American Horror Story: Episode 5 Or Is It Episode 6?? Well Anyway, Here’s Your Synopsis & Review

I ask the question because if the “Halloween” episode was actually episode 4 and a two parter, wouldn’t this episode then actually be episode 5 and not 6???

I guess it doesn’t matter.  An episode by any other name  would still be just as wonderfully strange.

As I do every week, I have this need to wrap my head around everything that’s happened on the episode I just watched.  Tonight, my head is swimmimg .

The story line that permeates American Horror Story has more of a studio released film feel to it.   If I think about it,  I’d have to admit that its genre–movies that have a heavier reliance on gore, shock and AWE(ful)–have become more and more popular since 9/ 11.   AHS has a unpalpable sense of terror about it; one that reflects society.    Ever since that fateful day in September, ten years ago, we’ve been  living with certain kind of terror that we can’t see or solve, for the matter, yet we all know it’s there.   Lurking, hiding…waiting for the most opportune moment to strike.
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And that’s also very reflective of so many problems in American society today.
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Tonight’s show was even more reflective.   The saying, “Art Imitates Life” is an old chestnut we’ve all heard,  but in the case of tonight’s AHS flashback (and these are often THEE MOST terrifying aspects of this show),  life inspired art.
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We’re whisked back to 1994, more specifically,  the library  at Westfield High School.  Kids are in there, reading…milling about.   All just innocents, really.   Their lives ahead of them.    In a scene eerily reminiscent of the wrath incurred by Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris at Columbine High School, we hear the sound of gunshots in the hall.   A frightened student runs  in and starts barricading the door.  He says some kid is out there shooting people indiscriminately.  The sound of gunfire is replaced by footsteps…the scary, slow deliberate onesm which stop at the now barricaded main entrance to the library.   The gunman tries the door, but it won’t budge.  He walks down the hall towards a side door that isn’t locked.   The kids and one teacher scramble to hide, but that’s a futile effort when it comes to a warped mind that’s hell-bent on killing.
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He’s entered the library.   All we see is  what the students saw; everything is from their persective and it’s over the top scary:   we just see the killer’s  black boots making  those slow, frightening deliberate steps.  And it is frightening.
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Step, step, scream…. bang!!!!
 
Then that eerie silence.
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He approaches each kid and systematically shoots them,  one by one.    The last student to be shot is the cheerleader;  the one in the uniform who along with the other teens who died with her in the library that day, confronted  Tate on the beach at Halloween.    She’s hiding under a table.   But the killer knows she’s there.    He moved the table out of the way and thanks to a slow camera pan up the torso,  we see that it’s Tate.     He’s just standing there;  gun in hand, aimed at the cheerleader.   He has a very a crazed look in his eye.
 
He takes aim….we look up through our TV screens and follow the length of the rifle up to his face.  He pulls the trigger.
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The next thing we know, a SWAT team is knocking on the door of the Murder House,  which in 1994, was Constance’s home  where she lived with her son, Tate.   She’s screaming for them to stop…to leave her son alone…he’ll cooperate and go quietly.   But they don’t exactly stop and listen to the mom of a kid who’s just iced an untold number of his classmates!!!!     They burst in his room, he stands up from the bed,  laser scopes are aimed in a cluster around his  heart.   One false move and blammo!!!!!!   It would be an east and perfect kill shot.   
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Tate slowly bends his fingers back and extends his thumb and index finger  in the shape of a gun, then points it towards his head.
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We’re then treated to the opening credits which also signifies the end of any and all flashbacks.
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Up in Violet’s room we see her exercising her right to Google.   She’s now perusing a website devoted to the Westfield High School massacre.  Familiar faces appear on the screen…a dweeb…a jock…a Goth girl…the geeky rocker;  the sameangry, vengeful kids who confronted her on her Halloween beach date with Tate.    And then with one mouse click, she learns why they were angry:    Tate was the gunman.  Tate killed them.
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Last week, we learned that Tate is Constance’s son.   Most of us knew that.  This week  another thing we all thought we knew was confirmed–Tate is also her dead son, who like everyone who dies in that house, doesn’t stay dead.    Constance has got to get on Violet’s good side.  She feels Violet is  the only person who can help her free dead Tate from his earthly bondage., so she  invites Violet to her house to meet someone.    Constance has elicited the help of a psychic, but not just any psychic, one she found on Craig’s List.   Billie apparently has wonderful and accurate psychic gifts.   How good?    Well, the Lifetime network has expressed an interesting featuring her on a reality show!!!
She convinces Violet,  in a  confab in Constance’s cigarette smoke-filled kitchen, that she’s one of “the chosen ones” , who can,  like her and Haley Joel Osment, “see dead people”.  She adds that there are two kinds of ghosts….the pissed off, vengeful kind and there are the ghosts who don’t know they’re dead.       Tate we learn, falls in the latter category of ghosts.
 
