In “Open House”, there were many questions answered and even more raised. Hell, at times I swear I ingested so much confusion from tonight’s absolutely insane (but compelling) episode of AHS, that I swear I’ll be picking tiny little question marks out of my stool for weeks.
Let’s start at the start. We’re treated to yet another flashback only this one wasn’t as scary as it was revealing.
It’s 1994. Burned Guy we learn, wasn’t lying to Ben when he told him that he had lived in the house. In 1994, he was the Master of Murder Manor and he and Constance were neighbors….and much, much more. They were lovers. Burned Guy was/is nutso for her. Loved her. Would do anything for her.
They’re seated before a roaring fire–I think it’s in front of one of the fireplaces in Murder House. It’s important to mention that he is not scarred at this time.
Constance is worried. She’s going on and on about Child Protective Services threatening to charge her with child neglect or and declare her a ‘bad mother’. She then tells Burned Guy they he’ll ‘have to do it’; just like they discussed. Burned Guy dutifully goes to the attic, pulls down the stairs, ascends them and calls for Bo, whose foot is chained to the floor. Bo, it’s safe to assume is yet another one of Constance’s Womb Wonders. He’s obviously ‘afflicted’; looks malformed..and maybe in his late 30’s. Hard to tell under that Eric Stoltz ‘Rocky Dennis” mask he was wearing . He seems docile enough. A red rubber ball comes rolling out of the corner where Bo is chained. He wants to play, but no….Burned Guy tells him it’s time to go to bed. He tucks Bo in, utters “God help me”, then promptly grabs a pillow and smothers him with it.
Back to present day insanity.
Viv and Ben are in the doctor’s office, awaiting results from some recent tests. The doctor assures the couple that there are no problems, but they’re having twins.
The Harmon’s want to sell their house. They’re hosting an Open House and Marcie their real estate agent, is trying to accommodate. A quick word about Marcie–this biased, racist homophone bitch in cheap double knit suits is rapidly becoming my second favorite character on this show. I can’t wait for her inevitable battle royale with Constance. So far, the writers have given these two dizzy dames the best ines. Anyway, she’s found a potential buyer–a rather cheesy Armedian-American developer who has every intention of razing the house and putting up affordable housing in its place. Moira is standing there there and of course, he sees the hot version–Moira the Younger. Her interest in this man and his intentions are peaked when he mentions that he wants to get rid of the gazebo and put a swimming pool in its place. Moira asks how deep he’d dig; the human block of Velveeta replies “very deep”. He thinks it’s sexual tension between them; she sees it as spiritual Liberation Day.
You see, a bulldozer would unearth Moira’s bones and God knows who or what else is under that gazebo. And as we learned a few episodes ago, that would be the secret of Moira’s ability to move on to the Other World…or whatetever it is that exists outside of Murder House.
The cheesy Armenian developer leaves and Burned Guy arrives under the guise of being a prospective buyer. They’re in the kitchen. His scars, milk eye and that weird arm make Viv and Marcie uneasy. In fact, Marcie reaches in her purse and pulls out a revolver and delivers and wonderful line; something to the effect that in her line of work is dangerous. She’s a woman who shows homes and she knows that there are ethnic men all over the place who want to do nothing more than ravage right on that marble counter.
And delivered so deftly.
Burned Guy says he knows that his burned appearance bothers them. He threatens them with a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act and Marcie puts the gun away and they show him the house.
The next thing we see all three of Harmon’s having their very first meal together…even though Ben has supposedly moved out, though we’re not sure where. he sure shows up at the Murder House a lot. Sooooooo, they use mealtime to tell Violet they have a few serious prospective buyers for the house. This angers the already very angry Violet and she runs upstairs and goes to cuttin’ on her arm again.
Ben goes to whatever hole he crawled out of and Viv puts on a black lace nighty, lights a few candels, puts on some Bo Donaldson and The Haywoods, and has a naughty fantasy. Ben is in it. So is the hot Security Guard and even Rubber Man makes an appearance in a scene with Viv where he has..uh…uh…well, let’s call it “top billing”.
The Cheesy Armenian returns to the house for an assignation with Moira the Younger upstairs in Violet’s room. She seduces him with mind-blowing oral sex. He knows that as a domestic, she comes with the property. So then would her particular brand of lip service. This, plus a fantasy about her swinging in a Thai sex basket only makes him want to seal the deal even further. Remember: both versions of Moira really want him to tear down that gazebo and build a 20-foot deep swimming pool. Therefore, her seductions will be special. No teeth…and the Cheesy Velveeta Ass likes it.
Then we learn that Ben makes a 20 dollar bill work for him. It allows him entry into the hovel that Burned Guy calls home. Ben’s presence in the dingy apartment even takes him by surprise.
