entertainment

The Politics of Dating

In Broadcasting, you collect a lot of unemployment and you end up out of desperation,  doing odd jobs for very odd people who really, really liked you on the air.   They almost only ever agreed to an interview just to see if one  looked  as hot as one sounded.     I made it through a couple of interviews….I guess that was because I was actually worthy of being the subject of  their fantasy; Laurinella, Queen of SultryVox, Land of CarboHydratia.    Eeewwwww.   I can remember having some of the creepiest temporary bosses.

Anyway, I was thinking back on my long  career and one particular  period of unemployment appeared front and center on ye olde memory banks or in my mammary banks according to some of my creepier bosses.

I’d been doing a little freelance work for a Houston magazine (heavy on the “free”, by the way).   Days earlier, my editor asked me what I wanted to do next in terms of a subject.

I told her that I really didn’t care–anything would be fine–I wasn’t picky. Whatever. I suggested  she throw out a couple of potential topics.

Right off the bat, she suggested I do an in-depth piece on the Interior Department’s finalized proposal to open 48 jillion  acres of previously off-limits land for oil exploration and drilling.

“Nah, that’s a little heavy. Too many facts and numbers”, I said. “But anything else would be fine. Really. I’m amenable to anything,  seriously.  Just name it.  What other topics do you have in mind?”

She then suggested that I write an article on Venezuelan despot, Hugo Chavez (he was still and alive and killing back then) and his ardent criticism of neo-liberal globalization.

I shook my head and told her no; too many abstract political principles. Nor was I in the mood to do a lot of boring research. Plus my head started to spin. I told her I’d do anything , ANYTHING but that.

She then suggested an overview of Nancy Pelosi’s first two years as Speaker of the House.

I vomited a little in my mouth, then suggested an overview of anything else.

She then told me of her idea for a story about the dating world for older Houstonians. (And by older, I mean age 40 and up)

I thought about it for a second: it had possibilities; some creative potential. There would be no mention of Hugo Chavez or Nancy P.  that I could think of and besides, I was a Houstonian over 40.

I told her I’d do it.

But I quickly learned that I wouldn’t be talking to older Houstonians trying to date. I’d have to become one of the older Houstonians trying to date.

The story, as it was conveyed to me, would be far more interesting if I participated in it. First person perspective.

As in, I should actually go out on a date.

Yeah, uh-huh.

A date.

I’m not even sure what constitutes a date in 2017 much less in what it was in 2008 when I was given this assignment,   Certainly not for a woman whose birth  predates Eisenhower’s incessant rants about then military- industrial complex.   

See, at the time, I hasn’t had a real by God date per se since December 2004.    I was Tin Man rusty and way off my game, but a few years earliermImhad some success at what I called “guerrilla dating”. I attacked it with Gunga Din-like precision; I had the enthusiasm of a Sandinista with new boots during the rainy season.

This was my M.O.—I’d get all tarted up and go to the nearest Barnes and Noble Bookstore (ALWAYS date a literate man and do brick and mortar book stores still esxist?).   I’d find a pretentious stack of books to stand near. If I saw a nice looking man, I’d grab a book and open it. Remember, the book really doesn’t matter, but the title and cover made all the difference .  Just make sure whatever you grab as a prop, makes you look intellectual and even a bit mysterious.

I remember on one occasion, I actually trained my eyes to go Marty Feldman. Seriously! One eye scanned the room looking for a mark, while the other focused on the book allowing me to feign interest in the Runic alphabet. I didn’t get that many dates, but I learned that Runic/Futhark is Runic for “how’s it hanging”.

That should come in handy if I’m ever going out with a holdover who’s lineage is that of the ancient Goths.

Still, I remember being nervous about all of it.  The dynamics of dating had changed since I last went out one a date four years prior.  Should I be worried I hadn’t changed enough to accommodate all the social changes? But surely, some of the basics were still in existence, right?

All the latest books and authors insisted that men and women have innate “hard wiring” that time can’t change.    They  wrote that it all goes back to that feral thing; when we lived in caves, communicated through grunts and screeches and were the mono-browed forebearers to that clever caveman Geico ad campaign eight years ago.

We all saw the movie, “Quest for Fire”, right?    We learned from that flick that prehistoric men looked at women and sized them up as breeding stock. They’d ask themselves, “Is she physically able to bare my progeny and propagate my DNA for generations to come?….Ugh!” If so, he grabbed her by the hair and pulled her into the cave where he would proceed make a big carnal Mesozoic smack dab all over her Jurassic.

So, what’s changed?  Women still do as they did way back then; we look at every man and subconsciously wonder if “he’s the one?”  . We can’t help it. We want to know if these brave, hunter/gatherers can provide for our families.   And by that I don’t  necessarily mean bringing home a brontosaurus or fire..

But we’re older now, so more than likely, we’ll still size each other up, but for entirely different reasons.

Older men look at older women and hope that we can prepare a meal that’s either low or no sodium and we older women will be hoping that men will still be able to—–my God! Is that a crease in his pants or is that his prostate???

Oh yes, things have changed.

And what if sex enters the picture??? There are so many factors now in place that weren’t there years ago. I was 49 then…..(Jeez, really?????) and at the time inconvenienced with “free range” periods–they came and went as they pleased and usually at the worst times!    I had to deal with that, plus, there was the awkward issue of Cialis and Viagra; performance anxiety and feminine…. whatever.

There’s nothing scarier than a “first anything”. Especially a first date. You’ve got a 50-50 chance you won’t like each other physically and if that attraction isn’t there, you know it right off the bat. That’s not to say that perceived looks won’t change as you get to know each other, but rarely will a couple on their first date, ever feel that need and desire at the same time.

The truth is we’re older. Much older.

In fact, too damn old to be dating in the first place.   Writing about it would be fiction.    I’d be Steven Glass  Glass with a better rack.

This whole damn idea is nuts.  Completely insane.   I remember sweating, feeling nauseous and burping up something akin to sulfur.   I stayed at home in fetal thought when Inshould have been out researching and  writing this story.   All it resulted in were days of complete panic.     My editor must have sensed this.  She called to check on my progress.   I was honest.  I vomited my panic through the phone.

So, long story short, s few days lster  my piece on how Hugo Chavez’s disdain of neo-liberal globalization affected his dating rituals  was on her desk and ready to go to print.

Jeez……The things  we do for a paycheck.

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In Praise of Meaty Women 2017

If you,d cut me in half, you’d count 58 rings.   Yep, this old tee with boobs and graying hair with some blond in there somewhere, thank you, have seen  a lot of life.  The tales  my pudge twigs could tell.

The  post you’re  about to read with a repeat.   It wwas written as menopuase and all it’s hormonal MOABs Was wreaking havoc on my mind and ass.    Allow to me repeat, it did a number of my ass.     Someone women breeze menopause with a cough,    But  nor me, of course.  It devastated me.

How bad?     Rodney King and the LA riots bad.      The fairly recent nepal earthquake bad.  The University of Texas  Longhorns 2016 football season bad.

So, when I first wrote this seven years ago, Mother Nature was forcing me to retain later like a reservoir.  I had insomnia, heart palpitations, I was bitchy, moody, I had a hotflashes one moment and then I’d  be so cold the next minute, I was surprised tornadoes weren’t forming on the drynline  near my crotch.  (Somewhere, there’s a meteorologist or a weather nerd laughing his or her ass off at that one!)

At the time, I was also angry.    I had  grown very tired of the concept of being “ridiculously thin to be considered in”.

I had had my fill with the men who will only pursue this anatomical ideal that Hollywood and Glamor, Cosmo and Maxim and Playboy have forced fed us.  And save for the emotionally/mentally skewed, I’ve had my fill of women who are so shallow as to think being bone thin is the only way to be and are literally killing themselves in an attempt to stay skinny to keep their men and society happy.

Fuck that noise.

During the puffy  years, I felt  this way legitimately. It didn’t stem from an attempt to justify the fact that I wasn’t thin then nor am I now not a particularly thin woman. It is true, I have lost a considerable amount of weight in recent months and while I’d be considered a great piece of ass in at least 21 countries, I’m still not Cosmo worthy. I am a woman who could be described as “upholsterered”‘.  No sinewy musculature pokes out anywhere and no part of my skeletal system protrudes.  My elbow and scalp are about as this thin and boney as it gets.

But even with pounds lost, I’d still be considered chubby by many, but here’s your reality check, Society–I’M YOUR AVERAGE WOMAN!!!!!! I’m the norm. More North American women look just like me.

So, bellow there:  Meet the face, ass and gut of average America.

Parts of men arevrounded.   They’d protrudes. Stuff hangs over waistbands like an intertube.

It jiggles and often moves of it’s own accord.

It is the stuff of which many women are made and I would hope that someday soon, we can understand that a little extra adipose, doesn’t negate the efficacy of femininity, beauty and womanhood.

But none of that matters. Thin women are the ones who idealized. Men will look twice at a thin women–it doesn’t matter if her face looks like it was set ablaze, then extinguished with 30-rounds from an M-16. It’s about the damned body!

Yep–men will ogle and admire thin women; then, they’ll shake their heads while making that “eye squinting, lip pursing face” while inhaling loudly—as if they’ve just been served a perfect prime rib, yet invariably, they’ll go home to wives and girlfriends who are struggling to squeeze their ever expanding frames into their size 16 jersey knit stretch pants.

It used to be so different.

How did this happen? When did this happen?

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Back 300-400 years or so, heavier women were the preferred stock. Men loved women who were heavier. A little excess weight signified health and health meant the woman was of sturdy child bearing stock. And not only that, weight bore certain social ramifications, as well. Being zaftig was a sign of wealth; there was a correlation between adipose women and a family who was loaded. Obviously, it meant the woman’s family had enough money to buy enough food to eat.

It made sense–a large woman, a large dowry.

In fact, the famed counter-reformation artist, Peter Paul Ruben painted a number of portraits of women; all of them heavy. It was a combination of his style and the common girth of his subjects that became an adjective to describe larger women….Rubenesque.

We still use that term today.

His appreciation of the much fuller female form is evidenced in this lovely piece, “Venus At A Mirror”, painted sometime around the year 1615.