This too much for our troubled teen to take, so she screams…and runs out of the kitchen.  I’d scream too if I just realized I’d been making out with a ghost for the past several weeks.
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Enter Viv.
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She’s sleeping and having a dream that she’s rubbing stretch mark cream on her pregnant belly when her baby’s hand…the size of a Rawlings catcher’s mit….is clawing her tummy, from the inside.   She wakes up; gets lonelies and feigns  hearing a prowler outside the house.  She presses the panic button on her home security system where the cute Security Guard will come a running.   He does, and we see the two engage in scripted sexual tension.   But drat the luck, Ben comes in the room, throws a monkey wrench in the middle of the erstwhile seduction and Mr. Probably Viv’s Boyfriend By Episode 8, leaves.    But why is Ben back?  Didn’t Viv kick him out at Halloween.  Yes, she did, but he’s broke and still needs to see patients in the  home office.
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Violet us upstairs in her bathroom and deals with her frustration and fear with a razor.  She starts to cut on her arm.
Downstairs, Ben is in session with a new patient…one who’s paranoid and delusional.   Derrick it seems, has an incapacitating fear of urban legends–of the scary variety.
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Derrick’s role in tonight’s episode baffled me a bit.  I know there’s a connection with the pig.    Dr. Montgomery was working on one in his basement after he went crazy with the post drug addiction Frankenstein complex.   Remember?   He was putting  vascular looking  pterodactyl wings on a two-headed pig.   What that connection is, remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, back in Constance’s Phillip Morris test kitchen,  she has a conversation with dead Addy through Billie the Craig’s List psychic.   Seems Addy is glad she died in the street and NOT on the Murder House property.  She said she didn’t want to be a ghost like Tate.  In fact, now that she knows the truth (not sure what that means), she’s scared of him.  Besides, where she was, she was, for the first time, a pretty girl.    Trust me, she’s happy now and not coming back any time.
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Now that Constance has successfully buried most of her ill-gotten progeny,  her concerns must focus somewhere else.  Ah yes, Viv’s baby is a rock solid contender.     She brings over sweetbreads, something her mama back in the South used to eat for all her morning sickness issues.    Yeah,  sweetbreads sound more like something Pillsbury would sell in one of those exploding cardboard canister things.   But no, sweetbreads are internal organs belonging to some four-legged critter.    In this case, the organs in question are the  thymus and pancreas.   Constance asks Moira to fry Vivien up a mess of some.    Moira obliges and Viv eats them.
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Meanwhile, Ben is helping Derrick overcome all of his irrational fears.  He takes him upstairs to a guest bathroom and makes him look in the mirror and call Piggy Man, which he does.   But Piggy Man doesn’t appear, but now making an appearance behind the shower curtain, one of the nurses killed back in 1969 .  She’s wet and looks angry.    Tubby Derrick is freaked out.
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Viv goes to the doctor for a little amniocentesis.   Something sure scared the ER nurse so badly she fainted when she performed the ultra sound on Viv at Halloween.   Viv needs to make sure everything is fine.  She aslo wants to talk to the fainting ER nurse, who we learn quit her job.   Vivien asks that the nurse be contacted to arrange a meeting.  Viv really wants to know what she saw.
