Hello and welcome back! As always, thanks for joining me and commenting. I’d be way to scared to do this alone…
I know I say this every time, but what a great episode of “American Horror Story” this week, right? We jump right into the year 1994, which is the same time frame as last week’s flashback. We see the back of Constance’s head, staring into the blazing fireplace and the buzz of a phone off the hook. A man picks up the phone and places it back on the hook. Wait! That’s not just any man. That is our favorite firebug, Larry. Hmmmm…I didn’t recognize him at first. Different haircut? Switched to contacts? Oh! Not horribly disfigured from a fire! Gosh, I’m so not observant. This obviously happened before he set his family on fire.
So much more handsome, but not nearly as charismatic. A trade-off, really.
Unscathed and smooth-skinned Larry asks Constance, “What did they say?”. She tells him they are going to charge her with criminal child neglect. And they are going to take “him” away and place him in an institution. Now, we know she’s not talking about Tate, because he got shot down by the SWAT team in his bedroom. So, who is the mystery “him”? Well, Beauregard, her son. A crying Constance is telling Larry he knows how he is. He won’t do well without her. Constance tells Larry if he has any feelings for her at all, then he needs to do “it”. Oooh…Larry’s had a thing for Constance! He seems hesitant to help her at first, but love prevails.
He goes upstairs to the attic and as he calls out “Beau”, we hear grunting and chains and the same red ball Addy was playing with in the basement comes rolling on the floor. Yeah, we all know this won’t bode well for Beau. We get our first glimpse of Beau and he looks a lot like Sloth from “The Goonies”.
From a delightful 80′s Spielberg adventure-comedy
From a horrifying TV show whose writers are probably on acid
Larry puts Beau to bed and says, “A chance to dream, for in that sleep of death what dreams may come.” To be or not to be? Wow—my Mom always did that whole bedbug thing and that was enough to freak me out. Larry mutters, “God help me” and smothers the crap out of Beau.
So, this was after the school massacre and Constance was afraid that if she were charged as some kind of part in Tate’s actions, the police would take Beau and put him away. So, our Constance kid count is up to three. All dead at this point. Who and where is child number 4? All of this is horribly sad for “poor” Constance.
But think of what she’s saved on Christmas gifts.
After the opening credits, we join Vivien and Ben waiting in an examination room for the doctor to return and give them news on the baby. The doctor correctly assesses they are both very anxious about the baby. Vivien asks the doctor if she saw anything unusual, you know…like hooves or anything? Ben thinks she’s a little nuts with that question, but the doctor says it is perfectly normal for a mother to think she might be spawning the devil. Well, it would certainly make baby showers more fun. Think of the different games you could play. “Pin the tail on the Red Dragon”. And “Find the 666 on the bottom of your cake plate”. The doctor goes on to say she doesn’t want Viv to get all worked up, but guess what? It is twins and they are both perfectly healthy. Ben and Viv do not look thrilled.
And guess whose Christmas just got more expensive? Stocking hats aren’t cheap.
Back home, Marcy is giving a tour during the Open House to a young, handsome man. They go on being homophobic together about the decoration. Marcy takes the man into the kitchen where Moira is setting out wine and cookies. Mental note: go to more Open Houses. The man sees young version Moira and immediately asks if she comes with the house. Vivien interrupts to say, “Well, yeah, she kind of does.” Wow, way to pimp it, Viv. Vivien introduces herself to Mr. Escandarian (or something close to that) and Marcy tells her he was in the neighborhood looking at a different (gaudy) house two blocks up when this house caught his eye. He seems like an interested buyer but when he asks why this much bigger house is going for so much less, but that place had a pool. Marcy pipes up and says there is plenty of place here for a pool. Of course, the gazebo would have to come out. Moira thinks that is a fine idea. Proving you all were right (and I was unsurprisingly wrong)—It is definitely Moira who is buried under that gazebo. She flirts shamelessly with the buyer, right under the eyes of Vivien and Marcy and quite honestly, I’d love to see this scene again from their viewpoint, seeing Old Moira talking about “going deep” and being all provocative. Makes me giggle, really.
