American Horror Stories (2021) s03e01 Episode Script



Round about the cauldron go,
in the poison'd entrails throw.
Toad, under cold stone
Days and nights hast 31.
- Swelter'd venom, sleeping got
boil thou first in the charmed pot.
Fillet of fenny snake
In the cauldron
- boil and bake
[ANNA REXHIA] What is fear?
Fear is like this person
who's always there
Hey. Hey.
Watching you,
telling you what to do.
[DIRECTOR] This is not part of the play!
And when fear commands,
most of us just blindly obey.
But what if we said no?
Said, "Not today, fear"?
"I'm just gonna do my thing anyway."
Just like with this winged eyeliner.
I know I suck at it.
I'm literally shaking with fear.
But you know what, girls?
I'm a-going anyway. [LAUGHS]
Life's a drag when you're a fag ♪
So instead ♪
Be dead. [CHUCKLES]
Hey, Shelby, do you still play
with Pink Bear?
Ew. God, Dad. No.
Well, I'm making a donation box.
Place ain't as big as it looked
in the pictures.
Which means it's greener
pastures for you, Pink Bear.
Just 'cause I don't play with it
doesn't mean you can just throw it away.
What do you think?
Home sweet home?
Is that Mom's?
"Teacher of the Year."
She was, uh [CHUCKLES]
She was really proud of that.
I know you didn't want to leave home,
move out here, Shelby, but
I know, I know.
"Blank slate," blah blah blah.
Blah blah blah, just
You know, hear me out.
You remember what Dr. Bow
said about cancer.
How it doesn't just affect
one person, it
It affects the whole family.
The whole community.
[ECHOING] But here
what happened to Mom, her getting sick
Doesn't have to define you.
You get to be whoever you want to be.
So, I saw two pizza joints
on that main drag.
What do you say we order from both
and see which one's best? Huh?
I don't want to hear any of that
"I'm not hungry" business.
My swell suit might smell sweet ♪
My swell suit might smell sweet ♪
- Individually.
- River.
My swell suit might smell sweet ♪
Very good.
My swell suit might smell sweet ♪
[GIRL] She looks like a fucking grandma.
- Those glasses.
My swell suit might smell sweet ♪
Take it, Shelby!
My swell swoot ♪
Might smell like mothballs. ♪
- Uh-uh! No!
Come on. You're coming out
in the hallway right now.
Come into my office after class.
[GIRL] Psycho!
[NEVINS] Ms. Brubaker?
My office.
I'm sorry I threw the
Oh, it's okay.
Sometimes I want to throw things, too.
I overreacted.
I just want to check in.
Did you know I knew your mom?
We used to go to
a music teachers' conference
in Omaha together.
Sharon Brubaker was one special lady.
And I know if you're her daughter,
you must be pretty special, too.
I'm not.
You know, losing someone
you love, it's hard.
It can bring
adults to their knees.
- Some people never recover.
But you're here.
Just from that fact alone, I know
you are brave.
What kind was it?
Oh. Awful.
So sudden. Fast.
Not that it would be better if it
You know,
I lost someone very special to me, too.
We tried and tried, my wife and I,
for a long time,
but everyone said it was impossible.
She couldn't get pregnant.
And then
God gave us a miracle.
Little Madeline.
She was ours, for nine months.
But she was born deceased.
Do something! Don't let my baby die!
The cord had gotten wrapped around her neck
on the way out.
you and I are both brave.
[GIRL] Hey.
We weren't laughing at you,
just so you know, in class.
Oh, okay.
We were just wondering
do you have one of those diseases
that makes you go through menopause
super early or something?
- No.
- Why do you have gray hair, then?
It's not gray, it's dishwater blonde.
- "Dishwater." I cannot.
Well, you might just want to dye it.
Or something.
It's kind of giving
lesbian backpacker vibes.
No offense.
Love the granny glasses.
[ANNA REXHIA] And you're
watching another episode
of The Beastly Beat.
The show where you watch me do my makeup
It's starting to look like a real home.
I was thinking about, uh,
how good you were last year in that, uh
that Pirates of Penzance.
Think you might want to try out
for a play again this year?
You know, I found a box
of your mom's office stuff.
There's a laptop, some pictures
You don't think
the Pirate King might
be able to convince you?
- Arr!
- God, Dad, stop!
Jesus. Shelby.
What's going on?
- Huh?
- God, I didn't see.
Why aren't you wearing your glasses?
Is it
Is something going on at school?
Dad, just shut up!
You don't understand anything!
[ANNA REXHIA] Hello, ghouls.
C'est moi, Anna Rexhia.
I want to tell you a story
about facing your fears.
You know, for the longest time,
"anorexia" was a word I wouldn't
even let myself think.
It was a label that I knew
deep down applied to me.
And that was terrifying.
But life is too short
to let a word have
that kind of power over you.
So I made it my fucking name.
Oh, and because of that, I have had
so much love and support
from other people who've gone
through the same shit.
It's the same reason
I like to dress up like this.
To laugh in the face of fear.
What do we think?
Dead baby got back.
Baby got backed over. [LAUGHS]
Okay, whatever.
Life's a drag when you're a fag ♪
So instead ♪
Be dead. [CHUCKLES]
Like, subscribe, follow, all the things.

