Horror Watch: American Horror Story Ep. 4 – Halloween (Part 1)

This episode opens with the handsome gay couple who lived in the home in 2010. We learn that one of them is unfaithful and driving the other crazy. They are suffering a situation very similar to Ben and Vivien’s because their money is tied up in the house and though it’s obvious to them that they should split up, they’re stuck living together. The blonde one says, “We were gonna have a baby. We were gonna have this great life.” Sounds all too familiar.

Latex dude enters the room and kills the dark haired man just before the blonde one comes back into the kitchen wearing his cute cowboy Halloween costume.

Ben and Vivien meet with Marcy again to discuss how to make the house more attractive to potential buyers. They come up with several ideas for Halloween decor and how to take care of the house’s “image problem”. Marcy says she’ll call the young gay fellow she knows, a “fluffer” who can help Vivien with decorations.

As Addy reads a book with Constance’s boyfriend, she reveals she wants to be a pretty girl for Halloween. Constance mocks her for a moment and reprimands her for getting too chummy with her young lover. Later, Addy says, “The dead can walk freely on Halloween,” a hint as to what’s in store for us in this 2-parter of AHS. Before walking out of the room, Constance says, “Pffsh, we’ve always known that.”

The half-burnt man (whose name for some reason escapes me, so if you know it, drop me a comment) comes to the house asking for the thousand bucks he feels he earned after helping Ben bury Hayden in the yard. He reminds Ben that even if he didn’t kill the girl himself, the baby she was going to have was certainly his and if his wife finds out, his family is done for.

I’m noticing a delightful tension between Vivien and her new security guard. He’s pretty suave and is really filling a void in Vivien’s life, giving her the comfort she needs in regards to asking for help, even if it’s just a false alarm. Ben’s definitely not helping in that area, so this new character is quite a treat.

Moira is carving pumpkins when she asks to have Halloween off so she can see her mother. When Vivien walks outside, she greets the gay couple and assumes that they are Marcy’s fluffers. We learn their names are Chad and Patrick, the two men who died at the beginning of the episode. Chad is moody and snarky, and clearly disdainful of Ben. After Ben cuts himself with a knife while carving a pumpkin, Patrick follows him to the bathroom to help, since he’s an EMT. There, Patrick grabs Ben’s crotch and makes a pass at him. Meanwhile, Vivien and Chad are talking in the kitchen and she thinks she’s about to engage in cute talk about boys. Instead, Chad shares he sees a darkness in Ben and then suggests that if she really wants to find out what he’s up to, she can look up the cell phone records, since simply looking at a cell phone won’t give her the answers she probably wants. Chad obviously knows a thing or two about cheating husbands.

In one of the episode’s most endearing moments, Addy asks Violet to make her a pretty girl. While Violet does her makeup, Addy asks some personal questions about Tate and Violet is surprised that they know each other. Addy says Tate talks about her and really likes her, and this is perhaps the closest Addy has gotten to having girl talk.

Later, Violet goes down into the basement looking for Tate and he tries to scare her by sneaking up on her and wearing the creepy latex costume. Leads me to wonder if he was the one who snuck into bed with Vivien that one time…

They hang out in the basement where Tate adds more to the story of Charles Montgomery, sharing about how it came to be that he and Nora’s baby was kidnapped and killed.

You might remember a line in from the previous episode where Charles jokes to Nora at the dinner table that he can’t tell if their son is a boy or a girl because of the way she has him dressed. The line foreshadows the gruesome death of the child, which was dismembered by the angry boyfriend of one of his patients and delivered to the police in jars. In the basement, he sews the baby back together, and Nora sobs when she realizes what he has done. Tate claims that though Nora and Charles passed away, the “thing” remains in the basement. Violet is annoyed by the story and asks Tate to take her on a real date. He looks helpless at first, then tells her they’ll go out tomorrow night (Halloween).

For a while I believed that Tate was as real as the Harmons, but he seems just as dead as all the other spooks. One thing the half-burnt man says that seems very significant is that he celebrates “all seven days” of Halloween. If you recall what Addy said about how the dead can walk freely, it might be safe to assume that would be the reason why he is able to follow Ben around beyond the property line. It’s also why, during their outdoor therapy session, Tate comments on how there are too many varieties of coffee when he returns to the table after purchasing two cups. And as we all know, our coffee houses have menus that go beyond just a simple cup of hot black coffee. Tate hasn’t been out much (or recently). And since he has been unable to see Violet anywhere beyond the property itself, especially the damp basement, he can finally hang out with her out in the real world.

While Ben is getting his fangs on for his vampire costume, Vivien reveals she found Hayden’s number several times on their cell phone bill. He lies about having seen her again in Boston and victimizes himself, making it seem like he is simply being harassed by Hayden. He tries to assure her that he told Hayden to stay away from them and then says, “Believe me, Hayden is over. ”  At that very moment, the phone rings and it’s Hayden’s name on the caller ID. So much for the shovel to the face. Just as Vivien asks Ben to leave, she feels the baby kicking in her stomach, which at 8 weeks is far too strange. They leave Violet alone in the house as they rush to the hospital.

In the hospital, the sonogram reveals a few strange things: first, that the baby is too big to only be eight weeks old, and also, it looks so horrifying that the nurse faints. Ben and Vivien never get to see the screen for themselves and eventually head back home, only to realize that Violet is gone. Ben hears someone at the door and finds Hayden standing there, looking like she just crawled out of her grave under the gazebo.

I left out a couple of other sad details from this episode because I felt guilty just quickly mentioning them, so what I will say is this: We’re learning some new rules about what you can and cannot do when you are dead, and we’re also seeing a few parallels between what the Harmons are doing compared to what has already happened in the home. Just as Patrick and Chad were fixing the place up for Halloween in the hopes of making it attractive to buyers, Ben and Vivien are doing the exact same thing, and history blatantly repeats itself with the image of all the pumpkins sitting on the dinner table.

Ben has a lot in common with Tate, the half-burnt man, and even with Patrick. The half-burnt man and Ben share that they have the power to destroy their own families. Tate is tortured, just like Ben, and also has a destructive nature, one that is driven by pain. Patrick is guilty of cheating on Chad because he can’t control his lust, but he too desires a family, though he continues to demonstrate behavior that leaves no room for love and trust.

All images via FXNetworks.com

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