The final episode of American Horror Stories, season 3 is also another familiar piece of media that tries hard to be unique but eventually fails. For a first-time viewing of the highly popular series, only episode 3 really stood out to me in this Huluween special. It seems all the scary stories have already been told all too many times, so there’s nothing new to explore. Organ is an episode that is uninspiring and quite unentertaining too. It uses elements of old intimate thrillers, although it is by itself a psychological thriller (a loosely associated term, for sure). Scenes look ripped out of films of the 90s, and at the same time, the story is just okay. While it’s trying to construct some kind of feminist narrative, it just ends up being an episode about a guy who hates women and faces consequences.
What Happens In The Episode?
Toby is a wannabe finance-bro who has just been divorced. He has been taking advantage of his newfound “freedom” and uses an app called Pincher (a Tinder equivalent) to “have fun” with as many women as he can. So much so that he’s distracted at work, swiping, missing meetings, etc. Toby has been seeing a therapist recommended by his colleague Sasha. Toby doesn’t seem to care about anything the shrink says, and he even dismisses her for being a woman and not understanding his feelings as an American man. According to Toby’s misogynistic mind, America is being fed nonsense through feminist propaganda, making men feel ashamed for their own desires (yeah, man, it’s all about you). Toby’s boss Lee calls him into her office to tell him that his performance report is below par and that if he continues to be this way, he will get fired next time around. Ironically, Toby pretends to care but ends up using the app even then.
Toby matches with a woman named Natessa (red flag number 1). He thinks she looks like a doll and even shows her to Sasha, who clearly points out that there’s something shady about her. Toby is only looking to have fun, though, so he shows up to their date. Natessa asks if Toby works out or takes care of his health well; he thinks she’s checking about his “mate-ability” status, but she has other plans. Back at home, just when things are about to get steamy, Natessa stabs Toby with a shot. When he wakes up, he’s missing a kidney but also has a new organ inserted in its place. Toby tells his doctor to do whatever he can to get it out, but the doctor says whoever did the surgery made sure it would be nearly impossible to remove. On top of it all, a new, unrecognizable organ is growing inside of him (yes, we thought baby too). Toby has a clear memory of the tattoo on Natessa’s back and uses that as a reverse search. The tattoo symbolizes Cybele, the goddess of fertility, who happens to be known as the mother of all gods too.
The police come to his workplace, and Lee gets all annoyed about having to deal with all of Toby’s stuff. She tells him to take a break for 3 months since he’s experienced this trauma. After some searching with the help of a friend (and monetary resources), Toby finds out that a group called Magna Mater is in the business of organ auctioning. He makes himself a fake identity and pays his way into being a guest at their next auction. At the auction (which looks like it was a deleted scene from Eyes Wide Shut), Toby learns that clients purchase “American” organs and sell them in other countries for much higher prices. Nobody actually wants any of it for themselves. Finally, he spots Natessa and leads her out of the room with a gun at her back. She tells him she has no idea what that organ inside of him is, but it’s something that makes him much more worthy than he was before. Once it’s removed, he will be back to being worthless. She talks about his arrogance and how men like him deserve to be treated this way. Fidgeting with his gun and trying to get Natessa to tell him the no-nonsense truth about the organ, he shoots her. Not knowing what to do, he leaves her bleeding body in the dumpster for dead.
Toby tells Sasha everything that has happened, and she suggests he go to the police with the exact order of events he’s just told her. He deflects and asks her if she would move to Brazil with him (or escape, rather). Toby tries to kiss Sasha, and she pushes him away, saying she’ll take care of everything for him by calling the police. The thing is, Sasha has been making it clear to Toby that she has feelings for him, but he never cared, and now that he needs her, he thinks he’s in love with her.
Where Does Toby Get Taken?
At the end of Organ, Toby tries to meet with the police, taking them to where the auction happened. They tell him that there was a book signing that took place there and nothing of the caliber he’s talking about. Instead, they tell him that they found a dead woman in a dumpster nearby who matched the description of the person Toby said assaulted him for his kidney. When Toby’s in the back of the police car, he realizes he’s not being taken to the police station but in a different direction. This makes him realize they were always in on it. Finally, he is in a lab, tied down to a chair. When he looks up, it’s Lee and Sasha in front of him. Toby’s so stupid that he thinks they’ve come to save him. Lee and her company have acquired Magna Mater Projects. A one-of-a-kind facility that creates new organs for people to have the time of their lives for much longer than they can naturally.
“Designer Organs” will be the next big thing (David Cronenberg would surely like that), so Lee and Magna Mater Projects are figuring things out in the beta stage. The organ is called Glans Naftali, and it produces new hormones to “enhance the human experience”. According to Lee, within the next 30 years, designer organs harvested from people like Toby will be the “next big thing,” and most people (you know, the rich ones, of course) will have more designer organs than natural organs. Ultimately, Toby’s Glans Naftali is sold off to a very old woman for over 2 million dollars. Ironically, this organ is a boon for sexual pleasure, specifically for women. Toby was always arrogant and full of himself, so he chose the youngest and most beautiful women to sleep around with and then ignore. Now, the organ that was taken out of him is going to give pleasure to an old (probably ugly in Toby’s eyes) woman.
In the last scene of the episode, we see Sasha and Lee share a look, signaling that their plan worked. Toby was always an expendable resource for Lee. Earlier, we learned that his mother worked there too, and Lee provided his family with everything they had, meaning Toby owed everything to her. Instead of being grateful, he ended up taking advantage of it all, and this is the result. Toby always tried to victimize himself, which ultimately led him to become a real victim. Additionally, the treatment Toby gets after the organ swap is somewhat like that of a pregnant woman, and considering the organ was growing inside of him, it’s a very similar analogy. Another nod to his ill-treatment of women.