This week’s episode of American Horror Story: Double Feature is brought to you by the letter B — for backstory. And blood, so much blood.
While previous episodes of AHS have delved into the new characters arriving in Provincetown in the present day. This episode takes a little break from Alma’s (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) blood addiction and that everyone seems to want to kill Harry (Finn Wittrock).
The Chemist rocks into town
Episode 4 of AHS: Double Feature opens with The Chemist (Angelica Ross) rocking up in Provincetown five years earlier. We know already that she doesn’t like people or, more specifically, strangers, so this location is a no-brainer for her.
But, already, Holden (Denis O’Hare) can cut through her crap and doesn’t believe the “oh, it was a bad divorce” story. After all, she also just left a lab in the big city, and Provincetown has a meth problem.
Immediately, she sets up shop, and the experimentation begins. However, once her little black pill prototype is developed, she needs… um… volunteers to see how it works in the real world.
As soon as The Chemist sees Mickey (Macaulay Culkin), she can smell his desperation from across the bar and moves in straight away.
In getting to know Mickey, viewers find out that The Chemist used to work for the government.
The Chemist was in a team trying to create soldiers who were less likely to think for themselves. She had to research how to unlock the creative mind as well as lock it away. And, this is how the idea for her little black pills was born.
While her research was a success, there were some problems. Namely, what we’ve already seen in the vast difference between the likes of Harry Gardner (Finn Wittrock) and the bald creepy dudes that pepper Provincetown.
When offered, Mickey is not up for being the first human trial for them. However, when The Chemist offers him 50 bucks a pop for test subjects, well, that’s a deal he can’t turn down.
TB Karen has only had bronchitis 5 times this year
It’s a good year for Karen (Sarah Paulson) this year. Not only is she not a complete methhead yet, but she has only had bronchitis five times this year. To celebrate, she and Mickey are out on the town.
While checking out the karaoke options, Mickey spots a prospect (played by Spencer Novich) and immediately takes him to see The Chemist.
Spoiler Alert: He’s a dud
After taking the pill, the effects start pretty much immediately. Except, it’s not in a good way. Rather than his singing voice improving, his hair stars falling out.
He has to report back to The Chemist with what is going on, and she is completely fascinated by the whole process.
What viewers discover is that there is a set dosage for these experiments, and not only is this dude losing his hair and going a pasty shade, but he’s also feeling the cold drastically.
He heads on over to Lark’s (Billie Lourd) and grabs a coat, then goes to hang out in the graveyard where he partakes of his first bloody victim. This doesn’t sit well with him either because he’s a vegan,
It’s Halloween now, too, so he can cruise along town in his bloody coat and not look at all out of place as he makes his way back to The Chemist’s house.
It doesn’t take long for him to find out his rage is fueled by the fact that he now hates himself for having no talent and threatens The Chemist. She’s prepared, though, and packing, so she tells him to get out and never return.
Belle is the first success story
The origin story of Belle Noir (Frances Conroy) is also explored in the latest episode of American Horror Story. While we all know that Belle is a success as far as taking the pills is concerned, originally, she was a self-published romance author who had a grand total of three readers turn up at her book signing.
So, she is already desperate for success.
Her backstory is sad, too. She’s in a loveless marriage to a man who is not at all helpful when it comes to supporting her writing dream.
This makes it pretty easy when Mickey turns up at The Muse while Belle drinks alone and offers her a way out.
The Chemist gives her a bit of a warning, but Belle is determined to become famous — and to get a bit more ballsy in the process.
She gets the writing bug as soon as she gets back to her hotel room and starts kicking out the goods. When her husband returns, he criticizes her work and tells her how much fun he had having sex with some woman he met on the haunted dune tour.
Belle responds by slitting his throat. She’s probably a little more ballsy than she was anticipating, but she’s not one to look a gift horse in the mouth and quickly partakes of the bloody offering.
Two years later
Belle is getting a makeover — finally — and ditching the librarian look for 80s high fashion. She also decides to check out a Halloween Karaoke Drag night and comes across Austin Somers (Evan Peters) for the first time.
He’s all dragged up and looking gorgeous but being completely ragged on by the other queens present. Immediately, Belle sees Austin being treated the way her husband treated her.
He’s nervous AF and about to perform as well. His performance is trash but, afterward, when everyone has left, Belle sees the talent behind the drag when he starts playing the piano.
Austin is a playwright who has been ghosted, so he has to perform drag to make ends meet. It turns out Belle ate the guy who ghosted him and offers him the pill washed down with a side of revenge against the drag queen who was mean to him earlier.
Austin doesn’t even have to think about it before downing it, and, as they say, a star is born.
As for the drag queen? She escapes — only to be feated on by the talentless dude in the graveyard.
American Horror Story airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.