American Horror Stories (2021) s02e01 Episode Script


Dolls have been
around since the Egyptians.
They even found one in King Tut's tomb.
He wouldn't part with it,
even in the afterlife.
But what is a doll, really?
Nothing more than mankind's
attempt to finish
what the Almighty began.
Forgive me if that's a tad blasphemous.
What I'm trying to say is
when the Lord formed dust into man,
he was seeking perfection.
Isn't that so?
That is what I was told in Sunday school.
Well, a doll does not sin.
It has no flesh to mortify.
No soul to lose.
It's God's ideal made manifest.
So, God would love us more
if we were made out of plastic?
Not that you don't have a point, sir.
Don't do that.
Don't retreat from your point.
I like people who think for themselves.
Well, that has never been a problem of mine,
- to think for myself.
- Huh.
As your curriculum vitae attests,
high school valedictorian,
president of Natchez Debating Society.
Master of Arts from Ole Miss. Ha.
The truth is, I've never interviewed
a candidate more qualified.
Well, I just would like to add
that my academic achievements
are nothing compared to my tenacity.
I know times are tough,
and I know you've no doubt
seen lots of applicants,
but if you see fit to hire me
as your secretary,
I will dedicate myself
to clerical excellence.
I'm afraid you're just not right
for the position.
- I'm not?
- I'm sorry,
Miss Dellum,
but thank you for your interest.
My assistant will see you out.
You feeling better?
The headache should only trouble
you for a couple of hours.
You're on my estate.
This is my private dollhouse.
Your dollhouse?
I designed it myself,
from the wallpaper
to the, the rose cornices.
It's a tad eclectic, I grant you,
but I'm not disciplined enough
to confine myself to one era.
So, the base is
Victorian spiced with old Americana
and Edwardian.
What? What-what is this? Why am I here?
This is your home
for the next seven days, give or take.
My home?
Miss Dellum,
I was honest
when I told you how impressed
I am with your background.
You're far too special to spend
your days in front of a typewriter,
so I have entered you into the pageant.
Did you say
- pageant?
- Please understand,
this is an extraordinary honor.
As of last week, entrance was closed.
Well, I do appreciate the honor,
but I don't want to be a part
of your pageant.
Your participation
isn't open to debate.
Get out of my way.
Do you hear me?
Oh, he can hear you. He just can't respond.
He's missing most of his, um, his tongue.
There's only one way out
of here, young lady.
It's not through any windows or doors.
What do you want from me?
Now, you'll find out soon enough.
In the meantime,
I'll leave you to get settled.
Get settled? I'm not getting settled.
I'm getting out of here.
You can't just leave me here alone.
You're not alone.
Let me out!
Hey! Come back!
Let me out of here!
Well, this is all we fucking need.
Aurelia, can't you see
she's scared to death?
Can't you see that I don't give a shit?
Little Miss started
in the middle of the contest.
She didn't have to do the first three tests.
Who are you people?
Can someone please tell me what's going on?
You've been kidnapped
by a crazy-rich toymaker
who's sick in the head
and obsessed with dolls,
so he made all of this.
He's looking for the perfect doll, see,
a mother for his kid,
and he makes us do tasks
in his messed-up beauty pageant and the ones
who don't measure up get eliminated
in the worst way. You dig?
Someone please tell me this is a joke.
Let's find you a bed where you can lie down.
This is our room.
I'm here, that's Bonnie's.
Well, I don't want to rest.
I want to get out of here.
Sweetie, I know what you're going through.
I was the same way at first.
Came for an interview,
stopped to help someone
on the side of the road.
Well, if everyone
who interviewed disappeared,
then that means that the law
- the law has to get suspicious.
- The others were different.
Aurelia was a dancer.
Faye taught kindergarten.
When psycho man spots someone he
thinks would make a good doll,
he makes a move and that's it.
I was taken right out of my house.
To this day I have no idea why I was picked.
You have to
listen to me. There's no way out.
Believe me, we've been here
for weeks and we've tried.
This place is built like a safe.
Van Wirt told the truth.
There's only one way off,
and you don't want that.
You really should
eat something before it starts.
