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American Horror Story, Halloween (Part Two)

Written by Tricia Long on Friday, November 04 2011 and posted in Reviews

The second half of the two-part Halloween episode. Will all the plot points set up in Part 1 be answered? Find out below!

Well, finally, Ryan Murphy has heard my complaints. This episode of American Horror Story was considerably slowed down, possibly because all the points of interest were established in part one. Halloween (Part Two) opens with a quick recap of the end of Part 1 – Larry is banging at the door, demanding money and scaring Violet. Gimp suit man appears, then Ben and Vivian get home to find Violet and Larry gone. The doorbell rings and, surprise, it's Hayden. Suspense!

Warning: spoilers below!

Don't worry about Violet, though. Gimp suit man disappears as soon as she turns around, and she heads upstairs to freak out in private. A hand reaches for her from under the bed, but Tate is throwing rocks at her window so they leave to have their magical/romantic/creepy date.

After shutting the door on Hayden, Ben and Vivian fight some more. Violet calls to say she's okay, and everyone takes a chill pill. Because baths are awesome, Vivian decides to take one while Ben goes outside and roughs up Larry some more. Sexy security guard shows up – please let him secretly be a Ghostbuster! – but leaves after Vivian assures him that their alarm went off when Violet left.

Speaking of Violet, she's having her first brush with erectile dysfunction on a beach with Tate. He blames the drug for his whiskey dick (antidepressant dick?), then lapses into a melancholic soliloquy while staring at the ocean. I guess he was trying to compare himself to the great men who did things with their lives after dropping out, like Brando and Tarantino, but I get the feeling the greatest thing he did with his life was shoot a bunch of high school kids. Because no one stays dead on this show, they all show back up to harass the lovers on the beach. The odd thing is, Tate doesn't seem to know who they are.

Back at the house, Vivian gets a phone call from Hayden, in which her delusions about vaginal hygiene (and the strangeness of Ben's tastebuds) become abundant. Connie Britton, in the performance of a lifetime, gives Hayden a dressing down that would piss me off if I were in her shoes. Vivian hangs up after understandably freaking out, but is chased out of the bathroom when she sees the writing on the window. She runs downstairs and promptly starts arguing with Ben, who confronts Hayden in the basement. Poor Hayden, I feel really bad for her – she just had the bad taste to fall in love with someone as awful as Ben Harmon. Larry does Hayden a solid by knocking Ben out with a shovel and hog-tying him on the ground, and Hayden heads upstairs to take care of Vivian.

Vivian, in the meantime, finds out who has been smashing the pumpkins on the front lawn: Chad! This marks the return of my favorite character from last week, Gay Spock, who just hates what Vivian has done to the house. He chases her back inside and proceeds to wreck more of the decorations, really letting loose all of that pent up decorative and sexual frustration.

Upsairs, Hayden got into Vivian's bath. Vivian almost walks in on her, but she disappears. In case you weren't sure she's dead, this should be your proof. The dog is barking out in the hall – you remember, the cute purse-sized thing from episode one? It's real! It wasn't eaten by the basement monster! Yay! The dog is barking because Larry has set some curtains on fire, clearly he didn't learn his lesson in the '70s.

Elsewhere, Violet confronts Tate about the undead kids who chased them off the beach. They followed the lovers home, so being the badass that she is Violet decides to do something about them. She has the foresight to grab a pair of sewing scissors, because that will be useful in fighting off six high school kids, before heading downstairs.

Back at the house, Vivian is still trying to find Hayden. She is, of course, adequately armed with a golf club. As she edges into the kitchen, the dog food bowl is ominously overturned on the floor. Instead of Hayden, Vivian finds what she thinks are the remains of her dog in the microwave. No! Puppy! We found you, only to lose you.

Meanwhile, Violet confronts the kids in the driveway. They taunt her about Tate, hinting that he's the reason they're in their current predicament. My guess? Tate went Columbine on their asses, and they want justice. Violet is visibly shaken, both by their accusations and by the fact that Tate isn't there to defend himself. Also by the kid who can't talk, he just coughs up blood whenever he tries to. Tate, being the sweet and caring boyfriend he is, leads them on a merry chase away from the house and Violet. Constance shows up from out of nowhere, and makes Violet come to her house.

Vivian is back upstairs in the bedroom, where she finally grabs the panic button to summon the sexy security guard. She hears the scratching at the door and, surprise!, it's the puppy. Man, even the dogs don't stay dead on this show. Hayden shows up too, and realizes that Vivian is pregnant which is why Ben didn't want her to keep their lovechild. She decides the most reasonable course of action is to cut the baby out with a shard of glass, which is of course the Medical Association-approved method for a cesarean section. This is one of the best scenes in the whole episode, as

We quickly see Gay Spock confront Larry about setting the house on fire before watching Ben awaken in the basement. Nora, the drug-addled wife of the house's original owner, gives him a pep talk and then frees him from the ropes, telling him to "save the baby." Uh oh, demon baby has a protector.

Back upstairs, both Britton and Kate Mara are on top form. It's the first time you really see Hayden act anything other than crazy or in love (same thing?), which really brings home how much infidelity can destroy people. Shame on you, Ben Harmon. Speaking of which, Ben arrives and seeing Vivian's predicament, he confesses everything Hayden brings up – the planned abortion, a relapse into their affair, etc. Sexy security guard shows up and states the obvious, taking Hayden away.

Next door, Constance and Violet have some tea and cigarettes while remembering Addy, who you might remember was callously killed in a hit and run in last week's episode. In a really touching scene, we see Constance go to the city morgue and do Addy's make up, making her a real pretty girl at last. *grabs tissues* Constance tells Violet that Tate is also her son, begging the question of how old he is, and that he was too sensitive to the jackasses of the world. Jessica Lange's mannered performance fits both scenes, as Violet listens wide-eyed to Constance grieve for her daughter. I'm really gonna miss Addy, even though I hate how she was portrayed. I won't count her out just yet, because I'm really hoping the Murder House will revive her too.

On the beach, Tate is confronted by the kids that I presume he murdered. They throw the potential happiness of their stolen lives at him: the cheerleader could have been married with babies, the kid with no face could have been valedictorian. It's sad, to see people cut down before their prime, and Tate clearly feels for them. Moreover, he gets vague flashes of going to school painted up like a skeleton – maybe he was possessed by Gimp suit man? – but he ultimately denies knowing any of them. The sun rises, and the poor dead teenagers walk away.

The night of the dead is over, and the Murder House is getting crowded. Moira, the maid, chats with Chad as they head back into the house. She explains how she helped her mother die but couldn't move on with her, and Chad explains that he feels like he's doomed to be in the house forever. We get to see the creepy ginger kids, Chad's boyfriend, the dead nurses, and Nora all head back into the house.

Cut to the sexy security guard driving Hayden over to the police station. We dig a little more into Hayden's psychology, find out that the dog wasn't dead after all, and learn how level-headed sexy security guard is. I really hope he gets a name soon. He opens the back door to take Hayden into the police station, but she's vanished!

In a silent scene, scored by quiet piano, we see Ben packing and gazing longingly at the shattered photo of his happy family. He kisses Vivian on the head and leaves the house. I wonder how long he'll actually stay away. Forever is too much to hope for, right? He's kind of a dick.

This really is my favorite episode so far. The plot slowed down and gave the characters a chance to breathe, and us a chance to care about them. So, next week look forward to finding out what's going on with Tate, if Addy is really dead, and seeing Vivian's pregnancy progress. I just hope that we don't return to the breakneck pace...

Written or Contributed by: Tricia Long

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