was
the real killer. And we’re back to 89. Donna comes after Margaret, but isn’t
able to kill the bitch. Then Brooke tries to take her out, but Margaret manages
to shoot her. Before she can get away again the ghost gang grabs her. In a
funny, yet gory scene, Margaret is chopped up, thrown in a woodchipper, and
expelled over camp lines. She had it coming. Back in 2019, Bobby remarks that
Donna is the final girl. He also thinks she’s the one who has been sending him
those checks over the years. But she denies it. Someone else made it out of
camp. They trace the checks back to a savings & loan in Oregon. Bobby’s
benefactor is actually Brooke. Eh, that was anti-climatic. Turns out she didn’t
die at Redwood after all. Ray found her and got her across camp lines. Someone
called an ambulance and Brooke was rescued. She wanted to move on from Redwood and
start a new life, so she didn’t tell Donna she was alive. She hoped Bobby could
live beyond the shadow of Redwood, thus all the checks. Did anyone else think
there was more to this story? Like it was actually Satan who saved Brooke? Just
me? Anyways, Brooke and Donna are both final girls. That happens sometimes…the
latest Halloween. Later, Bobby tells Donna that he’s going to Redwood to
find his dad. Real smart.
Bobby encounters Margaret on his trip back to camp. Why is
she there?! Turns out she died in the woodchipper a second before her bits were
launched over the camp line. She’s been hiding out from the others ever since.
She promises to take Bobby to Jingles. Lies. Instead she tries to kill him.
Jingles appears and kills her instead, saving Bobby. Father and son have a
touching reunion. Aww. But then resurrected Margaret kills Jingles. Damn! Bobby
takes off. Thankfully, Jingles’ mom pops up, kills Margaret, and has a nice
moment with her grandson. The other ghosts arrive to deal with Margaret. I’m
guessing she’ll get the Ramirez treatment. Montana tells Bobby to go, but to
remember them and tell their ghost stories. The 80s will never die. Ok, girl.
At the entrance to Redwood, Jingles, his mom, and his brother wave goodbye to
Bobby as Mike + the Mechanics’ “The Living Years” plays. This had to be the
sweetest ending to an AHS season ever. I was surprisingly moved.
The other day I heard the disappointing news that BH90210 got canceled. I knew it was a long shot, but I was still holding out hope for a renewal. It was such a fun, enjoyable, nostalgic show that could have gone one for many seasons. I’ve read so many comments about how this should have been a true reboot, picking up where the original series left off. As if that would have ensured its survival. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I wholeheartedly disagree. By the time Beverly Hills 90210 went off the air in 2000, it had run through every possible storyline, character type, and 90s fashion trend. Truthfully, it should have ended around season 7 or 8. So, there was nothing else to add in 2019. However, the idea of a meta-dramedy about the actors making a reboot of their iconic show felt smart and fresh. You could go anywhere with that. They poked fun of themselves and the show in a clever loving way, creating a new world for the fans who adored the old one. It was truly inspired and I’m sad it’s over. But you shouldn’t cry because the party ended. Be happy you were invited at all. In the end, I feel lucky that I got to experience this unique, heartfelt not-so-reboot-reboot of my favorite show.
***In the event that another network or streaming service picks up BH90210, this will make a great story for season 2.
We’ve reached the penultimate episode. This one felt scattered and too many pointless characters stole the focus. Hopefully, Ryan Murphy & Co. can wrap it up in a satisfying way next week.
We begin at a diner near camp. Brooke dreams of the future,
post-killing Margaret. She may go to Australia like Crocodile Dundee. Goals. Donna
tells her she’ll need all her strength if she’s going to be the Final Girl, the
last woman standing, who defeats the killer, in scary movies. Brooke thinks
they can both be final girls, but Donna explains that black people don’t usually
survive horror movies. I hope she’s wrong this time. Their breakfast is interrupted
by Stacey, a National Inquirer reporter. She’s on her way up to Redwood because
she’s writing a book about Jingles & Brooke. She’s also very annoying. Brooke
pretends she’s just a “Brooke-lookalike”, but Stacey isn’t fooled. Later on, she
shows up at their motel room. She’s been doing research on Broke and Donna for
her book. In order to keep her quiet, the twosome agree to give her material
about their time at camp. She just needs to sneak them into Redwood. Donna
thinks Stacey will expose them, but Brooke has a plan to kill her. Right when
she’s about to cut her throat, though, Donna stops her. She reminds her fellow-maybe-final
girl that she’s not evil like Margaret.
