In the summer of 1984, five friends escape Los Angeles to work as counselors at Camp Redwood. As they adjust to their new jobs, they quickly learn that the only thing scarier than campfire tales is the past coming to haunt you.
In 1970, three young camp counselors make out in a cabin. One, a young woman, is wary of noises she hears outside, a jingling. A figure enters the cabin, and the trio are stabbed in their respective heads and stacked together. As the scene opens more widely, the campers too have been killed. The killer, a hooded figure with a jingling keychain on his belt and a necklace of severed ears as souvenirs limps from his handiwork. In 1984, Xavier Plympton leads a "Slimmercise" aerobics class for Montana Duke, Ray Powell, Chet Clancy, and Brooke Thompson. Montana and Brooke meet and bond in the shower, and Montana introduces newcomer Brooke to the others. Xavier describes the terror that the Night Stalker is wrecking on Los Angeles, and that he is escaping to the re-opening Camp Redwood to avoid the murders. The others are convinced to join him as counselors at the camp. Brooke demurs, saying that she can't afford to miss her summer college courses.
At home, Brooke is assaulted in her home, as a Satanist man intrudes and attempts to steal her jewelry. He claims he is the Night Stalker, but he is interrupted before he can harm her. The next morning, Brooke has joined the rest of the group so that she can evade the man's lingering threat. On the road trip, Chet explains that he was denied a spot on the US Olympic team for an almost imperceptible drug test. The group makes a pit stop at a gas station in the town of Red Meadows. Xavier checks his answering machine messages from a payphone, which include a threat from an angry man who knows where he is going. The gas station attendant discovers they are headed to the camp and warns the group that they are going to die, and that the camp should not have been re-opened. They appear to hit a man along the road, but the amnesiac man has older injuries. They agree to take him back to the camp for medical attention.
The camp's owner, Margaret Booth, instructs the counselors to take him to the infirmary, where nurse Rita tends to him. She explains the perils that could befall hikers in the deep woods surrounding the camp. Margaret takes them on a tour and explains the rules. They encounter Chef Bertie, an original camp chef who volunteered to re-open the camp with Margaret. Margaret took the payout from her husband Walter's death to buy the camp and have a refuge for children aligned with her conservative values. Later, the counselors gather around a fire and Rita tells them of the incident from 14 years before: the worst summer camp massacre of all time. Benjamin Richter , aka Mr. Jingles, was a Vietnam veteran who was discharged dishonorably. Rita claims that there were 10 victims, but Margaret approaches and corrects her that there were only 9; she was a survivor who had a near death experience while being presumed dead. She was the star witness at Richter's trial after he was caught. She warns the group not to tell the campers about the incident. The amnesiac man awakes in the infirmary and discovers his ear has been removed.
Brooke finds him and guides him back to bed. He is confused about the camp reopening, and warns her that something bad is going to happen. She tells the rest of the group, where they are intruded upon by Trevor Kirchner, the activities director. Montana recognizes him from somewhere, and he explains that he was in an early version of a Jane Fonda workout video but was edited out when his genitalia drew undue attention. Later the two begin a sexual encounter in the lake but are interrupted by an approaching storm and car headlights at the edge of the lake.
At Red Meadows Asylum, a facility for the criminally insane, patients are running amok. Art, an administrator, tells Dr. Hopple that Richter has escaped and hit the master release for all the cells on his way out. Three hours earlier, Richter appeared to hang himself to lure in an orderly, whom he strangled to death and looted keys from. Hopple finds a newspaper clipping in the cell announcing the reopening of the camp.
The gas station attendant, Ed, repairs a car from underneath at the station's garage bay. Richter crushes him by dropping the jacks onto Ed and takes his keys. He drives Ed's truck to the edge of the camp.
