American Horror Story

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American Horror Story Review: The Boy Dahlia

by at . Comments

Did you see that coming? I expected "Smoldering Children" to reveal quite a bit about Larry's family, but so many things caught me off guard.

For example, I naturally assumed he was mutilated trying to save his loved ones in their burning house. That Tate doused him with gasoline and set him ablaze before his high school massacre? Stunning!

Fire Scene

When the truant officer showed up and found the apples covered in flies, my mind screamed "Amityville Horror!" Anyone else? Just the tiniest flashback to some of the brilliant horror of the past tickles me pink. Violet hasn't been in school for 16 days. I was right!!

Let's chat about Violet's demise. Just seconds before she tried to leave the house to go to school, Tate grabbed her and kept her from attending. He was afraid of her reaction to her own death. Something tells me she will be very happy at Murder House. She didn't fit in anywhere, but in a home that she loves, full of other dead people just like her, she might find she's in her element. Because we didn't see who was in the crawlspace and Tate kept the exterminator from leaving, I immediately knew he was protecting her.

I thought it was quite sweet of Tate to try to talk her into committing suicide with him so that she could make a decision about her life that she didn't necessarily get to do when she died. Like Constance said, he really could bring heaven with a smile. Except Violet figured it out and tried to escape. Sorry, sweetie, you can't leave the property. Yes, I did pat myself on the back at the reveal. I love following the clues!

Constance has lost at least three children that we know of. Her husband "disappeared" in 1983. With the way Moira was dressed, I always imagined it was at a different time period, but given her age, the year is appropriate. I was surprised she was questioned about Travis' murder. She seems to live her life without any outside interference.

Her statement to the police about what Hugo meant to her after she discovered he had cheated was brilliantly told over the flashback of her dogs eating some freshly ground flesh. She was genuinely upset at Travis becoming the Boy Dahlia, and knew instantly Larry had a role.

Did you notice that Larry still sees his children and ex-wife with their injuries? I'm fairly certain we've seen the girls running through the house before, so they can be whole. I suppose his own condition, and his involvement with their deaths, clouds his visions of them. I liked that Travis took a liking to them, and they to him. Too bad Larry won't be able to bring him clippings about his newfound fame. Maybe when Constance finally visits, she'll humor him with a scrapbook.

Other bits:

  • It appears Larry's story arc is over. He's being shipped out of state to serve time.
  • Ben told Vivien one of the children wasn't his, but he didn't know at that time the other was Tate's.
  • How long until Ben or Vivien figure this house out?
  • No Moira this week. I missed her. Young or old, she's been an entertaining character on an ongoing basis.
  • You'd think Hayden would have been front and center enjoying Violet's discovery. Where was she?
  • It's rather disgusting to think that the flies landing on Ben had just been chewing on his daughter's rotting corpse.
  • Violet's dead!!! 

What did you think about "Smoldering Children?" Sounds off now!

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (104 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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Think that ben and vivian do not die. They move away from the house will be at hospital with bens premature baby. They also do not go back when they find out violet died. Constance who helps deliver the second baby tells ben and vivian it was stillborn and raises the antichrist herself.

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Can anyone explain how viv can stay away fom the house for so long with loosing the babies. When in the earlier episodes she almost had miscarriage bleeding at the thought of leaving the house?

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I have a theory.... remember Constance has 4 children. Do you suppose that Tate is a twin? Tate being the Angelic sweet and inocent one, and the one who torched Larry, killed the kids at school, ect....he is the "evil twin" that may have been locked away in an institution or something. Escaped, killed Tate in the house, and then went on the rampage, leading to his own death by the police. Of. Course this is my theory. Also to SARA....pay attention! The Truancy officer said she hasn't been to school in 16 days....making her dead at least 3 weeks. (5 school days/week)

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"At some point, you start to become desensitized to all of the agony, horror, and pain experienced by the same characters. With no hope for a better future, no contrast to the dark, gloom and doom that AHS remains completely immersed in all the time, you need to see some fresh faces that haven't yet had their lives completely destroyed by the house and its spirits. Otherwise you risk becoming rather numb to the constant string of tragedies that is AHC." This is why I don't find it too ridiculous that we'll be saying goodbye to the Harmons, atleast as main characters, after this season, I mean the daughter died, the mistress lives in the basement, the wife is pregnant by a dead dude, and about to bear the anti christ...I mean really what more can the Harmons go through, let alone what can they go through that will still be interesting.

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I really really really hope to see Jessica Lange in the 2nd season as well... She deserves to win all: Emmy, Golden Globe, Oscar, Tony and even the Wet T-Shirt's contest... I simply ADORE her evil Constance... the last look she gives Larry in prison before leaving was pure gold. Oh, and it was the greatest episode ever!

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It wouldn't surprise me if next season has a completely different cast (or perhaps we will see some of this season's actors too,including those currently still alive, as ghosts tormenting the new owners of the house. At some point, you start to become desensitized to all of the agony, horror, and pain experienced by the same characters. With no hope for a better future, no contrast to the dark, gloom and doom that AHS remains completely immersed in all the time, you need to see some fresh faces that haven't yet had their lives completely destroyed by the house and its spirits. Otherwise you risk becoming rather numb to the constant string of tragedies that is AHC. I actually thought I saw a smalll glimmer of light (silly me) when Ben seemed to be truly seeing the errors of his ways and how much he had hurt the ones he loved. So I began to think that maybe there was hope for him and Vivien reconciling. Then at the hospital she basically told him to stick his apologies where the sun doesn't shine and made it fairly clear she still hated his guts. This show can be a great ride as long as you are okay with nothing good happening to anybody and accepting that hope is just the prelude to disaster.

Modwild

@James - Really, Where did you see that conversation with Ryan Murphy? I'd love to read it. @Dessy - It is rather insane, isn't it? Thinking a dead mass murderer is doing someone a favor by trying to get her to choose suicide rather than do it without fully thinking it through. I love this show!!!

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Oh, the joys of American Horror Story: "I thought it was quite sweet of Tate to try to talk her into committing suicide"
-before you started watching the awesomeness that is this show, did you ever imagine you'd be saying that, Seriously??

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How Violet be dead when she was able to get to school?

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I did not see it coming, (Violet's death) and I did not know Tate was "Blue Man", thought it was one of the other ones. I do wonder if his baby will be ok or have problems like his brother and sister.

American Horror Story Season 1 Episode 10 Quotes

You know Tate, unlike your siblings, you were graced with so many graces. How is it that you cannot bring yourself to use them? Just a smile or a kind word could open the gates to heaven.

Constance

Tate: Thank you for the salty pig meat we are about to eat, along with the rest of the rest of the indigestible swill. And thank you for our new charade of a family. My father ran away when I was only six, and if I had known any better I would have joined him. And, also because she's been trying to get back into this house ever since she lost it, Lord, a big thank you for blinding the asshole that's doing my mother so he can't see what everybody knows: that she doesn't really love him.