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American Horror Story: 1984 Recap: A Bloody but Surprisingly Happy Ending

Woodchipper and all!

Maggie Fremont

Want to know the most surprising thing about the American Horror Story: 1984 finale? It has a happy ending. I know how ridiculous that is to write since, yes, in this finale the Ghosts band together and shove Margaret Booth (Leslie Grossman) through a woodchipper and her ground-up human body meat is sprayed all over the woods, but it's true. Perhaps for the first time ever on American Horror Story, there's a real, live happy ending. I know, I'm still processing.

"Final Girl" kicks off in 2019, when who should appear at an abandoned Camp Redwood looking for answers about his father but Bobby Richter (welcome back to AHS, Finn Wittrock!). Or, Jingles Junior, if you're Margaret. That's right, Mr. Jingles' (John Carroll Lynch) son has come to figure out what exactly happened to dear old dad. Thankfully, the first ghost he runs into is a reformed Montana (Billie Lourd), who hasn't seen an alive person in a very long time -- apparently people have forgotten about Camp Redwood -- and takes this moment to ask Bobby the pressing questions like: "What's going on out there?" and "What's the music like?" and most important, "Did Judd Nelson ever get his Oscar?" She's devastated to learn that in 2019 aerobics are a joke. But one person takes that news harder: Trevor (Matthew Morrison).

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Yes, folks, Trevor is also a ghost, thanks to his wife. After Trevor single-handedly stops everyone from attending the music festival, Margaret shoots him multiple times, including once in the penis, which honestly is just so rude. That's his most prized possession! She leaves him outside the camp boundaries to truly die, but thanks to a last-minute save by Brooke (Emma Roberts) who is just running around the camp at this point, Trevor gets across the Camp Redwood line and joins his love Montana as ghosts. And after seeing Brooke's selfless act, Montana decides the ghosts aren't going to kill anymore. Well, after they take care of Ramirez (Zach Villa) and Margaret, of course. But innocent people, they're off-limits. Isn't that nice?

Back in 2019, Montana and Trevor explain all of this to Bobby and drop some other major bombshells on the kid: They're sorry to say his dad is nowhere to be found, and also he needs to get the hell out of Camp Redwood lest his father be attacked by a lake demon in vain. They give Bobby the deets on Richard Ramirez situation: He and Jingles gave their souls to Satan, and when Jingles broke that deal, Ramirez killed Bobby's mom and will surely kill Bobby, too, if he has the chance. The only reason he hasn't is because he's trapped in Camp Redwood. That's right, the Ghost Gang brutally killed Ramirez in a group murder. And when I say "brutally" I mean, like, guys, there was so much blood. And then, since Satan can resurrect Ramirez and everything -- you know, that old hat -- the Ghosts have set up a death watch: Every time Ramirez comes back from being killed, before Satan can make him actually alive, the Ghosts murder him again. They've been doing this for 30 years. It's the only reason he hasn't gotten out of Camp Redwood and killed Bobby. Bobby's grateful and all -- who wouldn't like an eternal death watch set up in their name? -- but he still doesn't want to leave Camp Redwood without looking for his father. He is very dumb.

While this download of Camp Redwood history is going on, Chet (Gus Kenworthy) and Chef Bertie (Tara Karsian) are on Ramirez death watch. Those two ding-dongs start flirting with each other, and while they're making out, Ramirez returns and Satan has enough time to bring him back to life. Which means Ramirez shows up at the cabin to find Bobby Richter right before his eyes. He chases him down and knifes him in the back because, if you haven't figured this out yet, Ramirez is the World's Worst, but the Ghosts come to the rescue, stop Ramirez, and get Bobby out of Camp Redwood. Montana tells him to find the Medical Director at the nearby asylum. She'll have answers.

American Horror Story: 1984

Angelica Ross, American Horror Story: 1984

Kurt Iswarienko, FX

She'll have them because -- surprise! -- the medical director is Donna (Angelica Ross). She tells Bobby the rest of the story about what happened on Halloween 1989: Brooke got shot and died trying to kill Margaret, but eventually the Ghosts took Margaret and fed her to the aforementioned wood chipper. I'm sorry that I keep mentioning it, but it's just something you can't unsee, and I won't be eating ground meat for a long time. If I have to suffer, you have to suffer! Those are the rules of American Horror Story.

All of this means that Donna was the only one who got out of Camp Redwood alive. She's the final girl. But there is still one thing Bobby needs explained (okay, there are like 3,000 things Bobby needs explained, but for these purposes, one): Someone's been sending him a check in the mail every month for the past 30 years. If it wasn't Donna, that means someone else got out of Camp Redwood alive.

Okay, by this point, it's pretty obvious that it's Brooke. Her death was so unceremonious, there was no way that could be her end. Donna and Bobby track her down and discover that she's been living the life: hot doctor husband, two kids, nice house, great skin. The American Dream! Donna's obviously shocked and a little pissed, but Brooke explains that she didn't die from the gunshot wound--Ray (DeRon Horton) found her and got her over the Camp Redwood line so she wouldn't have to die in that place and get trapped with the rest of them. Honestly, it's the least Ray could do since because of him she lost her virginity to a ghost. She collapsed there in the road, and then apparently someone called 911 and she was taken to a hospital. When she recovered, she ran off and built this life for herself. It's all way too convenient and contrived, and even now, as the episode is over, I'm still waiting for a big twist in which Brooke sold her soul to Satan or something. She did not. She gets a very normal, happy-ish ending that makes very little sense. (Wouldn't Donna, who tells Bobby she went back and visited the camp ghosts, notice that Ghost Brooke wasn't there? I have questions!) Congratulations, I guess?

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You know someone had to take up Brooke's mantle of being the absolute dumbest, and that person is Bobby. After hearing all about the horrors of Camp Redwood and how it consumed his father and almost consumed Brooke and Donna, he decides to go back. He must learn the truth about his dad! Let's be real, he deserves to die if he is running back to that camp.

​John Carroll Lynch, American Horror Story: 1984

John Carroll Lynch, American Horror Story: 1984

Kurt Iswarienko/FX

He almost does. When he returns, he immediately runs into...Margaret Booth! Still out for blood, especially of the Jingles variety. Just as she's about to murder Bobby, out jumps Mr. Jingles himself! He stabs Margaret in the head like any good dad would do. The father and son share a surprisingly tender moment in which Jingles tells Bobby that everything was worth it if it kept him safe, and Bobby thanks his father for sacrificing so much. And that moment is interrupted guessed it, Margaret pops up again to kill Jingles. It's really just an endless cycle of murder, which, coincidentally, could be a tagline for this season of AHS.

Finally, it is Lavinia (Lily Rabe), the Woman in White, Bobby's grandmother, who puts an end to Margaret, with the help of the Ghosts. Bobby is able to run away to freedom. He turns around for one last look at his family: his father, his grandmother, and his child-uncle all stand at the edge of Camp Redwood and bid Bobby a tearful goodbye. And then Bobby just leaves. He gets away. No one decapitates him or anything. For American Horror Story, that is about as happy an ending as one gets. It's decidedly less shocking than one might have predicted we get, but we'll always have that woodchipper, I guess.