The counselors, Rita, and Trevor watch the opening Olympics ceremony and a frustrated Chet injures Ray's hand. Brooke seeks medical supplies for him, as Rita chooses not to assist. Brooke finds the amnesiac man impaled on a hook in the infirmary and sprints away from a pursuing Richter. She reaches the others, but they do not seem to believe her; the hiker's body is missing when they investigate. Margaret arrives and reminds them to be prepared for the campers to arrive the next day. Unable to sleep, Brooke hears the pay phone ringing (despite the hiker saying earlier the lines were down). She answers the line and hears the jingling of keys, while she herself is observed by the Night Stalker from afar.
MidgeMidge is a a counselor at Camp Redwood. She is a character in 1984 portrayed by Emma Meisel. In 1970, Midge was making out with Helen and Eddie, where Margaret kills them for never being nice to her and rude to her all the time. When Montana and Xavier continue to kill innocent people, Helen, Eddie, and Midge do not think it is right. A flashback shows a scene where Eddie, Midge, and Helen make fun of Benjamin and Margaret. When the ghosts capture Benjamin, he tells them that the "Lady in White" is his mother, much to the ghosts' suprise. Midge is used as bait to attract Bruce so the ghosts can kill him. When Bobby comes to Camp Redwood, Montana explains that the ghosts kill Rameriez to keep Bobby safe. Montana then expalins that the ghosts killed Margaret and throw her in a woodchipper. Midge is last seen tortuing Margaret with the rest of the ghosts.
EddieEddie is a a counselor at Camp Redwood. He is a character in 1984 portrayed by Conor Donnally. In 1970, Eddie makes out with Midge and Helen but Margaret kills the three for not ever being nice to her and being rude to her all the time, he then becomes a ghost. When Xavier and Montana continue to kill innocent people, Eddie, Helen, and Midge do not think it is right. A flashback shows Eddie, Midge, and Helen making fun of Benjamin and Margaret. When Benjamin comes back he tells the ghosts, including Eddie, that his mother is "The Lady in White", much to the ghosts' suprise. When Bobby comes to Redwood, Montana explains the ghosts kill Rameriez to keep Bobby safe. Montana then explains that the ghosts threw and killed Margaret in a woodchipper. Eddie is last seen tortuing Margaret with the rest of the ghosts.
HelenHelen is a a counselor at Camp Redwood. She is a character in 1984 portrayed by Kat Solko. In 1970, Helen is making out with Midge and Eddie but Margaret kills the three of them for never being nice to her and always treating her badly. The three of them then become ghosts. When Xavier and Montana continue to kill innocent people, Midge, Helen, and Eddie do not think it is right. A flashback shows Eddie, Midge, and Helen making fun of Benjamin and Margaret. When Benjamin comes back he tells the ghosts, including Helen, that his mother is "The Lady in White", much to the ghosts' suprise. When Bobby comes to Redwood, Montana explains that they have been killing Rameriez to keep Bobby safe and that they threw Margaret in a woodchipper. Helen is last seen torturing Margaret with the rest of the ghosts.
EdEd is a gas station attendant at Roy's Gas & Grub in the town of Red Meadows. He is a character in 1984 portrayed by Don Swayze.
In the summer of 1984, Ed warned Xavier, Chet, Montana, Ray and Brooke from going to work at Camp Redwood, saying that they were all going to die there. That same night, Ed was repairing a car when he was attacked and killed by Mr. Jingles, who had recently escaped from Red Meadows Asylum, a facility for the criminally insane.
ArtArt is an administrator at Red Meadows Asylum. He is a character in 1984 portrayed by Mitch Pileggi.
Art informed Dr. Hopple that Benjamin Richter aka Mr. Jingles had escaped from the facility for the criminally insane. Three hours earlier, in fact, the man had killed an orderly and opened all the cells causing the various inmates to run amok around the perimeter of the building. Art assured Dr. Hopple that a team was already scouring the area in search of the fugitive. A flashback shows Art bringing Donna to see Benjamin but Art is a little weary of her.
- Brooke: "I heard serial killers become more active in the summer months when it's hot."
- Richard Ramirez: "You're gonna be famous! You're gonna die by the hand of the Night Stalker!"
- Montana: "What's better than a few weeks in the wilderness to forget about everything? And get paid for it."