She’s got her one good eye on you, young fella
Vivien interrupts and offers to show him the rest of the house, but before he goes anywhere, he wants to know why it is so cheap. Marcy jumps in with the whole “Mrs. Harmon is a motivated seller” stuff but Vivien cuts her off and tells the guy the truth about the house. Well, the truth as she knows it. She tells him the previous owners died here violently and they weren’t the only ones. Have another cookie! He is still serious about the place and leaves his card. After he leaves, Marcy jumps all over Vivien about spouting out the violent background in the house and hey, she might as well include a free ticket for the murder tour. Vivien actually thinks the murder tour would be a good idea. She wants to know all the details! They hear a noise and it is present day Larry! As he turns around to face Vivien and Marcy, you can see Vivien’s immediate shock at his face, but her recovery is impressive. Marcy starts berating him immediately. Wow–how did such a non-people person get into real estate? He starts in on how if he knew how much he’d be shunned, he never would have run back into that burning school bus to save those children. That has little effect on our cold-hearted Marcy.
He’s probably gay and it was a busload of children he was going to turn gay.
Yeah, Marcy is a real delight. Oh and she’s an armed delight! She pulls a gun on Larry when he takes some of the Chardonnay. Thank goodness it wasn’t Merlot! Vivien freaks out and Marcy says there are a lot of minority men in this city who would like nothing more than to ravage her on top of the counter. HA! She just out-Constanced Constance! Luckily, Vivien is from this century and she tells her to put the gun down. Larry joins in and says he’ll mention that gun in his lawsuit on behalf of the ADA. Everyone calms down and Vivien offers to show Larry the house. He really loves the fireplace in the library, but he’s not crazy about the wallpaper. He thinks a mural would look better. Of course, Marcy agrees with him and calls the wallpaper Vivien put up “cheap”. HAHA–she is absolutely soulless. Larry assures the women he is very interested in the house.
Quite easily the scariest thing in the house.
Now we get a lovely little scene with Vivien in her bedroom, doing a little dancing with herself. If all starts out innocent enough (unless you’re a staunch Catholic) with hot visions of Officer Friendly security guy, turning into hot visions of Ben and then well…if you’re not really into this kind of thing…
Can you return a vibrator if you lost the receipt?
On to Violet, who is cutting herself. Tate interrupts her and yells, “Stop it!”. He kisses the blood of her arm and he tells her he doesn’t mutilate himself anymore. He wants her to promise she’ll quit cutting herself. And she promises. Now they’re in her room, which has an inexplicable bowl of plastic baby heads on her desk. We GET it, writers. Well…I think. Violet is telling Tate about her parents forcing her to sit with them at a family dinner. She is complaining about it and Tate interrupts her, while reading a book, with “Do you believe in ghosts?” Violet wants to know why he’s asking her. She has a great poker face this scene. It is like she is mentally going over everything in her head about Constance wanting Violet’s help in getting Tate to move on. Tate tells her he doesn’t know if he believes in ghosts, but there has to be someplace better. He thinks a place that is better for a girl like her. But what about him? He tells Violet that ever since she got there, this IS the better place.
This would be so incredibly romantic if you didn’t smell like gunpowder and horror.
Hey, it is incredibly awkward family meal time! Once again, we have yet to see a scene at this table that has gone well. And this one is no exception. Violet’s not eating anything because she’s pretty stuffed on bullshit! I’m going to try that on Thanksgiving and see how that goes over. Does anyone know how to get crescent roll marks out of a forehead? Ben wants to talk to her about whatever is making her upset. She replies she is pretty disgusted with both of them and doesn’t want to live with either after they get a divorce. In fact, they both make her want to kill herself. Okay, who wants dessert? Violet reminds Ben and Viv they dragged her out there to save the family. Then they break up and want to sell the house, when she likes the house. They do all this without talking to her first. But no, she’s not going to off herself, so they can go back to their policy of benign neglect and she leaves the room.
Well, I think that went well.
After she leaves, Vivien says maybe they should re-think selling the house. Ben does not agree and says they need to sell this house. When did this happen? He used to be so determined to keep the house. Is it all because of Hayden? Since he doesn’t believe she is a ghost, doesn’t he think she’ll just follow him wherever he goes? Vivien tells him there are two perspective buyers–one who is a Persian (do people really say “Persian” anymore?) and the other: Brown hair, hazel eyes, about 5’9″…oh and severely burned on half of his face.
Did you say hazel eyes???
Vivien misses Ben’s reaction and continues on about how she and Marcy are going on the Murder House Tour the next day because she wants all the details of everything that has happened in the house. She wants to give any potential buyer full disclosure, but Ben argues she only needs to legally mention the past three years. He starts getting angry and pushing the fact they need to get rid of this house and pick up the pieces for their daughter’s sake. Vivien fights back and says it must be easy for him to justify his own bad behavior. His last comment: “Do not screw up selling this house.” And just like that, another decent meal is wasted. That’s why God invented drive-thru’s.
