"Slashdance" is the third episode of 1984. It premiered October 2, 2019.


Imitation is the best form of tragedy. Coming clean can be pretty messy.[1]


Richard Ramirez corners BrookeChet, Rita, and Ray after he breaks into the nurse's cabin. Ray abandons the group, only to be attacked by Ramirez, who proceeds to stab him. While Brooke and Rita escape the cabin after gaining the car keys, Chet decides to save Ray by throwing Ramirez off of him. Ray and Chet make their way out of the cabin. Brooke and Rita manage to escape to the parking lot; however, Brooke tells Rita that they should go for help. Rita refuses to and suggests that Brooke should take her car. As Brooke is about to open the car door, Rita injects Brooke with a tranquilizer and it's revealed that Rita is a fraud. She is really a psychology PH.D student, named Donna Chambers, who is obsessed with studying serial killers, such as Richter.

In a flashback that takes place a week before the current events, Chambers was able to persuade Dr. Hopple to let her study Richter, and it's revealed that she had assisted him in his escape from Red Meadows Asylum. Chambers then abducted the real Rita, a nurse employed by Margaret Booth, stealing her identity in order to observe Richter's potential murder spree at the camp.

In the present, Montana, Xavier, and Trevor are attacked by a group of unseen assailants, revealed to be local townie pranksters, Larry and Keith, dressed as Richter. The real Richter proceeds to murder the pranksters, while the counselors escape. Richter spares one of the pranksters, Pete nicknamed Wide Load, when he is able to sympathize with him.

Ramirez pursues Ray and Chet through the forest, causing them to fall into a pit filled with spikes, leaving Chet seriously injured as he is impaled by a spike through his shoulder. A guilty Ray confesses to playing a role in the death of a fraternity pledge when he believes Chet is dead, having joined the others at Camp Redwood to escape conviction. Chet is revealed to have survived the fall, having heard Ray's confession.

Montana, Xavier, and Trevor take refuge in a nearby shed, only to discover the real Rita tied up and gagged. They free her and she attempts to escape, but is promptly murdered by Richter. Ray, after becoming angry at Chet implying that Ray killed Chan the first time, manages to climb out of the pit and abandons Chet to his own devices, before running into Montana, Xavier, and Trevor. Trevor gives Ray the keys to his motorcycle, sending him and Montana to call for help at a nearby phone booth. Xavier and Trevor discover Chet in the pit and pull him out, before accidentally killing Wide Load, assuming that he was Richter.

Ramirez appears and ambushes Ray and Montana, and Ray subsequently abandons Montana. Ray is decapitated by Richter in his attempt to escape. Montana momentarily struggles with Ramirez, only for the pair to share a kiss. Montana then asks, "Why haven't you killed her yet?", implying she has been working with Ramirez from the beginning.

Featured Characters


Pete is a guest starring character in American Horror Story portrayed by Sean Liang.


Keith is a guest starring character in American Horror Story portrayed by Renton Pexa.


Larry is a guest starring character in American Horror Story portrayed by Andrew Tippie.


Chan is a guest starring character in American Horror Story portrayed by Mark Daugherty. Chan was a favored pledge of Ray Powell, until one night of hazing ended in disastrous results.


Rita is a guest starring character in American Horror Story portrayed by Dreama Walker. Rita was going to work as a nurse at Camp Redwood, but her identity was stolen by Donna Chambers.


  • Xavier: "That's karma coming through that door. There's nothing we can do to stop it."


  • “Slashdance” is the least-watched episode of American Horror Story overall, ranking even lower than "Drink the Kool-Aid". 1.34 million live viewers tuned into “Slashdance,” earning it a 0.6 in the target demographic (18-29).[4]
  • However it was the most critically acclaimed episode of the season, holding an approval rating for 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • "Slashdance" is the only episode of 1984 not to include Leslie Grossman's character, Margaret Booth.

Cultural References

  • Ray Powell quotes Charles Darwin's "survival of the fittest", a phrase that originated from Darwin's theory of evolution as a way to describe the process of natural selection.
  • Chet Clancy mentions the movie "First Blood" (1982) when describing to Ray the punji pit into which they've fallen.
  • According to the paperwork given to Dr. Karen Hopple, Donna Chambers has done doctoral work at Dartmouth College and the University of Pennsylvania, both Ivy League institutions.
  • Trevor Kirchner owns a Kawasaki Ninja 900, the first model of Ninja to be made as the Ninja first came out in 1984.
  • Each episode of Season 9 up to Slashdance has so far had a reference or mention of karma. Montana uses the phrase "Karmically, we're good" in Episode 1. Ray misquotes the title of the Culture Club song, Karma Chameleon in Episode 2. Xavier says Mr. Jingles is karma coming through the door in Episode 3.

Raised Questions

  • Is everyone, save Brooke, a bad guy?




  1. AMERICAN HORROR STORY on FX (#903) "Slashdance". (September 6, 2019).
  2. In True Killers, he appears as a corpse.
  3. In True Killers, he appears as a corpse.
  4. Metcalf, Mitch (October 3, 2019). "Updated: ShowBuzzDaily's Top 150 Wednesday Cable Originals & Network Finals". Showbuzz Daily.
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