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Corporally, this is a woman of substance. Not thin by any means, but certainly not obese. There is a big difference between the women in this portrait…

And this woman:

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Some of you might laugh and guffaw at this woman. Sadly, that’s also part of a conditioned response. Our first impression of her would be reflective of societal norms. Initially, we’d probably think that she’s lazy and worthless and from a certain socio-economic level that deems Little Debbie Snack Cakes with green sprinkles to be a vegetable. We would be repulsed at first glance and God forbid we’d stop for a second to think about what physical maladies might be plaguing her; what serious psychological issues are at play here.   Sure there’s laziness, a lack of will power,,, a whole litantnof reasons why,     But no one gets large this ever…EVER… without deep seesded psychological reasons.

if nothing else, tremendous pain..

No, none of that matters–she’s just a big, fat, ugly, and obviously, a reprehensibly lazy slob and that’s that.

Yet, I ask you– is the photo above any more disturbing than one from the opposite end of the spectrum??

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The same warped psycho-social reasons exist here,  too.  Pain.   Both are horribly tragic.   And so very, very dangerous.

Eating disorders are surging these days. We overeat, binge eat; we’re bulimics–we have our cake and heave it, too and we’re anorexics.

A countless number of women are afflicted with body-dysmorphic disorder. In short, it effects perception. What a dysmorphic sees when she looks at her body and what her body really looks like are two completely different things. She sees what her illness makes her see and her reflection in the mirror becomes the enemy.

This photo exemplifies that perfectly.

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It says it all, in fact.

This is real, my friends and this isn’t a gross exaggeration. This is reality for a person suffering with body dysmorphic disorder. What you’re seeing is, in effect, what the dysmorphic sees. Distorted beyond belief.

Tragically, people are dying from the diseases associated with this…yes, men too, though the numbers are disproportionately female.

But statistics regarding increasing fatalities among binge eaters, anorexics and bulimics be damned—thin is the goal. Images like this are ubiquitous.

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And wanna know what’s so damn ridiculous about this photo?

If she were eight years younger, black and living in Biafra, the BBC would feature her in a documentary. A United Nations Humanitarian Aid box would soon arrive near her village via air drop and a day or two later, we’d see her fly-ridden face staring blankly at the camera while slowly teething this over-sized Pop Tart looking cracker thing.

Sir Bob Geldoff would eventually see the documentary and be moved to write a special Christmas song about it. He’d gather a few of his fellow British warblers together to sing it while being filmed–a video would be produced and long story short, a billion British pounds would be raised for famine relief.

More of them big ol’, Pop Tart looking crackers for everyone.

But nooooooooooooo!!!!!!

In this case, in a world of “acceptable starvation”, a photography crew snaps a few shots of Skeletina, the newest Supermodel from Latvia on some runway in Milan and a million magazines get sold.

What’s wrong with this picture, people? I ask this literally–WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?????

The insanity makes me crazy.

Personally, I like a beefier built guy, but if forced to decide between a hefty guy and John Goodman at his heaviest, I’ll go for the thinner of the two. So, does that me any less guilty?

No.

But I’m making a concerted effort to see beyond beauty being skin deep and fat being deep skin. Maybe it’s because there have been times in my life when I’ve been heavier. I know what it’s like to be looked over, then promptly overlooked. Socially, my weight issues meant the world was fixated on (as cliche as this sounds) what I was eating…not what was eating me.

Sadly, I saw it that way, too.

Before I die, there are several things I want to accomplish. Chief among them: I want to make a difference with regard to the early detection of breast cancer in socio-economically challenged women AND I want to do something about eating disorders and the psycho-social reasons why they exist.

There’s a mental and emotional bridge that needs to be gapped here. I intend to find it. Somehow, someway and the fact that I’m sick of this; sick of all of it compels me.

Women have to change the way we look at ourselves and we cannot do this through eyes that are focused by the airbrushed photos in glossy magazines and impossible ideals.

It’s not a matter of  brandishing a weapon  and holding it someone’s head and STRONGLY encouraging them to move away from the pie.      One can lose weight if the spirit moves you.    Sheer will power is key, but getting to that point isn’t easy.     There can be many things standing in the way of wanting to lose weight and actually losing the weight,

Whatwed the reasons, this has got to stop. If we don’t, it’ll will continue to be our most fatal flaw. We push ourselves, deny ourselves, starve ourselves and for what??? Will life in a size 4 body really be that different? How happy can our external world EVER be if our internal one thrives in chaos? Can we ever look that good if we feel that miserable?

Make no mistake: turmoil ALWAYS trickles from the inside out.

But for some for some ridiculously skewed reason, if the outside looks good, harmful internal conflicts be damned.

Lets get something straight…re-read this post if yiunhvar yoo,    I’m not bashing thin women and I’m not bashing heavy women.    This post is, at it’s very heart, targets the entities that that promulgate the negativity.  The Madison Avenue ad types; Hollywood, magazine editors ( The Devil Wears Prada is a movie…fictio.   Maybe but the film exemplifies this horrendous mindset) and there are the bitchy columnists outbthere and fat bashing You Tube posters who have a special place in hell waiting for them).   And there are countless  countless others (like sick perfectionist mothers and aashdole, husbands and boyfriends) who force feed us this ideal of what women are supposed to look like. But the reality is, women DON’T look like that. Air brushing and retouching are photographic techniques that disingenuously portray women unfairly.  too.

There’s a famous quote from Cindy Crawford made a few years back.  Some fans approached her and told her they wished they could wake up every morning and look like her.   To which she replied, she ALSO wished she could wake up everyday and look like Cindy Crawford!

I’m years post menopausal but better (swearing less)  but still  working  on my new issues. I envy those people with blast furnace  metabolisms or tall people who have places for milkshakes and cheeseburgers to go.

And Im also still very aware  of the concept that if we’re thin at all costs, that makes it all OK.

But that just makes it even more dangerous,   Thevlate  Karen Carpenter and many lesser known women (and men) who died, prove that true.

But sadly, as a weight obsessed society, we’re too fat-headed to grasp it.

 

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This is Ed’s “American Horror Story” Preview

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I can’t remember when I met Ed Gomez, but I know where we met.    We were struggling college students living and studying and working in Austin, Texas.  The scene of so many crimes back then was Foley’s/Highland Mall.   It was a somewhat higher end department store that originated in Houston.   Soon Foley’s expanded eastward and became a part of mall scenery in Austin and San Antonio.    

For you West Coasters, Foley’s was like Bullock’s.   You Floridians can compare it to Burdine’s;  Filene’s for you Yankees and Macy’s for everyone else.    We were both working in Selling Services.  We scheduled the XOC’s (Extras On Call) who were mostly college students,  who needed to work flexible hours to accommodate class and homework schedules.

We bonded immediately, mostly over the campiest things.   Humor was everything and we saw it in everything.  I seem to remember one of our first conversations was about a woman we  both loved:   Bette Midler.   We talked about her love of millinery.  Namely a hat she wore for a one particular book signing.   It was a globe with a tiny airplane that circled it, thanks to tiny batteries.   We loved that hat.   We loved the strange.    Our friendship was permanently cemented even further by a mutual affection for the strangest movies:  Motel Hell, Eating Raoul, Airplane and anything John Waters has ever touched.  

Ed was/is a lot like me in that he saw the nuances of the inane.   I’ve always loved  that fact that with Eddie,  these nuances were  rarely subtle.  He saw them as glaring..and always hilarious.   Eventually, we graduated from college  and I left Austin to start my ‘storied’  career in Broadcasting.  I had tiny TV markets to conquer  upon which I would cut my teeth, so to speak.   He stayed in Austin, but beyond that, I never knew what happened to him.   We lost touch after that.  I only recently learned that he became a Professional Counselor, moved to deep South Texas, got married and then divorced, which he says his own version of an “American Horror Story” .  We reconnected 28 years later thanks to Facebook and the rest is as they say, history.    It was as if we’d only stopped talking yesterday.   That’s what friends can do…pick up where they left off, regardless of chasm of time between them. 

Like me, he wants to retire early and see what the world has to offer….and what older versions of Laurie and Ed can offer the world.

And I’m pleased to say this 54-year-old man is still as ridiculously handsome as he ever was. 

Plus, he has eyelashes that makes Bambi’s look alopecic.  

Oh well.   My boobs will always be bigger.

And at age 52, certainly longer.  

Thanks gravity.

And away we go……

My friend, Laurie is starting to worry about the lack of logic in American Horror Story, but since when are horror stories, especially those involving ghosts, logical?  It’s not logical for  the heroine to go UP the stairs when she hears a strange sound, nor is it logical to stand there for five minutes and watch your attacker turn into a werewolf (The Howling), instead of running away as fast as you can.  Logic and horror don’t go together.  Kids understand this concept better than some of us life-hardened, wonder-deprived adults.

Which is precisely why I love AHS; it makes me feel like a kid again.  I still remember Dark Shadows, Alfred Hitchcock Presents , Twilight Zone, and The Night Stalker, to name a few. I didn’t worry about logic then, and I still remember some of the frights those tv shows threw at me.  And don’t forget the creepy AHS theme music that’s played during the opening credits. In my opinion, it’s just as memorable as the keening, eerie, Dark Shadows theme. 

 American Horror Story is a hoot.  It’s weird, scary, and over-the-top hilarious at times.  Although I’ve been worried about Hallie the dog since the first episode, I couldn’t stop laughing when I thought she went      in the microwave.  In my mind, that was a less painless death than seeing her boiling in a pot of water, or decapitated on the floor. Of course, I was relieved to learn she was okay.  Now, I’m worried for her all over again.    I have no idea where this show is  headed, but not knowing  is half the fun.  The stuff that’s transpired is far more outrageous than I could have imagined. 
 
So, if I were to guess what my happen, I’d say there’s a chance that Constance has this twisted need to be around babies….for her survival, perhaps..  Her name makes me wonder if she’s actually very, very old  (Constant Constance).  I think the fact that the Harmon family is experiencing little to no harmony, is the real  horror story that unfolding here.   Add to that,  Hayden,  the girlfriend from Hades; the Mistress of  Mephistopheles.    Is she still pregnant???? O. M. G.  Don’t be surprised  if Hayden contributes to Murder House’s monster population with a  Pampers wearing hellion all her own.   You know, that birth/death conundrum all in one fail swoop.
 