This scene leads us to another flashback…presumably still 1994. Burned Guy is still Unburned Guy at this point. He tells his ridiculously docile and passive wife, Lorraine that he’s in love with Constance, theoro neighbor. She sits there, telling him in a monotone voice that can’t believe he’d bring her into her house. Burned Guy reminds her it was Constance’s house before. Remember–she killed her husband in its master bedroom nine years earlier. Burned Guy tells Lorraine to take his daughters back to Ohio to live with her mother. He’ll provide for them. She responds by locking her daughters and herself in an upstairs bedroom and setting themselves on fire. He lied to Ben. he didn’t kill wife and daughters. She did. But why? And when will we meet their ghosts?
Viv and Marcie want to learn more about Murder House so they take the Murder Tour, on which Murder House is the final pièce de résistance. Craig Feldspar from “Malcolm In The Middle” is still the tour guide. He treats us to another flashback…circa 1922 and those crazy ass original homeowners, the Montgomery’s.
When we last left this couple, the good doctor was seen in his basement lab, plying his Frankensteinian craft to his dismembered son who was kidnapped in retaliation for performing all those illegal abortions. In the flashback, wife Nora is polishing silver and lamenting the fact that her black mourning dress is the same she wore when her mother died. They;re haVing money problems and she can’t afford a new one. Charles enters the room, wearing bloody scrubs, announces that there won’t be funeral. The baby, Thaddeus is alive and upstairs in the nursery waiting for mama. Nora goes up there, looks in the empty crib and is startled when she hears a wild hissing coming from something behind her. Her facial expression tells us that it ain’t the Gerber Baby she’s looking at.
She goes back downstairs where Charles is huffing ether or something. She asks him how he did it…he tells her used a beating heart “from one of our girls”. That translates into an abortion patient who obviously who either died during the procedure OR the Montgomery’s killed. She tells Charles that whatever it is that’s up in that nursery, isn’t human. She then sais she tried to breast feed it and we see by her bloodied boobs, it wasn’t milk that it wanted. “Twas blood. She calls Charles a genius, though it’s obvious the coment is pure sarcasm. He falls to his knees in gratitude. But you can tell by the expression on her face that she’s in shock. h I mean, come on…that critter child nipped her nips. Not only that, it was a piece meal version of her dead child. She even tried to kill it by stabbing it with a letter opener, but it wouldn’t die. I guess she turned around and simply walked out of the nursery leaving the thing to its own devices. She’s hiding a gum in one of her hands. As Charles kneels before her, she shoots him in the head. She then places the gun in her mouth and with one trigger pull, we learn how she got the gaping head wound we saw several episodes earlier.
Craig tells his captive tour audience that the rumor surrounding Murder House is that Nora Montgomery still haunts the house, along with her brutally mutilated son, Thaddeus and an untold number of others who’ve been murdered in that house.
Marcie calmy suggests to Viv that they conveniently leave that part out of the sales brochure.
Well, a least we now know that the Hume Cronyn Chucky Demon Seed Basement Baby has a name. “Thad”, it seems has been left to his own devices over the years. Regardless of who moves in the house, it appears he comes with it. He continues to live in the dark recesses of the Murder House basement, killing possums for food and evil, red-headed bat wielding twins for sport.
Constance agrees to meet Burned Guy where he tells her that the Harmon’s are selling the house. No big deal, she says…no one can ever ‘own’ the house, she says ., She changes her tune when he tells her he wants to tear down the house and put up Section 8 housing. She panics. Her family–this would destroy her family and apparently, we learn that if Burned Guy comes skulking around her house to window peep, she’ll send Travis out to take care of the other side of his face. Travis? Another child? Oh please…please…please…AHS writers–I beg you. If Basement Baby Monster looks like Hume Cronyn and Bo had a Mask-ish face, please let Travis look like a bad cross between Ernest Borgnine and Kathy Bates!!!
Constance visits Cheesy Armenian forbidding him from buying the house and tearing it down. He insults her which enrages Constance and she threatens him, telling him that “one day his time is going to end and they’ll be building on top of you, too!!!” With that, we all knew he was going to be killed and would probably die before the hour ended.
Ben and Tate have a session. Ben tells him to take care of Violet. If anything happened to her, he’d just die. Die, I tell you!!!!!
Constance sneaks in to the house to chat with her ghost son. He’s stand-offish. She asks how his therapy is going. He tells her he’s learned that he hates his mother. She then goes upstairs to visit with the ghost of Bo. She tells him that she has to say goodbye; that “they” are going to take him away. In fact, they’ll take everything away from her. She cries and laments this fact and holds Rocky Dennis close, telling him/it, goodbye. Though it’s obvous that Bo is dead since Burned Guy made his face intimate with one side of a pillow.
Constance goes back downstairs and encounters Moira the Older who tells her that the Cheesy Armenian is going to tear the house down. No pool. Moira is angry so she and Constance concoct a way to take care of things…by having Moira do what she does best.
