American Horror Story: Double Feature has only released four episodes so far, but the bifurcated season means the first tale is almost over. The 10-episode season is split into two stories, one by sea and one by sand, with the first six episodes given over to the longer story, “Red Tide,” before switching over to “Death Valley” in the second part. With only two more installments of the first half to go, the American Horror Story Season 10, Episode 5 promo is a glimpse of the penultimate episode and the setup for a horror show of a mid-season finale.
Warning: Spoilers for American Horror Story: Double Feature Episode 4 follow. The first three episodes of Season 10 focused on the Gardner family’s fateful trip to Provincetown, Massachusetts, for a summer getaway so father Harry could get through his writer’s block while mother Doris redesigned houses. A chance meeting with two successful writers, Belle Noir and Austin Sommers, hooked Harry on a supply of the secret to their success: little black pills that stimulate the neurons in a talented person’s occipital lobe. His daughter, Alma, a violin prodigy, is soon downing the pills too, leading both to the medication’s crucial side effect, the desperate need to drink blood.
Episode 4 took a break from the Gardners’ antics and Harry’s descent into becoming a regular blood-drinking writer to rewind the picture to when these pills first invaded P-town. Fans met the Chemist, who created these black beauties, and saw how both Belle and Austin were first introduced to them. It also showed how the not-exactly-zombies who haunt the town were created; they were the non-talent folks who made the mistake of taking the pill only to discover the horror of their limited minds.
But after the detour to the past in Episode 4, Episode 5 promises a return to the growing horror show at the Gardner household.
The title of the episode is “Gaslight,” suggesting Harry is going to start doing whatever it takes to convince Doris that his and Alma’s violent and bloodthirsty tendencies are all in her head. The episode synopsis also pretty much matches the trailer: “Harry struggles to keep Alma under control. Doris is pushed past her limits.”
But the words of the Chemist in Episode 4 serve as a warning. Only one in 10 who take the pill will flourish. Both Harry and Alma proved themselves to be the rare creatives who can handle what the Chemist is dishing out. Perhaps Doris will take the pill and their whole family will be a powerhouse of creativity. But her struggles at her chosen career of interior design and her dilettante attitude toward “minimalism” have made it a pretty good bet she’s going to be the odd one out in the family.
Perhaps the most telling moment of the trailer is when Alma pushes her mother to try the pill and join the fun. When Alma first took the pill in the show’s second episode, she instantly recognized the woman who raised her was not one for this life; she sneered that Doris was a mere “common mother.” That she’s now trying to get her mom to take the pill suggests she’s not asking mom to join them, but rather removing an obstacle in her way.
Will Doris take the pill? And if so, what will that do to her almost-to-term fetus? American Horror Story Season 10 continues with new episodes every Wednesday on FX at 10 p.m. ET and streaming on Hulu the next day.