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American Horror Story Watch: Episode 4 - Halloween: Part 1

It’s Halloween , and American Horror Story invites you to celebrate. As a show that loves to leave plot tendrils hanging out of the wounds, AHS delivers a definitive Part 1 episode, going so far as to actually piss me off by not tying up any damned thing. Does that mean I dislike the episode? No, because I’m a fanatic doofus. Knot up a noose and suspend your disbeliefs.

The big news is guest star Zachery Quinto, who is riding that Spock train until Denzel Washington possibly saves it from disaster. He is the Chad half of Chad and Patrick, the homosexual couple who owned The House before the Harmons. Amidst an argument over fidelity, Rubber Suit Man appears and drowns Chad in an apple-bobbing tub before killing the less interesting Patrick in a less interesting way. Chad and Patrick return through Vivian’s shit-tay realtor as “fluffers,” crisis redecorators who will give the house those aesthetic touches it needs in order to resell it to an ignorant public. Despite being an obvious ghost, Patrick makes a hands-on appeal to Ben’s sexual cum-uppance, offering “four minutes’ that “no one would know” about. Ben nips this in the bud, or something that sounds less like him actually allowing homosexual sex upon himself.

The second major plotline involves Constance’s daughter Abby. No groaning involved, as it ends up exactly where it should. Despite Constance’s strangely amusing insistence that Abby’s Halloween costume be Snoopy, as it’s been in the past, Abby obsesses over appearing beautiful. Violet gives her a whorish makeover, which Constance openly decries before giving Abby a mask on par with a blow-up doll’s face, which she immediately loves. Much moral conflict is involved here. Later wearing this mask, she is verbally chastised by a group of proto-Hoochie teenage girls, which causes Abby to run into the road and get hit by a car. Because Constance can’t drag Abby into her yard fast enough, it appears that Abby is officially dead, and not just a weird ageless hybrid thing. This explains a bit about how the ghosting aspect works within the show.

Because on Halloween, all the spirits can roam wherever they want, which allows different locations to appear in the episode. For instance, after a teary-eyed Tate appeals to Ben to continue seeing him as a patient, they meet at a generic coffee shop, where Ben immediately gets equally teary-eyed telling Tate how bad things are. Moira takes the day off to visit her dying mother in a nursing home, where she metaphorically pulls the plug (by literally pulling a breathing tube) on the mother, thus pulling her into the land of the ghosts.

Who else could possibly show up, especially after numerous mentions of Ben’s gazebo in the yard? Chad and Vivian share a conversation about Patrick’s infidelity, where he mentions using cell-phone records as a tracking method. Vivian calls Ben out on his constant communication with Boston Fling Hayden, which Ben explains away as Hayden’s obsessions That Hayden calls Vivian in the middle of this conversation isn’t showcased, probably because Ghost Hayden shows up at Ben’s door later on, bloody nose intact. Aww shit. I hoped she was gone forever.

Did somebody say flashback? (No.) Because there is one. Dr. Charles Montgomery’s abortion solution has been discovered by the boyfriend of one of his patients. The Montgomery family then finds their infant to be missing, Linbergh-style, only to have police show up at their door bearing glass jars filled with something unseen. I’m pretty sure it was pieces of his baby daughter, as he soon attempts to reconnect these parts. No duct tape for Dr. Montgomery, trust.

Speaking of unseen, Vivian has an inopportune hospital visit that ends with a mysterious ultrasound photo that makes a nurse faint. We only know that Vivian’s belly holds something that is growing many times faster than a normal human being. Vivian’s pregnancy pains only start after she screams at Chad and Patrick to leave the house, and Rubber Suit Man appears nearby.

And so there’s Rubber Suit, which Tate wears at some point in order to scare Violet. It seems a far cry from a simple scare, so does this mean he is the one that’s always inside the Suit? I don’t even have a theory, because I hate Tate, and hope it isn’t him at all. He shows up again at the end of the episode, as Burn Victim Larry reinforces his requests/demands for $1,000 from Ben, who doesn’t seem to be taking these demands too seriously. Larry shows up at The House, banging on the door and scaring Violet. Then the Suit appears. But now that Tate was behind it once, my expectations are all askew.

So all of this means absolutely bupkis until next week’s eventual non-explanations of what we’ve seen tonight. That “Halloween: Part 2” will take place days after Halloween’s actual date makes complete sense in how this show refuses to adhere to any completely pleasurable tactics. Great turn from Quinto, who will thankfully be back next week to add necessary flamboyant realism. His referring to Vivian’s dress as a “Rite Aid witch outfit” is as spot-on as this show gets.

Compared to the last three episodes, this is a relatively calm offering which works best as a bridge between larger story points. Granted, it’s a bridge with some busted ass boards that a lot of people wouldn’t want to walk on. But I’m continually running across this thing at full sprint, because if I stopped and actually noticed what I was watching, I would openly wonder in every paragraph why Dylan McDermott agrees to cry as often as he does, while Connie Britton is essentially a waste. This is why I write for a website, and not FX, I guess. Continue with me next week, if you aren’t passed out from the massive candy sugar rush.

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.