 So, to Laurie and others who worry about logic when you watch AHS–don’t sweat it.  Just enjoy the thrilling, chilling ride.  Try to find the ghosts of Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, and Carson McCullers lurking somewhere in the background when Jessica Lange is chewing up the scenery.  Pray for Rosemary’s, I mean, Vivien’s, baby.  Hope against hope that sex addict Ben (Dylan McDermott) gives in to the advances of the blonde, gay ghost.  Scream out “I wanna be a pretty girl!” every time you see Addie in flashback. Yell “Stereotype!!!” every time Zach Quinto sashays into a scene.
 
Anything can happen at the Harmon house, and I’m going to be there for every momentous occasion.  It’s fun to get hooked on a tv show after all these years, isn’t it?  Now, if only the producers could figure out how to bring Ruth Gordon back from the dead……….Is Sylvia Miles still alive?
 

Ed Gomez

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Thanks Ed.  Stellar job, my friend.   
 
Here’s the actual F/X preview for this Wednesday’s episode entitled, “Piggy, Piggy”.
 
 
 
 
Whoa…this one  looks like it’s gonna be good, kids!! 
 
I paused and started and rewound and fast forwarded till I lost all feeling in my index finger and I STILL CANNOT figure out who’s being dragged down the hall or who’s doing the dragging!!!   If you can figure out, please let me know.  Also, who in the hell is sitting in that chair facing the wall?   I thought I saw orthopedic shoes adorning those old, skinny legs!!!!
 
And was that Tate brandishing a shotgun????
 
Hhhhhhhmmmmmmmm….this is all getting more and more interesting.     
 
I found out, that we’ll find out what it was about Viv’s ultrasound that made the nurse faint and did you see when Viv was sitting there, her belly all plump with fetus exposed?   Her still developing fetus now has a toddler’s sized hand and it’s pressing against her womb–from the inside out, making ME think she’s in her 98th trimester.   And Moira prepares a gory delicacy for the now very pregnant Viv to eat…which somehow she does…with belch inducing gusto.    We’re talking brains, kids….fresh from the cabeza ….and with garnish, no less!!
 
And from what I understand, this (in the whacky world of the Moira and The Murder House) is a very bloody, high protein equivalent of Tanna leaves.  Remember that was the stuff that controlled The Mummy???
 
I hear this is a very gross scene.
 
 
 
I understand we’ll also be treated to another flashback to the 1920’s to learn more on the backstory on the original owners–the Montgomery’s.   And we’ll finally find out what connection the Chucky Demon Seed Basement Monster Baby has to the house.   Come on, that’s a no brainer—he’s Dr. and Mrs. Montgomery’s son,  the one that was kidnapped and killed like the Lindbergh baby.    The one that was murdered as a revenge for an abortion, remember?  The same son that came back to the Montgomery’s in a box like a 16 piece dinner at Mr. Crispy’s House of Chicken!!!!!!   The one that the drug addled Dr. Montgomery put back together with needle and thread and somehow, brought back to life  and if we get a chance to see how he did it, I swear if I see lightning bolts, a Tesla coil and a hunchback are ANYWHERE in the scene, I WILL BE PISSED!!!  
 
Now, let’s think about this for a second.   If the basement baby monster is  the Montgomery’s son, version 2.0, he’s got to close to 90 years old now.    Maybe, this is something akin to what Mr. Gomez thinks–what if the basement creature NEEDS to kill and drink blood from a neck wound to survive (all the victims so far have had slashed throats)….AND….what if Constance is its daughter and she needs babies around her to stay looking…well…stay looking…uh…well, not like the baby monster!!!!!!!         
 
Huh?   Huh????    Think about that possibility!!!
 
Or try this on for size.   Last week, Constance told Violet that Tate is her son.   Well, what if he isn’t….wjat if she just says she is as a cover story, because the Harmon’s can see the ghosts of the house as she does.    What if,  Tate is actually her husband?  Horny Car Salesman Guy in The White Man Panties who tried to have sex with Moira the Younger in their master bedroom?????      Remember what she told him before she filled his chest full of hot lead???   She said “I’ve loved you since I was 16.”     
 
Okay, what if…and this is a big ….
 
 
Constance and the whole Hee Haw gang see him as his 16-year-old self.   Maybe that’s why he backed away from Constance when she saw him in the window.  Remember her expression?    She actually seemed hurt by that.    Maybe that’s why she made Violet those ipecac laden cupcakes. 
 
Let’s face it, nothing quite “I’m jealous of you” more than two cupcakes that will keep a teenage girl wretching until she’s 30.
 
And last but not least kids,  I’ve read that we’ll see a fearful side of Ben, who’ll help a new patient confront his fears.  This new character is deathly afraid of urban legends.  He won’t even look in the mirror.   On humid days here in Houston, I can totally relate.   During a therapy session, he begins to tell Ben about “The Piggy Man”, and from what I understand, this conveyance is both hilarious and terrifying.     Dr. Ben the Angry is actually kind of  creeped out by the tale.  
 
Now, here’s what’s very interesting about this aspect of the storyline.   Several episodes earlier, when we first met Dr. Montgomery, the crazy drug addicted original homeowner/abortionist with the Frankenstein complex, he’s down in his basement laboratory, putting what looks like thin, vascular riddled wings on a two headed pig.
 
 
Wonder if there’s a connection between this flying two headed pig and the “The Piggy Man” urban myth….or is it  an urban fact?????????????????     Could the brains that Moira serves Viv be pig brains???    Maybe, a ‘pair’ of pig brains?????     What’s the connection, if there is one???????
 
Also in this upcoming episode, while Constance enlists Violet’s help in dealing with Tate and in doing so, reveals a bit more about the house.
  
Wow….

HURRY UP WEDNESDAY!!!

Join me after the show for another review and synopsis.

American Horror Story: Episode 4/Part 2 Synopsis & Review

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What in the  hell did I just watch???   

How many different versions of Fatal Attraction, Bowling for Columbine,  sitcoms, episodes of Dynasty, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dark Shadows, Hardy Boys mysteries, Max Factor commercials and  O.C. reruns did I see crammed under one big crazy circus tent of televised insanity tonight????

I don’t know.   I had to watch two encore episodes just to make sure I missed nothing, and even then, I feel there’s plenty I missed.

I was disappointed in tonight’s American Horror Story.  Some might disagree with me and that’s okay.  This show and the pilot left me feeling–I don’t know–dissatisfied.   But don’t mind me, I’m just a lowly blogger..  

All my growing frustration aside, let us start at the start, shall we?     

Every AHS begins with a flashback.  Tonight’s episode went back one week.   It opens with Burned Guy banging on the door, Violet frightened by the ferocity of the banging.  She senses something…or someone standing behind her.  We all know it’s Rubber Man, but when she looks, nothing is there.  She then runs upstairs to pre for her date with Tate, but as she’s messing around in her bedroom, a creepy hand reaches out from under her bed…a lot like Addy did last week.   Remember that?    And who’s hand did that belong to?   With Addy gone and not coming back because she died in the street after the Halloween hit and run, and not on the hallowed ground that is the Harmon’s house or the property its on,  I think we’re about to meet another one of Constance’s four-legged, one-eyed, two-headed groin fruit.

Cannot wait for that.

Tate and Violet head for their date at the beach. 

Meanwhile, Ben and Viv have just arrived back home from an emergency trip to the hospital, due to pain in Viv’s tummy.   Her eight week old baby has apparently staged a one fetus production of “Les Mis” en utero.   It’s apparently kicking up a storm.      The ER nurse  took an ultra sound of said womb and she fainted dead away at the sight of the unholy seed  that’s hatching in that fleshy incubator of Viv’s.   Still, the couple was sent home.   But home is hardly a safe haven.  Hayden is there.    She rang the doorbell.  Ben answered the door, then promptly closed it when he saw her standing there looking very dead.  And very dirty.   

We very quickly learn that *Hayden*is*pissed.    

Viv knows she’s back in the picture.;  she calls Viv’s cell, just as she’s about to hop in the tub.   She makes it clear to Mrs. Harmon  that things with Ben are not as they seem.   But as Viv explains why trying to maintain a relationship with her husband is folly, we learn that Viv had an affair with  a married man years before.   Things didn’t work out.   Then Hayden cranks up the “screw you” quotient by telling Viv that Ben finds things in her that he can’t in Viv.  Ben thinks Hayden’s  face is soft and that the area betwixt her legs tastes like some sort of fruit salad.

“Ask him about Boston.”   

That’s the last thing Viv hears on the phone.   A furious Viv turns around and in the steam on the mirror we see written, ” “Ask him”.

Viv runs downstairs convinced that Hayden is in the house and Ben naturally grabs a knife and goes down to the basement.  I know that’s where I’d go and of course, Hayden is down there.  They talk a bit; she screams at him about her very unceremonious murder and how she dislikes that fact that a tawdry little gazebo is being used for a makeshift headstone,  she then burps up what looks like a handful of bloody beets, then Burned Guy appears out of nowhere, bops Ben on the head.  He apologizes to her for that killer “head shot” he gave her two weeks ago.   Hayden tells Burned Guy that she’ll deal with him later, but first things first:  she has to ‘deal with Vivien” first.   Burned Guy gets all excited at the prospect of offing another broad with fire, so he reaches into his pocket and pulls out of lighter, flips it on a couple of times and begs Hayden to let him help her.   If you remember, he killed his wife and daughters years earlier by burning them to death..in that same house.     He got trapped  in his own fire;  hence his severe burn scars on his face. 

They tie up the unconscious Ben and leave him on the floor.

Meanwhile, Tate and Violet are making out at the beach.    A blazing bonfire and the surf  add to the romantic mood.    Violet reaches down to test the girth of Tate’s level of amorous interest and apparently “flaccid” is the word du jour.   Tate apologizes and blames his inabilities on the anti-psychotic meds Ben has prescribed for him.    Then, several kids approach them:  a cheerleader, a punky hipster, a goth queen, a chess club dweeb and a jock in a letterman’s sweater.   Right off the bat, it looks like they’re in costume.  

But they’re not.  Oh no no no no no no no.    They may have come Central Casting but their wounds are interesting.   

