American Horror Stories (2021) s02e04 Episode Script


Her breathing has become intermittent.
We're approaching the end.
Isn't there something
you can give her for the pain?
I ran out of opium weeks ago.
I'm just not equipped to deal
with this much death.
Daddy, will she be buried in a ditch
like the others?
No, Edward.
Those graves are for the poor.
She'll be buried in the cemetery.
Next to your sisters.
Why have our
friends not come to visit this time?
Because all of our friends are dead.
You may enter.
Welcome to the House of Lazarus.
Under God's eye,
may you enter this space.
Would you like a cup of tea?
As you will.
My name is Celeste.
May I know your name?
I don't have time for theatrics.
Well, then.
Let's get to it.
What the hell is that?
It's what you came here for.
Are you ready for the feast?
Father who art in heaven.
There is no want to worry.
You are a menace to society.
I'm not contagious.
My wounds have the power to heal.
That's why you're here, isn't it?
Men seek out my services
so that this plague
will pass over their homes.
They say I have been anointed
by Saint Lazarus.
One lick
on my pustules
will ward off
smallpox, indefinitely.
It's warm
and sweet.
Every man who has tasted me
has gone on to live
a healthy life.
I promise you.
Come forth.
Close your eyes.
Open your mouth.
Now imagine heaven
on your tongue.
You are an occultist.
So, you only wanted sex, then?
Shame on you,
Pastor Walter.
That is not my name.
I am not he.
I know you are the new minister. That church
- is a house of lies.
- Blasphemous witch!
If you speak a word of this to anyone,
I will see to it that you are hanged.
Rachel Brown was a woman of God.
An obedient wife.
Devoted mother.
A follower
of Christ.
Because of Eve's original sin,
sickness and suffering is a part of life.
People of Christ.
Sin does not come without
You're going to talk about sin?
Wretched woman.
This man is a false prophet.
Leave this church and save yourselves.
Begone from this holy space, idolatress.
He beat me for trying
to heal him.
I visited her,
but only to pray for her soul.
She is a disease-spreading prostitute.
Wicked woman.
Don't pretend like you don't know who I am.
I am the Daughter
of Lazarus.
Today, God
has called upon me
to warn you that this this man,
this preacher,
will ring in a new era of death
and destruction, if we let him.
She is no daughter of Lazarus.
She is a daughter
of Satan himself.
She is to blame for our ruin.
She is the source
- of God's wrath.
- We must purge
this sorceress from our community,
for our survival.
String her up
and send her to the gallows!
- Whore!
- Hang her now!
Defend us in battle,
Prince of the Heavenly Host.
Be our protection
against the wickedness
And snares of the devil.
Sit down.
I will not have my wife's
funeral marred with a hanging.
We haven't known
each other for terribly long, but I
consider you a friend, Thomas.
Thank you, Pastor.
As I do you.
So, I may speak freely then,
and you won't take any offense?
I would hope so,
and that you would grant me
- the same grace.
- Good.
Don't ever challenge
my authority like that again.
This congregation needs a strong leader,
and I won't have you weakening me.
I'm sorry, Pastor. I
Why would you defend a prostitute?
I had to think of my son.
It was his mother's funeral.
He's already lost two sisters.
Yes, of course.
I'm sorry, Thomas.
The grief of this community
weighs so heavily on me.
At times, the losses becomes a blur.
Do you really believe that we may be cursed?
Only time will tell.
In the meantime, we must pray
God will grant us peace in our suffering.
What if prayer isn't enough?
Is there something you're withholding?
You believe that, sometimes,
God requires us
to take a leap of faith, yes?
Yes, of course.
I've learned of a new ritual,
one that possibly wards off the plague.
A ritual?
In a town not far from here, a
a man of faith received a message from God
compelling him to believe
that smallpox was caused
by the dead rising at night
to feast on the bodies of the living.
So, the townspeople dug up the graves
of those who had passed from the disease,
and they found that their bodies
had barely decomposed,
even months after their burials.
