Home invaders, hostile fluffers, and now ghostly, snitching side chicks. The Harmon family has been through it, huh? Last week's cliffhanger ended with Hayden's ghost (Kate Mara) at the front door, Larry the Burn Guy (Denis O'Hare) wilding out, Addy (Jamie Brewer) dead, and Violet (Taissa Farmiga) missing. It was also the best episode of the series so far. The good news: Last night's conclusion was even better.
Hayden's House Of Horror
Meet Hayden, the Thirsty Ghost. Even in death, covered in soot and coughing up blood, this maniac is still trying to woo Ben (Dylan McDermott). But his dismissiveness, and, you know, the fact that Larry murdered her, has Hayden on the warpath. She's got one night to walk freely and she plans to use it by finishing what she started when she came to Los Angeles: telling Vivien (Connie Britton) about the baby. Before doing so, though, she gets to have her ghostly fun and Larry's keen to help after Ben mistakenly thinks he and Hayden are trying to run some extortion scam and beats the shit out of him.
Hayden's antics around the house were as close as American Horror Story has come to traditional haunted house scares, and it was all quite good, especially her old dog-in-the-microwave trick. Which were just tomatoes, she says. While Hayden torments Viv, Larry's attempt to light the house on fire (for his second time) is interrupted by Chad (Zachary Quinto). And that's the last we see of Larry for the episode. The show's most entertaining character can't be gone already... Right?
The Harmons get more help from the house's ghosts when Nora (Lily Rabe) unties Ben, allowing him to walk in on Hayden as she's about to stab Vivien in her pregnant stomach. The neighborhood security guard (Morris Chestnut) shows up and arrests Hayden, but not before Ben is forced to painfully admit the truth about his trip to Boston. While the Harmons remain none the wiser that Hayden was actually a ghost, her damage is done. There's tomato all over the kitchen, a ring of dirt in the tub, and the final nail has been hammered into the Harmon marriage's coffin. Thus, Ben moves out.
Tate Runs Away From His Demons
For a split second, we thought Ryan Murphy's two shows had merged when a bunch of high school archetypes coolly strolled onto the beach and interrupted Violet and Tate's (Evan Peters) date. Fortunately, there wasn't a Glee crossover—they were the ghosts from Tate's past Colombine-like spree. Remember that dream he recounted in the pilot? Turns out it was more of a flashback. The Murder House's ghosts aren't the only ones trying to tie up loose ends. A group of Tate's victims have banded together and they want revenge now that he has dared to leave the house premises. Does Tate really not remember gunning down his classmates?
If we have one complaint about this episode, though, it's the Harmon family's continued ignorance. When ghostly Hayden shows up, Ben thinks that he buried and cemented over what? A crash dummy that looked like Hayden? How many times can Violet make a crack about the Westfield kids' costumes and not realize that she's staring at REAL bullet wounds? This family's unwillingness to put two-and=two together is wearing a bit thin.
Meanwhile, Constance (Jessica Lange) takes Violet aside and tells her about Addy's death, while confirming that Tate is indeed her son. Which explains why the jock ghost mentioned Tate hiding in "mommy's house." Addy's death has driven Constance to behave more erratically than usual, which can't be a good thing going forward, but she claims that Tate must not find out or he will have an even worse reaction. Interesting.
The Walk Of Shame
How fantastic was that shot of all the Murder House ghosts returning to the crib, looking like a bunch of drunks staggering home from a rager. Well, except Moira (Frances Conroy), since we know from last week, when she killed her sick mother only to realize that she can't join her in heaven yet, that her time wasn't very fun. We're going to assume that this means we've met all of the ghosts at this point, but where is Dr. Frankenstein-light Charles (Matt Ross)?
All the ghost-on-ghost action made "Halloween (Part 2)" American Horror Story's most thrilling episode to date. Everything that the show has been trying for weeks to pull off worked. There was genuine suspense and scares, satisfying twists, and lots of intrigue; hell, even the stolen soundtrack of the week was effective (Kill Bill). Most importantly, the presentation of Ben and Viviens' crumbling marriage as horror was finally a success. Addy may be gone, but the real casualty at episode's end was the Harmon family. We have no idea where the show goes from here, but we can't wait to find out.