American Horror Story Season 10 Episode 5 Review: Gaslight

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We're approaching the end of Red Tide, and, damn, American Horror Story Season 10 Episode 5 will go down as one of my favorite episodes of the entire series.

The plots continued on a natural note, and even though some of the developments were expected, the execution of this thrilling story continues to impress.

If you watch American Horror Story online, you know the season has been building toward Doris taking the pill, but it didn't make it any less heartbreaking.

Under Control - American Horror Story

Doris has been relegated to the black sheep status of her family for too long, with many believing she's not capable of being as creative as them.

Quite frankly, Harry and Alma are the least supportive family members you could ask for, and even though Harry tried to act like the doting husband.

Harry is relishing his newfound success too much to give a damn about his family. All he cared about was shunning Doris to her room, sedating her, and forcing her to look after their child.

Leslie Grossman as Ursula - American Horror Story

He wanted her to ask zero questions and remain in his shadow. His thirst for success outweighed his love for his wife, and there's a cautionary tale in here somewhere.

Alma was coldhearted as hell. Every single time I think she's turning into a decent person, she does something stupid that is self-serving.

We’re more than OK. From now on, we’re going to be great.


Taking her mother out of the equation would allow her and her father to continue to take the pills without a second thought, but will it truly be as simple as that?

Watching Doris transform into one of the pale people was harrowing, and Lily Rabe continued to give the performance of her career.

Ryan Kiera Armstrong as Alma Gardner - American Horror Story

There has to be a comeuppance, and my theory is that the Chemist will change the formula of the tablet to allow the pale people to feed on the creatives.

It's hard to imagine this tale concluding with everyone leaving Provincetown with the aim of returning for the next winter. The more likely scenario is that Ursula will do something to the Chemist that causes severe problems for everyone.

I still don’t understand why you keep her around. We’re trying to be great at something, daddy. People like her just want to get through the day. We want to live deep.


Much like the others, Ursula is driven by power and influence, and her aim to start her own agency with like-minded individuals is not that bad.

But the tricky scenario will be in how she manages to conceal her clients eating blood and, well, people. Has she truly thought this through to the point that the plan might actually work?

Finn Wittrock as Harry Gardner - American Horror Story

Ursula is just another great character on a great season of this series, but there are many possibilities as this story winds down.

The Chemist will not be willing to hand over the concoction, which will probably be the root of the conflict in the final hour of the story.

This is basic Pottery Barn bulls–t.


Karen being forced to steal the baby was just the latest in a long line of heartache for her. Karen is the person people go to when they need someone to manipulate, and she felt manipulated several times throughout "Gaslight."

Mickey wanting to share the rewards of his newfound fame with her was not a surprise. They had a lot in common, and if Karen managed to take the pills, she would be able to work alongside him in Hollywood.

Sarah Paulson as Tuberculosis Karen - American Horror Story

Mickey was adamant about making this new life work, to the point that he was willing to put himself in harm's way to make it happen, but his undoing was forcing Karen to take the pill.

Was he scared about what it would be like to hit up Hollywood alone? We didn't know a lot about Mickey, and it was a shame how he was killed off just as he was on the cusp of greatness.

There is nothing more tragic, pathetic and sad than a person with no talent trying to make it in the world.


This isn't a story about finding happiness. It's about how far people will go to prove they have what it takes to make it in Hollywood.

I was shocked when Karen made Mickey her first kill, but the whole arc was building toward it in hindsight. There was a connection between these two characters, but one of them wasn't ready to embrace being a bloodsucker.

Lily Rabe as Doris Gardner - American Horror Story

Karen was desperate to change Mickey's mind, but she had done some horrible things herself deep down. Walking into the ocean after slitting her wrists and quite literally turning the tide red was a visual I won't forget any time soon. It was horrific.

There was a lofty task ahead of this penultimate episode: It had to trim the number of characters down and prepare fans for the conclusion.

I love you, Karen. You’re my muse. You’ll be the heroine in every story I ever write.


In that respect, "Gaslight" was a resounding success. The stakes were high, the acting was on point, and the directing was perfect.

We should probably prepare for Ursula, Alma, and Harry to go up against The Chemist, Belle, Lark, and Austin in the finale, but the only thing that irked me here is that The Chemist had already ordered the deaths of the new people in town.

Evan Peters as Austin Sommers - American Horror Story

How did we not get to see Belle, Austin, or Lark plotting? The closest thing we got was Belle plotting to get the baby.

Maybe The Chemist will ultimately side with the people who stand to make her the most money, and if Ursula gets her way, well, she would be wise to follow that jackpot.

What are your thoughts on the episode?

Are you surprised about Doris?

Angelica Ross as The Chemist - American Horror Story

What do you think will happen in the Red Tide finale?

Hit the comments.

AHS continues Wednesdays at 10/9c.

Gaslight Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (28 Votes)

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

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American Horror Story Season 10 Episode 5 Quotes

I still don’t understand why you keep her around. We’re trying to be great at something, daddy. People like her just want to get through the day. We want to live deep.


We’re more than OK. From now on, we’re going to be great.