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She runs back home, and confronts Moira, telling her that she can no longer afford her maid services.   Moira says nah, she ain’t going…she’ll work for free.  I mean, it’s not like she can go anywhere, right?
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Moira tells her that Constance has once again brought over a delicacy for the baby.  But this organ, one that offers THEE MOST  vitamins for the infant, must be eaten raw.  She goes to the fridge, pulls out a lovely Limoges tureen and places it on the table in front of Viv, then leaves Viv to eat solo.  Viv removes the lid to reveal a raw brain (looked human to me)  swimming in blood and beautifully garnished, might I add.   Instead of being horrified and repulsed, she grabs her fork and without thinking, dives right in. She cuts a piece; chews it.  Cuts another piece, chews it.    She seems to be enjoying it.  ,
 Blood rises to the surface with each fork jab and slice.   At one point, Viv adds to her gastronomique experience, by adding a  dash or two of pepper.
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Seriously.
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When the last morsel is eagerly shoved on to her fork then uploading into that her mouth, she chews, swallows then in a vintage Alka Seltzer commercial moment, peers down at the plate and gives this, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing” look.
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Viv then makes an appointment with the ER nurse.  She meets her where the troubled young nurse is now living…in a church.   Classic case of seeking sanctuary.  She tells Viv that she saw the baby’s horns and hooves.    She’s knows Viv is carrying Satan’s Spawn…literally.  Viv doesn’t believe her and runs out of the church.
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Meanwhile, Violet is up in her room eating her heart out.   Boyfriend dead, yet haunting her;  zero self esteem; she cuts herself as a reminder that at least she can still feel something.  parents separted.  Her family is broke and livimg on Dysfunction Avenue in a house that has a killer basement…literally.    She goes downstairs only to see Tate in a striped shirt that looked like came straight out of a Robert Englund/Elm Street Freddie estate sale, skulk from room to room.  She calls out to him; he ignores her and ultimately he leads her, where else?????
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Down to that damn basement.
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Nothing good EVER happens down there.
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The entire Dead In The Wall gang is down there:  the two evil red-headed twins who met their demise courtesy of the Hume Cronyn Chucky Demon Seed Basement Baby monster during the pilot episode.   We see the two nurses killed in the 1960′s Richard Speckish flashback;  both home invaders and even Dr. Montgomery, the drug crazed abortionist who originally built the home in the 1920′s, makes an appearance.  He makes salient points about his wife and all his appointments while waving 1920′s style forceps around.  Noticeably absent from the calvacade of usual ghosts are  Hayden, Mrs. Montgomery, Chad and his lover, Patrick, the one with the very iteresting ‘oral’ fixation.
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A very scared Vi then runs upstairs and swallows a handful of prop sleeping pills.   The next thing we know, a panicked Tate is dragging an unconscious Violet down the hall and into a bathroom where he throws her in the tub.  While being doused by cold water, cascading down from an expensive Kohler rain shower head, he forces a few fingers down her throat.  She gags a bit, miraculously comes to and the young lovers huddle together under the shower.
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Tate vows that he will NEVER let anyone or anything hurt Violent.
 