They removed the hearts,
to prevent the possessed bodies
from continuing their nightly
haunts, and for good measure,
they burned them.
Th-This sounds like a fable,
dreamt up by the desperate and lonely.
But the disease stopped spreading.
Soon, the town recovered
and life went back to normal.
Are you suggesting that
we practice this savagery?
I'm asking your permission
to exhume my wife's heart
to save my son.
I can't suffer any more loss.
We could do it tonight
before she's buried in the morning.
We will be
driven out of town as heretics.
Just this one corpse, as an experiment.
No one has to know.
Should we say a prayer?
Father, we know that Rachel
is in heaven with you,
and that her body is but an empty shell.
We ask that you
protect us from
the evil forces that would use this shell
for the devil's work, so that we may
serve you with healthy bodies
and sound minds.
- Amen.
- Amen.
I can't do it.
This ritual
does it cure those
who are already infected?
Burning it won't.
But, apparently, eating it might.
We're not eating my wife's heart.
- Absolutely not.
- Think of your son.
This isn't the way Mama used to make it.
It's Daddy's new recipe. Eat up.
It looks disgusting.
It'll keep us healthy.
You don't want to get sick like
your mother and sisters, do you?
We have to stay strong
and keep living, for them.
Heavenly Father
Sorry to bother you
at this hour, Mr. Browne.
Kammi's udders were stopped up
till half past four.
I barely finished milking her
before the sun went down.
Oh Your wife's funeral.
I'm so sorry.
- I completely forgot.
- It's all right.
You're a busy woman.
Perhaps my absence was a good thing.
We all know how Pastor Walter
feels about me.
Is it true that you dance with
the devil under the full moon?
Edward, stop it.
People will always gossip
about an unmarried woman.
If only you would come to church sometime.
Perhaps you could meet someone special.
Thomas, I love
my life just the way it is: happy,
free, and unmarried.
Besides, who needs a man when you have
the devil as your dance partner?
I'll let you get back to your evening.
My condolences again.
Good night, Edward.
Good night, Delilah.
Pastor Walter says
never to trust a milkmaid.
Nothing is so unclean
as a woman who lives with beasts.
Edward, be kind to those
less fortunate than us.
Now, have some more stew.
Hi, Kammi.
I'm so sorry.
I didn't mean to intrude.
I was just leaving.
Oh, you're hurt.
It's no it's nothing.
It's not nothing. You need a doctor.
Let me take you to town.
No, no, no. It's not safe for me there.
- Who did this to you?
- I should
I should go while it's still dark.
No, don't be foolish.
My name is Delilah.
You're safe here with me.
Thank you, Delilah.
I'm Celeste.
My apologies for the lumpy mattress.
I lost everything when my house collapsed.
The founders of this town should have never
settled on shallow groundwater.
Kammi's a nice housemate, though.
My cow.
It's short for Kamadhenu,
the Hindu bovine goddess.
Speak again?
Some cultures believe that
animals should be revered
and that to kill them is an act of murder.
How do you know these things?
Milkmaid has plenty of time to read.
I was a milkmaid once, but, uh,
- I only ever read the Bible.
- No, well,
the Bible's fine, if you like fiction.
You should try this.
This one's better.
Don't feign outrage on my account.
There are no men to judge us here.
That'll fix her right up.
You could've warned me.
Whoever did this to you
should be held accountable.
I can think of any number of men
who might've done it.
Shall I go door to door,
searching for the culprit?
Please, I don't want any trouble.
He's a pow-powerful man.
A man of the cloth?
Pastor Walter.
He threat-threatened to hang me.
If I don't leave tonight, he'll find me
- and kill me.
- Nonsense.
You will stay here with me
until you are completely healed,
till there isn't a scratch left
on your beautiful face.
That old fool won't come looking
around here.
Old milkmaids terrify clergymen,
didn't you know that?
Because milkmaids are strong
and don't need men.
If you're not a milkmaid
anymore, what is it you do?
- Are you married?
- Uh
N-No. I
You really are quite beautiful.
I'm quite tired.
May I sleep?
Of course.