Lucky for Bruce, a Mary Kay lady, driving a very pink car, found him on the highway and saved his life. But it was unlucky for her since he stole her car and killed her. She’ll never make her sales quota now. Bruce arrives at camp just in time to run down ghost Jingles, who was in the middle of a catfight (they rolled down a hill Alexis & Krystal-style) with Ramirez. Jingles ghost disappears leaving Bruce with his serial killer idol. He fans out and offers to help Ramirez find his nemesis. Meanwhile, Jingles comes back to life and encounters the hitchhiker guy from episode 1. Hitchhiker explains how he’s died more times than he can count and he loses a piece of himself each time. Jingles vows that won’t happen to him.
Montana and Trevor are basking in the afterglow, post-ghost-human
sex. Is this Grey’s Anatomy? Trevor wants to stay at camp with her and declares
his love. Seriously? As they leave the cabin, still canoodling, Margaret spots
them. She’s not having the best morning since Courtney told her about the Kojagoogoo
massacre. Poor Court had to dispose of the bodies. Good news: their ghosts are
still around. “Too Shy” will never die. Elsewhere, Xavier takes Ramirez and
Bruce to where Jingles body is buried. They figure his ghost will show up there.
They’re right. Jingles appears and stabs Xavier to death. Before he can do the
same to Ramirez, Margaret pops up and shoots him. That bitch. Later on, Margaret,
Ramirez, and Bruce run into Stacey. She got away from Brooke, only to be murdered
by this psycho trio. Margaret wants them to kill everyone else who’s coming up
for the festival. Then she can turn Redwood into an 80s memoriam mecca and make
money off the tourists. Again, that bitch!
Jingles comes back to life to again. This time he’s strung up
by the vengeful counselors. He pleads with them to let him go so he can kill
Ramirez. He has to save his son. He even throws it out there that Montana
brought Ramirez to Redwood and really lit the serial killer spark in him. So,
this mess is partly her fault. Montana surprisingly feels bad about this. She
heads off into the woods where Trevor finds her. He’s decided to kill himself
in order to stay at camp with her forever. Oh Trevor. Montana, still upset
about Ramirez, rejects him. At the lake, Xavier and the other ghosts are
killing Jingles slowly, preventing him from getting to Ramirez. It’s a real
dick move. They toss him into a boat and set it off. Suddenly, Jingles’ brother,
Bobby, pops up from the beneath the water and drags him into the lake. It’s just
like the last scene in the original Friday the 13th. Totally saw
that coming. But I still jumped. Jingles comes back to life. Again. His mother
and Bobby are having a picnic by the lake. He feels defeated for not being able
to save his son, but his ghost family urges him to focus on being with them. He’ll
find peace here. As the hitchhiker predicted, he’s lost a piece of himself. So,
Jingles decides to stay. On one hand, it was a sweet scene. I’m glad he’s
reunited with his family. On the other, I can’t imagine this being the end for
This episode gave us some character backstories, a couple of
AHS veterans, and an 80s pop group massacre. Fun.
