American Horror Story Episode 109
"Spooky Little Girl"
Written By: Jennifer Salt
Directed By: John Scott
Original Airdate: 30 November 2011
In This Episode...
Ben gets a call from Vivien's OB/GYN. With Vivien still in the asylum, she felt it necessary to tell Ben: only one of the twins is his. (Yes, while this is rare, it is physically possible if a woman has sex with two different men within a few days of each other, and has two viable eggs.) Ben is furious. He visits Viv in the hospital, and though she pretends to be asleep, she hears him say how furious and betrayed he is, and how he wouldn't do anything to help get her out of the hospital. No one there believes that Vivien was raped by the Rubber Man; one orderly even blamed it on a sexual fantasy. Hayden later tells Ben that she saw the security guard coming and going at all hours, so Ben confronts him, but the security guard stands his ground, laughing at Ben's accusations and claiming he shoots blanks. Throughout the episode, Moira makes several attempts at seducing Ben and while he fantasizes about it, he does not give in. After visiting Vivien he uncovers the rubber suit and admits to Moira that he thinks he made a big mistake - maybe Vivien wasn't imagining her rubber attacker. "You are finally beginning to see things the way they really are," Moira tells him. Now Ben can see her as the older Moira.
Drunk, Constance picks a fight with Travis. He goes out to walk the dog and runs into Hayden, who lures him into the Harmon house for sex to "see if I could do it with someone who is still alive." She can. Constance goes looking for Violet, thinking she is the one who seduced her boytoy. Moira informs her that one of the twins is Tate's, and Constance proposes marriage to Travis with the idea that the two of them will raise Tate's mutant hybrid baby as their own. This freaks Travis out, and he goes back to Hayden for more sex. After, he decides that maybe marrying Constance wouldn't be so bad. Hurt for being left by another man (and annoyed that he didn't have the decency to finish her off), she asks for one last hug. He obliges happily, and Hayden stabs him to death in a violent frenzy. Calling in a favor from Larry, he stages Travis's body out in a field, much like the famous unsolved Black Dahlia murder in the 1940s (see below). Constance has her psychic over to find out how a half-human, half-spirit baby would work. She tells a story that whenever a new pope is appointed, he is taken into a small chamber just off the Sistine Chapel and given a box with a note inside. On this note is the exact moment of the end of the world, and the details of the antichrist who will bring it about - said to be a human/spirit hybrid.
Dig It or Bury It?
This episode felt really uneventful. Nothing new happened. I suppose the notion that one of Vivien's twins may be the antichrist is important, but the rest of the episode was all a blur. Looking back, I think the fact that the twins have different fathers - one Ben, one Tate - is supposed to be shocking or startling, but it was so obvious. Kind of like the end of every M. Night Shyamalan movie. On the upside, there was some nice girl-on-girl action between Mena Suvari and Alexandra Breckenridge.
Also, Ben getting all pissy and feeling betrayed by Vivien because one of her fetuses has a different baby daddy is obnoxious and hypocritical and it really pissed me off.
1947. A dentist is working out of the house. A beautiful young actress (played by Mena Suvari) comes to him for a filling, but she can't pay; instead she offers her body. The dentist, apparently, prefers rape. He turns her down, gives her the gas, and rapes her. Only then does he remove the mask to begin dental work. But she is dead.. The dentist drags her into the basement, where Dr. Montgomery greets him. The dentist doesn't seem at all fearful that there is a strange man in his basement. He offers his help: he bisects the woman ("into more manageable pieces"), removes her intestines, and drains her of her blood. She is dumped in an empty field, where she is discovered by a mother pushing a baby carriage.
The woman, of course, is Elizabeth Short - better known as The Black Dahlia. One of Hollywood's most infamous murders, Short was a wannabe actress and (rumored) occasional prostitute who was found hideously dismembered and was front-page news for months. Her murder never was solved, and no arrests were ever made. I have a number of problems with this storyline being introduced into AHS. For starters - and the biggest problem I have - is that in the episode, Elizabeth (rather, Elizabeth's ghost) comes to see Ben. Even after telling him her name, and with the 1940s clothes she was wearing, Ben didn't connect the dots. Granted, if you are not from LA and you are not a true crime buff, you may not know her name. I find it admirable that the writers took care to get so many details right (the positioning of the body, her rotting teeth) but other facts were just glossed over. AHS ignores the fact that the real Black Dahlia showed signs of head trauma, and bruising from being bound and likely tortured. There were no signs of her anywhere for the week before her body was discovered. Tonight's episode would have you believe that her's was an accidental and peaceful death. While details of the Black Dahlia's murder - including where she was actually killed - will probably never be known, you would think that with all the death tours rolling through the neighborhood, it would be common knowledge that the Black Dahlia was killed nearby. I know, this is all nitpicky, but when a very fictional drama decides to bring in very real, factual events, it kind of ruins the effect. It's no longer an hour of escapism; it is a reminder of real-world events. Am I over thinking this?
Constance is full of anger tonight. The episode starts with a drunk Constance getting into a fight with Travis. She's a mean drunk. When he notices she is puffing on the last cigarette, she throws it at him angrily before sending him out for more. When she finds out that Tate fathered one of Vivien's babies, she attacks him, threatening to tell Violet as she beats him into a corner, where he sinks down, crying. I hate to see how she reacts when she finds out Travis is dead.
Vivien is still in the hospital, but Ben seems ready to help spring her. Rubber Man is back; Tate is desperate to keep Violet; and there is something dead and rotting in the walls of the house....