In the next scene, young Moira answers the door to the handsome Persian potential buyer and after telling him Mrs. Harmon isn’t home, offers to show him whatever he wants to see. She takes him to Violet’s bedroom and says the room currently belongs to a sad, depressed teen-ager, but with a little paint, some new window treatments and a sex swing, the room has real potential. She tells him it has always been a fantasy to swim naked in a heated pool and then proceeds to perform oral sex on him, after he warns her to watch the teeth.
The very definition of motivated seller.
We see old Moira coming out of the bedroom wiping her mouth and then Ben shows up and sees young Moira (picking her teeth—yikes) and the guy come out of Violet’s bedroom. At first, he is upset, but Moira explains the man is the potential buyer. Ben immediately changes his tone and he becomes very friendly. Moira asks what he is doing here and he tells her he is just there to pick up some clothes. She leaves and Ben starts talking about how great the house is. The non-Persian (he is Armenian) immediately tells him he doesn’t really care about the house itself. He’s going to bring in bulldozers and tear the thing down, turning it into condos or apartments or something.
Now Larry is coming home to his sad little apartment and guess who is there to pay a visit? Why it is Ben! Ben is sitting in a chair and says, “Hello, Larry” and lights up a cigarette. Naturally, Larry is startled and Ben admits that it is a little unnerving to have someone just show up in your house. Ben asks Larry why he came to his house and bothered his wife. Larry responds that it was an Open House and he is an interested buyer. Ben calls BS on that and asks him what he’s going to buy the house with? When Larry says you don’t know anything about him, Ben disagrees. He tells him he is a liar. He never went to prison for murdering his family. He checked up on him. He was in a burn ward for two years and then was institutionalized. They were all lies, just like Larry didn’t kill Hayden. Oh, okay…so Ben really does think she’s alive. Larry says they weren’t all lies. His family did die in that house. Larry tells Ben he knows that house has power. Larry offers him some Nescafe and admits that he was trying to scare him out of the house, but it was for his own good. Ben’s not buying it. Larry loses his temper and screams, “I need that house!” It is the only place he has any hope to be happy again. With her.
Flashback time! We see an unburned Larry sitting at the dining table of doom and a woman, who is apparently his wife, comes in and sits down by him. He doesn’t mess around and comes right out and tells her he has fallen in love with somebody else. She doesn’t look incredibly shocked by this news. She asks how it is and he tells her “Constance, from next door.” He wants her to take their girls and go back to Ohio. She starts crying, “You’re going to move her into MY house!”. This sets Larry off, saying it was her house before. After his admission that he can’t live without her, spurned wife leaves the room.
Hey, wait. Did you take my lighter?
We then see Larry upstairs and there is smoke coming from under the a bedroom door. His wife Lorraine set herself and their daughters on fire. So he didn’t directly kill them, but his actions pushed her to do it. So, is the reason Larry’s dead wife and kids aren’t also haunting the house? Or going back to what the medium said last episode, are they examples of ghosts who have been able to move on or don’t feel any vengeance about their untimely demise? I would think Lorraine would be a perfect example of someone who would want to stir some crap up in that house. Especially if Constance is always walking around there. We go back to the present where Larry was apparently telling Ben that entire story and Ben is incredulous that this whole thing is about Constance. Ben tells him they have a potential buyer. A guy with real money who is going to buy it and tear the thing down. Larry gets upset and tells him he can’t let him do that. Ben can and Ben will. And the cherry on this whole thing? Ben is going to contact the police and get a restraining order against Larry. Wow, that’s harsh.
Lesson learned. Never offer instant coffee.
It is time for the Murder House tour with Vivien and Marcy! The tour starts for us at the site of the condo where Nicole Simpson Brown and Ron Goldman were murdered. I guess I didn’t realize at the time they lived on Bundy Drive. Creepy! As the rest of the tourists are snapping pictures like crazy, Marcy tells Vivien how happy she is she came on this tour. It gives her hope she can sell their murder house. No matter how bad the crime, someone will always be willing to buy it. The next stop is Vivien’s house. The tour guide stops for a minute to acknowledge the celebrity on board their bus. The actual current owner of Murder House! He reminds Vivien she left rather abruptly last time.
Which is why we now collect money up front and have leather instead of cloth seats.