It's all right if you can't cry.
You know, when Faith died,
I couldn't stop crying.
It felt like the pain would never end.
Then, when Annabelle died,
tears didn't come as easily,
not because I loved her any less,
because I was used to living with loss.
And then when your mother passed
the grief transformed
into something else entirely.
A heaviness that doesn't allow for tears.
if we don't cry, then
how will they know that we loved them?
They know you love them.
They don't need your tears
to prove anything.
What beautiful flowers, Edward.
Did you pick them yourself?
The Lord restoreth all wounds
to those who believe.
Even wounds
of the heart.
How's your health, Thomas?
Blessed. And yours?
I've never felt so alive.
It's a pleasure to see you, Walter.
We've got to be on our way.
You haven't been to church in some time.
Not since the night of Rachel's funeral.
Did he not feast on our special communion?
Edward, go home.
Yes, I fed my son his mother's heart,
and I haven't been able
to sleep at night since.
It was a horrible mistake that we made,
brought on by the hysteria of grief.
I am sorry I convinced you to commit such
- a horrendous act.
- Oh, I am not sorry at all.
Ever since that night, I have been
spared from the slightest sniffle.
Not a blemish has appeared on my body.
The sick and the suffering, they
claw at me, desperate for my prayers,
and yet, I remain well.
The ritual worked.
There is nothing godly about cannibalism.
I've gotten quite good at the explantation.
Poor Edgar Brukner
died all alone,
with no one to watch over his corpse.
The Lord has rewarded us for taking
a leap of faith,
just as you said he would.
But people are going to start questioning
why we are immune to this plague.
We have got to tell the people the truth.
That God has revealed to us the cure.
Oh, Celeste.
You have smallpox.
No, I don't.
Your corset's going to make it worse.
I need to wear it to keep my wounds alive.
God's anger is agitating them
because they've gone too long
- without being milked.
- We have to isolate you.
I'm not sick, I promise you.
In fact,
I'm a healer.
I've been anointed
by Saint Lazarus.
You must be burning up. Please,
let me get your fever down.
Please, let me explain. You have been
so kind to me, watching over me
all this time. I owe it to you
to tell you the truth about who I really am.
These boils appeared on my body
during my time as a milkmaid,
but I never once got sick.
I hid them by wearing this corset.
No one ever knew about them
until I fell in love
with a wonderful man.
I soon became pregnant
and grew too round
to keep my secret from him.
When he finally saw the boils,
he couldn't look at me again
let alone touch me.
I gave birth.
He left me
and took our child with him.
I was cast out from society.
With no other way to survive
I sold my sex.
I tried to keep my wounds hidden
from my patrons,
but then I was surprised to learn
how easily men turn their fears
into a fetish.
They lined up,
one after the other to tempt their fate.
But then, something miraculous happened.
I began to notice
that the men who feasted upon me
never got sick,
even though everyone around them
seemed to fade away and die.
God had chosen me
to heal the sick and suffering.
Just as Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead
to remind the world
that love can save us from anything,
I knew
that God had put me on this earth to heal
people with love.
But love doesn't heal, Celeste.
Only science can do that.
But science is a gift from God,
and God is love.
These things don't matter now.
If these men were
truly protected from smallpox
because of your boils,
we have to find out what's inside them
that's preventing people from getting sick,
so we can isolate it and reproduce it.
Celeste, we can save so many people.
Divinity cannot be reproduced.
It can only be appreciated.
I admire your ability to believe,
but I have to get to the bottom of this.
Recently, I learned of a nearby village.
Now, I hesitate to tell you
the desperate ordeal
this community went through.
It is not for the faint of heart.
Delirious with grief,
the townspeople began to believe
that smallpox was caused
by the dead
rising at night to feast on the living.
So, they exhumed the bodies and found
that the corpses had not even begun
to decompose.
To prevent the possessed bodies
from their evil plight,
the townspeople removed their hearts
and ate them.
I know.
I know it is shocking,
but the town began to recover.
Now, I was horrified
when I learned of this-this
this barbarism.
