On the roller coaster that is AHS: 1984, this week does not pump the brakes and let us come in smoothly off the ride. Instead, the ride is put into reverse while the remainder of the episode explains the rich history behind Camp Redwood. One of those mysteries being that the camp was not always Camp Redwood. Though last week brought us to 1989, this week’s “The Lady in White” took us back to 1948. This is when the camp was known as Camp Golden Star. This is not the only rich backstory we received though. We learn the horrific backstory of Benjamin. The series continued to lay out the groundwork for the finale in two weeks. While this season feels like it began yesterday, the set up did not disappoint.
We begin by getting an inside look into Camp Golden Star. Fans of the series immediately notice a familiar face and new character. Lavinia Richter (Lily Rabe). If the last name seems familiar that is because she is the mother of Benjamin Richter also known as Mr. Jingles. She finds herself in the cafeteria making the meals for all of the children. We learn that Benjamin is not the only son she bore though. Benjamin had a brother, Bobby (Filip Alexander). Young Benjamin (Connor Cain) is sent out with his brother and told to watch him. While Benjamin isn’t paying attention to his baby brother, nor is there a lifeguard on duty, Bobby jumps into the water. Hearing the splash Benjamin rushes back just in time to see his head pop up. Unfortunately, the two people driving the boat nearby do not, evoking a Sleepaway Camp moment.
Lavinia completely loses her mind over the death of her child. Any parent would in this situation. However, not every parent would commit a massacre against the camp counselors. When Benjamin finds her she has committed multiple murders. She even attempts to murder him because he too failed his brother. After many harsh words thrown in his direction viewers wonder one question. How did he make it so far in life without therapy? Although that question might not be answered, the show has set up a rather epic final battle between Richter and Ramirez. In many ways, the show is giving a bit of a Freddy vs. Jason vibe with these two.
Benjamin is not the only vengeful spirit out in the world. Brooke makes it back to the hotel room with Donna and escapes death. She explains how she was able to keep Brooke alive. However, as soon as Brooke discovers that Margaret is reopening the camp, she sees red. Although she does skate in what might be the last remaining roller disco of the era, she is upset that she has lost out on the remainder of the decade. Margaret went out and became rich and famous and Brooke went to jail for her sins. Set out on a mission to go back to Camp Redwood, against Donna’s recommendation, the girls meet another new character and another familiar face. Bruce (Dylan McDermott).
Despite Brooke and Donna telling him that they will not give him a ride to Camp Redwood, they inevitably end up doing so because he fixes their car. An issue I’m determined he somehow caused as audiences realize that his character is far more than meets the eye. Donna should have stuck to her convictions. As the cop makes sure they are okay, Bruce shoots him! He’s a serial killer. And not just any serial killer but one that primarily focuses on killing women. He admits to Brooke once she wakes up from him getting the upper hand that he is trying to beat The Night Stalker’s numbers. He’s up to five. If nothing else this season has given us many memorable fictional serial killers outside of The Night Stalker.
Giving her the choice of dying or killing her friend, Brooke figures out how to get the upper hand once more. Thankfully, Donna, had the smarts to lay down flat in the road too or Brooke would have inadvertently killed her. If that was not insulting to injury enough for Bruce they leave him all tied up without the use of his thumbs. No more hitchhiking for you Bruce. Yet somehow I feel that we will see him at Camp Redwood. I think that Ramirez and Richter is not the only epic showdown we are going to get this season. It only makes sense to me that we have a battle between our final girl and Bruce. Though I feel that inevitably this means that he will kill Donna to pull her in.
Meanwhile, at the camp, everything is going smoothly for the most part. No killings will occur until the festival starts thanks to Montana. However, their big plan is to kill everyone at the entire festival so there is going to be an insane bloodbath coming soon. The crazier part is that they manage to catch Benjamin who gives them insight into their lady in white and why the camp might have a curse on it in general. However, this curse has existed since he was forced to kill his mother in self-defense in 1948 so there has to be a deeper legend that goes even further back. Maybe they will manage to tie in a witch from coven at this point. Who knows.
When Benjamin realizes his mother is still at the camp he asks if they can take him to her. Xavier is the lucky party to take him to Lavinia. She is still bitter that he is the one who was able to have a life instead of her Bobby. Benjamin is the one that should have died and not him. The craziest part of the episode though is when we learn that Lavinia is the one who pushes Margaret over the edge to kill. She’s the one who talked her into framing her other son. If Bobby couldn’t have a life, why should Benjamin get to have a life? She might be the worst mom since Margaret White in Carrie, which Lavinia’s dress is reminiscent of anyway.
He is determined to avenge his wife, Benjamin is advised by his mother. If he loses in a battle with Ramirez he is going to hell. However, if he takes his own life he will forever live at the camp and have a better chance of defeating Ramirez. While she hasn’t exactly been there for the man, this is solid advice as Ramirez needs to die. At the end of the episode, Benjamin is sitting on the dock talking to his brother. He is not going to let what happened to Bobby happen to his son. In what some typically would not call a courageous act, Richter kills himself. As his spirit leaves him, he becomes a man on a mission to keep his child safe, leading into what I feel will become one of the best fight scenes in American Horror Story history.
With all the information the show has provided on the numerous characters this season, the finale is morphing into something that will be unforgettable. With that, it raises a few questions. Who do you think will win between Mr. Jingles and Ramirez? Will Brooke get her revenge on Margaret? Is Bruce going to make an appearance at the camp? How big of a massacre do you think is in store? Who will survive? Who do you think is a goner? Other than Kajagoogoo of course. Make sure to let us know in the comments below.
Tune into AHS: 1984 next week Wednesday at 10 pm EST on FX Network to see who wins in the battle of serial killers.