She explains she now wants to hear the rest of the story. Luckily for us, Mr. Exposition Tour Guide jumps right back into it. We flashback to Nora in the 1920′s. She is the wife of Dr. Montgomery, the abortion doctor. When we last checked in with our not-s0-happy couple, they had the remains of their kidnapped child delivered to their doorstep by the police. So basically, if the police show up at your door and they are not part of a SWAT team or they don’t have body parts to deliver, you are way ahead of the pack. Nora is furiously polishing her silverware and dryly remarks to no one that her mother should see her now. Polishing her own silver. Her husband comes in the room in his doctor’s garb looking seriously unhinged. Not that he was exactly Mr. Balanced before all this. She looks at him and mutters, “I wish I were a widow.” She tells him she is wearing the black dress for their son Thaddeus’ funeral. He tells her there won’t be a funeral and the baby is upstairs waiting for her.
Yeah, this will go well.
Nora is traumatized enough she actually wants to believe even a bit of this story. And so she goes upstairs to see the child. As music swells and she slowly saunters down the hallway, she opens the nursery door and seriously?
I just got over the whole bathtub thing and now I’m going to be scared of sheets.
She pulls open the sheet and the bed is vacant. Thankfully (?) we don’t get to see the creature that hisses behind her, but we’ve seen enough of Doc’s experiments in the basement to know that this would be a child that not even a mother could love. The doctor is downstairs sniffing gas when she returns, her chest all scratched up and bloody. She tells him he is a genius and wonders how he did it. He replies that he used a beating heart from one of their girls. And…wow. I just assumed staple gun and crazy glue, so he’s got me there. He asks her where the baby was. She said she tried to nurse him but it wasn’t milk he was craving.
If by “nursing” you meant acting out “Beauty and The Breast”
She tells him this is happening to them because of what they’ve done to all those girls and their babies. She says that thing upstairs is not human and she tried to kill it. He gets upset by this, but she embraces him with warm understanding and a revolver. Kablooey! She shoots him in the head and then eats the gun herself. Well, that explains the bed hair from the scene where she visited the house, now doesn’t it? Back on the tour bus, the driver tells the group this was just the first of a long list of bloody murders behind these walls. Marcy whispers to Vivien, “Let’s not put that in the listing.” HA!
Back at the doctor’s office, Vivien is complaining that every time she leaves the house she gets sick. Vitamins are just not helping. Viv wants to take more tests. She ‘s so worried about the babies. Now we’re back in the house where Constance lets herself into the basement and she’s talking aloud about receiving the flowers. That smell like the gas station where he got them. And who is he? Well, Larry naturally. She starts ripping on him immediately. She didn’t love him like he loved her. He comes into the light and she tells him she’s seen him skulking around. She taunts him with “Have you seen my new beau? So handsome.” She wants him to get closer, so she can see his shame. I guess he didn’t feel the same way about her back when his wife killed herself and his girls. His whole point to meeting with her is to tell her not only are they selling the house, they are going to tear it down. And to top it off, when that happens, what will happen to all those who currently “reside” there? That is enough to shake up Constance, for sure.
With all the people who “reside” here, that’s a boatload of moving vans…
Violet hears a noise coming from the attic and because she is absolutely not afraid of anything at all that would send normal people to drink or worse, she decides to investigate. When she goes up there, the red ball comes rolling at her. We already knew dead Beau still lived in the house because Addy played with him, but now he’s revealing himself to Violet. Ghosts really dig her. When she sees poor deformed Beau, she screams and Tate is right behind her. He yells at his brother to stop scaring her and to go away! He hugs Violet and tells her it is okay. She tells him she’s freaking out. Tate explains that Beau is a ghost and the house is filled with people who have been killed there. All she has to do is tell them to go away. She tells him he really knows this house. He replies that he spends a lot of time exploring, after his sessions. He has so successfully blocked everything that has happened to him. This entire scene reminds us how tempting it might be for Violet to tell Tate the truth about himself and her struggle between doing that for Tate’s sake or keeping him just like he is for her sake. That’s what I get out of it anyway.
He takes her to a secret hiding place in the attic and shows her all this great stuff he found. A jar filled liquid and nasty stuff, some gay porn and a box full of silverware. In another box, she finds a bunch of old pictures of the original owners, the Montgomery’s. Upstairs in her bedroom, she’s looking at each picture and she sees a glimpse of someone walking behind her and then BAM! The young dead nurse, Maria is standing right in front of her saying, “Look what he did to me.”
I know nurses work long shifts, but this is ridiculous!
Violet remembers what Tate told her and she tells the ghost to go away. And go away she does..