It seems so
- And, yet
- It worked.
- Indeed.
- Give me a shovel,
and I'll be the first to dig.
- Anything to put an end to our suffering.
- No, no, no.
We must not let our grief
hasten our actions.
What have we got to lose?
Why are you so set on proving
that I'm not a healer?
Why can't
can't I be special to you?
You are special to me.
Just because there's a
logical answer to your healing
doesn't mean you haven't helped people.
But why is it so hard for you
to believe in God?
God is simply the unknown.
In time, scientists will uncover
the truth of everything.
Where will God be then?
Have you ever considered your faith
is just a distraction
from your wounded heart?
How dare you.
You're the one who's constantly
escaping into your books.
What are you running from?
My love for you, perhaps?
You can't deny a bond has grown between us.
Uh, I
I I I love you, too, Delilah,
but as I love all children of God.
If you are truly a healer,
then I want to be healed.
Let me taste the divinity for myself.
Have you ever been infected?
I had a mild outbreak of boils
when I was young,
but I recovered swiftly.
Your life was spared.
Why do you think that is?
I eat well.
I live in nature.
I isolate from the gravely ill.
You deliver Kammi's milk
to sick people every day.
Of course, but
you've been blessed, just like me.
How do you explain that some people get sick
while others don't?
Surely God has a hand in deciding our fate.
If that's true, then God is cruel.
Damn it. Are Kammi's udders bleeding again?
Yes, but nothing too bad.
This batch is no good.
A little blood won't spoil the milk.
This milk could spread cowpox.
That's ridiculous.
Scientists now believe
there are small creatures,
invisible to the naked eye,
that can spread illness
through bodily fluids.
That didn't seem to worry you
a few moments ago.
Delilah, I told you,
no one has ever gotten sick
from sleeping with me.
Scientists are wrong all the time.
But what if they're right about this?
Kammi's boils look exactly
like the ones on your body,
and the same as mine did,
all those years ago.
They're perfectly round.
Human smallpox doesn't look like this.
They have a more chaotic pattern,
like fungus growth.
What if you and I got cowpox
from being milkmaids?
We're not cows.
If cowpox spread through
their infected udders,
that means anyone that came
in contact with our boils
- was also infected with cowpox.
- You're not listening to me.
Every man who came to me didn't get sick.
- I healed them.
- That's exactly it.
Cowpox doesn't make humans sick
in the same way that smallpox does.
If these men were protected in
the way that you say they were,
it's quite possible that cowpox
provides an immunity to smallpox.
This contaminated milk
could be the key.
You stay here and keep milking Kammi
for as long as her udders are bleeding.
I'm going to deliver these bottles,
and then I'll come back for more.
we're going to save
the world from smallpox.
What say you of this, Lazarus?
Was I never a healer?
Were you ever healed,
or were you faking it, too?
We unite here to overcome the forces of evil
that have plagued our community
for far too long.
Some may be hesitant
to uncover the bodies of their loved ones,
but I assure you,
we will bury them properly
after every last vestige of evil
has been removed.
They will know peace.
In the name of Christ,
let the healing begin!
Thomas? Edward? Open the door.
I have a very urgent delivery.
Father's not home.
It seems like no one is home.
Where is everyone?
At the cemetery.
Pastor Walter found the cure for smallpox.
- What?
- Something about digging up the dead
- to stop them from killing us.
- You're playing a joke on me.
Father left here an hour ago
with a shovel in his hand.
That's the most absurd thing
I have ever heard.
Are you sure you heard right?
I need you to listen to me.
This is no ordinary milk.
This milk will save you from getting sick.
I don't care if I get sick. I'm strong.
But you will spread the disease to others
who might not be strong.
If they are weak, then they should die.
Pastor Walter says it's the natural order.
He's gonna save us all from this plague.
We don't need your milk.
Drink the goddamn milk.
Everyone, stop, please.
Stop this madness.
You're going to make yourselves sick.
I have the real cure,
- and it's in this milk.
- Delilah.
Delilah, you shouldn't be here.
What is happening? This is insanity.