Hi, new friend.
What are you doing?
It's impossible to do nothing, silly.
Um, I guess I'm sitting on my bed.
I was eating dinner with my dad,
but he was being
- so annoying.
- Oh, that sucks.
My dad is literally the most
annoying person in the world.
Uh, no, mine is.
They're like first and second place
Most Annoying Dad.
[LAUGHS] Like, they like,
go to competitions, probably.
Like, they study each other's
moves on video in slow motion
analyzing how to be the most annoying.
[LAUGHS] You're really funny.
Oh, my God, no.
So random.
I like your, uh, screen name, "BFF4EVA."
What's your real name?
Uh, real names suck.
Hey, I-I have an idea.
You want to give each other nicknames?
Like what?
Like I'll call you Shellybelly.
And you can just call me Bestie.
It'll be like a secret just between us.
Who's that little guy?
Oh, um
nothing, just this dumb thing
from when I was a kid.
I don't even know why it's here.
he's so cute.
What's his name?
Pink Bear. [CHUCKLES]
He used to be pink.
Now, he's more like a gray.
I think he might be a mouse, actually.
Well, uh, I love him.
Whatever he is.
Cool poster.
I love Pippin.
Wait, you know Pippin?
Of course.
Oh, my God, I'm literally
obsessed with that soundtrack.
- I know, me, too.
- Like, we did it last summer at camp.
Stop, I-I'm literally dying right now.
And I played Catherine.
But I can actually sing
the Leading Player better.

Show me, show me, show me.
Wait, no, not yet.
- I'm scared.
- Okay, one
- No, not yet. [LAUGHS]
- Two
Don't make me get to three.
I look like a freak.
you look amazing.
Why didn't you tell me
you were so good at makeup?
You have to wear that to school.
No. Oh, my God, no way.
Why not?
Because everyone would say
I look crazy, I
I would be way too scared.
Come on, do something.
Even just the eye makeup.
It's like what Anna Rexhia says.
"When you feel scared of something,
that's the thing you should do."
If you face your fears,
awesome things will happen.

