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"Bad Fortune" is the fifth episode of "American Horror Story: NYC". It premiered November 2, 2022 on FX.

Hannah receives concerning news while Patrick suffers a loss. The city's most dangerous resident reveals his true motives.— FX Networks, official synopsis[1]

Plot[]

Kathy's new hire rehearses for a show at Neptune Baths, but the chanteuse has some notes for her replica. Her new business venture is not going well. The phone rings, to her dismay.

Fran spots a Psychic Reader's parlor while grocery shopping and enters to find Kathy organizing business papers. Fran is looking for a job, and Kathy offers her a midnight shift despite a lack of experience with Tarot cards. It is all for entertainment, Kathy insists, and no actual psychic talent is required. Fran's responsibility will be to provide optimistic news only. She goes home and studies the cards, to her girlfriend KK's disappointment. Fran wakes in the night to see Big Daddy in a window across the street.

Hannah and her sperm donor, Adam, discuss pregnancy and how her hormones are affecting her. In a pique of curiosity about the gender of the unborn child, they enter the psychic's parlor. They are surprised to see Fran at the table, and she is disappointed that Hannah has not followed up on her Plum Island leads (even if Hannah thinks they are conspiracy theories). Fran offers to tell them the answer Hanna most seeks, and the doctor agrees to have a reading. Stumbling for the meanings of the cards, Fran vaguely calls the Empress a connection to feminine energy. Adam reluctantly shuffles the cards for his own reading, which he says is regarding his missing friend, though he discards the rest of his reading when the first card that comes up is Death. Hannah reshuffles the deck, and much to the surprise of the trio, all three cards are inexplicably Death. They overturn the entire deck to be Death cards, and Adam and Hanna leave, with Adam apologizing to a terrified Hannah for bringing her there. Once they are gone, the cards revert to normal forms before Fran's eyes.

Barbara enters her divorce formalization meeting ill. She asks to speak to Patrick one on one, and the attorneys leave. She is reluctant to end the marriage even if unconventional, but Patrick insists it can't continue. She agrees and signs. Immediately she passes out. She awakes in the hospital, and apologizes for asking the favor of him caring for her new dog. He enters her apartment and hears a strange noise, prompting him to pull out his revolver. Big Daddy emerges from the closet and tackles Patrick to the ground. The big man holds the detective and begins to sexually assault him before Patrick overpowers him and briefly escapes to be caught again and knocked unconscious. Later, Mulcahey questions Patrick at the scene. He asks if this was a tryst gone wrong or a setup by Barb, but Patrick denies both and insists that he is being personally targeted. That night, Barb enters with Patrick into her trashed apartment. Despite the security issues, she insists on staying, reasoning that there's a patrol officer outside.

Adam attends the four-month ultrasound for his "wife" (Hannah)'s baby. The young man passes Whitely in the hallway, not recognizing the lab technician as the face on the flyers. Hannah confides in Adam that she had a dream that something would be wrong with the baby. Hannah's doctor is concerned about her low red blood cell count, but dismisses it as likely anemia. He is deferential to Adam despite Hannah being a doctor. Hannah privately notes to Adam that the burn victims she took samples from all had similar blood cell counts, including Adam, but she can not explain how she now does as well.

Adam walks with Theo and tells him about the anomalies in their blood work. Theo wants his boyfriend to have a better psychic experience, and Fran reads for them both. The cards are Judgement, The Devil, and Death. As the last card is turned, the room shakes and Adam has a vision of Fran saying he will die. Freaked out, Adam runs out followed quickly by Theo.

Adam tells the returning Gino about Fran's readings, prompting his boss to visit and see for himself. Gino accuses her (and the present Kathy) of running scams. Kathy tells Fran to take a break, and does a reading for Gino herself. His three card reading is identical to Adam's earlier. He shuffles, cuts, and draws the cards himself for a identical result. He has a vision of a visitation by an angel of death, and ends up cowering and fleeing. Once again, the card left behind on the table is Death. Kathy is shocked. Later, during a calming bath and examination in the mirror, Gino discovers sarcoma lesions on his body.

Barbara fantasizes about Patrick shaving while she is in the shower, and is strangled from behind by a suddenly materializing Big Daddy. Patrick discovers her body and rages at the patrol officers that were supposed to guard her apartment from intruders. At home, he collapses in Gino's arms. The reporter notices the same lesions on his lover as he found on himself.

Whitely holds Daniel and Cameron captive and bound, and tells them that he is going to give their lives meaning. He intends to unveil something at the upcoming Pride parade to expose the shallow hypocrisy of the festivity in favor of something honest. He has assembled a "sentinel" from parts collected from his kills, missing only a heart and genitals. Whitely ponders which part will come from each captive.

Notes[]

Cultural References[]

  • The episode contains references to previous seasons.
    • Inappropriately Kathy sings 'Witchcraft' by Coleman and Leigh. A tongue-in-cheek as Patti LuPone portrayed Joan Ramsey, who was opposed to anything witch-related.
    • Shachath, the Angel of Death from Asylum, appears in a hallucination to Gino Barelli.
    • Kathy claims that Fran is a gifted clairvoyant. A nod to Nan from Coven.
    • Tarot cards were last seen in "The Axeman Cometh," foretelling death as well.
    • Barb's papillon dog brings us back to Murder House with the Harmons' dog, Hallie.
    • Hannah's fear of giving birth to "something with tentacles" reminds the viewers of Cal' alien child delivery in Double Feature.
    • The right order to uncover tarot cards is from left to right from the querent's point of view, representing the timeline from past to present. Fran flipped the cards in the opposite manner because of her lack of experiences in the matter, but it also represents a time reverse in front of a Billie Lourd's character. Billie Lourd played Mallory in Apocalypse, a witch who can alter the flow of time.
  • Adam makes a reference to the Darth Vader's famous "I am your father" line from the Star Wars movie The Empire Strikes Back when he jokingly says it Hannah's unborn child as he is the biological father.

Raised Questions[]

  • Why people examined by Hannah have a low red blood cell count?
  • Why Big Daddy killed Barbara?
  • Will Mr. Whitely succeed?

Gallery[]

Promotional Images
Screencaps

Videos[]

References[]

  1. FX Networks (2022, October 20). Listings - AMERICAN HORROR STORY on FX. The Futon Critic. Archived from the original on 2024-07-04.
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