We’re now at the midpoint of American Horror Story: 1984, and at the end of the fifth episode, “Red Dawn,” we get to see who’s made it through the night at Camp Redwood. The answer is…well, not a lot of people. And given the pernicious ghost issue at the camp, not to mention Satan himself running around resurrecting serial killers left and right, the question of who’s dead and who’s alive is getting more confusing by the minute. Below, a running tally of the casualties of 1984, which will be updated weekly.
Everyone at Camp Redwood in 1970
The show kicks off with a classic horror movie scenario: A bunch of horny teenagers are doing what horny teenagers do in a cabin, and are then summarily slaughtered for their sins by a mysterious killer. This particular massacre takes place at Camp Redwood circa 1970, and is carried out by the deranged Mr. Jingles (John Carroll Lynch), who inadvertently leaves a lone survivor, Margaret (Leslie Grossman). Fourteen years later, Margaret buys the camp and reopens it, and Mr. Jingles breaks out of a psych ward to finish what he started and kill his Final Girl.
Dr. Karen Hopper
In another classic horror movie scenario, Dr. Karen Hopper (Orla Brady) arrives at the camp to try and deliver a vital warning, and then gets instantly murdered for her trouble. Having found out about Mr Jingles’s jailbreak, Hopper floors it all the way to Camp Redwood to warn Margaret, who seems supremely (and suspiciously?) unfazed by the news. Just when Hopper’s thinking she wasted a drive, she gets unceremoniously butchered by Jingles himself. No good deed, etc.
Brooke’s fiancé and father
Episode two also revealed that Brooke (Emma Roberts) had a real Kill Bill situation of a wedding day. A year before the show takes place, Brooke walked down the aisle only for her fiancé to accuse her of cheating on him. Though she denies it, and seems genuine, this dude was not interested in listening to reason, and shot Brooke’s supposed lover and her father before turning the gun on himself.
Though we saw Brooke’s supposed lover murdered in episode two, it’s not until episode four when we learn that man she supposedly cheated on her fiancé with was also Montana’s brother. Montana (Billie Lourd) has blamed Brooke for getting her brother killed ever since.
Ahh, Blake (Todd Stashwick), the sleazy porn producer—we barely knew ye. This dirtbag shows up for all of ten minutes in episode two, trying unsuccessfully to persuade Xavier (Cody Fern) to star in gay porn. Xavier manages to deflect by suggesting that Blake instead call on Trevor (Matthew Morrison), a fellow camp counselor who’s mostly known for being extremely well endowed. Just as he’s checking Trevor out through a peephole, Blake gets a fatal nail through the eyeball. At least Blake died doing what he loved: staring at an enormous wang.
Jonas the Hiker
As of episode one, Jonas was a nameless hiker who the gang found injured on the side of the road. There’s clearly something a little off about this dude; he seems to have amnesia and keeps saying vague, ominous things to an alarmed Brooke (Emma Roberts), but it’s not until episode two that it becomes clear: HE’S A GHOST! Jonas was one of the victims of the 1970 massacre, but he did try to run, and instead of helping Margaret he left her to die. He’s been trapped in a purgatorial loop ever since, endlessly reliving the final moments of his life—running from Mr. Jingles. In practical terms, this means he keeps being killed and coming back to life again and again, which is weird enough to unnerve even Richard Ramirez (Zach Villa).
The real Nurse Rita
One of the multiple twists in episode three, “Slashdance,” is the revelation that Angelica Ross’s seemingly chill “Nurse Rita” is actually a deranged psychologist who studies serial killers, and broke Mr. Jingles out of jail so that she could observe him in his natural habitat. (This shit would not fly on Mindhunter, is all I’m saying.) Anyway, Montana, Trevor and Xavier figure out the truth about “Rita” when they discover the real nurse Rita tied up underneath the porch, and set her free—only for Mr Jingles to immediately bludgeon her to death.
The Mr. Jingles impersonators
Look, if you dress up as an infamous and recently escaped serial killer with the sole aim of terrorizing a bunch of innocent campers, you deserve everything you get. A few local teenagers decide to do exactly that for shits and giggles in episode three, donning some truly unnerving Mr Jingles masks and successfully scaring the crap out of everybody at Camp Redwood. But within minutes, the impersonators are slaughtered themselves by the real Mr. Jingles, who apparently does not find imitation to be the most sincere form of flattery.
