AHS: NYC started out looking as if it was destined to be an AIDS parable, but as each double set of episodes has arrived, it has veered into a far more conspiracy-minded tale of guilt and horror. Still, fans probably weren’t prepared for the sudden twist into the occult or the arrival of the Angel of Death in Episode 5. AHS: NYC’s inclusion of the character is a Season 2 callback, though perhaps not the one fans wanted.
Warning: Spoilers for American Horror Story Season 11, Episodes 5 and 6 follow. Patti Lupone was introduced as a bathhouse singer doing old jazz standards in the first set of double episodes. In Episodes 3 and 4, fans learned she owned the joint. However, that’s not her only business in the neighborhood. In Episode 5, fans learned she also owns a fortune-telling parlor, where she reads tarot cards.
But something funny happened, especially when Fran got hired to do the readings. Whenever any of the main characters walked in — Adam, Hannah, Theo — the cards started behaving unpredictably. The deck suddenly had nothing but Death cards in the stack for Adam and Hannah. For Adam and Theo, they showed the Devil, Judgement, and, once again, Death. When Adam told Gino about his experiences, Gino marched over to scold Fran for scaring people. Defensive of her employee, Kathy insisted on giving Gino a reading to show him there was nothing underhanded.
Kathy’s plan backfired, as the cards suddenly took on a mind of their own again, doling out the Devil, Judgement, and Death. Then, the parlor’s walls disappeared as Kathy spoke in dark tones about how Gino had no heart and could not be loved. Behind her, wings appeared in the darkness, and the Angel of Death stepped out, promising Gino she could make it all go away with just one little kiss.
Gino scrambled backward, screaming that he would not go that easily, and ran from the room, much to Kathy’s confusion. As he did, the Angel was shown more clearly, and fans might have been slightly disappointed. It was not the same Angel of Death who appeared in AHS: Asylum. Though the wings and figure are the same, it was not actor Frances Conroy, who played that character, named Shachath, in Season 2. Instead, the role was played by Rebecca Dayan, one of Murphy’s newer regulars in AHS and American Horror Stories.
It’s still the Angel of Death, just a different one. And although her kiss could have freed Gino from whatever was haunting him, he was not ready to go yet, at least not without a fight.
AHS: NYC continues with two new episodes on Wednesdays at 10 and 11 p.m. ET on FX and streaming the next day on Hulu.