“American Horror Story: 1984” has been strange and thrilling with unexpected plot twists and countless murders. The season’s last episode, “The Final Girl,” connects all the loose ends audiences may have spent last week wondering about and reveals the fate of the remaining characters.
Unexpectedly, the episode begins in 2019 when a Prius pulls over on the side of the road by Camp Redwood. A familiar face steps out of the car: Finn Wittrock. Wittrock has previously been a part of the show has portrayed characters like Dandy Mott in “Freak Show,” and Tristan Duffy and Rudolph Valentino in “Hotel.”
Something most AHS viewers can’t miss after watching nine seasons is that almost every new character introduced and all plot twists seem to always tie back to previous seasons. When Wittrock’s character dubiously looks at the old signs and rotting wooden boards at Camp Redwood, some watchers may have guessed that the guest star plays Bobby, Mr. Jingle’s son. They were right.
When Montana finds Bobby, she warns him to return to his world. But since she’s been dead for so long, she bombards him with questions about what today’s world is like. For example, she has no clue what a cell phone is. Upon finding out that Bobby is Mr. Jingle’s son, she takes him to a cabin where Trevor appears. The two fill Bobby in on the horrors that followed Margaret’s concert in 1989.
Montana recalls that the hitchhiker was the easiest to kill out of the three ruthless murderers who teamed up at Camp Redwood. Then, she says the Night Stalker couldn’t be killed since his soul belongs to Satan, so for the past 30 years, all the ghosts have taken turns keeping watch over him, killing him over and over in a new way each time. During an awkward intimate moment between Chet and Birdie — a lunch lady who Mr. Jingles killed — on their watch, the Night Stalker escapes and stabs Bobby in the back. All the ghosts help Bobby escape him.
After spending decades in those gruesome woods, the ghosts realized that killing whoever comes to the camp wasn’t going to make them feel alive anymore, and they ultimately change for the better. This perspective may have satisfied some viewers and put a smile on some distressed faces.
Bobby heads to the Red Meadows Asylum where his father was kept and meets Donna. She tells him the story of how Brooke and Margaret were killed at the camp in 1989. All the ghosts Margaret killed over the years finally got their revenge. They cut her into pieces and threw her into a woodchopper so that the machine spit out every bit of her on the other side of the camp’s boundaries. This way, she didn’t technically die on the property. Most viewers may have felt relief seeing Margaret finally get what she deserves after torturing countless people at that camp.
Bobby thanks Donna for anonymously sending him money all his life. Donna’s surprised, and she explains she doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The audience realizes, along with the confused pair, that Donna must have not been the only final girl. Someone else also survived. They track down the other person, who to viewers’ surprise, is Brooke. She explains that in a dramatic effort to do something good, Ray saved her life by carrying her to the edge of the property so she could escape and make it to a hospital.
The show sends a strong message that a simple act of kindness can change someone’s perceptions and make them a better person. For example, Trevor stood in front of the Camp Redwood entrance to turn people away from the concert so they wouldn’t get murdered. Margaret shot Trevor for this, and Montana was devastated because he was off the property. Brooke appeared and helped Trevor get back to the other side so he could die there, allowing him to come back as a ghost. This changes Montana’s perception of Brooke. It makes her want to be a better ghost, and she takes more precautions to prevent the Night Stalker from leaving the camp and killing innocent people.
When Bobby returns to Camp Redwood to try and find his dad, he meets Margaret instead, who offers to take him to Mr. Jingles. She disappears and then reappears to stab Bobby, but out of nowhere, Mr. Jingles stops her and puts the knife in her throat.
In the next scene, Bobby meets his grandma, too. The lady in white helps him escape the camp. In the final scene, Bobby looks back to see his grandmother, father and uncle, whom he’s named after on the other side of the property line. In that moment, the whole season full of horrors comes to an end.
The characters, situations and soundtrack for “1984” is fitting for the ’80s theme. The show’s creators never disappoint in terms of aesthetics and capturing the theme’s true essence, be it a lavish hotel, a creepy house or a certain era. This season’s ending is quite satisfying because the antagonists get what they deserve, and everyone gets a happy ending — even the many, many ghosts of Camp Redwood.
Contact Mughees Ashraf at firstname.lastname@example.org For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.