These are the things they were wearing when they were killed and apparently, killed  by Tate *and*they*are*pissed.    Remember back during the pilot episode during his first  session with Ben?  Tate tells Ben he has fantasies of seriously wanting to paint his face-up like a zombie, don a black trench coat and in his best Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (Columbine) impersonation, shoots all the popular kids who are mean to him.  Remember that?   Well, it looks like that wasn’t a fantasy.    The cheerleader’s uniform is bloody, the jock has a bullet hole in his forehead and the Chess Club Dweeb with an obvious head wound, proves the severity of his injury by also burping up bloody beets.   Tate kind of acts like he knows them, though he claims he doesn’t.   He runs, they chase him.   They want to know why he did it.  He denies pulling the trigger; any trigger…they have the wrong guy.

Denial?  Repressed memories?

Are these wounded entities mere components of Tate’s personality?  Components  that he’s suppressedor “shot down” if you will?   He wants to be the accomplished jock, a brain, popular…live to the beat of his own drummer.   Are these hidden desires??   Aspects or traits he wants to incorporate in his life???

Chloe the bloodied cheerleader tearfully tells him she should be married, should be a mom and should be 34 years old by now.   This shooting spree must have happened in the mid 90’s.   Then, how old is Tate?   According to AHS, does this mean when people are murdered so traumatically, they stay at the age they were when they died?    Okay, then someone PLEASE explain old Milk Eye Moira and her age shifting?    Again, that’s probably due to perspective,  but why?   What about the Chucky Demon Seed Basement Baby Monster?   Who’s in the gimp suit?    Why is Moira the Younger such a whore?

And just what is the Heisenberg uncertainty principle in quantum physics??????

Meanwhile  back at the  house, Vivien hears a commotion out front.  It’s Gay Chad, the previous homeowner and *he*is*pissed.  He starts uh….redecorating… the Halloween accoutrement in the front yard.

 /

Then there’s a fire in some room that Viv extinguishes.  Then for reasons, I’ll never understand, Hayden suddenly decides in the middler of her haunting that she’s not feeling fresh, so she takes a bath in the water Viv had drawn for herself.       There’s blood in the water.

Anyway, Hayden drip dries and calls Viv on the phone…again…to tell her she loves what she’s done to the kitchen, then says, “Here girl!, as in urging the pooch to come to her.  Panicky Viv runs downstairs, grabs a fireplace poker and makes her way into the kitchen and hears the microwave going then sees whatever is in there, explode.  It looks like the microwave has just burped up bloody beets.   She thinks it’s her dog…I know I did…then she runs upstairs and the dog is fine, but she doesn’t question where Ben is.  

He just so happens to be unconscious and  hog tied in the basement.   

 He comes to with Nora (Mrs. Dr. Frankenstein, the abortionist from the 1922 flashback) whispering in his ear that he needs to man up, he needs to fight for the baby and that she will not allow another failure in the house.   He’s still groggy and probably thinks she’s just a hallucination;  a manifestation of  his head injury.   She unties him.  

Meanwhile, back up stairs, Hayden has decided to stop crank calling Viv.  She’s now  cornered  her in the bedroom.   She tells Viv she was preggers….Viv tells her she is preggers.      

And *now*they* are*both*pissed.

 Hayden freaks out, smashes a picture frame containing a happy photo of the unhappy Family Harmon and with one of the larger shards of glass, she threatens to stab Viv right in the baby.  Ben walks in and breaks up the erstwhile cat fight by confessing everything; that he continued to have an affair with Hayden after the family had moved to LA  and that yes, he’d made her ripe with fetus.   

Mission accomplished.  Hayden got what she wanted.   She wanted Viv to know everything, so she dropped the shiv, just as a security guard with the service that protects the house enters the room, gun drawn.  Somewhere in between in between the Fatal Attraction microwave scene downstairs in the kitchen and the Fatal Attraction scene up in the bedroom,Viv tripped the alarm.   Hayden is arrested.

As Tate is dealing with the kids he apparently killed, Constance grabs Violet and forces her into her kitchen where she tells her that Addy is dead and its her fault. All that pretty girl make-up.   Constance also confesses what we’ve thought all along;  that Tate is her son.   She tells Violet that Tate must never learn that his sister, Addy has died.   Apparently, Tate doesn’t react or respond well to certain things.

 ←←←Gee, ya think???     

Back in The Murder House, Burned Guy is dousing the living room with gas with gusto unt glee.   Chad walks in and sternly asks what he’s doing to his house.  Burned Guy is taken aback by this.  I got the feeling he knew who…or what….Chad was and was also a wee bit afraid of him.   

The next thing we know, it’s daybreak and we see the red-headed twins;  the two nurses,  Chad, his lover, Patrick…Nora Montgomery…Moira –all the people who we know have died in the house so far…and they’re walking back to the house.   They were, as the legend goes, free to walk among the living for one day.  Just one day,  on Halloween, then afterwards, they must go back to the place where they’re condemned to spend eternity.  The house; it’s where they must do their time;  it’s their penance for sins real or imagined.

Moira told the group her mother had died during her liberty call and sadly, she couldn’t go with her.  Chad admitted he felt trapped in a house he’ll never have “his way” and then expressed his anger that Patrick who’d gone out and about (as we saw in the clip) but did more than walk among the living.  He apparently knelt before them and with several of his menfolk,  and inflatio was involved.   That’s the term used when the price of oral pleasure goes through the roof.  

Episode 4, Part 2 ends with Ben packing up and leaving, just as Hayden is being hauled downtown in the back of a squad car.  She tells the security guard who’s driving that she loved Ben and that he was, in fact, the love of her life.  She only omatoes in the microwave to scare Vivien…no puppy.  ‘ Twas a Halloween prank,   and not a very good one.  He arrives at the jail, exits the car, walks around to the rear passenger side, opens the door, and of course, she’s not there. 

Gone. 

Vanished.

Perhaps, she’ll do her own private perp walk back to The Murder House a little later.

EPILOGUE

It became obvious to me tonight that the ghosts and lunatics (Burned Guy and Constance) know each other and their back stories and some are seemingly at odds with each other.   Chad stopped Larry from burning down the house.  Nora Montgomery untied Ben.  They each have their own agendas;  their own reasons for being there.   

As Chad and the bevy of ghosts are re-entering the house,  Chad talks about feeling like he’s trapped in an endless loop, repeating the same behaviors over and over again.     But where were the other ghosts?    I didn’t see the home invaders?  Surely there were other ghosts.   This  motley hand full can’t be it, right?     There has to be more ghosts.   Maybe like Hayden, they’re coming from spending Halloween elsewhere;   Pocioma…Fresno…Cucamonga, even and just running late.

Hell, I don’t know.

What I do know is that I didn’t like the show tonight.  It felt even more disjointed than it usually does.   There was a relationship issue ; a major disconnect.   Nothing meshed.    It was like a ravenous  fat kid who’s been placed on a very restrictive diet, but let loose at a salad bar.  He piles his plate with everything under the sneeze guard…even some of the ice used to chill the containers and the plate contains an unappetizing pile of “fixins”  that just don’t work together taste-wise.   Like drinking flat lukewarm grape soda with enchiladas. 

There were also timeline problems.   A year has passed since the family’s move west???     Did Ben go back to Boston more than once to carry on his affair with Hayden???    I thought he just went back once, for the abortion that never happened.   Yet, Viv implied that a year had transpired since the move.     Huh????

Additionally,  I have no problem with the ghosts.  Their actions, emotions…even their motivations (if I could ever figure them out), I buy completely.  Oddly enough,  all of that implausible stuff is plausible.  It’s the  Harmon’s that make me crazy and could be the reason why I could someday wash my hands of this lunacy.   It’s getting ridiculous. 

Again, I understand creative license, BUT,  please, a little realism???   A little fact with my fiction????   Viv has been attacked twice in her own home, yet all she wants to do is take baths.   Oh, that’s logical!?!?    That’s right on par with the typical slasher movie in which the  teen hottie is being chased through a darkened, abandoned house by  lunatic killer, Michael Jason Meyers Lechter Manson Gacy Oswald Wilkes “Wayne” Booth, yet she just decides out of the blue,  that she needs to take a shower.

Please….

Bitter rageaholic  Ben exhausts me.   Leave already, will ya?   This family is simply not worth saving as a nuclear unit.  I would like you better as the horn dog you are, chasing tail while living in a cheap bachelor pad somewhere in The Valley.

Violet’s fearlessness is unreal.    Yeah, uh-huh–we completely get that you’re angry.   Show some emotion, for God’s sake…pinch yourself…peel an onion.  Cry. Smile.  Scream.  Do something.   And when your nutso neighbor  finally admits she’s your boyfriend’s mother, why don’t you tell her that sonny boy is being chased through the neighborhood by a lynch mod of angry dead kids???    That particular chase scene  was so damn stupid and meaningless.  It looked like angry villagers from a bad Frankenstein movie.    The only thing missing was torches, scythes and pitchforks.  

I find myself screaming at the top of my lungs at the TV every time the any one of the Harmon’s makes an asshole move.     By the end of the show tonight, I was hoarse.   

My friend, Eddie G.  tells me that I need to chill, that I should quit trying to employ logic where there is none.  He’s correct, but as a journalist,  the lack of  reason makes me crazy.   Watching AHS, especially when the episode is so discombobulated as it was tonight, is like  the phenomenon of  human face matrixing.  My mind automatically wants and NEEDS to apply reason and common sense to everything I see,  so I seek it out whenever I can; where ever I can. 

 Okay Eddie, mein schnoodle.   For you?  I’ll make every effort to enjoy the entertainment value…

….which would be better if the damn show made sense 100% of the time….

NEW ENDING  ADDED 11/4/11:     Next week, I wanted to try something new.   Make the AHS review & synopsis more inner-active for you, my readers.   Ithought long and hard about blogging live during next week’s show, but I think I’ll have to pass.  It sounds too complicated and with my new job starting in just a week,  I simply don’t have the emotional bandwidth.     And yes, I’m lazy.    

So, I’ve decided to take a different approach:

vvvvvvxddv GUEST BLOGGING!!!!!!!

TA DA!!!!

You can be a guest blogger right on this here very blog, ya’ll!!!!!    Just think–massive readership; tons of exposure.   Do you love AHS and you like to write?  Are yuo funny?  Can you be campy, snarky?   Do you see a different side to things like moi, your host???     Then, let your internal narcissist spring forth and wow me wity your words.   Send me your preview of the upcoming episode.    And please, don’t let the word “preview”  freak you out.    It’s just a term.  Write about what you want,  as long as it’s about American Horror Story.   You can get away with calling it  “a preview”, simply by saying episode 5 will air this coming Wednesday.  

