American Horror Story Season 10 Episode 6 Review: Winter Kills

Are we getting a surprise episode of “Red Tide” as part of American Horror Stories Season 2?

After five of the strongest episodes in years, American Horror Story Season 10 Episode 6 supposedly concluded the story, but it has got to be the least satisfying conclusion in the history of the series.

If you watch American Horror Story online, you know a lot was riding in this story, what with The Chemist, Austin, and Belle preparing to go to war against Harry and Alma.

We got all of that, but just not with a lick of sense. Yes, it took some scheming from Ursula to get the people that mattered to her out of Provincetown and back to Los Angeles with a new concoction of the pill.

Ursula is one of my favorite characters to date because she owned her flaws from the beginning. She was unapologetic in her attempt to turn would-be writers into full-blown, award-winning writers.

She did what she had to for the result she needed, and, well, that’s a big compliment. Leslie Grossman was perfect throughout, but then again, the actress has consistently delivered multi-layered characters with a mean streak.

Making a deal with The Chemist and Alma should have been a surprise, but the moment Alma rocked her sharp teeth and killed her father, it all started to become apparent.

Harry’s death was anti-climactic. I can’t be the only one who came to terms with the fact that this story could conclude with many of the characters dead, but where was the powerful moment of Doris turning on her family?

Had the bust-up at Belle’s had some Doris thrown in for good measure, at least it would have served as a way to shock Harry before his death.

His daughter finishing him off was just par for the course, and it wasn’t even that exciting to watch. Alma’s journey into full-blown villain territory has been fast, and much like Ursula, she’s been open and honest about who she is from the beginning.

It makes sense that Alma would live with Ursula and The Chemist because they all had similar traits. Their aim was to get these pills to as many people as possible, but Alma will be the one to blow this case wide open.

Killing Rory was a stretch, especially in the building, which I’m sure had cameras all around it. A more powerful ending would have been the authorities turning closing in to tip the hat that the authorities were on to the wave of murders in Provincetown.

What was the point of including the State Trooper in one single scene? Dot Marie Jones deserved a more significant role, and when you consider the fact she told the residents of Provincetown she was on to them, there should have been a follow-up scene to show as much.

Maybe we’re to assume the character got too close to the truth and was murdered, but the broader issue with the finale was in the way it went from scene to scene and didn’t give a crap about any form of transition.

It was a rush job that seemed like a collection of scenes thrown in to bring the story to a close. I know American Horror Story Season 10 has been fast-paced, but an extra 20 minutes to give some build-up or some more exposition could have made this the best story to date.

The people of Provincetown not caring about the murders because of them only happening in the winter, and the area was still flourishing in the summer would have been a much more intriguing angle had we learned about it earlier in the season.

I had a suspicion this was the case, but like everything else in the finale, it felt thrown in as a way to wrap up the story quickly. The people on the board of the town, including Holden, were terrible.

But with the pale people supposedly all taken care of, what will become of P-town the following winter? Will it go back to normal, or will there be more pale people coming out of the woods to stir up some trouble?

The Chemist’s motives remained murky, and the only good thing we learned was that high-ranking individuals were aware of her concoction and what she was doing.

This would have been a great way to connect this story to “Death Valley,” which kicks off next week, but it’s disconcerting that so much was left open-ended.

Los Angeles was descending into chaos in a way that seemed a little too similar to American Horror Stories Season 1 Episode 3, leading me to believe that all of these stories are going to be the figment of one writer’s imagination in the eventual series finale.

I know “Red Tide” wanted to be its own thing, but it wouldn’t have hurt to acknowledge the other stories in some capacity because, when you think about it, this story probably won’t have severe ramifications on future seasons.

If the pills are spreading like wildfire throughout the West Coast, they’ll make it to the East Coast — and beyond. The Chemist will have a lot of explaining to do, but without knowing more about her master plan, it’s hard to care.

“Winter Kills” was as anticlimactic as they come, leaving me with little excitement about future stories. They had one job — stick the landing. If they can’t do that, what hope have we got that we’ll get a near-perfect story in the future?

That’s all I got, AHS fans.

What did you think of the conclusion? Did they manage to reel you in?

What did you think worked and didn’t work?

Which characters did you want back?

Hit the comments.

AHS continues Wednesdays on FX.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.


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