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Review

TV Recap: 'American Horror Story' Episode 104 - 'Halloween, Pt. 1'

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American Horror Story Episode 104

"Halloween, pt. 1"

Original Airdate: 26 October 2011

In This Episode...

It's Halloween. The Harmons haven't had any interest in the house, so Marcy suggests they hire a "fluffer" to stage the house and give it a new image. The house doesn't really need anything done to it to make it Halloween-y, but Marcy suggests a "divine" Halloween feel. The Harmons agree, and Marcy will hire a young gay man to decorate.

Vivien finds the fluffer on her porch - and it's not one but two fluffers: Chad and Patrick. The boys were the last owners of the house and obviously (to the audience) are not the actual fluffers. Oh, and they are ghosts (natch). At least one is; more on that later. So the guys come in and join Ben and Viv in the kitchen for pumpkin carving. It is obvious that Chad and Patrick are having some marital problems. When Chad suggests the gazebo come down, a surprised Ben slices open his hand. Patrick takes him upstairs to stitch him up and makes a hardcore play for Ben. He turns him down and Patrick slinks away with his tail between his legs. While they are indisposed upstairs, Chad and Viv make chitchat. He discovered Patrick was cheating on him from phone records.

So naturally, Vivien goes through the cell phone bills and sees dozens of calls from Hayden. Ben swears he was dodging every one of her calls, and he didn't see her in Boston. Viv can't deal with this right now, but she knows he is lying. She left a message for Hayden and though Ben assures her she won't be calling, Viv's phone rings - it is Hayden. She doesn't answer, but Ben it wigged out. They go downstairs and join Chad and Patrick with the final preparations for the house. Chad insults Vivien "Rite-Aid witch costume" and laughs at Ben's cheesy vampire attire. He then throws a fit over the wrong kind of apples in the bobbing basin, and the two couples get into an insane yelling match that ends with Chad telling them that this is not their house: "You know it. We know it. The house knows it." Enraged, Vivien starts trashing the Halloween decorations until the boys scram. But they don't leave because of her theatrics; they leave when they see the Rubber Man peering at them through the window. Vivien then tells Ben that she wants him to leave. The words have barely left her mouth when she doubles over in pain and decides there is something wrong with the baby. Ben rushes her to the ER, where a nurse does an ultrasound and decides the fetus is bigger than eight weeks... and she passes out.

Adelaide has decided she wants to dress up as a "pretty girl" for Halloween; Constance insist she  be Snoopy again. Eventually Constance gives in. She doesn't want Addy to wear makeup, so she buys her daughter a full-face doll mask - the kind that is normally worn by a very specific subset of fetishists. Addy is thrilled and goes out trick-or-treating. A group of slutty teen girls trick-or-treat past Addy, and Addy runs after them because "I'm a pretty girl too!" She doesn't look when she crosses the street, and gets slammed by a car that drives off. Constance sees the commotion outside and runs down, hysterical for her daughter. She insists the girl be taken onto the lawn, and fights off the EMTs who try to pull the hysterical woman away. Constance drags Addy onto the lawn, praying she isn't too late. Addy doesn't move.

Violet has begun seeing Tate in secret. It starts with a seance in the basement where Tate tells her more about the house's history (more on that later). They make a date to meet the following night  - a real date. Ben, meanwhile, has started seeing Tate again after he tearfully tells Ben that he doesn't trust any other therapist. The deal is that they won't meet in the house. When they meet up at a Halloween carnival, Ben is the teary one, trying not to think about his terrible childhood.  Moira takes Halloween off so she can visit her mother in hospice. While there, she disconnects her mom's respirator and the old woman flatlines. She then appears behind Moira, begging her to join her. Larry comes by the house, trick-or-treating for the thousand bucks he wants from Ben. Ben steadfastly refuses, but Larry comes back while Ben and Viv are at the hospital, and throws a tantrum on the front porch while Violet calls her dad and tells him a patient is there. Behind her, in the house, the Rubber Man lurks. When Ben and Vivien finally arrive home, Violet is nowhere to be found. A knock draws Ben to the front door... where a bruised and bloodied Hayden is waiting.

Dig It or Bury It? 

Set against the backdrop of Halloween, a weird show gets even weirder. But what's interesting to  me is that we are only four episodes in, but the backstory is not only taking shape, but adding detail and filling the cracks. I honestly expected AHS to go the way of Lost, where the further along you got, the more convoluted the story would get, and never offer any substantial conclusions. But AHS isn't doing that. Naturally, new questions arise at every turn, but you can actually see that the creative team knows where they are going with the show, and know the path they are going to take you on.

I need to rant for a moment: why the hell would Ben see patients out of his home? Especially when he has some seriously disturbed patients. I'm sure not all of them are dangerous, but if I were him, I certainly wouldn't want Tate knowing my address. Hell, I barely want my coworkers to know where I live.

Full Disclosure

The last owners of the house were Chad and Patrick. Their relationship was no better in 2010. Chad was a "Halloqueen," throwing tantrums over which kinds of apples went in the bobbing tub, and Patrick was screwing his physical trainer because he wasn't getting it at home. To say their relationship was "contentious" would be putting it mildly. But with all their money sunk into this house that they meant to flip, neither can afford to leave. Patrick heads out to the gym, refusing to help Chad with the party planning. When he returns a few hours later, dressed in the Rubber Man costume, Chad thinks this is Patrick's kinky way of making up. But of course, it is not Patrick in that suit. Rubber Man forces Chad's face into the apple tub, where he snaps his neck - just as Patrick returns home.

Tate tells Violet about the house's history. It is pretty much a recap of what we learned last week when Vivien takes the death tour. But we do learn some new facts. One of Charles's patients felt guilty about her abortion and told her boyfriend. The boyfriend was furious and decided that he wanted revenge, so he kidnapped Charles and Nora's baby. A few weeks later, the cops returned with the baby cut up and pickled in jars. Destroyed by grief, Charles sets about creating his weird taxidermy projects which included using his child's remains. Tate claims the remains are buried in the basement.

Constance Harm

When Addy comes home with makeup on, Constance is furious. "You are not a pretty girl! Take that makeup off!"

Prophecies?

You get an extra week of Halloween with the second part of this episode arc. Maybe someone will finally start figuring out that ghosts walk among them.

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