Episode 7: ‘THE SENTINEL’
Gino and Patrick bravely charge into the killer’s ramshackle warehouse lair (worth over $2mil in todays market.) where they’re horrified to discover Whitley’s Frankenstein Jesus on full display. And poor Henry lent him an ear. Whitely sayst he made a mistake by giving his creation a subpar heart, suggesting that Patrick’s “noble” organ ehhhhm, would be far better for when he bring his “Guardian” to life! *lighting flash*
Meanwhile in another room: Henry, who is already down one ear bravely saws off his own hand to escape with Gino, even finding time to squeeze in a disapproving comment about Patrick and Gino’s age difference before cutting into his bone.
Whitely explains too much as is the downfall of many villain’s, because Patrick frees himself and shoots him dead between the eyes with not much forethought at all.
The New York Native hails Patrick as a “hero gay cop,” even if his co-workers aren’t exactly thrilled by Patrick’s candid criticism about his department’s handling of gay crimes. Patrick quits the force hoping for some domestic bliss. All seems well except for Adam (who sweats a lot) and insists that there must be another killer! Gino laughs off Adam’s theory about “a leather daddy stalking people with blood disorders,” then invites Adam to join him and Patrick for a weekend on Fire Island! After all. Sweet Billy gave great head so why not.
The episode ends with Gino writing an impassioned op-ed for the Native‘s Pride issue, rallying his readers to embrace their “gay rage” by finding value in their trauma and standing up to the pain and violence that plagues their community. He even attempts to find some “virtue” in Whitely’s dream of building a sentinel to defend his people.
Episode 8: ‘FIRE ISLAND’
Gino and the gang head for Fire Island! Patrick and Gino, whose relationship is hanging on by a thread; Adam and Theo, neither of whom are aware of the truth behind their shared symptoms; and Sam, who’s both Theo’s jealous ex-boyfriend and the person who helped Patrick bury Sweet William. The Avenging Lesbians and Fran’s tarot cards oh, and Henry What could possibly go wrong.
On the beach no one gets “bit” but Patrick dismisses Gino’s fears (about several things,) including their shared lesions) as mere PTSD from their encounter with the Mai Tai Killer. And to make matters worse for poor Gino, is being haunted by a still-alive Henry, who explains that he “spared” Gino from some very dangerous criminals because — wait for it — he’s hopelessly in love with him. “Gino, Gino. Gino Borelli, Gino Borelli!” Henry drops to his knees and gives Gino the whole “if I can’t have you, nobody can!” speech. Gino exits stage left quickly.
Looks like Big Daddy caught the Ferry and after giving Fran and her friends a good scare, the leather-clad lunatic crashes the boys’ rental house, giving Patrick another chance to play gay hero cop by shooting him in the back of the head. Too bad his corpse inexplicably disappears before they get a chance to unmask him! (Are you shocked?)
Fran is hired by Sam to tell tarot fortunes at his party . DEATH CARD . DEATH CARD . DEATH CARD. (Okay we got it.)
Big Daddy next appears in the woods, where Sam has drugged Theo and tied him to a tree — an offering for Henry to do with what he will. The sight of Big Daddy sends Henry running, leaving only Theo behind. But it isn’t Big Daddy who kills Theo. He succumbs to his AIDS right there, and the aforementioned group of half-naked, antler-wearing men carry him away.
Well it is what it was. Thankfully though Murphy seems to be about done with stealing bits and pieces of NYC gay history and the movie Cruising to twist for ratings now so he will be just moving forward to AIDS epidemic in Requiem 1981/1987” the two-part finale event.
People have asked why I have been taking the timeline and stories so seriously? It’s fictional. Well it’s not really. And I took some of the parts seriously because they were my parts. This was partially my story to tell. As many of the few gay men left of my age. I was there. Including being at The Five Oaks in NYC when the real Last Call Killer aka Mai Tai stuck who was no further than 20 feet away from me and left and murdered someone I knew and left their body parts scattered along the NJ Turnpike in trash bags. So it really has hit close to home.
So lets just look at those pesky AIDS facts for 1981 that Murphy pushed more than the envelope on when it came to the timeline, symptoms and just how much AIDS was off the radar from the public in 1981.
June 5: The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) publishes an article in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR): Pneumocystis Pneumonia—Los Angeles. The article describes cases of a rare lung infection, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), in five young, previously healthy gay men in Los Angeles. Los Angeles immunologist Dr. Michael Gottlieb, CDC’s Dr. Wayne Shandera, and their colleagues report that all the men have other unusual infections as well, indicating that their immune systems are not working. Two have already died by the time the report is published and the others will die soon after. This edition of the MMWR marks the first official reporting of what will later become known as the AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) epidemic.
June 5: The same day that the MMWR is published, New York dermatologist Dr. Alvin Friedman-Kien calls CDC to report a cluster of cases of a rare and unusually aggressive cancer—Kaposi’s Sarcoma (KS)—among gay men in New York and California. Like PCP, KS is associated with people who have weakened immune system.
June 8: In response to these reports, CDC establishes the Task Force on Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections to identify risk factors and to develop a case definition for the as-yet-unnamed syndrome so that CDC can begin national surveillance of new cases.
June 16: A 35-year-old, white gay man who is exhibiting symptoms of severe immunodeficiency is the first person with AIDS to be admitted to the Clinical Center at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He never leaves the Center and dies on October 28.
July 3: CDC releases another MMWR, “ Kaposi’s Sarcoma and Pneumocystis Pneumonia Among Homosexual Men — New York City and California,” with information on KS and PCP among 26 gay men (25 white and one black). On the same day, the New York Times publishes an article entitled “Rare Cancer Seen in 41 Homosexuals Exit Disclaimer.” At this point, the term “gay cancer” enters the public lexicon.
August 11: Acclaimed writer and film producer Larry Kramer Exit Disclaimer holds a meeting of over 80 gay men in his New York City apartment to discuss the burgeoning epidemic. Kramer invites Dr. Friedman-Kien to speak, and he asks the group to contribute money to support his research because he has no access to rapid funding. The plea raises $6,635—essentially the only new money, public or private, that will be raised to fight the epidemic for the remainder of the year.
December 10: Bobbi Campbell, a San Francisco nurse, becomes the first KS patient to go public with his diagnosis. Calling himself the “KS Poster Boy,” Campbell writes a newspaper column, “Gay Cancer Journal,” on his experiences living with KS for the San Francisco Sentinel. He also posts photos Exit Disclaimer of his KS lesions in the window of a local drugstore to alert the community to the disease and encourage people to seek treatment.
By year’s end, there is a cumulative total of 337 reported cases of individuals with 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.