In an episode where Rita is revealed to be in league with Mr. Jingles, and Montana is revealed to be horny for Richard Ramirez, it is quite a feat for Ray (Deron Horton) to still come off looking like the biggest jerk of all. But he’s so deeply cowardly throughout “Slashdance” (he literally leaves an impaled Chet to die!) that it’s nothing but satisfying when he tries to flee the camp, only to get his head knocked right off his neck by Mr. Jingles.
An addendum here: as of episode five, Ray is kind of alive again, having been resurrected by the same mysterious process that’s trapped Jonas in his mysterious loop. After inadvertently having sex with Ray’s ghost, Brooke finds his severed head in the fridge, which is a definite buzzkill.
Bertie deserved better than this. As mind-bogglingly packed with twists as episode four was, her death still genuinely stung, because although she didn’t have a whole lot of screen time in 1984, Bertie’s just one of those characters you like having around. She’s warm and brave and knows how to make a great sandwich—in fact, even alleged serial killer Mr. Jingles was placated by her PB&J! Unfortunately Jingles repays the favor by attacking Bertie, wounding her so severely that she pretty much begs Xavier to kill her. He obliges…after Bertie uses her last ounce of strength to save him from a fiery oven-based death. TL;DR: Bertie was too pure for this world.
Richard “Night Stalker” Ramirez
Having introduced the real-life serial killer as a main character, it was pretty surprising when AHS appeared to have him killed off less than halfway through the season. Ramirez gets a fatal tree branch through the head courtesy of Jingles…but by the end of the episode, he’s resurrected. How? Unclear, but we’re betting it’s related to Jonas the hiker and his purgatorial loop.
True, Matthew Morrison’s Trevor never really developed much as a character (and no, having an enormous penis is not a personality, spread the word). But his death was still kind of a bummer, not least because he unwittingly walked right into the arms of his killer, Margaret, who was revealed to be the actual villain of the season in episode four. We all saw that coming, but poor Trevor didn’t, which left him vulnerable to a knife in the gut as Margaret declared, “God has given me the strength to accept my true self!” Her true self, BTW, is a big fan of dumping corpses into cars and setting them on fire. Trevor’s exit was, truly, lit.
Oop, but here’s another addendum, because in this season the dead truly do not die. In episode six, aka “Episode 100,” it’s revealed that Trevor is alive and well! Or… at least alive. Turns out he survived being stabbed (and also being set on fire, I guess?), and threatened to expose Margaret as a murderous psychopath unless she agrees to be his sugar mama. I mean…get yours, Trevor, but entangling yourself further with this lunatic would not be my personal move. Off course, Margaret insists that Trevor put a ring on it, but not because of the Lord, so much as because he can’t be compelled to testify against her if they’re married.
Chet apparently did not get the memo about Margaret being suspicious AF, because in episode five he willingly jumps into a boat with her alone. Having promised to row herself and Chet to safety during the massacre, Margaret of course ends up murdering him instead—specifically, she ties him to an anchor and tosses him overboard. Pretty sure this means we have a very watery, ripped ghost in our collective future.
Towards the end of episode five, the long-awaited Brooke v. Montana showdown finally happens, with Montana laying out exactly why she hates Brooke—not just for killing her brother, but for being the perfect good girl—and revealing that she’s the one who sent Ramirez after Brooke back in Los Angeles. The two fight to the death, with Brooke finally getting the upper hand and fatally stabbing Montana…in front of a bus full of traumatized children arriving for their first day at camp! Welp. Brooke is under arrest, and Montana’s ghost is presumably going to be pissed.
Episode six jumps forward a full year, with Brooke on death row in San Quentin after Montana framed her for the massacre at Camp Redwood. During the episode, she loses her final appeal and is scheduled for immediate execution. Ramirez, who conveniently has also ended up in San Quentin, offers her the chance to be saved by Satan (in all fairness, he’s not BSing here, as the devil literally brought him back from the dead). But Brooke, still a pure soul at heart, tells him to “fuck off,” and she’s ultimately rewarded for resisting the dark side.
Brooke is executed by lethal injection (as Ramirez simultaneously performs a blood ritual to Satan, because dude knows his brand and is sticking with it)—but, twist, her hooded executioner is actually Donna, aka Fake Rita, who brings her back to life! Ramirez also escapes with a little help from his dark overlord, which means the whole gang’s about to get back together at Camp Redwood, where Margaret is throwing a music festival—in questionable taste—to cash in on the public’s morbid fascination with all the recent murders. This thing’s about to make the Fyre Festival look like paradise.