We open with Ally springing out of bed in terror as she finds a clown sleeping with her. She and her wife go back to inspect, nothing there. Their son Ozzy wakes up and turn his nightlife on. Twisty is in his room, he climbs under the bed, the clown flips his mattress over but it it is another clown. The child is having a nightmare. But how much the two nightmares were real and who was having them.
We return from commercial to a newscast covering a case of “illegals” attacking Kai Anderson. This was of course the result of his provocation in episode one, and a set up to get community and political support for xenophobia. Kai uses a press conference at City Hall to announce that he is running for City Council to take the place of Mr. Cheng who, as you may remember, was murdered.Speaking of that incident, what really happened? When Oz and his nanny, Winter, went over to spy Oz claims to have seen a group of clowns murdering the couple. The police said it looked like a murder suicide. More on that shortly.
A new couple moves in to the house across the street, a little quickly I’d say, and Ally notices they are loading barrel drums into the garage. The husband is in what appears to be a hazmat suit. Ally sneaks over to spy in the window but is caught and quickly curries back hose (dumb move).
That night we are back at the restaurant there is a minor scuffle when the chef demands everyone speak in english and he than targets a particular latino worker. A fight nearly
breaks out and Ally stops it.
Back home, Winter and Oz return from picking him up from school. Winter notices something is wrong and calls Oz out on his distant behavior. He is upset with Winter because she told his moms that he made up seeing his neighbors murdered by clowns. “What if they come back?” Ozzy asks, “The ones who really did it?”. Winter smiles calmly and says, “They won’t come back for you.”
Winter sits down at Oz’s desk and gives him a Twisty the Clown figure. “Don’t tell your moms.” she says. Then Winter asks Oz to give her his pinky. She locks pinky’s with him and enacts the same commitment ceremony as her brother did on her to control her.
That same afternoon Ally and Ivy come home to an empty house. They call out for their son but no answer. Winter pops back into the house and explains that Oz is alone, across the street with the new neighbors. Ally and Ivy race over and charge into the backyard to find the new neighbors Harrison Wilton (Billy Eichner) and his wife Meadow (Leslie Grossman) showing Oz their bee colony. Harrison espouses the virtues of the colony, none thinking for themselves and working for the common goal.
The action moves inside where we find out that the new neighbors are married for convenience. Harrison is gay and Meadow is his bestie. Ally and Ivy leave, but not before noticing remnants of the crime scene still lingering in the living room. “Doesn’t it bother you to be here so soon after the incident?” Ally asks. “We don’t scare easily.” Harrison chuckles. Ally and Ivy leave.
That night the alarm at the restaurant gets tripped. Ivy says it must be faulty and gets ready to go reset it. Instead Ally offers to go and insists “I’ve got this” Ally arrives at the restaurant and shuts off the alarm. No biggie right? That is until she hears metal clanking in the meat locker. Creeping in she sees a pool of blood on the floor. This triggers her fear of blood and she suddenly feels a body against her back that is dangling from a meat hook.
The next day Ally is having security bars installed on their home. While making tea Ivy walks in the back door with Ally’s therapist. “Look who was in the neighborhood.” Ivy says. A pregnant pause.
It seems that the body Ally saw was real. It was the chef that targeted the latino worker. Ally tried to save him, but could not. Terrified she spoke with the new neighbors who have a stockpile of guns. They offer her any one she wants to keep her family safer. Ally’s Therapist finds this out. Ally is hiding the gun from her wife.
There is a knock at the door. It is Kai. He is going door to door and running for city council. When Ally recognizes him as the guy that threw a latte on she and her wife, she demands he get off of her property. At the restaurant Ivy speaks with Pedro who says the police questioned him and that it is scary to be brown these days.
At home, Winter is seeing Oz to bed. Ally is down stairs, looking at a bottle of pills, scared to take her prescription. Winter suggests a hot bath and red wine. Winter draws a bath for Ally and begins to be flirtatious. Suddenly the house alarm goes off and the power goes out. We see a clown in the house.
Ivy and Winter make it downstairs and are collecting candles. A knock on the window and it’s Harrison. He says that this is a terrorist attack. Hackers from China, or North Korea, or Russia have attacked the power grid and it is out in eight states. Winter decides to go home and take care of her things. Ally calls her wife who is at the restaurant where the power is out too. Ivy sends Pedro back home to check on Ally and Oz and to bring her a charger brick and some food.
Things become very haunted house as Ally is making her way around with a candle, hearing creeping noises the home. Outside the same clown car seen before the Cheng murders pulls up outside. The clowns begin to appear and play cat and mouse with Ally. She gets Oz and takes him downstairs to the back door. Ally tells him to run as fast as he can when she opens the door a figure is standing there, she fires her gun. It is, of course, Pedro.
DAMN. This episode continues to play on the actions provoked by fear. Not just the generalized anxiety, but the primal survivalist nature provoked when pushed to a breaking point. This season continues to fascinate me with its insistence on remaining grounded in reality. Yes, there are clowns, panic, paranoid delusions, yet the actions are always just vague enough to question what is real and what is imagined.
We cannot wait for next weeks episode.