There's a land beyond the river ♪
That we call the sweet forever ♪
And we only reach the shore
by faith's decree ♪
One by one we'll gain the portals ♪
There to dwell with the immortals ♪
When they ring the golden
bells for you and me ♪
- You and me. ♪
Oh, auditions, auditions.
Don't forget. Our fall play,
we will be treading
the hallowed ground of Macbeth.
Or "The Scottish Play,"
for those of you who believe in curses.
Ms. Brubaker?
you'd make a splendid Scot, m'lady.
Will we see thee upon the audition stage?
Um, I don't know. [CHUCKLES]
Hey, Shelby. What,
are you wearing makeup now
because I said you looked like a lesbian?
Are you, like, eating a fiber bar now
because you're constipated, Shit Belly?
Oh, my God, it was so epic.
I was like, "Are you eating a fiber bar
because you're constipated or something?"
Like, literally out of a movie.
And then I called her a shit belly.
[LAUGHS] Shel, I told you,
it's the makeup.
You did something that scared you,
and now you're like a full-on badass.
No, not even. [LAUGHS]
I did something kind of crazy today, too.
You know how my dad can be so annoying?
I just have to mess with him a little bit.
What did you do?
- I took his wallet.
Not, like, stole it, I just hid it
and then he was searching
around for it all morning.
It was really funny.
Oh, my God, you're hilarious.
You should do it, too.
Come on, our dads are so cringe.
We have to teach them a lesson.
I don't know
My dad's at work,
he probably has his wallet.
Well, something else then.
Shellbell, are you afraid?
You are. Oh, my God.
What's our rule?
Face your fears.
[LAUGHS] Okay.
[GUY] Hey, Shel.
You haven't seen Mom's mug?
"Teacher of the Year"?
Did you leave it in the car?
Uh, I don't think so.
I got to run.
- You good here?
- Mm-hmm.
Enjoy your day off.
Happy, uh, Happy Columbus Day.
It's Indigenous Peoples' Day.
[GUY] Huh?
Oh, yeah, happy, uh
- happy that.
- Mm-hmm.
- Keep an eye out for that cup?
- Yeah.
[BESTIE] Is your dad
a teacher or something?
No, he's a regional manager
at a post office.
He just likes it 'cause it's big.
Oh, my God, I totally have a dare for you.
Break it.
He'd kill me.
special to him.
Geez. Your dad cares
more about a stupid cup
than he does about you.
That sucks, Shell, I'm sorry.
Do it.
It'll feel good.
Trust me.
Do it.
What did I tell you?
If you were my daughter,
I'd care more about you
than anything else in the world.
It means a lot to me
that you trust me, Shel.
I trust you, too.
How gross, I'm getting all mushy-gushy.
Can I ask you something?
Of course.
Why do you, um?
Why do I look funny?
No, no, that's not what I mean.
I I mean
It's okay.
I've actually never
told anyone this before.
But I'll tell you because
I trust you, Shellybelly.
I'm actually adopted.
I've never met my real mom, but
apparently she was, like,
addicted to drugs and stuff and
she was, like, doing them,
you know, like
while she was pregnant with me.
So, anyway, it just messed with
a lot of my physical development and stuff.
I have to do school at home and
I mostly just stay in bed.
I'm so sorry, Bestie.
- No, don't cry.
Hey, it's okay.
- I get breakfast in bed every day.
- Not bad, huh?
- No.
I just sometimes wish I could
do normal things, like you.
Stop it.
Whatever you want to do,
just tell me and I'll do it.
I'll be like your avatar.
How did I get a friend as good as you?
How did I get a friend as good as you?
since I told you
my deepest, darkest secret
you have to do one little thing for me.
Something I've always wanted to try.
Shelby! Shelby! [LAUGHING]
You've been around
for such a long time now ♪
Oh, maybe I could leave you
but I don't know how ♪
And why should I be lonely every night ♪
When I can be with you ♪
Oh yes, you make it right ♪
And I don't listen to the guys ♪
Who say that you're bad for me ♪
And I should turn you away ♪
'Cause they don't know about us ♪
And they've never ♪
- Heard of love ♪
That was crazy.
That was the craziest thing I've ever done.
- Yeah.
They say we're crazy
but I just don't care ♪
Leave me the fuck alone!
And if they keep on talking,
still they get nowhere ♪
So I don't ♪
I don't know, should I audition?
[BESTIE] No way, no.
You're too good for that.
You're really an artist.
We have that in common.
They don't know about us ♪
And they never heard of love ♪
And why should it matter ♪
I really would've loved to have
had you in this one, Shelby.
Maybe next time.
[SCOFFS] Yeah, maybe
there'll be a grandmother part.
You won't even need a costume.
Uh, we need a doctor.
This is not part of the play.
There's no need
for living in the past ♪
[BESTIE ON PHONE] Run, Shell, run!
[BESTIE] Oh, Shellbell, you're amazing.
I want to see what's happening.
I can't go back.
They'll know it was me.
[BESTIE] What's our rule?
Face your fear.
how do you feel?
You literally are.
[BESTIE] What a goober.
[SHELBY] He's such a weirdo.
Shelby, I'm so glad I met you.
You make me feel like a real girl.
You make me brave.
I never did anything scary
before I met you.
Best friends forever.
I'd do anything for you.
I love you, Shelby.
I love you, too.
It's almost Halloween.
I've always wanted to dress up,
but I've never been able to.
Bestie, I'll dress up for you.
Oh, my God, really?
Oh, my God, okay.
I have the best idea.

[LAUGHING] Oh-oh, wow!
Mrs. Grim Reaper. I love it, Shelby.
Not the grim reaper, silly.
Hey, everybody, take a
take a personal day today. Just work on
whatever you need to work on, okay?
I will forgive you for this, Shelby.
One-one day, I will.
[GUY] What the hell were you thinking?
Where does this even come from?
- It was a joke.
- A joke? A joke?!
I don't understand
how this is a funny joke!
- Fucking let go of me!
- I mean, come on!
I don't know who you are anymore!
- Let go!
- All right, no more.
No more going out, no more sneaking out.
- Stop! What are you doing?
- Nothing!
I don't know.
- But until I do, you can stay down there.
[SHELBY] I hate you!
- I hate you.
Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!
- I wish you were fucking dead!
I hate you!
Give me my phone!