Additionally, I won’t edit your work–unless it’s something glaring –but I do reserve the right to add approprite photos just to add a little panache and as always, I’ll include the weekly preview of the upcoming episode.   

Length really doesn’t matter (I could do without  War and Peace, though.)    Just make it your point of view and of course, the subject matter should be about AHS.    

I might publish more than one.  

If interested,  please send your AHS preview and a short and sweet bio (nom d’plumes are welcome, especially if you owe money) to:   lauriekendrick at aol dot com.   

Submission deadline?????  4pm (CST) Monday, 11/7/11.

American Horror Story: Review & Synopsis Episode 4

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“HALLOWEEN”   PART ONE

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Where in the hell do I begin?????

How about at the beginning with the flashback; how all good American Horror Story episodes begin.

It’s the kitchen at The Murder House, Halloween: 2010.

Chad and Patrick are surrounded by carved pumpkins and all have a French theme, from a bad carving of Marie Antoinette to fleur d’lys      These  two men are gay.  They’re a couple.  We learn very quickly that they live in the house, but they don’t “love”  there.  There’s trouble in relationship paradise.   Patrick is probably having an affair with someone at Gay Church (the gym) and Chad,  played wonderfully with slight over the top appeal by the wonderful Zachary Quinto, is pretty much over it all.   They’re staying together because every cent they have has gone to into flipping  the house.   They’re miserable…they can’t sell it because of the economy, but they’re hoping that a fabulous Halloween party photographed by some glossy rag, will inspire someone to buy the place, so they can offload the house and ultimately, probably, each other.    

Patrick says yes, he is most definitely having an affair…and with a power bottom he met at the gym (I won’t explain ‘powerbottom’.  just think about it a bit) and feels completely justified.   They’ve disintegrated as a couple, they’re broke and their dreams of having a baby are now kaput,  too.   He then storms out  and Chad is left behind to contemplate the  apple bobbing station. 

He looks up and what does he see?    The Rubber Man in the black latex S&M onesy standing in the doorway of the kitchen.    Chad thinks it’s Patrick showing him his costume, so he begins to apologize for his role in the decline of their relationship.   As he spoke, Rubber Man cocked his head in a movement reminiscent of Michael Meyers in all 284 Halloween movies.   It was as if he was trying to comprehend what Chad was saying.   As Chad moves towards him for an apologetic embrace, Rubber Man goes berserk and tosses Miss Chad all over that kitchen and ended the scene by giving Chad a swirly in the apple bobbing barrel.   Did he drown?   Not sure.  Everyone tells me Gimps gotta grip, because they say he broke Chad’s neck underwater.   They heard the snap.   Twenty nine years of wearing headphones and IFB ear pieces prevented me from hearing a damn thing, so I’ll take every body’s word for it.   Rubber Man (and obvious homophobe) pulls Chad’s head out of the water and plops him down on the floor, just as Patrick enters the kitchen dressed in this cowboy outfit (his actual Halloween costume) that is so completely West Village looking.  

He sees what’s happening; a wet, seemingly lifeless Chad lying on the kitchen floor with a guilty looking man in a shiny black latex S&M suit hovering over him, but he has absolutely no emotion whatsoever.    Was Patrick killed, too?  Gimp-handled like, Chad?  

Was this the gory murder/suicide of the gay couple, the very one the real estate agent spoke of in the pilot?    Gory?     Where was the gore?   And didn’t she make a reference about finding the dead duo with a fireplace poker very strategically placed???   I didn’t see a fireplace poker anywhere.

Hhhhh’mmmmmmm….

That whole kitchen attack reminded me of the Death Tour seen last week.  As the narrator was explaining  famous LA area murder scenes, we were treated to the re-enactment of actor, Sal Mineo’s murder.   He was rolled by a homophobe in some back alley…someone he thought was coming on to him.     I wondered last week what the relevance of that was.  I think there’s a connection with the flashback.

PRESENT DAY

Ben and Viv are talking to their cheesy real estate agent.  They’re mad that too few prospective buyers are coming by to see the house.    The agents says the house has an image problem.  She suggests using a gay fellow she knows…a fluffer…and not the kind who help prep a scene in an X rated movie.  These are people who can punch up a house and make it more appealing to the buying public.   The agent says she’ll call ‘him’…not them….him.

The next thing we know, Patrick and Chad are standing in the front yard, criticizing the landscape.   Viv asks them if they’re the fluffers the real estate agent spoke of.   They just exchange a glances and introduce themselves, not saying they are the fluffers and not saying they’re not.   Viv invites them in and they go to the kitchen and immediately start to carve pumpkins.  The four are carving away and Chad and Patrick are sniping at each other.   Chad brings up the fact that Patrick is finally helping himwith all the Halloween prep;  something he didn’t do  year and he still resents him for it.   Then, Patrick utters one of two best lines of the evening.     He apologizes to Viv and Ben saying:

       …. Halloween brings out Chad’s inner George and Martha…

A hilarious  reference to the extremely dysfunctional couple in the movie, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe?

Classic.

Ben cuts his hand and Patrick, who’s apparently an EMT takes Ben upstairs where the First Aid kit is and in the midst of treating the wound,  grabs Dylan right in his McDermott in a very cheesy come on.    What’s odd is that  Ben rebuffs his advances, but not  with all that much force.   He kind of gives Patrick “a look”, as if for a scant few seconds, he might have considered receiving one of a Patrick’s BJs…AND I’M NOT TALKING A BOUT A BOTTLE OF BARTLES AND JAMES, EITHER!!!!    It was odd, really.    I mean hey, we learned in a brief conversation with Tate that he too was a troubled bad ass when he was young.   More on that I’m sure, in subsequent episodes.

As this is going down (or rather, as Patrick is ATTEMPTING TO upstairs), Chad and Viv are talking.  He tells Viv that Ben seems uptight and dark.   She listens.  He shares with her that he caught Patrick cheating and did so by snooping; through cell phone records namely.   You can almost see a lightbulb appear over Viv’s head. 

Viv follows Chad’s lead and does a little snooping herself and finds proof on the bill that Hayden has called more than 20 times.  Ben tells her that  she’s no longer a problem and won’t bother them again…just as his cell phone rings.  Viv checks the caller ID.

It’s Hayden calling.

Ben’s face turns eight shades of white with that little news tidbit.    And with good reason.  Remember, the last time Ben saw her, she had a shovel in her head and was taking a perpetual dirt nap underneath the new gazebo he built, which as Chad told us before his hissy fit,  has the wrong lattice-work on it.  He was awfully insistent that Ben remove it the day after Halloween.  

Then, we mozy over to Constance’s house where we get to see a very different side to her relationship with her daughter.  She’s actually kind of loving and appropriately maternal fir the first time.     We learn that Addy wants to be “a pretty girl” for Halloween.   Constance says no, she’ll be Snoopy…AGAIN.  Addy says no, she wants to be a pretty girl.   She then sneaks over to Violet’s room where she asks her to grab a little Maybelline and turn her into “a pretty girl”.    Violet tarts her up.  Addy goes back home.   Constance sees her looking like a Max Factor reject and gets angry.  She asks who put that gunk on her face.  Addy tells her Violet did it and then Connie delivers the second best line of the night:

…That girl is just asking for another cupcake…

Well, grab the bottle of Ipecac and prime your salivary glands, Addy!!   Mama’s gonna be bakin’ again!!!!

Tate makes a date with Violet in the basement.  He tries to scare her by surprising her while wearing that black Latest onesy. She asks him to tell her what’s with the basement.  Tate elaborates a bit more on what we learned last week which was that  Dr. Charles Montgomery built the house for his wife,  Nora back in 1922.     He became a drug addict and got stranger in his thought processes and all of this was exacerbated by serious financial problems.  This prompts Nora to suggest that he perform abortions for promiscuous little Hollywood starlets who’d gotten preggers.   Lucrative gig…$60 bucks per procedure.   But one young woman told her boyfriend about what the Good Doctor had done and he got mad.  Apparently, he was looking forward to fatherhood.   He calls the McDonald house one night.   Nora answers and all she hears on the other end is, “an eye for an eye…a tooth for a tooth”.   She  realizes this is about revenge, so she runs up to check on her eye and tooth baby.   His crib is empty, the window is open and in a scene eerily reminiscent of the Lindbergh kidnapping, there’s a wooden ladder propped up against the second story window. 

Bruno Hauptmann’s handiwork, I swear to God.

So, Dr. Montgomery had “taken” his baby…revenge man would then take his baby.

The Doctor and Nora wait for a ransom call that never comes.   Then, there’s knock on the door and two policemen greet Dr. M with a box marked evidence.  Inside, is the baby…or parts thereof.   Dismembered.    The doc takes the box and the next thing we know, he’s down in his basement lab, trying to piece his child back to together with needle and thread, much to wife Nora’s over-acting.

It’s interesting that this was my initial  thought the minute I heard about the Montgomery back story.   The crazy ass doctor re-animated the baby, brought it back to life and it’s now close to 90 years of age and is, as Tate told Violet,  still living in the basement where he was created.   Violet isn’t buying it;  says he’s full of crap and they make a date to meet the next day.

It’s now Halloween.  

Chad and Patrick are back in the house and they’ve helped decorate it for the showing, but they end up having a huge fight with Viv and Ben.   Chad angrily tells Viv that it’s THEIR house and the Ben and Viv don’t deserve  it…they know it…even the house knows it.  It’s THEIR house and they’re not leaving.  Viv has a fit and starts destroying all the decorations.   Then, you get a glimpse of the gimp suit guy shining in the corner of the room, Patrick and Chad see it, (I think) and Patrick  says something, then he and Chad high tail it out of the house.    I couldn’t tell what he says and I even watched the repeats after the initial showing.  It was something “you don’t need to see this” or something. 

Ben and Viv turn the fight with the queens into a battle royale over Hayden.  Viv tells him she wants him out of the house…LEAVE!!!… and as she’s shouting at him, she develops major abdominal pains and doubles over.  Just when we think she’s gonna give us a repeat performance of  last week’s hematological method acting demonstration on the murder tour bus–you know, that  bloody Carrie White High School locker room shower scene—she says the baby’s kicking…hard…too hard and it hurts.   Ben says nah, can’t be.  The fetus is just eight weeks old.   He rushes her to the hospital.

