American Horror Stories Season 2 Episode 3 Review

This review contains spoilers for American Horror Stories. “Drive” is certainly not the best example of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk American Horror Storys is capable of. After a strong start with the season two premiere, the spin-off series seems to be falling into the same rhythm that landed its first season in hot water. “Drive” has a few inclusions that serve the episode well, but those qualities are largely overshadowed by some of the episode’s larger issues.


The latest episode of American Horror Stories Stars Bella Thorne, Nico Greetham, Anthony de la Torre, Billie Bodega and Austin Woods. “Drive” was written by Manny Coto, who also wrote the previous two episodes of season two American Horror Stories. Coto is collaborating with Yangzom Brauen, who is directing Drive. Despite what it sets out to do, “Drive” is the weakest episode of American Horror Stories second season yet.

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“Drive” begins with two women, Marci (Thorne) and Piper (Bodega), partying at a nightclub. Marci becomes increasingly interested in Wyatt (Woods) and the two become physically involved in Marci’s car. The night takes a turn as Marci drives home, followed by a red jeep. The driver turns on his light and even rams into the back of her car. Marci returns home to her husband Chaz (Torre), who suggests dating her to protect her. The episode’s queasy mood is reinforced by the knowledge of a number of missing men and women from nightclubs around the area.

American Horror Stories even throws in an urban legend about a woman being dragged home at night the same way Marci had been. The urban legend pushes the narrative further, only under the guise of catching the killer before he harms anyone else. A chance second encounter with the Jeep arouses Marci’s suspicions to the point that she ends up stalking him and showing up at the owner’s work. There she meets Paul (Greetham), and the two have a tense conversation about the knives Marci is pretending to be interested in buying. From there, “Drive” begins to flip its narrative on its head, which doesn’t have the payoff the episode intended.

At the beginning of “Drive,” Marci wipes her makeup clean to reveal a light spot on the side of her face. There are several references to her insecurities with the character, including Piper’s accusation that Marci only wants to party and meet strangers because she couldn’t do it in high school. “Drive” tries to find a reason to include this in the end, using the bullying she suffered as a stepping stone to Marci’s reasons for kidnapping and killing certain people in nightclubs. It’s a piece of “Drive” that doesn’t do anything in the end.

The twist in Drive that reveals Marci as a nightclub serial killer has a reward for the American Horror Story Franchise. Its fifth season Hotel, used a similar tactic that revealed his main character as the serial killer he had been chasing all season. Some have noted this hotel was a detrimental turn in the horror franchise, lacking and borrowing too much of the excitement of previous seasons murder house. It was also the first season without Jessica Lange. hotel is often discredited as one American Horror Stories stronger seasons and although it’s not a unanimous hit with viewers, even those who don’t like it hotel gotta appreciate it more after “Drive”.

What “Drive” redeems is Greetham. With just a handful of minutes into the episode, Greetham manages to serve the purpose as the scapegoat and deliver Drive’s best performance. He is seductive as a suspect and charming as a victim and Good Samaritan. Greetham is no stranger to making something out of very little, as he previously did with season one’s The Naughty List American Horror Stories. The Naughty List is one of the lowest-rated episodes of the spin-off series, despite Greetham’s spot-on performance as an outrageous influencer.

Where “Drive” is most lacking is its leading man. Marci is not very likeable from the start. She dismisses her friend’s warnings, her husband’s concerns, and treats almost every character she comes in contact with unfairly. Even as Chaz expresses interest in breaking up, Marci barely admits it before the end of Drive. Marci feels almost like a robot, much like Scarlett from the Rubber (Wo)Man episodes of American Horror Stories, a main character no more likable than Marci, despite her numerous appearances throughout the first season.

In order to achieve the effective ending that “Drive” is trying to achieve, it needs a character that viewers actually feel connected to. His ending should leave the audience feeling a certain amount of betrayal. It should come from a character that viewers care about, or at least appreciate. Marci doesn’t get the job done. The humanizing qualities American Horror Stories trying to inject them, don’t hit home. “Drive” ultimately has big intentions, but doesn’t implement them in a meaningful way. As for the ending, instead of taking a smack, it leaves viewers feeling like they’ve been patted on the back.

American Horror Stories now streaming on Hulu.

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