American Horror Story Season 10 premiere recap: Writer’s block sucks — maybe even literally

Finn Wittrock stars as Harry Gardner in Season 10 of FX's American Horror Story
Finn Wittrock stars as Harry Gardner in Season 10 of American Horror Story. Pic credit: FX

FX’s American Horror Story’s 10th season is titled Double Feature and will be broken up into two parts, the first set by the sea and the second, by sand, according to a previous Monsters, and Critics report.

Aliens and sea creatures will also be present so, judging by the breakdown, the first section will see the emergence of sea creatures.

Now that Episode 1 of AHS: Double Feature has dropped, let’s see how this all appears in context.

For context

Harry (Finn Wittrock) and the pregnant Doris Gardner (Lily Rabe) are making a new beginning. Harry calls the location they are moving to beautiful but his wife prefers “creepy.”

Meanwhile, in the backseat, their daughter, Alma (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) is counting roadkill. She is officially my spirit animal.

Also, some of that roadkill appears to be dead stuff that happened to die on a road. Almost, as if something is hunting them down and feeding on them.

Doctor Who meme
Pic credit: BBC One

Entering Provincetown

The city-centric Gardners have moved to sleepy Provincetown and all you need to know about this bayside setting is that it is a mashup of every Stephen King and Dean Koontz novel ever.

While Harry is going to write while here, Doris — who is desperately tick obsessed — is going to do the place up and it feels a little too convenient that the house owner say Doris’ Instagram account and handpicked her for the momentous task of the shabby fixer-upper.

Harry goes for supplies and bumps into “Tuberculosis Karen” (Sarah Paulson), who appears to be both abrasive and homeless. I think this might be my favorite Paulson character to date.

She keeps yelling at him to leave town and, honestly, I think I’d take her word for it, no matter how crazy she seems.

The Gardners settle in

Quickly, the Gardners go about doing their creative things. Alma is musically inclined and obviously gifted so plays up a storm. However, as for Harry and Doris, both seem to be stumped on how to get started.

Taking Alma for a walk so that Harry can work, they come across their first terrifying experience. A talk, pointy-toothed character starts following them in the cemetery and they have to run home, where he continues to harass them through every available window.

According to the police chief, it’s the drugs. Doris blames Lyme disease. *rolls eyes*

Harry thinks there might be more to everything and asks about the Truro family that was killed in the area recently. A Google search finds this family might have been killed in the same way as the roadkill from the start of the episode.

Later, when Alma sees three of these scary dudes outside her window, her parents blame “scary dreams” even though Doris saw the guy earlier and knows he is real, at least.

Dead things wash up on shore

The next day, Harry is still suffering from major writer’s block and goes for a run to clear his head. Except, he comes across two dead bodies on the beach and all that clears is his stomach.

The victims also have those same sorts of wounds that imply something strange is afoot in the town.

Honestly, this should be plenty of fodder for a writer.

However, not Harry, apparently.

It’s (solo) date night

Harry plans a night out with him and Doris but has to go along once she starts suspiciously throwing up — oh, and craving red meat…

He goes to the only restaurant in town — called The Muse. Immediately, Mickey (Macaulay Culkin) hits on him.

Frances Conway as Belle Noir and Evan Peters as Austin Somers, as seen in Episode 1 of FX's American Horror Story: Double Feature
Frances Conway as Belle Noir and Evan Peters as Austin Somers, as seen in Episode 1 of American Horror Story: Double Feature. Pic credit: FX

He manages to ditch Mickey, only to be entertained by Austin Somers (Evan Peters) and Belle Noir (Frances Conway) as they perform a rather disturbing (although mainly on Austin’s behalf) version of “Islands in the Stream.”

later, they invite Harry across for a drink because they’re writers and they can smell a writer’s block at five hundred paces.

Immediately, they become besties.

Until TB Karen turns up and calls Austin and Belle bloodsuckers and reminds Harry to “get the f*ck outta town.”

In case no one noticed by this point, I feel like the creatures being explored in the first half of American Horror Story: Double Feature appear to be of the vampiric variety – -especially since Belle makes a reference to how she likes to get her Vitamin D — and it’s not from the sun.

It is also confirmed later in Episode 1 when Belle does some serious bloodletting — and drinking — of Mickey.

Harry gets attacked

When Harry gets home from his solo date, he discovers a window open and is attacked by one of those creatures that Doris saw in the cemetery.

Let me say here, that if you found the bowler hat man in Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House scary, you might not like this guy at all. He has a weird way of moving and his bones continually click as he attacks. *shudders*

Creepy bone-cracking dude seems to get the upper hand initially but Harry quickly bludgeons him to death with an iron bar.

Later, when the cops are taking the body away, it becomes pretty clear that no one cares that the guy is dead and that there will be no consequences.

They decide to leave in the morning.

Except Alma doesn’t want to leave.

And Austin has something that will cure his writer’s block. It’s little black pills. Don’t worry that they don’t have a name or that Austin won’t list the ingredients.

After a little back and forth — and some serious pressure from his editor, Ursula (Leslie Grossman) — Harry takes one.

TB Karen makes a deal with the devil

While it looked like Belle and Austin were in absolute contempt of TB Karen, it doesn’t stop Belle from striking a deal with her later on in exchange for drugs.

Karen has brought a bag with her and wants assurances she will be protected from the “others,” which I assume is the clicky-boned crew.

What’s in the bag is just as bad as you think — if it cries like a baby, it has to be a baby, right? No wonder Karen comes across as tortured.

I also think it might be the secret ingredient for those little black pills that Austin gave Harry.

American Horror Story airs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.

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