American Horror Story: Episode 9 Synopsis & Review

In the standard issue AHS flashback of episode 9,  which was entitled “Scary Little Girl”,  we learned that actress, Elizabeth Short, whose claim to fame was being found as a naked severed torso with the permanent smile in a vacant lot in some unincorporated  section of Los Angeles in 1947, has a connection to the house.   She died there after being given too much nitrous oxide after a visit to a one Dr. Curan, a dentist, who true to form, lived in and practiced out of MURDER HOUSE.    “Beth” came to the good dentist to have a cavity filled.

Though based on her efforts to seduce to doctor because she was broke, we’re left wondering WHICH cavity.

So, she’s in the dentist chair, all gassed up and out of it when the doctor fills one cavity and preps to fill the other when he realizes that she’s dead.   He drags her body to the basement and panics.   What do to with her body???   

Enter the specter that is previous tenant and perv, Dr. Charles Montgomery who suggests that being the eminent surgeon he is, can help him remove the body more effectively, more easily.   He proceeds to carve her up…as he did his son and several porcine represenatives in his basement lab…and hums a jaunty tune as he does.  Her body is found virtually bloodless and severed at mid torso in a vacant lot.   The young actress who wanted nothing more than to be famous, will always  be infamous…as the murder victim known as The Black Dahlia.

PRESENT DAY

Constance has been drowning her sorrows and her lack of artistic talents in a big ol’ bottle of J&B and a carton of Winstons.  Travis,  The Dog Walking  Boy Toy enters the kitchen.  Constance is drunk.   She tells him to walk the dog.    As he walks by The House, he sees Hayden standing in front.   She takes him inside, seduces him in a bedroom  I didn’t recognize, then after she has her ghostly way with him, tells him that she simply wanted to see if she could make it with “a guy that’s still alive”.     We also learn that Hayden isn’t fond of Constance for some reason.  She keeps referring to her as Travis’ mom.

Then,  Ben deals with Hayden in his home office.   Then in the next scene, Elizabeth Short appears in the house (she did die there, after all) and she seeks Ben’s help.   She needs therapy.   He gets a phone call from Vivien’s OB/GYN who drops a bomb on Ben.  She tells him that Viv is experiencing an extremely rare dilemma called  Hetero pater blah blah hoo dee wah ….some big ass word that means twins with different paternity.  In short Viv’s babies got two different baby daddies. 

Hhhhhhhhh’mmmmmmmmm…

Travis goes back to Constance who if you recall, has the nose of a truffle pig and can smell that he had sex.   She thinks its Violet and goes to The House to confront her.  She encounters Moira the Older who tells her  it ain’t Violet.  She’s in love with Tate.   Moira then tells her old nemesis that Viv is carrying two babies with different dads and alludes that Tate might have sired one of them.   Constance panics and goes down to the basement–aka “Ghost Central Station”–to talk to her son.   She says something interesting to him as she chides him for having sex with Viv that that simple  action could screw up their chances of “getting someone in the house who could help him”.

The next scene shows Moira the Younger and Elizabeth Short having a little sapphic romp on the couch  all for Ben’s bemusement when he walks in the room.  It backfires.  He claims outwardly, that he’s not turned on by their lesbianics and fires Moira and tells Liz to get out, which considering they’re both ghosts who died in The House, neither can do.    He walks out of the room and Hayden enters it.   She tells Liz that Moira is just using her…and Liz laments that all she wants is to be famous.   Hayden tells her that she is and explains that she’s the infamous Black Dahlia.

Ben, still reeling from the news that only one of Viv’s growing groin fruit is his,  goes to see her in the institution.   She fakes being out of it and quietly listens as he tells her that he knows she lied to him, that she had an affair and that he wouldn’t help her for all the tea in China. 

