Episode 6 of American Horror Stories is titled Feral and it quickly goes that way when a couple goes camping in a secluded section of a national park.
Let’s go camping
So, a rich, entitled couple and their kid go camping at Kern Canyon National Park. Apparently, it’s an “experience.”
Jay Gantz (Aaron Tveit) has put them as far away from anyone else and as close to a body of water as possible because this guy has apparently never listened to a true-crime podcast. His wife, Addy (Tiffany Dupont), definitely has, though, because she is less than enthused to be so secluded.
Let the nighttime shenanigans begin
After expertly setting up the campsite, Jay is starting to unwind. Addy gets the drift — or maybe it’s the wine buzz — so puts their son, Jacob, to bed.
This means that none of them notice the creepy AF tree dude watching them in the distance…
Or the flash of someone running past their tent while they’re making out.
Everything looks better in the daytime — and with coffee
So, the wine-haze has definitely worn off as American Horror Stories continues, and Addy just wants coffee to get her day started. Jay is all over the camping thing and is up and ready and planning their day already. Looks like fishing is on the agenda and way too much time is focused on Jay giving his son the compass — so that has to be important.
Meanwhile, Addy is, you know, just finding dead and mutilated deer in the woods.
Then Jacob goes missing.
Ten years later
After the significant time jump in the American Horror Stories episode, Jay is revealed to be a hot mess, which is entirely understandable. He is still working the case — and drinking beer. Once again, totally understandable after losing your son in such a manner.
Then, Bob Birch (Blake Shields), a hunter, turns up with apparent information about the missing Jacob. He also has a grainy picture of a boy that was taken out in the deep wilderness and that same compass that Jay gave to Jacob all those years ago.
It turns out, there might be some traffickers/dealers in the area and that’s where the photo was captured. Oh, and he also wants $10,000 to grease the way to get one of the dealers to talk.
Addy thinks it’s bulls**t when Jay tells her but we all know he is totally going to fork out the money — even if he doesn’t have that sort of cash just lying around these days.
Addy gives in and they wind up at a place called the Malvados. It’s a decent hike into this location and they have to be there by sunset to talk to the dealers. And, judging by all the unresolved issues going on between Jay and Addy — who are now divorced — this is going to be a particularly long trip.
They turn up at a rangers station where Stan Vogel (Cody Fern) makes it pretty clear that he’s from Australia with his “G’day” upon introduction. But, that’s where his accent fails to any actual Australians tuning in.
Stan then makes sure to tell everyone that the growers are the least of their worries and starts regaling them a story about how he saw some bigfoot creature take off with their son.
While Jay will believe Bob, he calls bulls**t on Stan because that doesn’t work with his narrative, even though he literally just saw something weird in the surrounding forest.
Addy wants to believe Stan, though. Bob just wants to reach the dealers, probably because there’s $10,000 involved.
Stan sees things in the woods and pulls out the big guns after they leave.
Things have gone awry with the growers
When Bob, Jay, and Addy get to the dealers’ camp, things have definitely gone wrong. Like dead bodies everywhere wrong.
Even though Bob is concerned about rival cartels, Jay and Addy just want to find their son.
That’s when Bob reveals he was just after their money. That kid in the photo? That was his nephew.
Bob pulls a gun on them and plans to “reunite them with their boy.” Except, those dead bodies? Well, they’re not dead. Or, maybe they’re undead.
And one takes this opportune time to rip a hole in Bob’s neck. Jay gets accidentally shot but he and Addy still manage to escape.
Stan’s on guard
They make it back to Stan’s station by dark and he patches things up because he’s Australian and Jay is whining about “basically a scratch.”
Meanwhile, Addy tells Stan all about what happened.
Stan freaks out about the undead part but not in the way you’d expect. Mainly because it becomes apparent he’s encountered this problem before and heads to the window to keep an eye out for them all.
Also, he can’t tell them anything because “that’s the rules.”
Jay pulls a gun on Stan and, finally, he tells them all about the creatures out there. They’re not bigfoot like everyone claims in these parts. And not yowies like they’re called in Australia, either.
Apparently, the national parks system was created to keep the bad things — or Feral Nation, as Stan calls them — away from all the Americans that they so desperately want to eat. But, it’s a secret, just like Roswell and the Manhattan Project.
Basically, all you need to know is they look like there’s a lot of inbreeding going on and they might be descendants of the Vikings that landed in Newfoundland. He thinks they’re old mountain men that just went wild — and turned into cannibals.
It’s now that Jay and Addy remember a strange army unit that “helped” with the search when Jacob went missing. Stan informs them the army was there for crowd control and they aimed to cut down as many of the Feral Nation as possible.
The Ferals arrive
Stan goes to radio for help but quickly discovers that one of the Ferals has made it inside his station and it attacks him. Meanwhile, a bunch crash through the windows and attack — including one huge Viking-like dude. Jay gets one shot off before he discovers his gun is out of batteries.
Stan gets overrun and eaten so Jay and Addy use this time to escape outside. They are quickly chased to a location where a boy is sitting upon a throne of bones.
It doesn’t take very long to work out this is Jacob and he’s doing just fine as a part of the Feral Nation.
He also announces that it’s dinnertime.
And the mob quickly devours his parents.
Because there are no happy endings in American Horror Stories.
American Horror Stories airs every Thursday night on FX on Hulu.