Gird your loins ladies, gentlemen and everything in-between. Week two of
CRUSING American Horror Story: NYC dropped Wednesday with a pair of new episodes . This season only has 8 episodes supposedly. Murphy is dropping the episodes fast and hard (content?) and it seems that it’s going to be a very short season.
Episode 3: ‘Smoke Signals’:
And out of the gate we have crazy avenging lesbian Fran talking with Dr. Hannah and sharing the intel she picked up working as a lab assistant. (That’s how she gained access to “the files.” of course) She tells Hannah all about Operation Paperclip, a post-war program circa 1951 in which the U.S. government employed Nazi scientists to develop and weaponize diseases. Fran says, they’ve been testing out one of the “golden oldies” on homeless people, prisoners, drug addicts and other groups they “detest.”
The next morning Stu finally escapes from Sam’s dungeon and rushes to report the incident to Patrick. But when the detectives make a house call, Sam downplays the whole thing as a consensual night of fun and Sam also makes it pretty clear that he know that Patrick is a closet case. At home Gino finally gets Patrick to admit that he knows his way around a leather bar or twenty. Patrick decides to stake out the sex phone from Stew’s report after some goading from Gino. . Patrick finally gets the call he’s been waiting for. The “unknown” caller we know is Mr. Whitely who gives him an address and a mission (find me!). Patrick winds up in a rather very artsy dungeon sex space where he meets NOT Mr. Whitney but a rather large power bottom. Being 1981 you can guess what happens next.
Gino and Adam hit the streets for their own investigation into Big Daddy and the Mai Tai Killer, both of whom they successfully track down leading Adam to an upscale “members only bar” that never existed even in fantasy. Meanwhile Gino talks to old queen Henry at
The Townhouse , The Five Oaks, The Brownstone.
The bad news, for Adam of course, is that Big Daddy locks everyone in the “members only bar” and lights the place on fire. ( loose nod to either The Upstairs Lounge fire in NOLA or The Everhard Bathhouse Fire (1978) ) But because Whitely is among those trapped inside, he also ends up back at the hospital with the other victims.
And that’s just episode 3!
Episode 4: ‘Black Out’
Patrick somehow figures out where Gino is and saves Gino in the nick of time — but it’s a very close call. The next morning, on the hottest day of year ( It was 102F.on July 21, 1980) as the radio states) Gino discovers lesions on his body, which he dismisses as “fleas” that Patrick must have brought home. (Gino clearly didn’t watch Episode 3) Gino then pays a visit to the
Continental Baths , where he reads Bette Midler Kathy the riot act, calling her a “false friend” to the gay community. (Oh and she owns the bathhouse which is protected by the Mafia of course.) All these bathhouse visits and not 1 case of crabs or VD. Yet fleas came into play. AIDS is not the bubonic plague.
Theo finally confronts Sam about all of the “weird shit” he’s been up to lately, and Sam’s response — a hurricane of erratic questioning and violent threats. Theo turns to Adam. Thus securely attaching another bullseye to his back. During a citywide blackout. ( July 13, 1977 or September 11, 1981?)
Bloody Face Sam later drives up on Adam and asks what it’ll cost to get him “out of the picture.” But Adam will hear none of it, including Sam’s warning that Theo will eventually get bored and return to him.
Patrick has had enough and comes out to Marzara as a gay cop and surprise a moment later, a call from Whitely sends Patrick to Central Park, where he briefly squares off against Big Daddy (or does he?) before losing him in the shadows.
Meanwhile Barbara, Patrick’s ex-wife has brought Gino a leather mask to complete the box-set of bandana’s and cockrings. Gino is not happy with either Patrick or Barbara. When Patrick returns home, Gino confronts him with Barbara’s latest discovery which fuels Gino’s theory that despite how much progress Patrick has made in his life as a gay man, he still needs the shame and secrecy for an erotic thrill. (Ooooh.) It’s something Gino can’t handle as he collapses and ends up in the hospital where the doctor asks about Gino’s proximity to cats, which was also considered as a possible contribution to Hans’ death. (Toxoplasmosis, Cat Scratch Fever and AIDS.)
And to the 2 hot boys stuck in the elevator with Mr. Whitely. Que sera, sera.
OBSERVATIONS FROM AN OLD QUEEN WHO WAS THERE:
SHAKE MY SPEAR IN THE PARK/THE RAMBLES: The Ramble in Central Park has long been known as a place where gay men went/go for anonymous sexual encounters. Violence, gay bashings, and arrests were common. Gay men to this day still cruise the Rambles. Now instead of dodging queer bashers and police they dodge bird watchers and families with stroller’s.
OPERATION PAPERCLIP: Operation Paperclip was real. Nazi scientist were recruited after World War 2. That’s where the truth stops in this episode although it has always been a long held conspiracy theory among our more fringe brothers and sisters that the Government created AIDS. There were many other theories all of which were stated well after the pandemic began. Not before.
*SEX PHONE – The sex phones were very real and based on a group of pay phone that was located on Christopher Street and Sheridan Square (across from Village Cigars.) The pay phone was in clear view of many of the apartment buildings in the area and would ring as the caller watched from his building and would call the pay phone and invite whoever answered to play.
*The faux Klaus Nomi is an embarrassment. A art visionary reduced to kitten chow. Nomi’s big break came one night when he and Joey Arias were introduced to David Bowie one night at the Mudd Club, and the two were subsequently hired by Bowie as backing singers for a Saturday Night Live performance in December 1979. The exposure lead to Nomi signing a record deal with the European branch of Bowie’s label RCA The real Nomi died at the Sloan Kettering Hospital Center in New York City on August 6, 1983, as a result of complications from AIDS.
*AIDS – The year is 1981 and we have characters showing various early sign and symptoms of the disease. In reality the July 3, 1981 MMWR reported only 26 cases of Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS), a rare cancer, in homosexual men in both New York and California. By year’s end, there is a cumulative total of 337 reported cases of individuals with a severe immune deficiency in the United States—321 adults/adolescents and 16 children under age 13. Of those cases, 130 are already dead by December 31. Until the New York Times article of July 3, 1981, very very few people in the gay community knew what was happening and had no forewarning. Having so many characters showing signs so early is a bit of a confabulation by Murphy. But then again what isn’t?
ERA – So far we have seen 2 sex clubs the (Hellfire) S&M sex club/bar, the artsy private club, and the bath house which are all owned or run by women and protected by the Mafia. While many bars including the Stonewall Inn back in the day had mafia owners and connections by the late 70’s and 80s this trend was dying out as gay bars became legit businesses many owned by both gay and straight businessmen. Women were rarely involved.
*THE EYES OF ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE. We all know that the character of THEO is very loosely based on photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Mapplethorpe did have a mentor”/lover by the name of Sam. SAM WAGSTAFF who DID NOT chain boys in his playroom and as power couples go, the combined cultural resonance of artist Mapplethorpe and collector, curator, and patron Wagstaff, Jr changed the photography world.
*THE FRENCH CHEF: Mr Whitey and his thinly veiled Jefferey Dahmer reference in the elevator to “expired meat”. *YAWN* Anyway you don’t cook raw meat past its expiration date unless it’s been frozen first. Fucking psychopath.
Anyone have any questions?