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"Something's Coming" is the first episode of "American Horror Story: NYC". It premiered October 19, 2022 on FX.

Mysterious deaths and disappearances ramp up in the city. A doctor makes a frightening discovery, and a local reporter becomes tomorrow's headline.— FX Networks, official synopsis[1]

Plot[]

A commercial flight crew arrives by taxi to a New York City hotel in 1981. Captain Ross leaves the flight attendants at the bar to return to his room, and is intercepted by flight attendant Tawny who invites him in to stay with him. He declines, reminding her that he is married. Once in his room, though, he showers and dresses in leather gear. He enters an unmarked warehouse on the Hudson piers, passing cruising men. Observed by a tall hooded leatherman, he stops and unzips in front of a glory hole.

The next morning, police detective Patrick Read is called to investigate a headless male body in leather pants. The body has no identification, but his pockets contain a matchbook from the gay lounge "The Brownstone Bar". Patrick's fellow detectives make jokes about the probable gay victim.

Hannah Wells, a biologist, shows a sample to her boss, William Barhart, about a quickly mutating contagion collected on Fire Island. The symptoms in deer include seizures, skin infection, and liver failure. She warns Mayor Lembeck that the virus could destroy the deer population and is evolving rapidly to potentially infect humans (if it hasn't already). The Fire Island police agree to kill all the deer on the island as a containment measure.

A sanitation worker in Manhattan uncovers a clogged drain to find a severed head. A medical examiner tells Patrick that she can't conclusively match the head to the headless body, due to deterioration of both. She recovers a colored handkerchief from the head's throat, and suggests it may have been placed there after death. She notes that handkerchiefs are sometimes used by the gay community as signals of sexual preferences.

A trio of lesbians, led by Fran, enter the offices of gay-oriented newspaper "The Downtown Native" looking for Gino Barelli. They complain that the paper's articles tend to focus on male issues and ignore female concerns. He responds that he doesn't have a point of view on those topics, and is more concerned with the dangerous hunting of the gay men's population. Fran gives Gino a switchblade for his "protection".

Gino returns home to his partner Patrick, who has cooked dinner for them. Gino points out his long day includes his first annual issue, including an outing of New York City mayor Ed Koch as a gay man. He also reminds Patrick that his precinct has the most complaints from the gay community among all of the NYPD, and that it would be helpful if Patrick was more visible as an out gay man. Patrick voices his concerns about another dead body, totaling three. He can't go on the record about the killer, which infuriates Gino. Gino questions their relationship, given that Patrick wants to remain closeted. Disappointed, Gino leaves.

Sully tries to cheer his roommate Adam after a recent break-up. Claiming that he needs back-up with him for safety while he sells quaaludes (the price of which is skyrocketing), he insists Adam go with him. They enter a cruising spot in Central Park, and Sully walks away with a man. Adam wanders away, and after a time calls after Sully. He is approached by the massive leatherman, standing tall wearing a harness and hood over his face and carrying a whip. Intimidated and scared, he runs. Sully hears his roommate and they run to find each other. Sully rips his pants and stands to see the hooded leatherman behind him. Adam hears a scream in the distance.

Adam reports his missing roommate to Patrick, describing the gigantic man. Adam accuses Patrick of not caring about the gay community, but Patrick responds by telling him about the dead body at the piers. The detective also mentions that he can't do anything to find Sully as only 12 hours have passed and there's no evidence of a crime. He hands his card to Adam as the young man leaves. Patrick raises his concerns about the pattern to his Chief, Mac Marzara. Marzara points out that his experience is that most of the gay community of New York came to get away and not be found.

At the Neptune Baths, a cabaret performer sings to the patrons. Adam asks his friend Morris for advice, though Morris tells him that Sully will likely show up eventually. Adam notices a picture of the gargantuan leatherman behind the bar, and inquires with the bartender; the subject isn't known, but the photographer is Theo Graves. Adam tries to speak to Graves, who is walking away for an encounter. At the other end of the bar, Gino offers to help Adam and gives him contact information.