[BESTIE] Shelby,
you have to get out of there.
Yeah, but how?
Well, I mean
he'd have to let you out
if something happened.
Like what?
Like, I don't know, if you broke
a bone or something.
He'd have to take you to hospital.
You just want me to
That's crazy.
Are you afraid?
Um, of breaking a bone? Yes.
Shell, what's our rule?
But you promised
you would do anything for me.
That was a lie?
No, of course I would
I would break every bone in my body
if it meant I could be free.
But I can't.
My only freedom is you.
And if you're just gonna give up
and stay trapped there
well, then you're a coward
and you're a bad friend.
Bestie, don't say that.
I'm sorry, I'll
I'll do anything.
I thought you were brave, Shell.
I thought you were my friend.
I guess I was wrong.
- Goodbye.
- No, wait!
Wait! I'm sorry, uh
I'll do it. I can do it.
[BESTIE] You're just scared.
But I could help you.
I can make you brave.
You just have to do
exactly what I tell you.
Like all the other times.
Listen to me.
Grab the hammer.
I have it.
It's okay to be scared.
It's good that you're scared,
because when you face your fears,
doors open up for you.
The whole world literally opens up for you.
I want to, I want to face my fears, okay?
I can, I can do it.
[GUY] Shelby!
Who are you talking to?
[BESTIE] Your dad is coming.
Do it now.

[BESTIE] Put your arm in the vice.
What's going on, Shelby? Are you okay?
- [BESTIE] That's it, keep turning.
- [GUY] Shelby?
[BESTIE] Turn it tighter.
[BESTIE] Pick up the hammer.
- Don't be scared.
Be brave for me!
I don't want to,
I don't want to, I'm scared!
[BESTIE] Do it now!
Do it, Shelby, be brave.
Be brave for me! I've seen it before.
Do it! Do it now!
[COUNSELOR] You've experienced a trauma.
But coming here, dealing with it?
That's very brave.

I'll give you a ride in a sec.
Um, Dad?
- Hmm?
- I just
wanted to give you this.
And, um
I'm really, really sorry.
This is a good start.