Constance is at the Armenian’s house and is just about to steal one of his knick-knacks when he comes down the stairs. She tries her normal Constance charm and he just cuts her off at the knees, assuming she’s there to get bought out of her own home. In fact, he can tear her house down and put up a carport. That’s just rude, Armenian. Constance collects herself and assertively asks for a drink. She tries to take control of the conversation again by talking about how he’s not from there, but it wasn’t that long ago when really no one was from there. He admits he was born in Armenia, but came to California when he was two. She tries to talk about how California used to be a place where people would escape and in the way only Constance can put it, “To have land not even a red Indian had set foot on.” He is a developer and is not interested in the past—he builds the future. Oh, Constance is not happy. She tells him he can’t tear down that house, but if she wants it so bad, she can buy it. Obviously, it is outside her means. He could have been a lot more polite about this whole exchange, because quite honestly, Constance was on her best behavior. He puts a nail in his own coffin when he gets downright belligerent when he tells her he only has three uses for women: sex, money or making him sandwiches. He tells Constance that if she’s not going to head into the kitchen to make him a sandwich, then she needs to leave. Bad move, my friend.
He obviously doesn’t know Constance is the actual “hell” in “Hell Hath No Fury”.
Back at the house, Tate is in session with Ben and he’s thanking Ben for all the help he has given him. But my have the tables turned! As the session ends, Ben asks Tate for a favor. He wants Tate to keep his eyes on Violet. Ben is worried about her and he wants Tate to tell him if Violet gets into real trouble. Yep, this is the same kid he viciously kicked out of his house for just talking to Violet. Tate eats it all up and tells Ben he wishes he was his father. His whole life would have turned out differently.
Moira is cleaning the kitchen counter when Constance lets herself in the house. Moira asks her what she wants. Constance wants to talk to Tate. Moira tells her the session with Ben is over but she’s sure the little psycho is still skulking about. HA! Constance points to the counter and tells her she missed a spot. Moira tells her so did she–she’s been crying. And good. HA! Constance leaves and starts calling out for Tate and he appears behind her and says, “What do you want?” He treats her with obvious hostility and pulls away from her touch. It is amazing how different Tate looks when he’s around her. Around Violet and Ben, he’s a handsome kid, but around her, he seems like a troubled shell of a once handsome kid.
Kids with serious Mommy issues rarely win “Best Looking” in high school.
He tells her Ben is helping him get to the root of the problem. He hates his mother. Man, Constance is having a rough day. She moves on to the attic to visit with her other son, Beau. She hugs him and tells him she has come to say good-bye. She tells him they are going to take him and everything else away. They hug and she cries. Constance goes back downstairs to confront Moira. She tells her that although Moira thinks selling the house to the Armenian is a good idea, she is wrong. Moira wants the guy to put in the pool. In doing so, he’ll have to dig out the gazebo and find her bones. When he does, Moira will make sure Constance is arrested. When Constance tells her what the real plan is and that Moira will be sealed in for good, at first Moira doesn’t believe her. Constance convinces her that is exactly what he is planning. And yes, they have to work together to prevent it. Otherwise, Constance will lose her whole family. Oh, how long we’ve waited for these two to re-join forces again.
Screw Charlie’s Angels. I want these two.
So our Armenian comes over to the house again, this time for a planned tryst with young Moira. She tells him she wants to take him to the basement. The darkness makes her want to do bad things. He drops his pants and she drops to her knees. It all starts out okay, but then crunch! Oh yeah, she bites right into it. Maybe even off. HAHAHAHA. I know if I were a guy, I would not have laughed my head off at this scene, but sorry. It was just funny to me. As he screams in horrified pain, Larry’s behind him with a plastic bag to put over his head and finish the deed.
California–always number one in recycling.
Constance enters the basement and tells Moira that finally after all these years, she’s come to appreciate her talents. Sidenote:
I have never been happier to see blood (and not something else) on the side of old Moira’s mouth.
Larry tells her the man isn’t quite dead yet. Constance tells him to get the guy out of there. She doesn’t want him dying in this house and staying there.
We end this week up in Violet’s room where she is once again looking at the old photographs of the house and the Montgomerys. Vivien comes in for some Mom/Daughter time. They have a good talk about what the future holds for all of them and then Violet wants to know how she knew she was in love with Ben. Vivien tells her he was so handsome and that when you fall in love, everything goes a little crazy and you realize you’ll do anything you can for that person. Violet likes this talk and then shows her the pictures she was looking at when Vivien first came in the room. Vivien is very interested and then…whoa—she recognizes Nora as the young woman who came to look at the house and was freaked out about the modern kitchen. And the end!
Wow—what an episode! Sorry once again about the length of the recap, but I just didn’t want to leave anything out. So…Will Vivien start believing in ghosts? Where is Constance’s 4th kid?
Thanks again for joining me!
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