American Horror Story Review: In a Bad Tate

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I really didn't need the back half of my chair throughout this week's edition of American Horror Story... because I just sat on the edge the entire time!

Picking up so immediately after events from part one of this Halloween special, this episode actually backtracked for a few moments and reminded viewers of the precarious position Violet was left in last Wednesday night - and, from there, the entire hour felt like the tense final 10 minutes of a strong horror movie.

Taissa Farmiga as Violet

From Hayden's ghostly stalking... to the threats made by Tate's deceased friends/victims/enemies/who-the-heck-were-those-people... to Zachary Quinto going all Sylar on his former home's owner... American Horror Story scarcely let up for a moment.

But the show didn't just elicit screams and gasps, it answered questions. Most importantly:

  • Tate is Constance's son. Props to the readers who made this prediction. And the guy clearly has issues, seeing as he truly doesn't seem to recall acting out the Columbine massacre on those poor teens. (Yes, I'm assuming their beef with Tate is legit.). What else doesn't he remember? Is this why Constance insists he remain Ben's patient? To help with whatever mental block is affecting his apparition recollection?
  • The ghosts cannot leave the house. At least not for any extended period of time, hence why they all returned at the end of Halloween. What a fun, creepy scene this was, seeing past owners and maids, cheaters and murderers, congregating in the same spot, seemingly doomed forever.
  • The ghost of Nora wants to make up for her past sins. She untied Ben so he could save his baby. That was nice of her. She might have to do that kind of thing many more times, considering his dangerously abortive past.
  • Ben is a liar! Viewers weren't privy to the math before, but now we know: Ben knocked up Hayden AFTER he was caught with her by his wife. He lied, said it was over, slept with her again and... the guy just pretty much sucks overall. I'd have thrown him out, too. I'll take Rubber Man over Dishonest, Horny Man any day of the week.

And, hey, Vivien appears to have found a rebound already. That security guard, played by Morris Chestnut, was going above and beyond his required duties, at least in the way he acted toward this frightened, scorned, confused pregnant (with something) woman. And she didn't see to mind, did she?

Should we already start taking bets on whether the guy is human? Has ulterior motives? Is actually just a caring, responsible professional? HA! As if that was plausible on this show.

So another fun hour has gone by, one that stepped harder on the action-packed gas than any episode to date. We got more background on Tate and saw Constance in a sympathetic state. We might not many specific ideas about what's going on, but we know overall that many ghosts popular this house, some only come out at certain times, some are seen in different forms by different people and all are after... what, exactly?

Redemption? Revenge? A well-manicured front lawn? Who knows. Bring on next week!


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (104 Votes)

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


Tate Died Because He Got Shot To Death After Doing The School Shooting.


Rubber Suit could be Frankenstein baby. The son of Charles and Nora, but why kill the last occupants. I can understand the desire to create new life. He may be the living dead and not a ghost. The writers may be taking creative liberty as to what a Frankenstein's capabilities are such as many do with the vampire myth.


Thanks RealDiehl for the info. So I guess we won't know for sure until characters start to vanish. Too bad, I get attached to them. I suppose some ghosts must be "killed" off to keep the show interesting. I mostly can't wait to find out who rubber suit is.


@LAZLO I noticed on IMDB after the second week that all but the Harmon family were listed as 2 episodes. Maybe they just want to keep us guessing as to who will be around at the end of the season.


Thanks, RealDiehl and Kristen, I'm so happy my "considerations" had any sense.
@ Kristen: Yes, Larry' had two daughters and they've never shown up as ghosts, like Constance's husband. The twins I meant are Troy and Bryan who broke into the ruined house (burned up by Larry?) in 1978, warned by little Adelaide in the pilot. I don't think Tate is one of the twins, because they died in the house at 12-13 years old (probably) and we see Tate at his actual age (seventeen-eighteen?) entering his school "skeleton-faced" to kill his fellow students (the teens who showed up at Halloween on the beach). I really think Tate is definitively dead and a ghost within the house (former home of his mother's). Look at the promo on YouTube, it can be very revealing :)
Anyway, IMHO, Larry burned up the house in the early 1970's after killing his wife and daughters, and then - some time after - in 1978, Troy and Bryan decided to break into the ruined house, but died there. So we have at least two young boys (Troy and Bryan), and two young girls (Larry's daughters) who died within the house, and let's not forget all the umborn babies doctor Charles Montgomery aborted in the basement, and whose parts he used for his Frankestein-style esperiments. The house was built by him in the 1920's, so it must have been him to start the curse... maybe discovering a way of challenge and finally "win" death by - accidentally and undeliberately - making the dead "live" forever as ghosts into the house? Can't wait for the next episode, guys!


Is Tate's character going to be written off the show? According to IMDB he is only in 7 episodes. I am beginning to enjoy the Romeo and Juliet feeling of his relationship with Violet and think his character has endless possibilities.
The mysteries to be uncovered are compelling to anticipate. What is truly unbelievable is the lack of conversation between Ben and Vivian, such as Moria's youth and beauty and the rubber suit.


Marco! So impressive :) but weren't larrys children girls? He says he killed his daughters one 6years old and the other 10 years old, so the twins have still yet to be introduced...uuugh I'm still kinda convinced about my tate is the twins theory lol...even tho I know their names are troy and bryan..


I've been wondering where Constance's husband is lurking...I think Tate is pissed at Constance because she's there and his dad is not. He's mentioned that his dad "left," but we all saw Constance shoot him in '83, so maybe, just like not remembering that he killed the kids at school, he doesn't remember his father is dead?? Or, more what I'm thinking, that C buried him with Moira, and she spun some story about how he ran off with the maid. Tate obviously has some sort of split personality something going on, and that could be why he doesn't remember certain things...depends on his mood--he seems fine dealing with Constance when they need to clean up the Home Invasion bodies, but not when she waves at him in the window. As for the bondage suit guy, my original thought was that he was the creepiest thing in that house (that's right, even more than the basement monster!), and was it the doctor?! Then I started considering Constance's husband as well...and why lurk about on Violet, procreate with Vivien (because that is obviously not a normal human baby), but kill the gay guys!? Why not just kill everyone? Do you need them for a purpose? I feel like gimp suit could be running this whole show...and he's the creepiest because I have no idea who or what he is or why he is there...and even if you died in the house wearing the gimp suit, you'd be able to appear in other clothes, right, like Nora and Tate? So have we already met the gimp suit guy as a ghost? And no, there's no way I think it's Tate, just because he wore it earlier. Ugh, the problem with this show is that every question has more questions, and every theory has too many options and questions...but I am obsessed.


So many theories. The problem is the evidence supports almost all of them. Marco's list is most impressive and so detailed as to leave me with a headache LOL. But it's all possible. Well done! I just need 2 days to process all that information. Can't wait for next episode.


I think it's pretty clear from Halloween Part 2 -
Tate is a ghost.
He killed himself after he rampaged in his high school in the mid-nineties.
He killed those kids who were chasing him.
He killed himself by slashing his wrists in the Murder House. That may have been hinted at when he couldn't get an erection - needs blood to do that, right?
Something that happened in Tate's personal life triggered the rampage - note Constance's vehemence that Violet not tell Tate about his sister's death and how he cannot handle certain things because of how he is. Something that concerned Constance triggered Tate's rampage and death.
Considering what we've been provided in previous episodes - Tate's first session with Ben and his mother being a ****sucker, and Constance seeing Tate in the window (and Tate's angry expression) - Tate can't forgive his mother of something.

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