I'm not hungry.
They only stock the fridge
every couple of days.
I saw him yesterday. The little boy.
He was looking out his window.
Where is his mom?
She died two years ago.
The official story is, she took
her boat out into the swamp
to pick flowers, there was
an accident, and she fell in.
But that's not what happened?
Rumor is, Mr. Van Wirt
didn't exactly measure up.
So she got herself a little stallion.
What he did to them
is almost too horrible for words.
They got this old stone wishing well.
Been dried up for years,
since the Civil War.
And the only wishing anybody's doing there
is for heavenly deliverance.
It's a long drop.
Come on. They're coming.
You need to pick one and find a spot, fast.
Don't move unless asked,
don't speak unless spoken to.
I thought we weren't getting any new ones.
I made an exception. Go make friends.
- So, what's your name?
- Uh
You have a name, don't you?
I can't just call you "clown doll."
My name is Coby.
Coby the Clown.
Otis, what do you say?
I think this is the happiest day of my life.
You know I don't like your sarcasm.
Delighted to meet you, Coby the Clown.
I'm Otis Van Wirt.
Very good.
Now, I'll be back after work.
Remember, treat your playthings
with respect.
I always do.
Why do grown-ups think kids like clowns?
Everyone likes clowns.
I think everyone says they do
'cause they think they're supposed to,
but really no one does.
Think I'm gonna tell
Eustace to throw you away.
- Too bad for you.
- I can do a trick.
A magic trick. Do you want to see a trick?
I think everyone hates magicians
almost as much as they hate clowns.
How'd you do that?
Do it again.
This is my dollhouse, Coby the Clown.
My dad made it for me
'cause I'm his only son
and the heir to his fortune.
You want to see tomorrow, you do what I say.
Now do it again.
What was that voodoo shit with the toy?
Oh, my uncle, he's into magic.
He showed me some tricks when I was a kid.
Well, that's nice.
Don't butter my ass and call me a biscuit.
I saw what happened.
That thing moved by its own self.
Honestly, Aurelia,
what even are you saying?
I'm saying that she's a liar.
And if you think this
is gonna put you in Fat City,
then you got another thing coming,
'cause I got tricks up my sleeve, too,
and I'm gonna win that little brat over.
And what if you do win?
What happens then?
Being the kid's mom? What does that mean?
Does anyone know what that means?
Does being the kid's mom
mean being Van Wirt's wife?
Well, whatever it means, when I win,
I got time to figure a way out.
You can't clean the muck bucket
if you're dead.
What's that?
At this hour, it'll be one thing.
A test.
We don't just have to play
with the kid, now, dolly.
The shit that starts now
is the shit that really counts.
This evening, we will focus
on the "déjeuner a la fourchette,"
or "le lunch," as they call it
in the Quarter.
There is a formality to be observed,
no less important
than in the evening repast.
Here are the building blocks
for our culinary ballet.
Salad fork, meat fork, bouillon spoon,
water glass, Apollinaris,
et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
The hypothetical menu for our afternoon
is crawfish cardinal,
terrapin soup,
stuffed drum,
as well as assorted ices
and pies.
As always, you will be graded
according to precision.
Deviations will result in one point awarded.
The one with the most points at the end
will be discarded.
You have one minute
to set the table for lunch.
30 seconds.
15 seconds.
Five seconds.
All right.
Let's see what we have.
Knife facing toward the plate.
Fruit spoon in the proper place.
Apollinaris glass correct.
Perfect score.
Tragic napkin fold.
Salad and meat fork in the wrong place.
Two points.
Knife should be facing
toward the plate, not away.
Salted nut bowl is in the wrong place.
You used a bouillon spoon for terrapin soup
instead of the terrapin fork.
And that water glass calamity
warrants three points.
I'm surprised at you.
This isn't fit for my worst coonhound.
hemstitched or scalloped,
folded in tri-shape,
long edge toward the fork,
water glass at the tip of the knife,
Apollinaris glass upon the same doily
to the right and just down
from the water glass.
Too many infractions to count!
Let's not prolong this.
No, please.
I wasn't taught any of this.
