American Horror Story Review: A Treat of Many Tricks

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In a recent interview, Ryan Murphy said he insisted American Horror Story premiere in the fall because he wanted to air a Halloween special.

And, following the latest freaky episode of this ever-engrossing thriller, I'm very glad the creator got his way.

Burned Larry

Equipped with the ideal platform of a holiday dedicated to the walking dead, AHS threw a ton at us this week. But it somehow all worked. It all flowed in its own weird, ghostly way, as this drama eases my initial fear more and more every week: there really is a story here, one centered around a seemingly hopeless marriage. The haunting images and events simply add to it.

Let's start with Zachary Quinto's debut as former home owner Chad. The actor, who has remained off the small screen since the cancelation of Heroes, made me scared to ever purchase Gala apples again.

He and partner Patrick were perfectly creepy and enjoyable, while also raising the question of whether the house has it out for couples in general. Does it want no one to live happily there? And, if that's the case, why does Chad adore the residence so much?

One thing appears certain: the home wants to add to its collection of babies in the basement.

Every time Vivien threatens to leave, or tries to throw Ben out, or does anything that makes it seem like she and her baby might live elsewhere, boom! Pain erupts. Very young fetuses kick. If hers even is very young, that is. Or if it even is a regular fetus. Couldn't Ben and Vivien have waited a few minutes longer at the hospital to see why the nurse reacted that way to the ultrasound?!? Sheesh! The door was locked at home, Violet was safe.

Not so for Addie, however. We can assume she's dead, right? Like really, truly dead, not American Horror Story dead. Constance failed to drag her over to the property in time, both raising a question and answering one: the deceased only come back to life if they perish in the home or on the lawn - but is Constance among them? She knows all there is to know about this other world, yet we've been given no reason to believe (yet) that she's an active part of it.

So Constance lost her child by accident, while Moira freed her mother from her slumber on purpose. The latter does seem to have crossed over, however, despite her death taking place in a hospital. Perhaps because it was initiated by a ghost? Even if that ghost is trapped in the real world, presumably due to her sins? But didn't Patrick, for one, also sin by cheating on Chad?

I really should stop trying to figure any of this out and just enjoy the crazy show.

Especially when this episode concluded in such an awesome way: greetings, ghost Hayden! What a suspenseful way to wrap up a fun hour that managed to up the creepy ante, offer a few vague answers, pose more questions and still give time to Ben and Vivien to deal with their serious, supernatural marital issues. I loved it.

I'll leave you with this poll question related to the episode and what we may have learned: Do you think Tate is Rubber Man?


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (67 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


Remember in the first episode where Tate and the shrink were talking about tates fantasy, and for a moment tate saw himslef, all bloodied around his head, standing next to the doc? Tate is dead, and I believe how he died is why he has such fantasies. Drowning in blood.. and I think constance, being the only one who is not dead yet knows both tate and moira - killed him for some as yet unknown reason. I hope it doesn't get cancelled before we know much more!!!


I have to say that I hate the fact that it never occurred to me that Tate could be Constance's son...that makes a lot of sense! When she waved to him from outside, she seemed pretty excited to see him hanging around the house. Also, Addy specifically mentioned that he talks to her, so maybe he's trying to keep some contact with a sibling??
I figured, once Tate told the story about the Doctor and sewing the baby back together, that the...creature in the basement was whatever weird thing the doctor was able to re-animate. Tate obviously has some sort of connection with other ghosts in the house --in 'Home Invasion' when he told Violet to draw them into the basement, and the ghosts of the nurse and Marie(?) show up, etc., and when he and Violet lured that girl down there and the...thing appeared and cut her face. He ovbiously knew that something would help "take care" of those people (though he did axe that one girl pretty hard all by himself). He told Violet that he had help when she asked him about it. I don't think he was just talking about Moira cleaning up.
I agree that all these people were probably killed in/around the house and are stuck there to a certain degree (maybe Moira more so because she is definitely buried there?? but she can leave and go other places as well)...they all can go outside of the house, except maybe the creature in the basement cannot??? Otherwise, I have a feeling that a lot more residents would've quickly had their faces ripped off.


I don't know why I like this show so much. I read the reviews and comments and consider all the theories tossed about therein and wonder whether we're all even watching the same damn show. Apparently chaos and confusion can be appealing with the right presentation. Who knew?
As a subscriber to DirecTV I echo Christina's fear.


I think the reason why Moira, Chad, Patrick, maybe Tate, cant leave the house is because they died in the house. In the previous episode when Hayden was killed and buried, she was dumped on top of another body, which I think is Moira's. There is a thing that the spirit of someone who has died can stick around until their bones are burned. This is probably why Moira can't leave and move on. I think that Tate might be the mutant baby thing or be a part of it because he knows about it and he kind of creeps me out. I can't wait to see what the nurse saw on the ultrasound! It must have been awful for her to pass out. Why did they not wait, and did they just leave the nurse there on the floor?


Loved this ep! I think Tate is Constance's son. She claimed to have 4 children and only one was physically perfect but she lost him to "other things". I also think that Tate's father is the man in the suit (not the man she shot). I think the house is collecting children but it want's its own children if that makes any sense. lol I don't think Tate is stuck in the basement as we've seen him in other parts of the house but I think either is so connected to the house by birth or death or both(since Constance and her husband owned the house)I think it's safety to assume he died there also.


Fantastic episode! Sometimes I can't believe that I'm still watching AHS simply because I've never really been able to watch anything remotely scary. I'm so hooked, though, even with recent nightmares because of this show. One more thing: The fact that DirecTV might not carry FX scares me more! :(


Really off-center, but...anyone else notice how incredibly cute Tate is?! That just adds to the fact that his story-line is one of the most interesting to me, I'm excited to find out what happened to him!


Although Dr. Montgomery and his wife had a baby son and were given back the body parts of such (gruesome and horrific ):), it does make sense that Tate could be their son. Dr. Montogmery could have had a Victor Frankenstein moment and used the body parts to create a pseudo-son of sorts. I am really interested to see the true identity of Tate, and if his looks are really true to his pre-death form, considering that ghosts can distort their figure in any way they please. At first, I was a bit weirded out by the show, I mean, the guy jerks off in the first or second episode, but looking past that and examining how many story lines and plots this show concerns, as well as the number of ways that the story can drastically turn, I will definitely keep watching, as I am truly intrigued!


I think Tate is Dr. Montgomery and his wife's dead son. I think that is why you see the scary mutant thing with Tate in the basement when they are trying to scare Violet's bully. In the ghost world it's possible to change how you look apparently considering how Moira's appearance is different to women than men. Plus, Tate knows all the details and history of the house and when he was telling the story to Violet he even said that the mutant baby stays in the basement until this very day. He looked hurt when Violet said that was the stupidest story she's ever heard and said she doesn't believe anything Tate says. She also asked Tate why they always hang out in the dark depressing basement instead of going out on a real date. So that's my theory anyway. Seems logical. I guess we will all eventually find out in the end!!! =) I freaking love this show!


*Another quick thought: Tate's mother only ever appears on the phone... It is very possible that this "mother" does not exist at all.

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