In daylight, Adam finds Theo in his loft studio. Theo remembers Adam from the bathhouse and shows the young man his portfolio. The photographer mentions that he inherited a psychic gift from his Haitian grandmother. He agrees to speak with Adam if the young man will pose for him. They trade questions as Theo seeks the grotesque in Adam's beauty. Theo says the man Adam is asking about was called "Big Daddy", though no one knew his real name. Adam leaves his phone number as Sam enters. Sam, who is Theo's boyfriend and agent, is concerned about Theo's work not paying the expensive bills – including their heavy cocaine habits. Theo is concerned about a darkness he feels rising.

Patrick and Gino sit down for a talk. Patrick tells his lover that his boss warned him not to leak any information about the potential serial killer. Patrick asks what a blue handkerchief signifies, and Gino explains the hanky code. Officially, Patrick is not authorized to investigate the case further. He asks Gino to ask around The Brownstone Bar on his behalf, as reporters are not bound by Chief Marzara.

In a coffee shop, Patrick meets with Barbara. He presents her with divorce papers, and they are trying to be amicable. They still love each other, and he kisses her on the cheek as he leaves.

Gino sends a drink to Brownstone regular Henry. They lament that the gay community, even when confronted with a clear and present danger, are unlikely to be more cautious about a predator in their midst. Henry describes a man that seeks the less desirable men and leaves with them, and they are never seen again. Henry, who refuses to be named in Gino's story, also notes that the victims tend to drink Mai Tais. Elsewhere in the bar, Sam arranges a photo shoot with an up and coming actor who says that Theo's photos will give him exposure among powerful men. Gino leaves the bar and realizes he's been drugged; he is helped into a car by an unfamiliar man.

The actor, Freddy, follows directions to Theo's loft. Big Daddy stands guard outside. Sam demands that the relatively tame photo shoot be spiced up, turning a wooden stool legs up and presenting Freddy with lubricant. Later, Sam is satisfied enough to want the photos for his personal collection. Theo asks Sam about Big Daddy, but Sam angrily responds that he thinks Big Daddy died years ago.

Theo meets Adam at the Neptune, and reports that Big Daddy is dead. Adam insists that the man he saw recently is the same man in the photograph. Theo walks away for an anonymous encounter. Freddy approaches Adam for sex, but Adam declines. Freddy follows a man into a steam room and finds Big Daddy waiting there.

Hannah observes the deputies of Fire Island slaughtering the deer, calling it wrong but necessary.

Featured Characters[]

Notes[]

  • This episode featured no opening credits.
  • The episode tackles police brutality and homophobia.
  • This episode marks the return of some familiar faces to the franchise.

Cultural References[]

  • The subject matter is similar to Cruising, a 1980 American crime thriller film written and directed by William Friedkin and starring Al Pacino.
  • Gino explains the handkerchief code in the gay community to Patrick.
  • Patrick's snark remark about having ten detectives down on the case if it was the corpse of a pretty blonde 16-years-old from Riverdale – a reference to Betty Cooper.
  • A headline on the outing of Mayor Ed Koch is shown.
  • Adam is watching an episode of American prime-time soap Dallas featuring J.R. Ewing on screen.

Raised Questions[]

  • Who is "Big Daddy"? Is he a ghost?
  • Which Patrick's secrets is Barbara referring to?
  • Is Patrick more aware of gay subculture than he lets Gino know?
  • Who drugged Gino? Was it Henry? Is he going to die?
  • What's the deal with Sam?
  • Where is Sully?
  • Is Freddy going to be the next corpse at the piers?
  • Will shooting the deers prevent the virus from spreading?
  • Who is the killer? What are their intentions?

Gallery[]

Promotional Images
Screencaps

Videos[]

References[]

  1. FX Networks (2022, October 3). Listings - AMERICAN HORROR STORY on FX. The Futon Critic. Archived from the original on 2022-10-07.
  2. In The Sentinel, Sully appears in a footage during Gino's monologue.
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