As this drama is unfolding, Addy comes to Murder House to trick or treat wearing a ‘pretty girl’ mask that Constance relented and bought her.   Addy runs across the street in an attempt to trick or treat with some ‘pretty girls” who she saw and she’s run over by a car that doesn’t stop.   Paramedics arrive.  Constance hears the ambulance and comes out and sees her daughter lying motionless in the street.   She’s obviously very distraught.  She asks the EMTs if Addy is still alive.  They tell Constance that they’re doing all they can which of course, in Constance’s world isn’t enough.    She screams at them, tells them to get out of the way, that Addy  has to be taken to the lawn before it’s too late.   

To the lawn of the Harmon’s house…

The Murder House…

And what’s so odd is that when she realizes that Addy died BEFORE she was able to get her on the lawn, she becomes hysterical.   It was very, very ….very  important that if Addy had to die, she had to die on that property.

Is the land on which Murder House is built, hallowed ground?   Are  we talking about a Stephen King “Pet Sematary” kind of scenario here in what’s buried on this property, doesn’t stay buried???

Hhhhhhh’mmmmm again.

Ben and Viv are in the ER.   An ultra sound tech preps Viv for a looksee into her womb and when she does, she faints.    We can ONLY imagine what she sees on that screen. I’m thinking  the baby is aging rapidly and even en utero, it’s probably wearing an Oshkosh b’ Gosh black latex S&M onesy…just like daddy. 

Violet is home alone,  in her room upstairs.  The doorbell rings…always a problem at this house.  Keep in mind that all day long Burned Guy has been bugging  Ben about the grand he needs for the head shot; the one thousand smackers (literally) he asked for last week.     All day long, Ben has been telling him to leave him alone, to get off and stay off his property.

But as you’ll see in this clip, Burned Guy gives it one more college try.

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Then Ben and Viv rush back home, only to find the door open, the alarm on…and Violet no where in sight.   Connie makes a mad dash through the house looking for her daughter.   The bad news doorbell rings.   Ben answers it and it’s either Avril Lavigne standing there or a very dead, very dirty Hayden, fresh from her appearance, six feet under the gazebo.

Ben takes one look what we all know will be his newest ghostly house guest-slash-pain in the ass,  and just slowly closes the door.

…………ccffffcccc…..And scene.

I’m beginning to cobble a few things together.   Namely, underlying themes that seem to be common amongst every resident who’s ever lived in this house.   They are:

  • Relationship strife
  • Pregnancy issues of some sort
  • Infidelity
  • Emotional unbalance on many levels
  • Financial issues 
  • Revenge
  • Blame

Just for grins, let’s take a look at something.   What if the house is only haunted by the demons of its residents?  No, not the Underwood Deviled Ham kind.  I’m talking about the emotional ones that can, in a weakened state, compel us to do all the wrong things, at all the wrong times.

  • Not trying hard enough to thwart relationship strife
  •  To procreate for all the wrong reasons; to not value life; to use a pregnancy to manipulate  
  • Infidelity
  • Emotional issues
  • Making irresponsible and/or impetuous investments; living  beyond one’s means; employing unethical attempts to correct the situation 
  • Revenge
  • Blame

And let’s talk about all the psychological issues at work in AHS and this is going waaaaaaay out on a limb here. What if Burned Guy was at one time Constance’s husband?  I do believe she said she was married a few times and one husband movie star good looks and that probably contributed to their curse.  Well, what if he killed Constance and the children in that fire that left him so terribly scarred?  The scarring was his “big get even for being so damned handsome and arrogant about it?????   Maybe, but I’m becoming increasingly more convinced that Burned Guy is Ben or to be more specific, a physical manifestation of Ben’s skewed subconscious.  It’s either that or he’s a ghostly contract employee, hired by the house to drive Ben crazy….or get him to do its murderous bidding.    

And really,  that notion wouldn’t be so far-fetched, either.    Burned Guy mostly  pops up when Ben is alone.   Now true, Violet heard him pounding on the front door,  but if you go back and watch the video, he puts his fingers over the peep-hole.   She doesn’t actually see his face.   She even calls Ben and describes him as “one of his patients”.    This is about perspective.   Let us remember what Moira told Viv and Ben in the last week’s smack down in the kitchen, “Men only see what they want to see.”   So, that could possibly….maybe….mean that Burned Guy is nothing more than an imaginary friend.   Like the one Phoebe Cates had in “Drop Dead Fred”.   In this awful, AWFUL movie, Phoebes conveniently blames Fred for the mischief around the house, though Fred is really the one emptying cereal on the table and coloring the walls with a one of Crayola’s cadre of green shades.    So, it wouldn’t surprise me if was really Ben who bopped  Hayden over the head with that shovel.   I mean, Hayden’s removal makes life easier for good old Bennie.  Last week, we learned Hayden didn’t have the abortion and instead chose to keep the baby and move to Los Angeles where she fully expects an already financially strapped Ben to support her and the baby.  She’d become a problem;   Burned Guy took care of it.  He’s  just a  form of dissociation.   His face is scarred and ugly because Ben’s thoughts are.  They’re actually one in the same.  

And what’s with the implication that Burned Guy wants to become an actor?  We’re assuming that since he asked Ben for a grant for head shots.  Head shots???  My friend, Eddie Gomez (of the Raymondville Gomez’s) pointed out that his asking for a grand for a head shot, could have actually meant it would cost Ben a thousand dollars for him to kill Hayden by smacking her in the head with a shovel.    “Head shot”, get it?   What happened with Hayden could have been a professional hit; an outward cry stemming from Ben’s desperate financial situation.  

Interesting, Mr. Gomez.  Interesting, indeed.    And if Burned Guy is  a warped aspect of his personality, his urging Ben to run lines with him for the play, “The Odd Couple” last week is some right tasty irony, folks.   

Furthermore, after the home invasion from episode 2, Viv no longer wants to live in the house.  She contacted a realtor who put the house back on the market.   The doorbell rings and it’s a prospective buyer, but not just any buyer, it’s the ghost of  Nora Montgomery, the wife of the crazy abortion doctor. who unlike Moira, hasn’t aged at all.   And we know she’s a ghost because A) we recognized her from an earlier flashback  the minute Viv answered the door and when she and Viv are talking in the kitchen, the camera pans behind her and we’re treated to a gaping hole in the back of her head.   Okay, but how and why did  that happen?   Who did it?   Well, last week we learned as Viv did that her house is a macabre tourist attraction.   Viv is tending to her roses in the front yard when the  Infinite Darkness tour bus stops in front.    This bus takes the morbidly curious to all the infamous murder scenes throughout LA .  Viv overhears the narrator,  Craig  (Lois’ supervisor from “Malcolm In The Middle”)  telling photo snapping tourists that her house is the last stop on the tour and it’s known as “The Murder House”.     Vivien then takes the tour herself to find out  what she can about all the things that have happened in her home.    That’s how we learned that the Montgomery’s had built the house nine decades earlier and it was a place where “an estimated two dozen women went under the crazed doctor’s knife thanks to his wife Nora insistence.  (The abortion game was a mighty profitable one in 1922)   But the souls of the little ones must have weighed heavy upon them as their reign of terror climaxed in the shocking finale in 1926.”     We know about what happened to the Montgomery baby but what happened to the Montgomery’s themselves??   Nora has a gaping head wound as we saw in the Harmon’s kitchen, but what exactly happened?   Who did it?  Why?  Huh????     Don’t leave us hanging, Craig Feldspar!!!!!!!!!!!!   

PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The past four episodes have made me realize that AHS is most definitely as much about perception as anything else.  It’s about how we perceive others and how we perceive our own values and prejudices.  The  young and old versions of Moira exemplify that and probably the way Ben perceives the Burned Guy; possibly even the way Violet sees Tate and vice versa.     

The Gay couple, even.

Let’s elaborate further:  what if the Rubber Man is a shiny black personification of  motivation?   Maybe he is, at any one given time, an anthropomorphic form of the Seven Deadly sins.   He appears during seductions, jealousy….rage.    What if he was actually Patrick’s rage?     It was a very angry and resentful Patrick who drowned Chad in the apple bobbing vat, but it manifested itself as the Rubber Man.   What if Ben actually killed Hayden in a fit a rage but that emotion manifested itself as Burned Guy????

I think AHS’s creators won’t have to jump the proverbial episodic shark for a very long time.    I think they can keep the subject matter fresh and very much alive while focusing so much on the dead.   And using Jessica Lange as sparingly as they do, plus giving her wonderful zinger-like exit lines (and you have to admit, she ends almost all of her scenes by tossing out a smart ass barb, then exiting sound stage left), will keep us wanting more.    And more episodes like last week’s, in which just the right amount of conflict and drama emerged and then was  hit in the head with a shovel, then buried, then covered over with a cement slab and ultimately, with a cute little cedar plank gazebo, make for compelling television.

There’s one thing that bothers me about AHS, it’s that the writers have included and are adhering to a sense of isolation among the Harmon family members.  

  • It took three episodes for Ben to tell Viv that Moira the Younger sexually toys with him.   Considering his philandering past and the fact that he seems to wants to reconcile with his wife,  he surely would have or should said something to her, just to reiterate that the trust is back   
  • We never see Viv tell Ben or Violet that their house just so happens to be the pièce de résistance for the morbidly curious on a murder location tour bus, nor does she tell them that she took the tour to learn all about its very violent past.   We have yet to hear her share any details she found out:  of Dr. Montgomery’s illicit womb tinkering in his basement lab.  Now, maybe it’s just me, but if my home was known as “The Murder House” and it had once been an erstwhile abortion clinic and the scene of God knows how many other murders and acts of debauchery,  I would think she’d want to share that with her family.   Leave a voice mail.    A few carefully placed Post It notes….SOMETHING!!!    
  • Viv has also kept mum about Gaping Headwound Nora, the ghostly prospective home buyer who did the vanishing act in the kitchen   
  •  Ben never talks about his visits with Burned Guy  
  • Violet never says a word about Tate’s constant appearance in the house.  Nor does she seem bothered at all when he shows up in the backyard, on her bed or peeking through an A/C vent at all hours of the day and night 
And this also bugged me;  pregnant Viv along with her daughter, narrowly escape being murdered during a very strange home invasion, yet when she tells her OB/GYN  that she wants to move, the doctor tell hers NO!!!   Moving is too stressful.   At no point does Viv or Ben tell the doctor one thing about the attack.   Gee, in my simple, little  ROCK/PAPER/SCISSORS world, I would think the stress level of almost being murdered in a house I hated, especially one that has evil lurking under every floorboard would top the stress of moving on any given day!!!
 
