American Horror Story Season 9 Episode 2 Review: Mr. Jingles

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There is more going on at Camp Redwood than meets the eye, but we already knew that.

Although American Horror Story Season 9 Episode 2 was titled "Mr. Jingles," the leadfooted killer stomping around in his rain gear was the least interesting part of the hour.

Of course, it wasn't an overly interesting hour period, so it wasn't just the title that was in question.

Margaret Booth and Richard Ramirez - American Horror Story Season 9 Episode 1

There were all kinds of theories floating around after the premiere.

Our own Meaghan Frey posited that Margaret was the killer, and the reason Mr. Jingles is so angry and out for blood is that he spent all that time in prison for something he didn't do.

Fear on the Road - American Horror Story Season 9 Episode 2

Yeah, that could be a thing, but Jingles had no problem killing poor Nurse Karen without a second thought, and unless she's somehow involved with the 1970 debacle, then he's not Mr. Innocent Jingles.

But what's a good ol' slasher flick without someone slashing?

American Horror Story Review: Camp Redwood

With two killers running amok, there isn't a shortage on carnage, but there is a shortage on interesting plot points.

While there were a couple of reveals during the hour and some strange behavior from Margaret, it was mostly about people running amok in light of the slayings.

Karen Got Jingled - American Horror Story Season 9 Episode 2

And let's be clear -- that should happen!

But maybe it's too soon to be happening on this level. This is a series, not a movie, and there is a lot of time to kill and not all that many characters.

Will the entire series take place in one night? After all, the kids are coming in the morning. An entire run with people literally running isn't all that exciting of a prospect.

It's entirely possible, though, that Margaret showed her hand with some comments. And the final girl was cemented in stone. I think.

Finding Jonas - American Horror Story Season 9 Episode 2

Margaret's faith in God is confounding if you want to believe she's got some culpability in the 1970 slayings.

But her chatter about the boys showering every night to wash off their filth sure made it seem like she'd go nuts on a cabin of filthy counselors, especially when three of them were in the midst of getting down.

She never saw street dude aka Jonas during American Horror Story Season 9 Episode 1, so she had no idea it was one of the kids she thought got killed in 1970 who was hitting the streets again.

Her reaction to his living status wasn't as freaked as you'd expect, but she brushed it off on her belief in God and ghosts in the bible or some such.

1970 Margaret - American Horror Story Season 9 Episode 2

Jonas, on the other hand, recalls seeing a very bloody Margaret with quite an odd look on her face.

And if she thought he was dead even after seeing him flee the cabin, maybe she was the one who killed him. Because Jonas seemed at once both upset he didn't do more to save her and confused that he saw her in all that blood.

American Horror Story Opening Title Sequence

And since Margaret is under the belief that you can pretty much do anything as long as you're doing it in the name of God, why wouldn't she kill a bunch of promiscuous counselors?

Her discovery of Richard Ramirez and eager acceptance of him was kind of a hoot.

Gutted - American Horror Story Season 9 Episode 2

Ramirez, though, was not in his right-as-a-killer's-mind-could-be mind after he killed Jonas twice.

By the time Margaret got to Jonas, he was already a resurrected ghost at least three times. 

So there is something quite odd going on at Camp Redwood, and it wouldn't surprise me to discover that whatever it is began in 1970. The deaths might be a drop in the bucket compared to what else occurred before they even began.

What I wasn't too keen on was giving Ramirez a backstory in which he was the poor tortured kid who only became a heartless murderer doing Satan's work (not my Lucifer, mind you) because that's all he knew.

Pain is all I've ever known. Pain is how the world's always talked to me. Why shouldn't pain be the way I talk back?


Life Story - American Horror Story Season 9 Episode 2

He's the freakin' Night Stalker for goodness sakes, and in our world he murdered people. Let's not make him in a victim even if he becomes one on AHS84.

Being treated kindly by Margaret sent him on the hunt for Mr. Jingles, seemingly because Margaret touched him with her concern about the incoming children to the camp.

What it did was set Ramirez onto the same path as the counselors who were searching for Rita's keys to escape. Follow the jingle wasn't the best advice Margaret could have given.

The counselors were already on edge after Mr. Jingles killed a peeping Tom outside of the showers.

You Said One - American Horror Story Season 9 Episode 2

Tom was Daddy, a pornographer who had roped Xavier into gay porn.

We knew that Trevor's big package would have to do more than fill out his shorts, and sure enough, Xavier offered him up as a sacrificial appendage to appease Daddy and get out of his clutches.

Jessica Lange Reveals Whether She'd Ever Return to American Horror Story

Mr. Jingles killing Daddy (short-stint guest star Todd Stashwick) is a connection to killing the counselors as Daddy's behavior was skeevy and sexual. 

Xavier isn't long for this world since he gave up Trevor so easily, and Montana proved she's a viable candidate for early offing, too.

That's a Gift from God - American Horror Story Season 9 Episode 2

Brooke's story about her wedding was quite unexpected, but it was kind of fun.

The terror she suffered as a result of being scared of being alone most likely left her a virgin long after the blood had dried on her white wedding dress. 

That was also the best use of a song in the episode, and it's hard not to wonder if her story was formed by the song or vice versa. Fitting in '80s hits is imperative, after all.

When Montana wasn't tyring to convince herself that Brooke was promiscuous like she was, she was still trained on Trevor's oversized member, or gift from God, as Daddy called it.

Reddish Wedding - American Horror Story Season 9 Episode 2

The bottom line is we'll need more to the story than what we have so far to keep this season even mildly interesting.

Scream Queens was much better than AHS84 by its second episode, so Murphy surely has it in him to make this season rock even while killing off a good portion of the cast.

Will it all hinge on why Jonas is back and whether Margaret is a mass murderer?

If you didn't like the premiere, it seems unlikely you thought this outing was worth your time.

If you wandered in without seeing the premiere, watch American Horror Story online to give us your informed opinion.

Otherwise, hit the comments to share your thoughts on "Mr. Jingles."

Mr. Jingles Review

Editor Rating: 2.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (32 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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American Horror Story Season 9 Episode 2 Quotes

You don't have to fear the worst when it's already happened.


Brooke: Miss Booth, I think we're in danger.
Margaret: Yes, we are in danger -- from sin.