You need something, sweetheart?
Um, is Mr. Nevins here?
No, he's out for the semester.
Okay, thank you.
[BESTIE] Shellybelly.
Best friend.
[RIVER] Can I sign it?
Your cast, can I, can I sign it?
Um, sure.
First I think we actually have
to be friends.
It's, like, the law of signing casts.
I'm-I'm Riv from choir.
River, professionally, and to my mom.
I'm Shelby.
Just Shelby.
swear I have, like, a Sharpie or something.
Oh, cool, you know Anna Rexhia?
Oh, yeah, the freaky drag queen?
- Dude, she's awesome.
- I know!
- She's so weird, but also cool.
- Right?
I'm obsessed with anything,
like, drag or horror, you know?
So together it's, like, kaboom!
You know? Like, mind-blowing.
[LAUGHS] Cool, yeah.
Oh, there you are.
There we are.
Cool, yeah.
- Okay.
- Yeah.
Bye-bye, friend.
- You saw?
- What you did?
Opening night of Macbeth?
I did, I did. I-I saw it all.
Please don't tell anyone.
- They'll expel me.
- Lady, chill out.
Thought it was badass.
I mean, Chaz and those guys
have been making my life hell
since elementary school.
I mean, making fun of the disabled kid
it's, like, almost too cliché, right?
But, alas, you know, the popular D-bag
is a simple and highly
predictable organism, so
I didn't know you had a disability.
Look, it's called ectopia cord is.
Sounds like a fucking Harry Potter spell.
But, basically, I was born with my heart
on the outside of my body.
Had, like, four open-heart
surgeries before I was six.
But then they shoved
my heart back inside of my body
and, for some reason, put my asshole
on the outside.
Woo-hoo, right?
How did you know it was me?
I don't know. I've been
watching you this year.
I'm not, like, stalking you
or anything, Shelby.
You know, just looking out.
You know, in case things went too far.
So you're not blackmailing me?
You're not gonna make me
[SHUDDERS] do anything?
Why would I make you do
something you don't want to do?
That's not how friendship works.
The text you called me "best friend."
Yeah, 'cause I signed your cast and all?
I mean, it was a joke, and I'm
sorry if it freaked you out.
- it's okay.
- 'Kay.
Um, what are you doing right now?
the lady at the gas station
she's for sure a tweaker but
she gives me free cigarettes
if I play the-the cripple card.
How 'bout fruit snacks?
Oh, yeah.
She'll for sure hook it up.
- Yeah?
- Mm-hmm.
Come on.
[RIVER] All good?
- Yeah.
- All right.
- Sorry.
- Nah, it's cool.
[ANNA REXHIA] I've talked a lot about fear.
How, in order to be brave,
we have to do what scares us.
Now, I'm not talking
about driving 100 miles an hour
with a blindfold on.
- No, no, no.
I'm talking about the scary things
that, deep down, we know are right.
[STUDENTS] Show you a rhyme ♪
Cats fit on the windowsill ♪
- Like standing up for yourself.
- Children fit in the snow ♪
Being vulnerable.
Why do I feel I don't fit in ♪
- Anywhere I go? ♪
- Saying you're sorry.
Rivers belong where they can ramble ♪
They can ramble ♪
Eagles belong where they can fly ♪
They can fly ♪
I've got to be
where my spirit can run free ♪
Got to find my corner ♪
Of the sky ♪
- Of the sky ♪
- Of the sky ♪
Of the sky! ♪
Because, you see,
when you face those kinds of fears,
good things
and good people
come into your life.
Life's a drag ♪
When you're a fag ♪
- So, instead ♪
[GAGS] Be dead. ♪
[NEVINS] I like to have these
end-of-year check-ins just to
see where we are, where
we've been, where we're going.
she's one of my good eggs.
- I'm gonna miss her a lot.
She's smart,
she's talented, she's kind,
she's got A's across the board
- Uh, one "B."
- Oh.
- In P.E.
Oh, I count that as a badge of honor.
And it did not stop you
from getting into Oberlin.
Well, uh, I-I think we're
still considering, you know, uh,
maybe getting some generals
out of the way somewhere
closer to Dad?
Your freshman year
classes are gonna be the same
- pretty much wherever you go.
- Dad.
I want to go to Oberlin.
And it's not just about the classes.
It's where River's going.
And he's just
my favorite person in the world.
I don't want to lose that.
You are all heart.
Just like your mom.
Come here.
- It's the best way to be.
- Mmm.
- Guess what.
- What?
I told him.
- No frickin' way.
- Yeah.
Dude, Shelby, that's awesome.
Are you serious?
He said it's all okay.
We can live together at Oberlin
as long as I get good financial aid.
Which you will.
- 'Cause you're amazing.
Who's this? Like, your
secret boyfriend or something?
- What is this?
- No. Just this
loser girl I used to be friends with.
She's a freak. [CHUCKLES]
She's, like, confined to her bed
or something.
Spends all day online.
Feel kind of bad for her.
But she's toxic.
She's probably, like,
some fat incel dude in a mask.
- Jerking his micro penis
or something.
She's, like, a legit psychopath.
What the hell?
[SHELBY] I know.
I blocked her on my phone, but, somehow,
her messages keep coming through
to my computer.
Oh, no.
She's got to go.
What are you doing?
One moment, please.
Boop. Beep.
Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas.
Wait. Are you serious?
She's actually gone from my life forever?
I mean, she can still stare
at you through your window
and watch you sleep at night.
But, yeah, she can no longer
contact you via airwaves.
I didn't know it was possible
to be more in love with you
than I already am, but
guess I was wrong.
- Yeah? Come here.
What are you doing tonight?
I have a crazy, amazing,
awesome, incredible idea.
Where are we?
We're almost there.
Don't want to ruin the surprise.
- All right?
- Okay.
[CHUCKLES] All right.
- What is this place?
Come on. Get out.
Riv, I-I don't like this.
- I have a weird feeling.
- Oh, come on.
It's okay. It's okay.
I really want to show you this, okay?
Okay, but hold me. I'm a scaredy-cat.
- Aw, I'm right here, okay?
- Hmm?
I'm right here.

What is this place?
Does someone live here?
I don't know.
- What was that?

What are we doing here?
- What did you do? Why are we here?
- Calm down. Calm down.
Calm down. Calm down. Shelby, calm down.
- It's okay, it's okay. Hey.
It's not. There's things
I haven't told you.
Shelby, calm down.
Be brave, all right? Hey! Shelby!
Hello, friend.
I did it.
I did everything you ever asked me to do.
I brought her to you.
It's-it's over.
You're the only friend I'll ever need.
And now we can be together forever.
Best friend.

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