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"Requiem 1981/1987" (Parts 1 and 2) are the ninth and tenth episodes of "American Horror Story: NYC". They premiered November 16, 2022 on FX.

Part 1
As vitality expires, two old friends are led through unique journeys of retrospection.
Part 2
Grief and peril dominate Gino. The discovery of a tragedy becomes a revelation for Adam.— FX Networks, official synopsis[1]


Plot[]

Part 1[]

A funeral procession enters a cemetery, where mourners assemble to bury Theo. Adam asks if the police have disclosed any information about his boyfriend's death, but Patrick admits he is a pariah with the department and they are unlikely to tell him anything. As the priest's service continues, Sam falls unconscious. He sees a vision of Big Daddy not far away. He awakens dreamily in a hospital bed. A nurse, who Sam recognizes as Billy, stops Sam from pulling out his IV. Sam doubts Billy is a nurse, but Billy reminds him that Sam never asked his profession. A doctor enters, with Theo's face, and tells Sam his immune system is failing to fight off a fungal infection causing pneumonia. Sam's request for a second opinion is met with the doctor's regret that this is the only hospital that would treat Sam, as all others are afraid of him.

As they walk through the hazy hallways of the hospital, the two discuss their history. Sam questions if he killed Theo, and more importantly pauses when considering whether he meant to. The skeptical patient is led to wonder about the other lives he ruined along the way. "Doctor" Theo reminds Sam that he warned of something coming, and that the something has arrived in the form of a plague. The putrid smell Sam avoids in a patient's room is coming from Danny, the first man that Theo and Sam opened their relationship to. He was admitted with the same infection Sam carries, and painfully voids himself in front of the pair. Stewart, too, is sick in the next room. Theo urges Sam to show love and compassion to his former captive with a kiss. The two move from room to room, forcing Sam to review his actions in life. They return to Sam's room to see a deteriorated Sam unattended and forgotten laying on the bed in front of them. Theo tells the Sam standing next to him that he has been there a while, and that his admirers have left him to rot unloved. His immune system has collapsed completely, and that no amount of money can produce a cure. The Sam in the bed convulses, and Sam's spirit materializes inside a cage in a dark room.

Henry appears as Sam's leather cop tormentor. They trade barbs, but Henry says that the difference between them is that Henry doesn't believe his pain is greater than everyone else's. Sam gives pain because he is himself in pain. Henry hands off a whip to another spirit, who begins flogging a man face down on a table. Sam cries out that the man is being injured, and Henry demands that Sam admit the man on the table is Sam's father. The next victim is Sam's first boss, whom Sam abandoned for a new career. Sam himself is the next on the rack, and Henry begins to untie Big Daddy's mask for the torture to come, but Sam rematerializes on a sunny beach trying to outrun the hooded figure. Henry insists that darkness can not be outrun, only transcended. Witnessed by the deer boys, Sam unmasks Big Daddy himself to see a beautiful man who embraces Sam as a lover. Henry carries an urn of ashes into the surf and dumps them into the waves as the deer boys, now clothed, look on.

Gino visits the understaffed and nearly derelict hospital in 1987. He cleans up Patrick's room and cares for his lover, who has been all but abandoned. Patrick is blinded by detached retinas. A doctor, in protective gear, initially tells Gino to leave the room — hospital protocol is to treat Gino as a friend, not a family member. The doctor explains that the blindness is permanent, and that even if there was a viable treatment AIDS patients are not eligible for the procedure. Gino rages about the lack of a cure, but Patrick asks Gino to simply be there with him. Patrick has difficulty swallowing the food Gino spoons into his mouth. He tells Gino to sell his life insurance policy to pay for his funeral expenses, rather than the proceeds going to Patrick's parents.

Later, Patrick drops the nurse call button and must fumble to find it on the floor. He slips to the ground, ripping out his intravenous line. He calls out for anybody to help him, eventually finding a wheelchair, which he guides into a hallway seeking a nurse. The sound of Barbara's voice leads him to see a vision of his bride in her wedding dress. She is not there to punish him, but to guide him as a psychopomp. Their first stop is a crime scene in 1980, where a drugged gay man fell from an upper story to his death. This is when Patrick first met Gino. The next stop is 1977, when Patrick's partner Steve shot a suspect but left blood on Patrick's hands; a tender moment kissing as they clean up is witnessed by Mulcahey, and Patrick spurned Steve to cover it up.

