American Horror Stories season 2 episodes 4 + 5 review

American Horror Stories season 2, AHS - Key Art. CR: FX
American Horror Stories season 2, AHS - Key Art. CR: FX /

Two more episodes of the anthology series American Horror Stories have been released these past two weeks, offering more fun horror stories for AHS and horror fans to get their hands on. So, how are these two episodes, and should you check them out? Well, let’s take a look at them.

Episode four of American Horror Stories is entitled Milkmaids and stars notable AHS alum Cody Fern in a story that takes place in a small village in 1700s New England. The town is ruled by a strict pastor who is trying to find a way to cure the village of smallpox; meanwhile, one of the milkmaids in the town claims to have a cure.

For starters, this is one of the more unique ideas that the show has had, one that introduces small questions of morality and science vs. magic, asking the viewer to look inward. However, American Horror Stories’ short run time strikes again, meaning that these themes do not get the time to be fleshed out, resulting in lost potential. Thankfully, the threads for what happens throughout the episode are laid out early, so things that happen in the plot do make sense, and you can see what the episode is trying to do. The problem is that things happen so fast, there’s no time to breathe and take in the information, making it seem much more sloppy than if you sit down and look at what the episode is trying to do.

If you’re willing to, this is an episode that you can get a lot more out of with a second watch, but given some of the boring bits throughout the episode, it’s something that understandably may feel like a chore still. Also, as a brief aside, the characters in this one are for the most part either boring or incredibly unlikeable, which also makes the episode hard to get through at points.

The fifth episode of American Horror Stories, Bloody Mary, switches things up to be in modern-day, where we see a group of four teen girls who unwillingly make a pact with the Bloody Mary of legend. It’s a deal in which, if they break it, the terrors of Bloody Mary will strike down upon them.

Bloody Mary is hands down the best episode of the season thus far, or at the very least, it is tied with the season premiere, Dollhouse. This episode offers a fascinating reimagining of the classic Bloody Mary legend, exploring and relating the story to a horrible time in American history, and one that I’m surprised AHS has never really looked at before.

The episode has an intriguing twist at the end, and even if it does feel a little bit rushed, what the narrative is doing is made crystal clear for the audience throughout. Therefore, it’s much more forgivable this time around as it feels like it makes perfect sense. This is certainly an episode worth checking out, not to mention there is certainly a possibility that this episode has a connection to an American Horror Story season.

American Horror Stories continues to be a mixed bag.

American Horror Stories pretty consistently has interesting ideas with intriguing narratives. The problem is that the quality of the episode’s plots and execution is never consistent. Often when watching shows, I will recommend people to check out every episode and work themselves through the lesser episodes. However, when it comes to American Horror Stories, I find myself recommending specific episodes. Bloody Mary is an excellent episode and one that I recommend for people to check, but on the other hand, Milkmaids is one that wasn’t executed properly, meaning it might not be worth your time.

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What did you think of American Horror Stories season 2, episodes 4 and 5? Let us know down below!