Then again, real life–it ain’t.  
Or does AHS reflect it perfectly???
 
An African-American colleague of mine says she enjoys the show, but her family can’t understand why white people like the Harmon’s, never leave haunted houses.   “Black folk”, she tells me, “would have walked out the minute the realtor told them that the previous owners died there in a murder/suicide.”   We laughed at that.  Then, the more I thought about it,  I realized that while this show is total fiction, there’s a lot of  zeitgeist permeating its many layers.   The Harmon’s can’t afford to move.  They’re broke and like so many other people in this country,  they’re stuck in a miserable situation.   Even in  a primo housing market,  this home would be a tough sell due to its sinister reputation.   And even if you remove the supernatural aspect from this story line, people would still be able to relate to the problems this family endures.   While it’s true that most Americans aren’t haunted by ghosts as the Harmon’s are, they do know what it’s like to be tormented by specters of bill collectors, service termination notices, IRS liens, threatening lawyers and negative balances in their bank accounts.   Then add to that mix a very troubled teenaged daughter, a miscarriage and a marriage damaged by infidelity, and you’ve got a show that mirrors all kinds of  very real American horror stories.    Nothing is scarier than trying to exist for one hour of one single day knowing you’re on the verge of  bankruptcy.  The Harmon’s are standing perilously close to that fiscal abyss.
 
And then again, perhaps they can’t leave the house…..because they’re dead.    Yeah, throw THAT one into your salad of confusion, people. 
 
Here’s why—when Viv spoke about her miscarriage in the pilot, she mentioned it involved so much blood.  Perhaps she bled to death.  Violet has the scars of  a cutter up and down her arms. Perhaps one is from her suicide.  Maybe  Ben died in one of the very fires he keeps dreaming about.  Perhaps the Harmon’s themselves are a part of the ghostly contingency that haunts the home and completely stuck there, too.  And here’s something else I’ve noticed:  so far, every patient sees in his practice ends up dying–Bianca was one of the home invaders from episode 2;  she was killed in the basement and Sally Freeman from episode 3, ended up killing herself.    Perhaps, the only patient who isn’t dead is Tate.  Could it be possible that he’s  one of those people in the house that I mentioned before?   Just terribly human and very troubled, trying to deal with his demons in his life  that when triggered, bring out the monster in him????    
 
And lastly, just where in the hell is Violet??????   Was she kidnapped as some sort of eye for an eye revenge deal?  The Burned Guy wanted his thousand bucks so badly that he snatched Ben’s daughter?   Will she be returned to Viv and Ben in about 12 pieces in a box marked “evidence”, just like the Montgomery’s baby?   Not unless actress, Taissa Farmiga’s contract with F/X is up and she’s got superb lawyer AND a whopping three picture deal at Paramount pending.  Otherwise, her character is too important. 
 
No, I’ll wager that  Violet’s strange absence from the house is fairly easily explained.   I bet Rubber Man scared her and she ran out of the house, security alarm blaring.  She probably somewhere with Tate…at least she can be with him out and about,  until 11:59 pm Halloween.   As my reader, Wickedly Rose reminded me, Halloween is the one day that the dead can walk freely among the living.  It’s why  Tate was seen outside the house for once–why he was able to meet Ben at a Food Court; how Violet was able to hear Burned Guy banging on the front door (providing he’s a ghost or maybe as we said,  he’s Ben’s warped subconscious magically brought to life for one brief 24 hour period like a very dangerous, angry, heavily keloid Frosty the Snowman);  how the gay couple arrived on the Harmon’s front lawn; and even though I didn’t mention this in the body of my post, it’s how Moira the Older was able to leave the house and go to the  hospice to see her dying mother and and lastly, it’s why we won’t see Addy return as a ghost and the reason is simple: despite Constance’s DESPERATE efforts to ensure that her daughter die on the lawn of the Harmon’s house;  on the lawn of “The Murder House”.    
 
It’s about a certain form of Restoration, I do believe.  
 
Resurrection.
 
Despite its faults and all the sadness, tragedy and evil that  has and always will permeate its very core, this house just might represent the damnedest of second chances.
 
 
/    

American Horror Story: Episode 3 – Synopsis & Review

MY REVIEW & SYNOPSIS FOR AHS EPISODE 4 

https://lauriekendrick.wordpress.com/2011/10/26/american-horror-story-review-synopsis-episode-4-2/

***********************

My, my my my my…..

This week’s flashback hurtles us through space and TV time, back to 1983.

The camera moves through a lawn sprinkler ,then up to the house  and then a bedroom.   Moira the Younger is there, making the bed…or trying to, but the drunken Master of the house who’s horny and a car dealer is making advances.   She’s trying to fend off his pawings, which is tough–I mean, hey..he does offer her a new Camaro, but temptation be damned, he  overpowers her, throws her on the bed and the next thing we know, he’s on top of her, down to his tidy whities and she’s screaming.

We’re then treated to a silhouette of a woman slowly walking down the hall; a snub nose revolver in her hand.  She enters the bedroom and fires a warning shot which hits the mirror and in its cracked reflection, we see that it’s Constance.    The sound of the gunshot stops the would-be rape, but not Constance.  She fires at Moira, hitting her.  She’s given a classic Moe Green/Godfather  shot right in the eye.   She’s dies immediately.    Then, Constance verbally berates her husband, telling him that she’s loved him since she was 16 and that he’ll never break her heart again.  She makes sure of this by firing three slugs into his chest.

So, now we know how Constance killed Moira and her lifelong  crush and what we’ve all suspected is confirmed:  that Constance did in fact live in the house at one time.      

And we now know how and why Moira the Elder got that funky eye.   

It’s now present day.

We learn that on top of everything else, the Harmon’s are having money troubles and that’s going to make moving out of the house, as Vivien so DESPERATELY wants,  a bit more difficult.   They need to make back every penny they’ve spent on the place.   She calls the realtor who sold them the house and in no uncertain terms, tells her that she knows she didn’t disclose everything about the house to which the realtor says she’s only required by California law to go back only three years of the house residential history.   She says she was very forthcoming about the murder/suicide of the gay couple who’d lived there before.    Still Viv says she knows there’s more to the house.   It’s the vibe.

Ben is meeting with a new client in his home office.   Her name Sally Freeman who’s going through a troubling divorce and Sally is a walking, talking yawn fest.  She speaks in a boring, monotone and speaks, yet says nothing at all.    Ben zones out in mid conversation and the next thing we know, he’s in the back yard, lying  on a patch of dead grass and there’s blood on his hands.  He washes up, then grabs a shovel and starts digging, though we’re not sure why.   Constance happens to be in the backyard too and tries to dissuade him from digging, telling him that the ground is tainted; loaded with pesticides from careless gardening in the past.     She tells him that he ought to build a gazebo on the patch of land.  It would be “heaven”.   

He goes in the house and encounters Moira the Younger, who’s on all fours in the hall, cleaning the floor,  her nethers all exposed like a cat in heat.   She’s sponging the hardwoods and implies that she’s been cleaning up “his mess”….”all that blood” .

Did he kill Sally????

Moira’s attitude angers him and he grabs her, starts shouting about this little game she’s playing, then screams she’s fired…. just as Viv walks in.   This prompts a rather heated conversation between Ben, Moira and Viv in the kitchen.  He claims he can’t stand being in the same room with her anymore.  She keeps trying to seduce him and he’s tired of it, dammit!!!!   There’s one thing to keep in mind:  whenever Ben sees her she’s the young hot seductress in a short, sexy maid’s outfit.    When Viv looks at her, she’s the old, haggard, one-eyed Moira and this obviously, confuses Viv because hot, she ain’t.

Meanwhile, Constance is back in the house,  though as always, no one sees her and there’s no mention of how she got in or keeps getting in, but she’s in and this time, she’s pilfering the Harmon’s sterling silver flatware, which she hopes to sell on Ebay to make a buck or two.  Moira the Older walks in on her and they have an  interesting conversation.   She tells Constance she wishes she were dead and that she hates it here;  she wants to go home and oddly enough,adds that she misses her mother.  Huh??  Moira gets mad, she yells at Constance  and tells her that she needs to pay for ‘everything’ she done.  It’s also the  first time we see any emotion coming from Moira, Young or Old.    Constance says she wants to go too;  that she hates this world of death, but she can’t, and she reminds Moira, neither can she.

On her way out of the room, she tells Moira that she’s a suck ass maid and that she’ll be blamed for the theft of the sterling flatware.    Then she reminds her that she’s always been a theif, especially when it comes “to weak men”.  Remember the opening flashback?????

Hours, maybe days have gone by and we see Viv in the front yard, pruning some roses.  A bus pulls up to her house.  It’s one of those famous death location tours and the bus is  filled with picture taking tourists.  She realizes–with garden shears in hand–that her house is not only on the tour, but apparently the major attraction.   Tour officials have saved the best, most infamous murder location for last.    The narrator at the microphone introduces the structure to his audience, by calling it “The Murder House”.    Vivien realizes  the only way she’ll ever find out about all the horrendous things that have happened in her house is to take the tour herself.   

Meanwhile, back inside the house, Moira the Younger tells Ben his next appointment is waiting for him in his office.  He acts surprised…he had no appointments that day.  He walks into his office to see who it is and lo and behold, it’s Hayden, his pregnant lover from Boston.   She tells Ben that she never had the abortion and has made a few decisions.  Not only is she going to have the baby, she’s also going to move to LA and she’s also going to insist he support her and the child.    Ben panics;  this is the last thing he needs in his already overly complicated life.    The doorbell rings just as he and  Hayden make plans to meet the next day.  She walks out,  just as a detective comes in.   He’s  investigating a missing persons case:   Sally Freeman hasn’t been seen or heard from in days.  Ben tells the detective he had an appointment with her earlier in the week, but doctor/patient confidentiality prevents him from divulging what was discussed or what her issues are.   Just then, Moira the Younger walks in and apparently, appears as such to the cop because when he lays eyes on her, he all but  morphs into this ridiculous Tex Avery cartoon wolf—the horny variety.   One look at Young Moira and BOING!!!!!!   It’s yowzah time.   His eyes almost pop out of his head.   The only thing missing is the unrolling of the tongue and an enlarged  heart, bulging out of his chest with every beat. 