The next stop is a vision of Patrick carving up a corpse under Whitely's direction, ending in Patrick's own head being added to the sentinel. Barbara claims Patrick's constant reinvention and scarring hid his true wounds. She shows Patrick the start of his shame and trauma, as his father teaches him to shoot as a young man but accuses the son of being "limp wristed". Patrick's failure to hit the target ends in his father shooting a revolver next to his ear, perforating his ear drum.

Gino watches over his lover as he passes away, and the older man tells him he has nothing to be sorry about. Patrick admits all will be well, as his lover is there with him. Patrick dies while a vision of Kathy croons at his bedside, attended by Barb, Big Daddy, and a kiss from Gino.

Part 2[]

In 1981, Adam encounters a crime scene leaving Theo's funeral. A corpse is wheeled out of apartment 6B. Adam tells the investigating detective that he is the father of the dead woman's child. Hannah seems to have died of natural causes. The detective gives Adam time in Hannah's apartment, telling him to call the next day. Adam discovers an audio cassette recorder on the table, and replays the tape in the machine. In the recording, Hannah describes her surprise that the deer on Fire Island have inexplicably repopulated. As Adam weeps, Big Daddy watches.

Adam replays the most recent tape, in which Hannah refers to T-cell lymphoma. The recording captures the sounds of Hannah rasping and coughing, and Adam wonders whether she was strangled. When he inquires with the medical examiner — who sees him as a favor to Patrick — she says there is no sign of a struggle and that the cases are unrelated. Theo died of untreated fungal pneumonia, exacerbated by his crucifixion and drugs, but didn't suffer.

Adam replays additional tapes, including one where Hannah indicates her contraction of infection when she inseminated herself with a consensual sample from Adam. She concludes that the contagion must spread through bodily fluids, as her symptoms match her patients'. He pieces together in a vision that Big Daddy represents the disease, and the deer represent the contagion. Hannah's recordings continue to document what she's discovered about the contagion, and Adam seeks a biopsy for the lesion on his shoulder. He explains to the physician about the new contagion and the need to spread information about it, but the physician does not take him seriously. Further recordings mention Hannah is giving more credence to Fran's stories about the research on Plum Island, and that there is truth to the conspiracy theories. Labs requested tick samples for documenting the newly discovered "Lyme disease", but that it is not identical to the other contagion coming from Fire Island.

Adam prints warning posters promoting condom use. He brings them to Neptune Baths, where Kathy initially believes he is from the Health Department insisting on sanitary solutions. When he tells her what he is trying to do, she intimates that this will be her last night performing. She no longer feels safe and is moving on, and laments the end of her dream. She insists that he try to keep finding reasons to live. On the subway, Adam once again encounters the strange prophetic woman. Left behind is a newspaper, detailing that an outbreak of a rare cancer is being encountered in homosexual men. Behind him, a historic picture of a plague doctor is painted over by graffiti of the word "Daddy".

By 1987, Hannah's mystery pathogen is known as HIV / AIDS. Gino picks up a prescription for the treatment drug, AZT. He attends Patrick's funeral, where his lover's parents walk away from him when they recognize him. Gino is infuriated to find Patrick's coffin closed, and he imagines opening it himself. Adam startles him from his reverie, and they find their seats. As the years pass, Gino continues to watch a parade of friends die over subsequent years, where Big Daddy is ever present as a murderous avatar of the virus. Protests, including "die ins", occupy Gino as tens of thousands die of AIDS. Slowly, Gino becomes increasingly symptomatic. Adam delivers the eulogy at his mentor's funeral in 1990, after more than 150 thousand have died.

Quotes[]

  • Barbara: "The shame, the lies, the violence. It’s a cycle, Patrick."
  • Henry: "What’s wrong? Being locked in a cage isn’t as comfortable as you imagined it to be?"
  • Sam: "How long have I been here?
    Theo: Long enough to be forgotten."

Notes[]

Cultural References[]

Raised Questions[]

Gallery[]

Promotional Images

Videos[]

References[]

  1. FX Networks (2022, October 27). "Requiem 1981/1987". From Listings - AMERICAN HORROR STORY on FX. The Futon Critic. Archived from the original on 2024-07-04.


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