AHS NYC Finale Ep.9 & 10 jumped right into the rapid progression of the “illness” as we see it take out both Sam and Patrick even though they’d only experienced mild symptoms earlier. Before their deaths however, each is visited by ghosts from their past, as though they’re gay Ebenezer Scrooges being faced with their lives misdeeds. Sam is visited first by Billy, sweet headless William, Theo, and then by Henry (whom we never did see die and is dressed in leather to the max no less.) Theo brings Sam through the hospital, showing him how the men he neglected to show kindness to have all succumbed to the illness as well.
Next, Henry takes Sam to a dungeon, where he must confront the ways he’s transferred the pain he experienced at the hands of his father and previous bosses into sexual depravity, before showing him the beach on Fire Island where Sam unmasks Big Daddy, who becomes a noticeably less large blond twink. What’s likely going on is that this new blond is the angel of death that Sam wants to see before he dies. Or maybe he’s meant to represent a past lover — it’s not made totally clear here but what has been for the past 5 weeks? Patrick is also forced to face how his own internalized homophobia by Barbara in a wedding dress has hurt others, how his commitment to masculinity and police caused unnecessary pain (Which Millennial writer wrote that?).
By the end of part one, we finally hear the word “AIDS,” confirming what we already knew. (It took Ronald Regan until 1985 to say the word “AIDS”)
The Big Daddy we’ve all come to know and dread returns for the rest of the finale’s run time, as he watches over Patrick’s (Russell Tovey) death in 1987, and appears in Hannah’s (Billie Lourd) apartment after Adam (Charlie Carver) learns that his friend and mother of his child has succumbed to the virus as well. Big Daddy is also seen digging a mass grave, which anonymous man after anonymous man falls into. He also looms large in poor Gino’s (Joe Mantello) final years, as we watch him bravely fight Big Daddy’s presence at every turn as he continues to serve as a stalwart defender of his community. After watching Big Daddy take the lives of so many others around him, Gino finally dies in 1991, with Big Daddy standing silently over him.
Note to Ryan Murph:. We didn’t all die. Pretty damn close but some of us made it.
Well AHS NYC is over. Love it. Hate it. Whatever it. Living though that time period in NYC I honestly do think more attention should have been paid to the real details of the era. Which brings us now we come to my biggest problem with this season finale. The absence of any of the lesbians in the AIDS/aftermath. Our lesbian sisters stood by our sides while many others would not and cared and nursed for us. And Murphy had two perfect scenes in hospitals to have added that and he even had the damn lesbians on payroll. Such a careless and brutal snub. One that Murphy and his writers should apologize for.
Artsy, and exploitative it’s hard enough to tell the true horror and terror of that AIDS epidemic brought and the stories of our lost and what they went through without Mr. Whitley, Sweet William or bearded drag queens. Or for a matter of fact that Big Daddy, a Leatherman is the AIDs angel of Death. (Stigmatizing much?)
In the end the one real problem I have had with this series is that the real stories of LGBT life in 1978 and then through 1981 and the stories of our real heroes and victims are never told. And they should be. We don’t need to make u. . Especially those of us who where there. We just need to tell them.
Dedicated to all we have loved and lost.