My parents worked in a cannery.
It's not fair.
Please, I don't want to die.
What the hell's a terrapin?
It's a turtle, you idiot.
I can't believe this is happening.
- Poor Faye.
- Fuck her.
One more out of the way.
That kid ain't gonna save you.
Nothing is gonna save you.
That wasn't really just
a magic trick you did, was it?
Do you want to hear a secret?
It's a gift.
Something I was born with.
Something I've been able to do since, well,
since I stopped being a little girl.
Well, what else can you do?
Well, I haven't tried to find out.
I've been afraid of what
would happen if my family knew.
What would happen?
They could decide I
had a demon or something,
have a preacher yell over me.
The place where I came from,
there were a lot of rules
about what was right and what was wrong,
and how to live and how not to live.
That's why I decided to leave home.
I wanted to be free.
I guess we both know what
it feels like to be different.
I'm not different.
You don't go to school,
and you're a boy who likes
to play with dolls.
What do you have against dolls?
I'm just saying it's not like other people,
and around here that can be hard.
I used to go to school,
until kids beat me up.
The teachers said I was odd and belligerent.
Now I don't go anymore.
Don't you miss them? Your mom and dad?
I miss when my
mom used to sing me to sleep.
You miss your mom, don't you?
Can I tell you a secret?
I hope you win and get to be my mom.
That'd be nice.
But I wouldn't be a good mom if I was sad.
Why would you be sad?
Because of all the dolls
we'd have to throw down the well.
I throw out old dolls all the time.
But they're not
just dolls, they're my friends.
If you tell your daddy to stop
this and let everyone go,
I promise you, I'll be the best
mommy you'll ever want.
I cross my heart and hope to die.
No, we just need more time.
The public will come around.
Our new line of dolls
is better than anything
that-that M-Mattel or, uh, Hasbro ha
So what if they have Barbie?!
We use old-world methods.
Our dolls are hand-sewn.
We just need more time
for people to find us.
And then the sales will pick up.
What are you doing out of bed?
Did I wake you?
Uh, I wanted to ask you something.
Come over here.
Are you in trouble, Dad?
Life sometimes
gives us challenges.
And our jobs as good Christians
is to meet those challenges head-on.
When we lost your blessed mother,
I decided that the only possible replacement
would be someone perfect.
Daddy's gonna find you
the best mommy in the world.
The perfect mommy
who will always be there for you.
And you trust me?
- Yes, Daddy.
- Good.
what did you want to ask me?
Today you're going to impress me
with what some of you might
consider a household chore.
But like many things in life,
if done properly,
even the most mundane task
can rise to the level of art.
The proper ironing and folding of a shirt,
following the rules as set down
by Monsieur Seydoux
in his famous Dauphine Street Laundry.
As we all know,
Seydoux placed great importance
on the ingredients for his ironing spray.
And it was Seydoux
who used Courvoisier
instead of raw alcohol in his sprays,
as well as assorted herbs
which gave his work
its distinctive aroma.
You will have three minutes
to make your solutions,
and then to iron and fold your shirts.
The proper mixing and application
of your solution is all that stands
between triumph and disaster.
Remember, we are making folds
not creases.
Folds that are crisp prevent wrinkles.
The fabric and the weave
dictate the proper technique.
Hmm. Too much lavender.
Not enough Courvoisier.
Mm. Too much starch.
This shirt could get up
and walk out on its own.
And, oh. I can't believe my eyes.
That looks like scorching.
I expected more from you.
Put your left hand on
the board and do not move it.
Remember the lesson.
I said folds, not creases. Ugh.
Not enough starch.
Smells like a whorehouse.
- Four.
- No, no
Tomorrow marks the end
of our journey together
and the final test.
Whoever excels will be given a great honor,
and the others,
Any one of you could win,
so I suggest you all get
a good night's sleep.
What are we gonna do?
I don't want to die.
Looks like your little magic
and sweet talk didn't do shit.
I say we jump them.
When they come in,
we make weapons and we hit them.
They can't shoot us all.
Probably should have done
that when there were more of us.
It's better than just lying down.
Like you said, we got to do something.
I really thought I'd gotten to him.
