By the end of the hour, the long night finally draws to a close and everything changes for every single character.
We knew it was coming, and this halfway point of "American Horror Story: 1984" delivered, offering the deadliest episode yet before turning over the apple cart and seemingly changing everything this season has been about.
It also effectively split the cast in half, creating two parallel storylines that might not seem positioned to converge again, but surely will at some point. After all, everything comes back to Camp Redwood at some point, right? And sometimes things come back from the dead, as we've seen with 1970 camp counselor Jonas.
In other words, it was right there all along and we just weren't paying enough attention to it. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk sold us on a 1980s-set slasher film set in a summer camp. It's classic horror fare and we fell for it (or at least we imagine some did). We always knew this was going to be something more and/or different than just that.
And while this isn't a "Roanoke" kind of fake out (yet), it's certainly setting up the back half of the season to be something very different than the first half, which was just a bunch of running around the woods as people died during the longest night in the history of television. By the end of this hour, the sun was up and everything is different and we have so many questions.
Donna saw Richard hovering above the ground with black eyes before his resurrection, and then he simply told her that he was a servant of Satan now. And by the end of the hour, after Mr. Jingles had died a brutal death at the hands of a vengeful Xavier -- upset about Jingles trying to burn him alive in an oven -- Richard appeared to resurrect him, asking him if he would accept Satan.
Benjamin had just finished telling Donna that there would be only one more death: Margaret. And yet, here he is apparently talking Richard up on this offer, if their final scene together is any indication. So is Benjamin truly remorseful, as it seemed, or did he figure he had nothing left to lose at this point because he'd already killed so many people.
But that begs the question, just what are Richard and Benjamin now? Are they servants of the Dark Lord? Richard knew things about Donna he had no way of knowing. Does that mean Benjamin knows things about Margaret he might not otherwise have known.
We feel it's pretty safe to say both men have unfinished business in the form of Margaret for Benjamin and Brooke for Richard.
Margaret went on a killing spree, but it wasn't clear if she'd actually killed Chet or not. With most of her victims, we actually see them die or she does something definitively to off them. This week, she was cutting the ears off of people not yet dead, and with Chet she simply left him in the lake to drown. As injured as he was, it might be a safe bet, but that doesn't mean he actually died.
Following the logic of horror movies, if you don't see a body than he isn't dead. And based on the rules of whatever the hell is happening in Camp Redwood, he may just stick around no matter his mortal status. Still, it feels like unfinished business that will need to be addressed at some point.
And it's not just Chet we have questions about, as we never got a satisfying death for Trevor, either, though it did seem more definitive than Chet's.
While we got a final (for now) fate for most of the characters, that didn't happen with Donna. After learning that her own father was a serial killer, thus her obsession and experiment with Benjamin, she begged Mr. Jingles to kill her. Somehow Richard revealing her culpability in the deaths at Jingles' hands, and her father effectively welcoming her to the dark side, was enough to send her into a spiral of conscience.
When last we saw Donna, she was on her knees and in tears after Benjamin refused to kill her. And yet, when the authorities arrived at the end of the episode, she was nowhere to be found. We already know she's a survivor, so did she simply escape into the woods and flee Camp Redwood? If so, what will she do now? Especially in light of her newfound guilt over all the death she created.
Of all the craziness of these five episodes, the wildest moment had to be the bus pulling up with all those children ... just in time to see Brooke stabbing Montana. Never mind it was technically self defense, it was brutal and violent. And with Margaret once again as the star witness, saying Brooke killed everyone who died that night, could she be ready to go down for everyone's crimes the way Benjamin went down for Margaret's in 1970?
Also, what exactly was Margaret's plan? She didn't intend for Benjamin to arrive, so was she always wanting to pick off and murder her counselors before the kids arrived? What about Bertie and Rita? Or did she improvise this new plan as the evening went along?
Or perhaps she was hoping to kill off that whole busload of kids, too. Or maybe (and this is the most likely) we're not supposed to think this hard about it.
This week saw Ray come back from the dead, and deflower Brooke (proving that Montana was wrong to think Brooke slept with her brother, and thus she was totally innocent in his death ... oops!). And at the end of the night, we learned that he can't leave Camp Redwood. In fact, Jonas (the 1970 camp counselor who has shown up from time to time) told him this was his home now.
And yet, they are solid, able to interact with others (though Ray had no blood pressure), and so not quite ghosts. By the end of the hour, they'd been joined by Montana, who went ahead and killed a cop because that's just who she is now. Next week's teaser showed Xavier also getting the ghost treatment, but are they it?
Also on the dead list are Trevor and Chet (maybe), Bertie, Dr. Hopple, Blake and the real Rita. Will they come back? If not, we have a theory as to why ... only Montana, Xavier and Ray have killed someone.
That said, though, we haven't actually seen Montana successfully kill anyone, but perhaps she's being held responsible for some of Richard's kills. Either way, she's pretty evil (and maybe that's all it takes).
Still, we have a hard time imagining the show is done with Matthew Morrison and Gus Kenworthy, considering their in the main credits, so it may just be coincidence that the evil undead have arrived first. Perhaps the others are coming and we'll have a ghost war for the camp. Or perhaps neither guy is actually dead.
If they do come back, maybe Camp Redwood is just "Murder Camp" like the first season introduced us to "Murder House" and everyone who dies gets trapped here.
Regardless who else might be coming back, we have to know why Jonas came back and why he appears to be the only person from 1970 who did come back. Is he perhaps a killer as well, if our theory holds up? Or is it just random that he would happen to come back and be trapped at Camp Redwood, disoriented and confused.
That seems unlikely considering that Ray, Montana and Xavier come back as well, so there must be more to Jonas and his story than we know. There may also be way more to the story of what happened at Camp Redwood in 1970 than has been revealed so far.
As it stands, we've got the adventures of the ghosts (if that's what they are) at Camp Redwood and the adventures of all the survivors who appear to have left, by one means or another. Somehow we suspect they'll come together again, and perhaps Jonas will have an important role to play. He did, after all, kick off our whole story as the hitchhiker the counselors picked up on their way in.
Where Are Mr. Jingles and the Night Stalker Going?
While we know that Brooke was arrested and Margaret is being taken to the hospital as a victim and witness (again), we don't know what Richard and Benjamin are doing. They stole a cop car, leaving that officer to die at Montana's hands, and are heading back to Los Angeles, but what is their purpose? Is it simply more murder?
Presumably Richard will want to do a lot more killing, as an acolyte of Satan reborn, but what about Benjamin, who'd sworn it off? Will he have to now that he's given himself to Satan? Or will his focus remaining on taking out Margaret? And is it as simple as unfinished business for both men? There are still five episodes left, so we imagine there are more twists to come, and perhaps their mission will become clear in the coming weeks.
"AHS: 1984" continues every Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on FX.