Then, we’re given a two-fer.   We were also treated to another flashback.    Actually, we learn how the flashback at the beginning of the show, ends.
We’re in  Tate’s bedroom once again.  He just killed an untold number of his high school classmates.   He’s surrounding by LA’s version of the  Tonton Macoutes.  He’s got his hand in the shape of a gun aimed at his own head, remember?  He makes a sudden move for a gun hidden under his pillow and BLAMMO!!!!!!    A cluster kill shot fells him like a tree.   Tate falls down dead.
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Absolutely tragic way to go.
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Violet is lying on her bed.   Tate appears at the foot of it.  He tells her he knows something is wrong;  she’s cold, more distant and if she needs him to go away, he will, but he loves her.  He even wrote it on her bedroom wall…right up there next to the word “taint’ which he scribbled during the pilot episode.   She says she’s tired.  he says he’s tired–and she invites him into her bed.  
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Episode 6 (or is it 5???) ends with Miss Creep and her corpse spooning.
 
So, you might ask, “Hey Laurie, what do you think of tonight’s episode???”
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I think the deal with Violet is that she’s psychic.   She’s obviously able to see what Ben and Viv can’t.     They don’t see ghosts…well, obviously they do, but not like Violet can.  Oh yeah, sure they see both Moira’s and Ben saw Tate for a while but think about this, I doubt  if  Viv has once mentioned his name or referred to him in any way…at least not in the last several weeks and we all know, they’ve seen Chad, his boyfriend and Hayden and Viv had Latex sex with something,  but even so, there are many things evolving here.   I can’t figure out what they are.   In some ways, I feel even more confused after this rather over the top episode.
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Let’s dissect this a smidge:   Constance has an unhealthy attraction to Viv’s baby.    But why?  What’s the connection of this needful attraction?   Why does she need or want children…baby’s around her all the time.   Additionally, Moira the Older actually seems like a nice concerned  lady and in spite of all of Tate’s troubles, he seems to be a loving, caring young man, as long as he’s not wearing a dark trench coat and brandishing a weapon on school property.   One must wonder if the house made him crazy.   Probably.   It’s doing a number on me.
 
But I’ll give the writers and the young actor who portrays Tate credit.  It takes certain skillsets (writing and performance) to convince a jaded old broad like me that a confused kid turned mass murderer can be that likeable.  Kudos to Tate and those who write for him.
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So tonight my devoted readers, your humble blogger comes to you intrigued, but baffled.   There are so many dots to connect here.  So many homages to horror movies and historical tragedies.  Connections..connections..connections.   What are they?
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What’s really happening between:
  • Viv and Ben
  • Constance and Rubber Man
  • Moira the Younger and any weak heterosexual male
  • Violet and Dr. Montgomery
  • And is there any connection between Tate and Burned Guy?    Let’s look into that, shall we???   Well, Burned Guy actually has a name.  It’s Larry.
Is there a connection?    Larry and Tate.
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Larry and Tate.   Larry….Tate.
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Wait a minute….Larry Tate???   As in Darren Stevens’ boss at the fictional Madison Avenue advertising firm of McMahon and Tate from TV’s “Bewitched”????
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Hey, on this crazy ass show, ANYTHING can happen.
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So, what do YOU think???     Is Vivien carrying the Antichrist?   What’s the deal with the security guard?  Where is that relationship headed?    I can see it now:   an episode entitled, “Jungle Fever” coming to us somewhere down the line.   Will we see more of Hayden?   Mr. Security Guard sure left an open squad car door for more Hayden appearances.
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I know I think Ben SUCKS as a therapist.  Derrick the Tubby Paranoid patient went home and addressed the mirror in his bathroom with the Piggy mantra.   Pig Man didn’t appear, but a robber hiding in his bathtub did and he said “welcome home’  with a 30 caliber slug in Derrick’s forehead.    Ben has not been able to keep a single patient.   Plus, he’ll never make any money from inurance on subsequent sessions.  All his patient’s die.
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And who was Mary, the old woman in the hospital room who told Violet that no one understands her and never will?    Where did she come from?    And why was Viv was so willing to eat a bloody human brain without flinching?  Does Milk Eye Moira have hypnotically persuasive powers in addition to her ability to age shape/ shift?    And to whom did that brain belong?   It certainly wasn’t Hayden’s.  I saw no shovel shaped dents in it.
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Well, next week’s previews look  good.  We can expect more flashbacks involving the Montgomery’s in the 1920′s.   Right on, kids.    I crave more back story on the house and please, something/anything on the basement critter who IF he/it IS their reanimated child, piece milled back together after being kidnapped and dismembered, has got to be over 90 years old now.   That would mean that thing could only kill with the help of a walker.    Yet as we’ve seen, it’s still pretty agile.  It xertainly lills like a 30 year old.
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 And last but not least, when Violet goes downstairs at the start of the show and sees Constance sitting in the kitchen, interestingly she asks where her mom is and if Constance has
“hurt her”.   I found that to be interesting.     I also found Constance’s question to the Craig’s List psychic interesting as well.  She wanted to know if she could “trust” Violet.    The dynamic between Vi and Connie is becoming a fascinating weave of intrigue and ipecac.
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And cigarettes.
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P.S.    Minus 40 points to the prop masters who worked on this particular episode.    That cherry jello with the pie filling center made in a  cheap, plastic Spencer’s Gift’s brain mold was weeeeeeeeeeakkkkkk.    
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