Something evil is going on.
The bodies aren't decomposing.
It's not evil. This town was
built on shallow groundwater.
The salt in the soil,
it slows the decomposition process.
What is this hysterical
woman going on about?
Walter, she may have a point.
How many times have I told you?
Never trust a milkmaid.
The Bible teaches us that the devil
employs unclean spirits to do his bidding.
You must stop this barbarity.
The real antidote to smallpox
is in this milk.
I have enough for several families,
and Celeste is preparing more as we speak.
Soon, we'll be able
to inoculate the whole town.
- Is she okay?
- She's wonderful.
Oh, there is nothing wonderful
about that filthy whore.
I know what you did to her.
She's the reason you're healthy.
The cure in her boils is the same cure
that's in this milk.
Every healthy man that's alive in this town
is alive because of Celeste.
We are alive because God
spares the righteous.
Walter, you must listen to me.
You must stop this madness.
I will.
If only Adam had struck Eve
we'd still be in the Garden of Eden.
Come, Thomas.
Let's take care of
the other one.
Celeste is harmless, Walter.
Please, leave her alone.
Why are you defending these godless women?
If we allow them to trample over us,
the world will unravel
and society itself will collapse.
Because Celeste is Edward's real mother.
I made the worst mistake
in my life when I left her.
It's because of me that
she turned to a life of sin.
Do I even know the man
that stands before me?
Your weakness is repulsive.
Now, move.
Love, are you
finished with the deliveries already?
The new batch is ready.
Where is Delilah?
What did you do?
Blessed are they that
follow my commandments,
but cursed are the sorcerers,
the whores, and the idolaters.
- They shall be put to death.
- Please.
I've only ever wanted to help
this community, as you claim to do.
You think I believe my own lies?
There is no such thing as selflessness.
Humility is but a mask we wear
to hide our hunger for power.
We perceive the world as we create it.
I didn't realize whores could be so
Don't come any closer.
I've thought a lot about that
afternoon we spent together.
I have to admit,
it wasn't so bad
once I got over the smell
of your rotting flesh.
Maybe we can have one more go around
before I do you in once and for all.
No! No!
Let me go!
Are you all right?
Yes. Thank God you're here.
Thomas, you're bleeding terribly.
Don't touch me,
you wicked woman.
Thomas, please, let me help you.
I trusted you
as a friend.
Everyone warned me
of your unnatural ways.
What are you saying?
Did you do this to her?
Did she corrupt you to lust
as unnaturally as she does?
She didn't do anything
but help me when I needed it most.
For all these years, I blamed myself.
I thought I condemned you to a life
of degradation and sin.
But now I see the seed of wickedness
was within you all along.
You ruin everything you touch.
You've destroyed my life,
and now you're tearing this town apart.
Thomas, your wounds make you speak in haste.
You don't know what you're saying.
Oh, dear God.
Poor Edward.
There is something
terribly wrong with that boy.
I've tried.
I've tried everything I can
to get him on the right path.
I even married a woman
who mothered him as her own son,
but deep down,
he never loved her.
He's never loved a single soul.
Because he inherited
this wickedness from you.
If I know one thing about
Celeste, it's that she's capable
of nothing but love.
Your love is a curse that must be stopped.
No, no
You monster!
You must take
the discovery of our inoculation
and deliver it
No, don't talk like this.
I can't live without you, Delilah. Please
You must tell everyone
about our cure.
No, no, no, no
Who are you?
I'm your real mother.
My name is Celeste.
You're going to have to come with me.
Where is my father?
I'm very sorry.
Your father is dead.
Everybody dies.
Do you see that cow outside?
Her name is Kammi,
and she's the key to
a healthy future for us all.
I'm going to make sure
that you don't get sick.
Please, Edward.
I need you to trust me.
Everything's going to be all right, son.
Soon, we'll spread the good news
of a brighter future.
We'll save so many lives together.
There's no more need to be afraid.
Are you a milkmaid?
I suppose I am once again, aren't I?
Nothing is so unclean as
a woman who lives with beasts.
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