There’s a knock on the door late at night. Moira the Younger answers it. It’s the Cheesy Armenian returning for one more bout with Moira’s special skill sets. They need to go some place they can get loud. But where would that be? Oh yes, the basement. Down they go….and down Moira goes.
Then Moira bites a chunk of the cheese. There’s a blood curdling scream, Moira rises from her kneeling position….blood in her mouth…and I would imagine some skin, too—just as Burned Guy comes up from behind and places a plastic bag over Mr. Cheese’s face, suffocating him to the point of passing out. Constance emerges from a corner and tells her scarred ex-lover to finish him off anywhere else but on the property. She doesn’t ever want to see his carcass again.
The last scene of “Open House” takes place in Violet’s bedroom.
Viv and Vi are talking about the potential sale of the house and what they might do; where they might go afterwards. Vi is looking at some old photos she and Tate found in the attic. One is of the house back in the 1920’s; another is of the Montgomery’s. Viv takes one look at it and realizes that’s the Nora…the woman who came to the house and sat in her kitchen and mysteriously disappeared.
Points of interest: Violet heard a noise and went up to the basement, which of course, is what EVERYONE does in every horror movie. She encounters Bo, who we encountered in the flashback. Tate does what he always does and appears out of nowhere and tells him to leave her alone. He explains that he’s a ghost and now that she’s ‘evolving’, she’ll be seening more of more ghosts of the people who died in the house. All she needs to do is tell them to go away…and they will. Which is exactly what he told her last week. That if she wanted him to go away, just tell him and he would. She tested this later in her room when the thinner dead nurse who was hogtied and stabbed in the 1968 flashback homage to the Richard Speck Chicago nurse killing, appeared in her room and utters what she always does on cue: “Look what he did to me” . She closed her eyes and wished her to the cornfield. POOF!!!! It worked. Ghost be gone.
I find Constance’s relationship with her dead family members interesting. Also, that she can–like everybody else–come and go in the Harmon house to have conversations with the ghosts of her dead children. Well, at least Bo and Tate. Addy didn’t die on the property, so she’s not returning. Plus, where she is now, she’s a pretty girl. There’s a fourth one-eyed, multi-lipped, eight- legged freak hobbling around in some crawl space on Murder House’s second floor and I for one, CANNOT WAIT for that unveiling.
I’m also trying to figure out what Tate meant by Violet’s evolution. What is that really all about?? It can’t be as simple as her being psychic or sensitive to spirits. And what’s the relevance of Viv being pregnant with twins? This will be a game changer with Constance. And I can’t help but feel that there’s a satanic/demonic/netherworldish connection somewhere. Not sure where, how or why, but it’s a gut feeling. I’m also struck by something that Leah told Vi at one of their rendezvous at that empty swimming pool. Leah is the hippie looking chick from High School who’s cheek was attacked by Hume Crony Chucky Demon Seed Basement Baby in the pilot:
Leah: The Devil is real. And he’s not a little red man with horns and a tail. He can be beautiful. Because he’s a fallen angel, and he used to be God’s favorite. Have you read the Book of Revelation?
Leah: In Heaven, there’s this woman in labor howling in pain. And there’s a red dragon with seven heads waiting so he can eat her babies. But the Archangel Michael, he hurls the dragon down to earth. From that moment on, the red dragon hates the woman, and declares war on her and all of her children. That’s us.
How did Burned Guy become Burned Guy and why lie about the reasons as he did? For someone who’s seen flames up close and personal, he sure has a fascination with fire.
War declared on the woman and her children
Constance and her miscreant groin fruit
Did Vi not survive the overdose of pills last week? Is she dead and that’s why Tate asked her about her belief in ghosts? If not that, then I wouldn’t be surprised to learn if the Harmon’s were killed in a car accident on their drive out to California from Boston. The House is Hell or at the very least, their Purgatory, where they must go to atone for their sins. And every member of that family is a sinner. Think about it: perhaps Violet’s evolution is her acceptance of her situation; her own death. She never leaves her bedroom anymore. Ben said so himself. Viv has terrible fits of morning sickness every time she leaves the house. Ben can’t seem to leave his practice, which is in a home office.
And then again, maybe this is just the Harmon’s hell on Earth. A huge house they can’t unload and the situation is made eve worse by the fact that they also can’t afford to keep it and they can’t afford to leave it, either. It’s a house that absorbs, then retains every problem and emotion that’s ever been exerted within its four walls. It’s like this huge sponge: depression…sadness…murder…infidelity…lonliness…death…abortion…addiction…self-mutilation…genetic issues…unrequieted love. It’s all there. And all these things merge in an almost human energy.
Creation of the dreaded seven-headed dragon
And then again, I’m damned tired tonight and ye olde Sominex is kicking in–safe and restful sleep…sleep….sleep…..zzzzzzzzzzzzz.