Meanwhile, Constance is kind of newly energized at the prospect that Tate might have made her a grandmother.   She asks Travis to marry her and help her raise her grandchild as her own.  He balks at it…believes he still has a chance at being a great underwear model and basically tells her thanks, but no thanks.  He has a career.  He’s gonna be somebody; someone famous, some day.   Constance laughs at him, mocks him and he leaves in a huff.    

Once again, he seeks refuge with Hayden..and they’re in the basement going at it.   He finishes and puts his clothes back on and admits to Hayden that he loves Constance.  This makes her even crazier.  She asks for a hug;  then stabs him repeatedly.  He dies.    

Then he suddenly comes back as a ghost–quicker than any ghost so far.    He stands there with Hayden…then with Elizabeth Short’s ghost comes into view…and they discuss how to dispose of the body…that it won’t be kosher for the feds to find Travis’ body in the basement.  They’d blame Ben and he’d go to prison or at the very least, move out of the house and  that would for whatever reason, foul up everyone’s plans.    Enter once again, the specter of eminent surgeon, Dr. Charles Montgomery.   He suggests that if they know somebody who can move the body outside the house, he knows ‘a way’ to make disposal even easier.   Once again, Dr. Sawbones to the rescue.      Hayden says okay…she knows someone who owes her  a favor.

Three guys are playing basketball in what looks like Compton.   The ball goes astray into some weeds;  one of the guys goes to retrieve it and stumbles upon Travis’ body…severed at mid torso, entrails missing and yes, with that permanent smile;  the same one The Black Dahlia had. 

Standing in the background is the person who owed Hayden one….none other than the man who shovelled her a fatal head shot–Burned Guy Larry.

Earlier, Ben and Hayden are talking.  She tells him they were fated to meet.   He tells her nah, not so.  She was just a cute student; he used her.  She cries…tells him she had the abortion, and that because she cares so damn much, he should know that Viv is more than likely having an affair with the hot Black security guy…she saw him leave early one morning.   Ben is angry.  He trips the burglar alarm and Hot Black Security Guard answers it.   He tells Ben that he didn’t need to trip the alarm in order to get him to come over.   There’s something awfully casual and familiar about their relationship.  I don’t know.   Odd.  Anyway,  Ben tells him that he knows that he and Viv had an affair and that one of Viv’s twins is his.   Hot Black Security Guard tells him no, that can’t be because A) he’s not having an affair with Viv and never slept with her and B)  even if he had, which he didn’t, there’s no way he can be anybody’s baby daddy because his sperm are all  aquaphobic—not a decent swimmer in the bunch. 

Constance pays Viv a visit in the asylum.   She’s curious as to her physical well-being.  She tells Viv that she’s there for her;  that baby’s are “her thing”.   Viv tells her that she was raped  and it wasn’t a hallucination as Ben wants everyone to believe.   Constance tells her she knows she’s not lying  and sympathizes with what she’s been through.

After Ben realizes that Hot Black Security Guard is probably telling the truth about his infertility, he begins to have regrets that he had her institutionalized.  

In the next scene, Ben is holding part of the latex onesy.    Moira the Younger appears to him again…this time wearing a coat.   More covered up than normal.  She says something interesting..that SHE gets wet every time she puts the late on her body.  

Hhhhhhhhh’mmmmmmm

He questions her about what’s been happening in the house and admits to her that he made a mistake in having Viv put away.   She goes to the door, opens it and as Moira the Older, tells Ben congratulations…he’s finally starting to “see things as they are”.   I get a sense, based of the befuddled look on his face, that Ben just might have finally seen her as the older version, too.   There’s significance in that.  I just don’t yet know what that is. 

The last scene of episode 9 takes place in Constance’s kitchen.   There’s a conversation between Connie and the psychic,  the one with the Lifetime reality show deal in the works.  Connie asks her about a ghost’s ability to sire a child.   The psychic says no, she doesn’t believe  a spook has any potency, then she goes into this diatribe about the Pope,  a special box with secrets he gets to open when named pope, a perversion of the immaculate conception, the end of times and how it happens, the essence of evil, the antichrist and some bang for his buck embryonic result.