- Ed: "You're all gonna die!"
- Montana: "Boss lady chopping her own wood. Choice."
- Xavier: "You ever heard of the sexual revolution? Sex won."
- Nurse Rita: "Anybody that knows anything about Camp Redwood doesn't want to be in Camp Redwood."
- Nurse Rita: "Athletes are skanks."
- Margaret Booth: "Cleanliness is next to godliness."
- Montana: "I mean, we got him here, made sure he didn't die. Karmically, we're cool."
- The episode is named after the location in which the season is set: Camp Redwood, an idyllic summer retreat.
- The episode contains several self-references.
- Richard Ramirez had previously appeared in the fifth season, Hotel.
- Xavier saying "sex won" is reminiscent of the other character played by Cody Fern, Michael Langdon saying "chaos has won".
- Ed's warning resembles that of Addie in the Pilot as well as the website "You're going to die in there."
- Rita said she works at Hawthorne Hospital. In Apocalypse, there was a Hawthorne School for Exceptional Young Men.
- Montana "rear-ended" Xavier; that's a callback to Mallory ran over Michael Langdon in "Apocalypse Then".
- Margaret saying "Cleanliness is next to godliness" is reminiscent of Dr. Arthur Arden saying "Cleanliness is, after all, next to godliness" in the first episode of Asylum, "Welcome to Briarcliff".
- Margaret's aversion to counselors "mixing red and blue" can be a nod to Purples, the élite category of the Outpost 3 ran by Ms. Venable in Apocalypse.
- Friday the 13th (1980) - the whole premises of the season is an homage to the cult slasher movie; summer camp counsellors hunted down by a mysterious killer.
- Halloween (1978) - Mr. Jinglesʼ breakout from the asylum is very reminiscent of how Michael Myers escaped captivity.
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) - the gas station attendant warning the lead characters.
- M*A*S*H - Xavier was driving to an audition when Montana rear-ended him and they “dated for a hot second.”
- Stella Adler Studio of Acting - Xavier claims he studied method acting there.
- Justine Bateman - Montana and Ray met at one of her parties.
- Glassell Park murder - Xavier mentioned the Night Stalkerʼs murder of 79-year-old Jennie Vincow on June 28, 1984 in her apartment in Glassell Park, Los Angeles.
- Son of Sam - Xavier said his cousin who worked for LAPD Homicide thinks that the Night Stalker will go on a rampage like David Berkowitz, aka the Son of Sam did in the summer of '78.
- 1984 Summer Olympics - due to positive drug test, Chet was kicked out of the Olympic trainings.
- Psycho (1960) - showers remind Ray of Hitchcock's film.
- I Know What You Did Last Summer - the group hitting a man on the road and their cover-up is reminiscent of the 1997 American slasher film based on the 1973 novel.
- Van Halen - Margaret Booth disapproves of this American hard rock band, which Montana had taken to copying.
- Charles Keating - Margaret said she was right by his side in Cincinnati during “that Larry Flynt trial.”
- Three's Company - Trevor claims that if you looks closely at the end credits when John Ritter and the girls are on bikes on a boardwalk, you can see him in the background as it was shot right at his condo.
- Jane Fonda's Workout - Released in 1982, Fonda's first exercise video became a highest-selling VHS. Trevor Kirchner was edited out because he drew undue attention away from Jane herself.
- Rafer Johnson - The counselor group watches him on TV light the Olympic Flame at the Los Angeles Olympic Summer Games in 1984.
- The PG-13 rating is introduced by the MPAA on July 1st, 1984.
- Will Satan show the way to the "Night Stalker"?
- Is Mr. Jingles going to add a few more ears to his trophy collection?
- Will the counselors survive summer camp?
- What happened to the Hiker?
- Is Brooke really "tripping"?
- ↑ AMERICAN HORROR STORY on FX (#901) "Camp Redwood". TheFutonCritic.com (August 21, 2019).
- ↑ Swift, Andy (September 15, 2019). AHS: 1984: Everything We Know So Far. TV Line.com.