The penultimate episode of “American Horror Story: New York City” picks up immediately after the conclusion of the previous episode.
In the last minutes of Episode 8, Theo (Isaac Powell) is drugged and chained in the woods by Sam (Zachary Quinto), but he begins to see images of both Big Daddy (Matthew William Bishop) and many strange scantily-clad males with deer antlers.
The ninth episode, titled “Requiem 1981/1987 Part One,” begins with a funeral procession of cars traveling through a cemetery, which is revealed to be for Theo.
Sam’s presence at the funeral for the avant-garde photographer is arguably the most startling, as he was largely responsible for his death. Catching Big Daddy out of the corner of his eye, Sam passes out in the middle of Theo’s service.
Sam subsequently awakens at a rundown hospital with flickering lights where he is, surprisingly enough, greeted by Billy (Danny Kornfeld) and Theo, who are both in medical garb, with Theo taking the position of a doctor.
Sam, perplexed as to what is happening and why he is in such a location, is informed by Theo that no one else would take him in or care for him. Considering that both Theo and Billy are deceased, one may ask if Sam is delusional, unconscious, or dead and trapped in purgatory.
Sam Seems to be in Some Sort of Purgatory in AHS: New York City
Theo assures Sam that he will face the same destiny as the several victims of the terrible Fire Island virus that he displays to Sam. Sam and Theo return to Sam’s hospital room, where they see a despondent Sam who is all by himself.
Sam, despondent, wonders why nobody is with him and why he is in such a state, to which Theo responds that Sam was celebrated but not loved and that there is a significant distinction between the two.
The two then observe the hospitalized version of Sam coughing and lashing out, prompting Sam to request assistance.
The picture then transitions to Sam being incarcerated in his own cage amongst a black abyss, emphasizing that this is either an extended nightmare or a place of penance.
Henry (Denis O’Hare) then comes and begins to discuss Sam’s sadism and egotism. Although Sam is first resistant to Henry’s assertions, Henry’s demonstration of many times from his life compels Sam to reconsider what is being said.
Sam is subsequently placed on a torture rack while Big Daddy dons an executioner’s hood. Sam yells at Big Daddy and Henry and assures them that he is not terrified, despite the fact that Sam’s attempts to escape indicate otherwise.
Sam Appears to Have Died Alone, and His Ashes Are Dispersed by Henry
Sam, finally liberated from his bonds, crashes from the torture rack and appears in front of his party home on a sun-drenched beach on Fire Island. Henry and Big Daddy are also present, and Big Daddy proceeds to pursue Sam, who is having difficulty gaining traction on the sand.
Big Daddy finds Sam in the end, and Sam screams in terror before recognizing some of the deer-men from the previous episode. Sam then ceases fighting and faces his opponent.
Sam lowers Big Daddy’s hood to reveal a towering, blond man; the two then embrace. Henry observes that Sam has finally come to terms with his life and activities as the deer-men, including Theo, approach Big Daddy and Sam.
Everybody then disappears, while Henry approaches the waterline of the ocean while holding an urn, which he subsequently opens and pours into the ocean.
In other words, this entire sequence between the hospital, cage, and beach may have been the fevered dream of a dying brain, or possibly something more spiritual like the aforementioned purgatory.
The audience is left to determine what has transpired, as the solution is never explicitly stated. Sam may be atoning for his misdeeds, or he may be experiencing death.
Sam had died alone at this time in “American Horror Story: New York” and Henry has been tasked with dispersing his ashes, which explains why Sam had spotted his beach property. All of these moments were replete with allegory and metaphor, a trend that continues in these final two episodes.
Next to Be Visited by Visions is Patrick
“American Horror Story: NYC” then switches to Gino (Joe Mantello) as he walks through what looks to be the hospital from Sam’s out-of-body experience and/or hallucination earlier in the episode.
Similar to past hospital scenarios, Gino is astonished by the absence of nurses, doctors, and other medical personnel.
Gino is visibly disturbed and anxious when he finally enters the room where Patrick (Russell Tovey) is in critical condition. Patrick appears terribly ill, as he is covered in open sores and has watery eyes. The year 1987 is then set, six years after the majority of the “AHS: NYC” storyline.
Gino hits the button to summon a nurse or doctor, disgusted at Patrick’s condition and the disorder in the hospital.
This leads to the emergence of a person in full hazmat gear who informs Gino and Patrick that Patrick has been rendered permanently blind by the Fire Island virus. Patrick encourages Gino to calm down and simply be there with him since he is terrified, while Gino vents his anger.
Patrick awakens alone in his bed and fumbles for his nurse call button, which falls to the floor in the next scene.
Patrick then attempts to locate a wheelchair in his room, ripping out his IV in the process, but eventually succeeds. As he searches for assistance in the seemingly deserted hospital, he eventually hears Barbara’s (Leslie Grossman) voice telling him to open his eyes.