It ends with Constance looking awfully contemplative and  taking a big ol’ drag on one of her Winston’s.

AND SCENE

I’m still convinced of a few things.   For starters,  as best I can tell, The House has a thing for perverted doctors who live in the house, but must also  ‘work out of their homes”.    And secondly, there is something, I swear, going on between Ben and Hot Black Security Guard.    I think they’re in cahoots with each other….homosexually maybe…about money, probably.   Also, it seems that the ghosts need Ben in the house as much as they need a to keep Viv pregnant.  Again, Ben is a doctor and so far the third physician tenant (that we know of)  who lived in the house and also officed out of it.  What’s the connection???  

And now AHS is gettin’ all Dan Brown and DaVinci code-ish.    Okay, so again, I pose the question, why?  What’s the connection?  If Tate of the Undead IS  the father of one of the twins, what does that mean?   Can ghost goo penetrate an ova effectively?    I would think not.   If that’s the case and he can’t be the father,  why then would his merely having sex with the mistress of the house screw up the plans as Constance so conveyed in between slapping  her boy down?    And how  does that relate to Vivian specifically?   Since AHS is known for paying homage to earlier horror movies, maybe it simply is  “The Omen’s” time up at bat. 

Could the end of the world be the only way the ghosts confined to The House get their freedom?      What’s the role of babies?   What’s the role of all the doctors as residents of  The House?    And what’s the rule of thumb at work here????   That if you die on the property, you’re condemned to stay there?

And here’s something else:  I don’t think Tate has always been the man in the Black Latex onesy.    There are gaps in that story line.   I think someone else…a player to be revealed later—has been wearing the suit to keep his…or its…identity a secret.    Constance’s husband..the one she shot keeps coming to mind.   Could he be the devil?   The one she made a deal with?   As she shot him for seducing Moira the Younger, she said this was the last time he’d disappoint her…that he’d been doing that since she was 16.   What if she made a deal with the devil to be a famous actress, but something happened?     Her payment would be offspring?   Maybe that’s why she wants and needs babies around her.  

What if the devil…Old Scratch himself….was in the onesy???       

Could Ben have made a deal with the devil?   He keeps talking about the only thing he wants is a nice loving, boring family existence.  He consistently mentions his willingness to fight for that ideal.  Could he have made an 11th hour deal?   If you remember, he told Tate on Halloween that he’d also had a very rough, very naughty childhood.  Maybe he made a pact with the devil for that nice, happy boring family and he promised the Dark One a son as part of his payment.  

In almost every scene with Hayden, the song “Spooky” is playing.  Also, the ghosts can obviously appear at will.  Hayden’s very blond sister came to The House with the missing person’s detective (the one who came to house investigation one of Ben’s missing patients.  He also mentioned that the body of one of the home invaders hell bent on recreating the nurse killings in the 60’s was found several blocks away, literally cut in half a la the Black Dahlia who also figured prominently in this episode, though in an odd, throw away kind of way)  to to find out what happened to a very missing Hayden.   To get Ben out of hock, she appeard to her sister and the detective in the kitchen.    Again, why is everyone always trying to make sure Ben is okay?   What’s HIS connection to the house?    Why is he vital?   And have you ever noticed that he and Constance rarely ever have any scenes together??  

I don’t know and again, I’m left ragged and scratching my head raw trying to figure out yet another AHS episode.   This one was probably the least entertaining or compelling of all the episodes I’ve seen so far. For this show,  ‘”ill-advised” would be my word dujour for series creators, Ryan and Brad.   There was a lot about “Spooky Little Girl” that didn’t make sense.    I want to know what possible relevance The Black Dahlia has to anyone or anything.   Did her ghost just lie dormant in the basement for 60-plus years and then she just kind of trots out of the ether when she feels the need to get a litle counseling  after all that whoring through her cavity prone years????    And why was Travis’ corpse splayed out just like hers was in a vacant lot?  The only connection I can make between them is that they’re both actors…and yes, they’re both dead if that counts.        We’re rapidly approaching the season finale which I understand will be a 90-minute cauldron of seething  batshittery, but that’s okay…as long as it’s better than the pantload episode 9 was.    

