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American Horror Story: Red Tide Tries to Score Some Last Minute Anti-Racism Points Because It Can’t Help Itself, I Guess?

I'll pass on taking those pills, thanks

AHS Chemist

Spoilers for the American Horror Story: Red Tide finale

American Horror Story: Red Tide has reached its conclusion, meaning we have finished the first entry in this season’s Double Feature.

The finale is … well …

It ain’t good, y’all.

And I don’t mean that in the typical campiness that can happen in American Horror Story, I mean that the finale is so rushed that you’re left wondering why we even got a character-establishing flashback episode to begin with.

This is one of those finales that feels like the creators couldn’t figure out how to deal with the main conflict they’d established, and since there’s only 40-some minutes, they decided, eh, let’s just go with murder.

Characters who posed major threats (Belle Noir and Austin Sommers) are killed off in seconds by the pale people because I guess Ursula is just so convincing that she can get a group of mindless vampires to do her bidding? Also, Alma kills her dad because he didn’t want them taking the pills anymore, leading to all the murders being pinned on him so Ursula, Alma, the Chemist, and Alma’s baby brother can ride off to Los Angeles together.


Surely, if we get to see pale people sticking it to the talented ones, we’d get to see Doris get some revenge.


Okay, maybe we’ll get more of Leslie “Lark” Feldman, the one who helped the talented ones get fangs for feeding.


None of it makes sense, but the part that really left me at a loss for words is the motivations of the Chemist, who I swear wanted Harry and Alma killed because they were causing too much trouble and bringing too much attention to her work via a rise in dead bodies in town. Why she’d be okay with Ursula passing pills out like candy instead of being pickier about who gets the pills is beyond me, especially when we find out the Chemist’s other reason for distributing the pills.

It’s time to put an end to police brutality!


When the group goes to Los Angeles together, we see what I initially thought was a movie set where a cop had become a pale person and treated the town like his own personal buffet. That’s not the case, though. The police officer actually is a pale person who must be gunned down by his fellow officers.

We find out the Chemist did that on purpose, ready to “give back to the community” by getting rid of corrupt police officers. Alma calls her out on it because they’re supposed to be discreet, right?

But the Chemist decides that this is fine because … Black Lives Matter, or something?

Not only is this sudden moment of clarity unnecessary (I promise, you do not have to inject a “fight against racial injustice” motive into your Black character, we can just EXIST in the story), it comes completely out of nowhere and feels like an attempt to give someone who’s had questionable morals this whole time a reason behind what they do.

At no point did the Chemist indicate that she had any interest in helping anyone but herself, and honestly? It should’ve stayed that way. The sudden decision to have her give a shit about the Black community is painfully disingenuous, and furthermore, it’s exhausting to get yet another piece of media that feels that it HAS to have its Black character addressing racial issues.

If you want to tell a story about the injustices against the Black community, you cannot do it as a throwaway moment in the LAST episode of your story arc. This sudden desire to take out corrupt police officers via unnatural methods is a story in and of itself, not something you tack onto your Black female antagonist because you think she has to have a just reason behind what she’s been doing.

The Chemist could’ve continued to be a stylish antagonist who was fascinated by how folks reacted to her creation. That’s it.

But now, in the last part of Red Tide, she decides, well, ACAB, for the sake of the Black community.



How you gonna work to protect the community from police brutality yet let this white woman unleash a room full of pale people in Los Angeles?!

You um.

Know those pale folks are gonna murder our asses, right sis?

You KNOW we’re being murdered in those streets right now, right sis?!

It doesn’t matter, I guess, because the Chemist drives away with the baby, the pale people combing the streets as Los Angeles, surely, becomes a cesspool of bitterly untalented folks, as Ursula would say, who are left to deal with the reality of not being able to make it as a creative.

Thanks, I hate it.

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)