If there was ever a time for American Horror Story to get its act together, it's Halloween. Series creator Ryan Murphy specifically pushed FX to debut the series in the fall and now we know why. Last night was part one in a special Halloween-themed two-parter and it was the busiest episode since the pilot, but this time it didn't feel so jarring. Let's get into everything that happened.
The Gay Couple, The Rubber Man, And The Basement
This week in the "Murder House info dump," we learn what popped off between Chad (Zachary Quinto) and Patrick (Teddy Sears), the couple that previously owned the house before the Harmons. Shocker: it wasn't actually a murder-suicide. A year to the day Chad and Patrick were stuck in a soured relationship, only together because their money was tied in the house...just like the Harmons. While Patrick is busy tricking off on every gay dude in the neighborhood, Chad is fanatically obsessed with throwing the most fabulous Halloween party possible to get potential buyers. Unfortunately he doesn't get the chance to throw the party of the year because the Rubber Man shows up and makes him bob for apples with a broken neck. We're sure it didn't end well for Patrick, either.
Later, Tate (Evan Peters) confirms to Violet (Taissa Farmiga) what we guessed last week: The Fang Baby is the son of original owners Charles and Nora. One boyfriend didn't take too well to Charles secretly treating his girlfriend and he kidnapped and murdered their baby in twisted retaliation. Charles, tweaking off his drugs and mad scientist skills, tried to, um, put his son back together. Curiously, we still don't know how Charles and Nora met their end. We're guessing Fang Baby came back to life a wee bit angry.
All Hallows Eve
Stop us if you've heard this one in a horror movie before: On Halloween, the dead can walk amongst us. Not original, sure, but for a show with a garden variety of spirits it's an exciting plot ripe with opportunity. Also, in the AHS universe that rule extends to the whole week. (Nice cameo from the twins, still as delinquent as ever.) Tate is now temporairily free to have a session with Ben outside of the house and take Violet on a proper date; meanwhile, Moira (Frances Conroy) can visit her mom (more on that later). Chad and Patrick use their free reign to show up as Marcy the realtor's "fluffers," house sprucers hired to make the place as desirable as possible, and Chad couldn't be more thrilled to finally throw his Halloween party to end all. Patrick, on the other hand, still could give a fuck and is more interested in resuming his cheating ways with Ben (Dylan McDermott). Jesus, Ben sure keeps the ghosts of this house under pressure, huh?
Speaking of Ben, he's got 99 problems this week. Chad gives Vivien (Connie Britton) some game on how to check your man's movements and thanks to the phone bill she knows Hayden (Kate Mara) has been blowing up Ben's phone. Ben, ever the bad liar, gives a shoddy excuse but is at least reassured that Hayden is six feet under and is no longer a problem. Not so fast, Ben.
Where's The Money At?
"Tell me where your daddy is, tell him I just want my racks." Larry the Burn Guy (Denis O'Hare) wasn't kidding about Ben tossing him a knot for his wet work. Ben doesn't take him seriously, which is really a stupid move on his part. Only a $1000 to shut dude up, and after that huge save? Might as well just cough it up, man.
Before Vivien can finish kicking Ben out (she doesn't buy his Hayden-related lies, and rightly so), the baby kicks. That's right, an eight-week old fetus is already kicking. Whoever the Rubber Man is (and we're betting Tate's use of the suit this week is a red herring), you can apparently add super sperm along with a serious stroke game. Given the pacing of this show, an accelerated birth isn't surprising. Unlike Hayden's death, however, it doesn't feel cheap and rushed. Impregnation by ghostly Rubber Man was destined to have some side effects.
At the hospital, Violet is left alone at night when Larry comes collecting. She backs away from the door, unaware that the Rubber Man is standing right behind her. When Ben and Viv return, Larry, RB and Violet are nowhere to be found, and Hayden's at the door. Hell of a cliffhanger.
Boy, Constance (Jessica Lange) and Addy have the weirdest relationship. Mother can be unflinchingly cruel to her special-needs daughter and there were at least five unbelievably mean one-liners hurled last night when Addy decided she wanted to be a "pretty girl" for Halloween. Their compromise: a creepy, "pretty" rubber mask. But when Addy gets caught up with hanging out with the real pretty girls, tragedy strikes and she falls victim to a hit-and-run. Why was Constance so adamant about getting her daughter's lifeless body on house's property? Is Addy really gone?
Moira remains the show's sole sympathetic character. Now that she's officially stuck at the Murder House forever, there's an extra morose quality to her; we don't even get an apperance from sexy, slutty Moira this week. She uses her temporary privelege to take care of family business and visit the mother she mentioned last week in a senior citizen's home. Sounds like Moira blames herself—getting caught up and then killed for the affair—for Mom ending up where she did. She pulls the plug on her, but sadly tells Mom's spirit that she cannot move on with her. Will Moira ever get her revenge on Constance?
A Step Up In Quality
This was easily the best episode of the series yet. Everything from tone to execution was in check, and McDermott even stepped up to the plate. How great was he in that scene with Tate, sadly reminscing on better times and realizing what a mess he's made of his family. The gay couple were atypically over-the-top but Quinto sold the hell out of it, and his growing obsession with the decorations got downright scary. Hopefully we haven't seen the last of him—or this peak in quality.