Little shit.
If I get picked as his mother,
first chance I get,
I'm gonna strangle him.
I feel sorry for him.
I think Van Wirt likes you.
He just ironed my hand.
You burned one of his shirts.
He could've put you in the well
just for that.
I think Van Wirt knows his kid likes you.
By the way, how'd you make that truck move?
What are you doing?
- Are you crazy?
- I know that Van Wirt
wants this bitch to win,
and I am not gonna die tomorrow.
None of us have to die tomorrow, Aurelia.
Mm-hmm? How's that?
Just gonna magic us out of here?
No, we're going to walk out the front door.
This estate runs ten miles
in every direction.
We'd never get clear
before they hunt us down.
Well, they won't know.
At least not at first.
Enough to give us a head start.
What head start?
Well, he loves dolls,
so we're gonna give him dolls.
This is the final
test, and the most important.
Today we find out who you really are.
Knowing which fork to use
doesn't matter if your soul is in jeopardy.
That is some voodoo shit.
I think there's a road over there.
Past the swamp. Come on.
Wait. We-we can't go yet.
My son will only keep company
with the saved.
What the fuck is wrong with you, Coby? Huh?
We can't leave
that little boy here with that man.
We have to go get him and we
have to bring him with us.
"The carpenter stretcheth out his rule,
he marketh it out with a line."
When we get clear,
we can tell the police everything.
They'll take the kid out of here.
We don't know what Van Wirt
would do when he finds out we're gone.
He could disappear and he could take Otis.
I'm not leaving him here.
"He fitteth it with planes
and he marketh it out with the compass."
I hope you're ready to be a mama.
I'm-I'm sorry, I'm too scared.
"And he maketh
it after the figure of a man",
"according to the beauty of a man,
so that it may remain in the house."
Which of the Old Testament
prophets said that?
Wait. Wait for me!
- Otis.
- Who are you?
- I'm Coby.
- What are you doing here?
I'm running away
and I want you to leave with me.
- Run?
- Your daddy isn't well.
Otis, he's done some things
that are very wrong.
- Where are the other dolls?
- They ran away, too.
But I-I couldn't leave without you.
Come with me.
I'm sorry.
Wait for me!
Don't leave me.
Thank you.
Too slow and too fucking loud.
Congratulations, Miss Dellum.
You're going to make
a wonderful mother for my son.
You know, not a lot happens on my estate
that I don't know about.
The thing with these vintage dolls
is that their porcelain heads
make wonderful sound conductors.
Now, I wasn't able to hear everything
about your plans, but I heard enough.
And so, I decided that your escape attempt
would be the final test,
and only you passed.
Only you cared enough about
my son to come back for him,
at the risk of your own life.
I'm, I'm deeply moved, Miss Dellum.
What are you going to do to me?
I'm gonna make you perfect.
Come, come.
It may be a tad unsettling,
but it should be painless.
I designed it that way, just for you.
Please, please.
Please! Please help!
This is lovely, isn't it, Otis?
I wish she talked more.
Well, we need to give her some time.
She's had quite the stressful adjustment.
I know that it was a bit awkward
the first week,
but I can see that you're
getting the hang of it.
I'm very proud of you, Coby.
But we must look for a better name.
Coby Rae doesn't seem quite right
for such an elegant and refined
article like yourself.
I must give that some thought.
Nothing like afternoon tea
to still the soul.
Soul? You shouldn't use words
you don't understand, Van Wirt.
Who are you? How did you get into my house?
Eustace. Eustace!
He can't move.
And neither can you.
You don't need to be afraid of us.
Oh, my God.
Oh, my God.
We should have been here sooner,
but your spells were very weak.
We could barely detect them.
Did you say "spells"?
You're one of us.
Don't leave me.
I still promise I'll be your mommy,
but you can never come back here.
You know, it's probably safer
if you don't use your first name here.
Do you have a middle name?
Spalding it is.
And if anyone asks, you've
been here your entire life,
just like your father before you
- and his father before
- Him.
I'm Myrtle.
I'm Spalding.
It's nice to have someone here my own age.
I plan to run this place someday.
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