Drive deftly subverts a well-known urban legend in an episode that proves once and for all that the new season of American Horror Stories is a whole level above the first.
This recap of American Horror Stories Season 2 Episode 3 “Drive” contains spoilers.
One thing can be said for sure about this season American Horror Stories – it’s much better than the first one. This probably won’t sell, to be honest, since the first season was mostly rubbish. The first three episodes here – “Dollhouse,” “Aura,” and now “Drive” – weren’t just better, they were significantly better, picking up on Ryan Murphy’s and Brad Falchuk’s parent series in interesting ways and twisting classic horror into modern forms.
American Horror Stories Season 2 Episode 3 Summary
So it’s fitting that “Drive” aims to subvert a fairly well-known urban legend. The traditional version, actually narrated by a character named Piper (Billie Bodega) at one point during the episode, goes like this: A woman is driving home alone late at night to find a truck behind her, getting dangerously close his headlights flash. Terrified, the woman runs away, seemingly to safety, only to be eventually killed by the man in the back seat of her car that the truck driver tried to warn her about.
In this retelling, the lone driver is Marci (Bella Thorne), but she is far from the victim. Initially, “Drive” is intentionally mysterious about where it goes. Marci is considered a very promiscuous party animal in an open marriage to an extremely accommodating man named Chaz (Anthony De La Torre), and she seems to tempt fate every night by picking up random men at nightclubs and having sex with them in the back of her SUV . With news of a serial killer in the news and Chaz so concerned that he follows Marci everywhere, there are many different ways this story could go.
Fortunately, none of them work. It takes a while to get there, but eventually we realize that the killer in the urban legend is Marci himself. The wannabe Good Samaritan, who shone his lights on her, tried to warn her about a man in the back seat, who turned out to be the youngest of Marci’s victims; the arrogant guy she picked up at the bar earlier in the episode.
The Good Samaritan Paul (Nico Greetham) becomes her next victim, largely because he’s seen enough to jeopardize her killing spree. But it’s not until Marci takes him to the dungeon of her wine cellar that we begin to feel the story coming together. Earlier, when Marci spoke to Chaz about her endless hunger that she found impossible to satisfy, we thought she was referring to her sex drive. But she was really referring to her desire to torture and kill the beautiful and popular, something Chaz helps her with by disposing of the bodies but hasn’t been able to take part himself yet. Marci’s problems stem from the brutal bullying she experienced as a child because of a birthmark on her face, which was relentlessly picked on by the likes of Paul and all of her previous victims – those whose flaws and imperfections were all internal and not on display to the world became.
So in a way, Drive is a body positivity metaphor, but it’s also kind of a warped love story about beauty that’s in the eye of the beholder and true love, acceptance of another despite – and maybe even through – what they perceive as their faults. It might not be entirely romantic unless you’re really into handsome guys with machetes to their heads, but what can I say – I’ve seen unhealthier romances.
You can stream American Horror Stories Season 2 Episode 3 “Drive” on Hulu.
https://readysteadycut.com/2022/08/04/american-horror-stories-season-2-episode-3-recap-drive/ American Horror Stories season 2, episode 3 recap