AHS makes me crazy.  

BEST LINE OF THE NIGHT 

And it belonged to Hayden.   When Travis tells her that he and Viv are thinking about a raising a baby together,  Hayden asks him, “A baby what? Fossil??”

See you next week.

7 comments

  1. Great review!! I loved the paraphrasing of Vivians “condition.” I think there must be some sort of “crazy” thing that happens to everybody who dies there. I’ve always been surprised at how seemingly “ok” Hayden is with being murdered/dead. Now Travis dies and right away he’s calm and almost cracking jokes. Why isn’t he pissed he just got murdered?? I think the house must instantly “seduce” these ghosts into being glad they are part of its “story.” Could this paragraph have anymore “quotations?” 😉

  2. It’s a good thing that it’s a big house. It’s certainly getting crowded in the basement.

    I think they may have jumped the shark though, with the Anti-Christ stuff.

  3. So I see a couple of things here:

    One, there really is a theme coming out here about innocence (babies) and the devil (end days). Clearly, they need a child for some purpose (both the ghosts but it’s unclear how the child will set them free) and the devil (to start his minion army?). Over and over we see this in film – The Omen, The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, etc.

    Two, the other thing that could happen to set the ghosts free (and the maid said something about this when the developer was going to buy the house) is that the house be torn down. We know that the exterminator guy is going to find something really horrible under the basement (?) so who knows?

    Three, Ben is a hound dog. He has had a fantasy about nearly every woman who comes to the house – Hayden, the maid, the Black Dahila – the guy’s gotta have it. What’s next? Pining after Constance?

    And, as the security guy points out, one minute he calls his own wife a whore and the next is telling the security guy to watches what HE says about her.

    But yet he wants to be this fine upstanding family man (but can’t make his own daughter a sandwich). Hmm. A very conflicted person and I think there is a reason for that and it may tie nicely together with the house issues.

    Physician, heal thyself.

    I agree; Tate is not the only one in the black rubber suit. I think Constance may have been married to the Devil (in order to have a career) but she was a terrible mother who kept churning out kids who could never take over.

    Tate’s tears with her as she shook him and screamed at him for having sex with Vivian said it all. She’s a control freak.

    I have to wonder what Constance will do to Hayden (if anything) when she finds out Hayden offed her boy toy. Hayden tried to be a bad ass but I don’t think she could win against Constance.

    I think Violet may indeed be a ghost at this point.

    What I think may be coming is sort of an Aliens 2 battle with Vivian trying to protect one or more of the babies. Will she get out in time to have them in the house (because I know the producers will make that happen) or will she have them in the nuthouse and they are spirited away by Constance? Will Constance only take the bad seed one or both? Will Ben snap out of his stupor and grow a pair?

  4. They need to make sure Ben is okay so he can bring the babies home. They don’t want Constance around and hope that she will be deemed unfit to take care of the babies.. leaving Ben and the babies to themselves at the house.

    Although I can’t help but speculate that Ben may not be alive. When he visited Constance, it didn’t seem like she knew he was there. She didn’t react at all.. then again I’m not sure he would have been able to leave the house if he was dead.

    One question I do have is, why does Ben always black out when the rubber man appears?

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  6. I think you meant, in your last paragraph, “When Travis tells her that he and Constance are thinking about having a baby,” not he and Viv, as you wrote. And you seemed confused about the Pope talk from the psychic, but it seems pretty clear that the writers intend to imply that the baby fathered by Tate (or the Rubber Man) is meant to be the Antichrist.

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