American Horror Story Season 10: Why TB Karen Killed Mickey

In a heartbreaking turn of events during American Horror Story season 10 episode 5, TB Karen surprisingly kills Mickey before she herself dies. While most of the characters in AHS: Red Tide were arrogant or transformed by the black pills, TB Karen (Sarah Paulson) and Mickey (Macaulay Culkin) were the kind, pure-hearted standouts in the season. Unfortunately, this changed when Mickey succumbed to taking the black pills to enhance his writing talents, even when he was previously hesitant and Karen implored him not to.

In Red Tide’s “Gaslight,” Mickey continues to convince Karen to take the black pills even though she is ardently against them. Mickey and Karen eventually devise to steal the Gardners’ baby so as to keep him safe from being eaten by someone like Belle, which leads the friends into a harrowing predicament. American Horror Story's Pale People attempt to attack Karen, and Mickey won’t help her unless she takes the black pill that will immediately warn them off. Not wanting to die, she reluctantly does. The two Red Tide characters later go to the beach where she will paint her own Starry Night, though Mickey says she needs to feed beforehand. She agrees, then bites Mickey’s neck and sucks his blood, ultimately killing him.

Related: AHS Season 10: Why Mickey Originally Didn’t Take The Black Pills

It was particularly surprising that Karen killed Mickey considering he was the only person in American Horror Story’s Provincetown that Karen actually respected and loved. Everyone else had become a monstrous version of themselves from the black pill or, like Belle, made her commit heinous acts to ensure her safety. When Mickey took the black pill, it was hard for Karen because she knew that whether he became a successful writer or turned into a Pale Person, he would be a monster. To make it worse, Mickey, the only person Karen trusted, forced her into a situation where she had to take the pill or die. The anger of Mickey completely changing who he was contributed to Karen’s decision to finally kill her own best friend.

Karen tragically killing Mickey was her way of being selfless and breaking the curse of the black pill. Mickey had already become arrogant from his newfound success and was using it to manipulate Karen into going against her principles and taking it herself. Knowing that Mickey now had no reservations about killing innocent people in order to feed his inspiration, Karen purposefully succumbed to her only need to feed by killing Mickey in the usual vampiric way and saving countless future victims. She loved Mickey, and the only way she could get the “curse” of The Chemist's black pill out of him and stop it from harming others was to kill him.

After having just killed Mickey, something that would eventually haunt her, she ends up taking her own life, which allows her to also break the pill’s curse in herself. As two of the best-crafted characters in recent American Horror Story history, it was a tragic end to both Karen and Mickey, though their demise was bittersweet in that Karen was able to move on without actually becoming a victim to the pill and have peace knowing Mickey couldn’t harm anyone else. Although Sarah Paulson revealed she likely won’t return for another season of American Horror Story, she and Macaulay Culkin stole the show for Red Tide, making it one of the best seasons of the series yet through their characters.

Next: American Horror Story Season 10: The True Story That Inspired Red Tide

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