Camp Golden Star
The opener is a flashback to 1948 at Camp Golden Star. We’ll
learn later that this was the precursor to Redwood. Oh, AHS regular, Lily
Rabe is there. I always liked her, especially in the Coven season. This time
she’s playing Jingles’ mother. She works at the camp and also lives there with
her sons Bobby (the favorite) and Benjamin (aka Jingles, the not-so-favorite). Btw,
great casting with the kid who plays preteen Jingles. One day at the lake, Bobby
is killed in a boating accident. Mother Jingles loses her shit and curses
Benjamin, for not looking after his brother, and the counselors who also weren’t
keeping an eye on her son. They were too busy having sex. Wait, is Bobby Jason
At the roller rink
After rescuing Brooke from execution, Donna takes her to a
motel and helps her come down from the drug she gave her to make it appear like
she was dead. Brooke recovers and hears about the music festival Margaret is
throwing at Redwood. She vows revenge for the years that bitch took from her. Donna
takes her to a roller rink to cheer her up. Cue the fun skating montage. It’s
totally rad. Oh and then AHS regular Dylan McDermott (not Dermot
Mulroney) pops up. I like these little cameos. Dylan is playing Bruce, a
sketchy guy who asks the girls for a ride. Don’t do it! They refuse. Later, who
should happen upon them when their car won’t start? Yep, Bruce. He fixes their car
and Donna offers him a ride in return. On the road, Bruce starts to act creepy
and the ladies want to kick him out. Unfortunately, a cop pulls up. Brooke is
worried he’ll recognize her. The cop warns them about a killer who has been
murdering women on this highway. Of course, Bruce is the guy. He shoots and
kills the cop. The women manage to drive off. But Bruce catches up with them in
the cop’s car and rear ends their car into a truck. They’re knocked unconscious
and he kills the other driver. Brooke wakes up with a gun to her head and Donna
tied to the back of the truck. Bruce gives her the choices of driving off and dragging
her friend to her death or getting shot in the face. Is there a third option? A
quick-thinking Brooke manages to get the upper hand, saving herself and Donna.
They tie Bruce to a pole and cut his thumbs off. Eww, but deserved. Now it’s
time to set off to Redwood. Watch out Margaret.
Ghost Mommy Dearest
Jingles shows up at camp and is promptly ambushed by the counselor
ghosts. Nobody is happy to see him. Well, he did murder a large portion of the
group. Montana, head bitch-ghost in charge, fills him in on what happened after
they died. Their plan is to kill everyone at the festival in hopes of luring a
ghostbuster to the camp who can figure out a way to get them out of purgatory. Seriously?
That’s a stretch. They mention that there’s another ghost at camp. A lady in a
white nightgown who terrorizes them. Jingles realizes that it’s his mother. He
tells them about what happened to his brother in 1948. Afterwards, his mother butchered
all of the counselors (Mrs. Voorhies-style) who let her son die. She tried to get
Jingles too, but he accidently killed her instead. All of her blood and rage seeped
into the ground. Back in the present day, Jingles speculates that this has
caused the purgatory effect. He heads off to the cottage to confront his
mother. Side note, they’re definitely channeling the 1988 horror classic Lady
in White in this episode. That movie creeped me out as a kid. Anyways, Mama
Jingles tells her son that she’s trapped at camp like the others. She’s still blames
him for Bobby’s accident. The wrong son died. Ouch, mom. Furthermore, after
seeing Jingles with Margaret back in 1970, she encouraged the nutty counselor to
go on that killing spree. She really made her son’s life hell. And Christina Crawford
thought she had it bad.
Too shy shy
Meanwhile, Margaret is surveying the camp grounds with
Trevor and her assistant, Courtney. I appreciated that this episode had less of
her. Trevor sees Montana and follows her into the woods for a ghostly makeout
session. Meanwhile, Kojagoogoo has arrived to play at the festival. Too bad for
them, Raimrez also shows up. It turns out the group sold their souls to Satan
in order to achieve fame. So that’s why “Too Shy” was so popular. The Night
Stalker is here to collect on their promise. He slaughters Kojagoogoo! So that’s
why they never had another hit. Down at the lake, Jingles is getting ready for
his showdown with Ramirez. His mother appears. They have a temporary thaw when
he tells her about his son and how he named him after Bobby. Ghost mom warns him
that if Ramirez kills him, he’ll stay dead. But if Jingles offs himself, he’ll
come back. Then he can take down the Night Stalker and protect his son. Jingles
makes the sacrifice and stabs himself in the stomach. That made me a little sad.
His ghost returns, ready to take on Ramirez.