Thursday, November 3, 2011
American Horror Story - Halloween Part 2
Some thoughts on the new "American Horror Story" coming at you after the break... but first let me microwave some tomatoes.
If you haven't already heard, "American Horror Story" was renewed for a second season on Monday, which conveniently coincided with Halloween. Some great news for both the show and FX but I'm still a little skeptical with where the writers can take things over multiple seasons, even if they do continue to impress me week after week.
This week's episode, "Halloween Part 2", once again took things to another crazy ass level. First off, the writers broke the typical format of opening the episode with a murder flashback within the house, instead, we picked up where we left off last week. What they did do though is show us Violet's perspective of what happened at the end, where we were left off thinking something terrible happened to her by the masked man, she was actually swept away by Tate. From here, things get out of control inside the house for Ben and Vivien but before we get to that I would like to talk more about Tate.
In the last few episodes we got our background on all our side characters that may or may not be spirits through the flashbacks. With Tate though, the writers are taking a different approach, stretching out his story and giving us clues to decide for ourselves. After all I saw in this week's episode, I'd like to say he's definitely a spirit and maybe he just doesn't really know it himself yet. Tate and those around him gave us clues of this throughout the episode starting with the kids on the beach.
These kids, who are obviously spirits of murdered kids - like the ones from the dreams Tate describes to Ben in the pilot - are out to torment Tate and get answers to why he did what he did to them. So that's fine, he could have killed these kids and not necessarily be dead himself but then the one girl says through choked back tears "we have been looking for you for years... I should be 34 years old and married with babies..", which means Tate should be just as old if he murdered these kids in high school.
To add, Constance reveals to Violet that she's Tate's mother but not to tell him anything she knows because he will not be able to handle it. I'd have to take from all this that Tate is in fact dead and that his spirit can't move on as he is in some sort of denial of what he had done while he was alive. Why and how he is connected to the house remains to be seen.
This theme of denial, secrets and inner demons is consistent throughout "American Horror Story". This fuels my theory that the house feeds on these feelings. You have Ben with his secrets of infidelity and murder, the gay couple had the same infidelity issues, Constance's killing of the maid and now Tate's issues.
Violet and Vivian would be the only two not holding anything in and so far the spirits have protected them both. Vivian being protected has more to do with the baby she's carrying then herself but the fact that Violet keeps escaping threats, without even knowing it, intrigues me. Is her innocence (not that innocent after wanting to jump Tate's bones on the beach) what keeps her safe or is it all just coincidental and luck? I would think evil would need negative energy to survive but I'm no exorcist, so what do I know.
Other than learning more about Ben and Hayden's past together and seeing the spirits return to be trapped in the house until next Halloween, the rest of the episode didn't give us many answers to our questions but it did help to progress the story along and set our characters up for what is to come. I wonder how things will be now that Vivien has kicked Ben out of the house. I would like to see him start seeing things more clearly now that there's space between him and the house (although he was still clouded while in Boston a couple weeks ago) and maybe begin adding things up in his head of what's really going on around him and his family. We'll have to wait and see.
What I really like is how the family is consistently interacting with these spirits and because they are so infatuated with their own problems, never realize what is really going on. It's great how the writers set this tension between the couple for them to easily coexist within the parameters of the house. Nicely done and I hope to see more of this and have more questions answered in the weeks to come.
What did everyone else think? What do you think Chad did to Larry after finding him trying to burn down the house? Why is the spirit of Nora so interested in saving the unborn baby? And did anyone else notice the skeleton decorations outside the house set up in the doggie style position?