Interesting.   The detective saw her as young and hot, too.   Guess he must be one of those weak men Constance talked about.

Fast  forward to Viv on the death tour bus parked in front of her house.   He regales his audience with some background on the structure.   We’re given a bonus flashback in episode 3.  Turns out, the house was built in 1922 by Dr. Charles Montgomery, who was known as “the surgeon to the stars”.    It was constructed for his wife Nora, a socialite from the East Coast.    But Dr. Montgomery becomes addicted to drugs and falls on hard times.  Drugs, plus financial woes weighs heavy on the good doctor and he develops  a Frankenstein complex.  He spends hours in his lab in his basement, specimens in jars everywhere (remember the red-headed, baseball bat wielding twins and the gross things they saw down there????).  It looks as though he’s trying to sew other animal parts on to a pig, when Nora comes to the top of the basement stairs and tells him to come to dinner.    He obliges begrudgingly.   They sit down to dinner.  “They” include  Nora, Charles and a very androgynous looking baby.  The couple starts to argue about money.   Nora claims bill collectors are hounding them….BUT….she has a solution.  She knows a girl who’s “in trouble” as they used to say and for $60 dollars cash, she promised the young starlet that Charles could take care of her little issue.   Nora says promiscuous young girl probably has promiscuous friends—with cash.   The Montgomery’s can turn performing abortions in to a cottage industry.

There’s a knock on the door.  The first victim/patient has arrived.    Nora opens the doors and sees a very scared young woman standing there.   Nora preps her for the procedure and gives her a sedative dissolved in a glass of water.   She escorts the woozy girl to the top of the basement steps.   The door closes behind her.  Nora clings to money tightly in her hand, then reaches in to a pill-box and pops a 1920’s version of a Valium….or a Mentos.    The expression on her face is obvious.  She’s satisfied.  It’s all about the money. 

The second flashback ends, just as Connie’s bleeding begins.   She looks down and sees some blood pooling down around her nethers.  Fearing another miscarriage, she hops off the bus, and runs into the house.   I mean “Murder House”, is her home.   It’s where she lives, right?

She and Ben go to the doctor.   Viv is fine…the baby is fine, but Ben passes out.    The doctor orders blood work.   Turns out, someone has been slipping Ben an arcane opiate/sedative that was once used as an anesthetic in surgeries about 90 years ago, but they stopped using it because it had a horrible side effect–severe memory loss.  Interesting in that it was probably used right  around the time when Dr. Charles Montgomery was performing illegal abortions in his basement.     We also learned that he performed procedures on 22 young women, that is until, his and Nora’s “shocking finale” in 1926, whatever that is.   Guess we’ll find out later.    Plus, the sedative in his system would explain why Ben keeps waking up on that patch of  grass in his backyard.   We get a sense the grass ain’t the only thing dead back there.  

And throughout episode 3,  Moira the Younger seems to be making Ben a lot of coffee. 

Hhhhhhhhmmmmmm….

Viv goes home.   There’s a knock on the door.   It’s a prospective buyer—a woman;  she’s pale and skittish and knows a lot about the house.   She should….it’s Nora.   Viv invites her in and they chit-chat about certain things about the house its lovely chestnut paneling, the Tiffany glass panels and the four Frank Lloyd Wright designed chandeliers.   Nora scoffs at all the high-tech gizmos in the kitchen.   The two women then start discussing family, Viv’s pregnancy.    Nora looks terribly wistful when she admits that she once had a child.   Viv offers to make her a cup of tea.   As she starts microwaving two cups of water, the camera pans behind Nora and we see a massive amount of her head missing.   Her gray matter is protruding slightly.    When Viv turns around, she’s gone.  Vanished.  Not a trace.

Ben decides to go for a run where he encounters the Burned Guy.   He sure knows a lot about the intricacies of Ben’s life; even its minutia.   He knew about Ben’s recent trip back to  Boston; about Hayden’s pregnancy.  He oddly asks Ben for a thousand dollars for head shots, apparently he wants to try his hand at acting (?)   Ben tells him he has no money and wouldn’t give it to him if he did.  He then tells him to get the hell out of his life.    They part company.

Ben is back at the house.  The doorbell rings.   It’s Hayden.  Ben forgot their meeting.   She’s livid and starts screaming for Viv.  She wants to tell her about  the baby.  Ben tries to calm her down and as they walk out of the house, Burned Guy comes out of nowhere and bops her on the head with a shovel, killing her.    Burned Guy tells Ben all his problems are over; she was going to ruin things by telling Viv she was pregnant.   He claims he killed Hayden to help Ben.  He did him a favor.   Ben killed no one.  He’s innocent.   Burned Guy buries Hayden’s body in that patch of burned grass in the backyard–the same one Ben keeps waking up on top of.    He jumps in the hole along with Hayden’s body.   I could have sworn I saw a skull down there with him.    Then  Burned Guy dabbles in the dirt and pulls up what looked to me like a rotting bandana or a some piece of clothing had been buried there.   I really couldn’t tell, the picture was dark.    My 11-year old TV is dying and its first symptom is a major loss of contrast.    But on a newer TV during a later repeat, it looked like the lace collar of a maid’s uniform.

Moira’s uniform. 

Then, episode 3  ends with Ben taking Constance’s advice.  He pours a cement foundation  on top of the dead grass which is on top of a very dead Hayden and God knows who else, and starts to build a gazebo.   As construction gets underway,  Moira the Older is watching from a second floor window.   She’s crying.   Constance walks up to her and tells her, “How tragic.  Now she can never leave”, which I would think it’s safe to assume that Hayden will be joining the ranks of  undead haunting the house. 

But the last scene?  The very last scene was extremely telling.   It’s nighttime, Vivien is asleep in her bed and we see Nora  hovering over her.   She places her a ghostly hand above Viv’s stomach.    I’m guessing that Nora is there to protect Viv and the unborn baby, because I have a feeling Hayden is going to come back with a vengence and her ghostly target will be the pregnant Mrs. Harmon.

Oh yes, episode 3 was good.  Damn good.  It delved deeper into the history of that cursed house and its crazy cast of characters.   It certainly gave me a tremendous amount to think about and ponder until next week.

But there are a couple of things I need to get out of my system before I put this bad boy to bed:  for those of you playing the home game,  Sally Freeman killed herself.   When Ben zoned out in the middle of her session, she got mad and cut herself to get his attention.  The blood he found on his hands when he woke up in the backyard was hers, but not because he’d harmed her.  The entire session was captured on his digital recorder, which Sally stole from the office .  The recorder was found with her body.    Ben didn’t touch her.   The recorded session exonerated him–in his mind, anyway.

And let’s talk about the Dr. Montgomery and the connections he and Ben share. There’s more than just the house.   They’re both doctors.    Both have one child, both have money problems.   And both of their lives have been complicated by pregnanices…lots and lots of pregnancies.   But let’s delve beyond the commonalities.   What if Constance is actually nuch…much….much older than we think and she was young starlet back in during the silent movie era; the 1920’s     Let’s say her husband, the cute drunk Car Dealer Reprobate who tried to rape Moira in the basement (soudns like a part of the game, “Clue”) is also an old soul, was sher boyfriend at the time and he got  her pregnant .   Remember, she did say she’d loved him since she was 16.  Well, what if she went to Dr. Montgomery (he was the surgeon to the stars back then) to take care of the abortion.  What if THAT was the one child that she thought was perfect and taken from her “by other means” as she told Viv in the kitchen last week.  Maybe she feels the  abortion was what  caused her uterus to be “cursed”.   Remember, of the four children she bore, three had Downs Syndrome.     If Constance were around back then, that would make her….what???   About 112 in reality, but 42 in Hollywood years????      Maybe this is a Dorian Gray kind of thing happening here.

And what about Nora?   Her ghost came back to the house where she was once the mistress.  It was her house;  one her husband built for her.      What  if she lost the child, the androgynous looking one at the dinner table and her crazy husband tried to recreate, then reanimate he dead baby ( a la Frankenstein) and what if the Chucky Demon Seed murderous creature that lives in the basement IS her child???    What if he tried to build a child for his grieving wife, just as he built the house for her?!!?!!    And what if  all the ghosts in the house are actually the fetuses the doctor illegally aborted there?   What if all the ghosts in the house ARE grown up versions of the fetuses?  I mean, Moira did say she missed her mother.  But how could they possibly explain the aging process of ghosts?     Some still look so young. 

Lastly, what if Dr. Montgomery  aborted the fetuses BUT managed to keep them alive somehow?   Perhaps, they’re part of “the others”, along with all the miscreant fruit from Constance’s tainted loins haunting the place. 

Okay, I know that’s going waaaaaay out on a limb, but it was worth a mention.    

And as for that baby monster specifically?    Here’s what AHS Co-Creator, Ryan Murphy said about the Chucky/Satan’s Seed Reject child in the basement:

I loved the design of that creature. I love the influence on it. When we designed it, it was sort of a pastiche of different ideas. The mouth of it, which you see for two brief milliseconds, is based on a leech mouth, a picture of a leech mouth I found. I have a lot of reference books. There was a picture I was obsessed with of a child with progeria which is that aging quickly [disorder]. The gown our costume designer Lou and I worked on really closely is sorta closely modeled after the one worn by the Lindbergh baby.

That conjures up a very unsavory image, does it not?   One can only catch fleeting, damned near subliminal images of the monster/child right before it attacks its victims.  But I did some digging.   I went on a veritable vision quest to find a still photo of the basement monster.

Well, I found one and God forgive me for speaking ill of the dead, but frankly kids, I took  one look at a pic of this critter and was immediately reminded of the late character actor,  Hume Cronyn.   He was married to Jessica Tandy, with whom he co-starred in the movie, Cocoon.

Here are  the best photos I could find of this horrendous monster ‘pastiche’ and its very dead Hollywood doppelgänger :

See what I mean??   The resemblance is hilariously uncanny. Separated at birth, practically.

Well, there you go.  

I must say that as every episode airs, I find myself falling in love with this series.   I’m usually quite the iconoclast, running from anything  that could be construed as ‘water cooler fodder”, but this show has me hooked.   I love the plot and its strange twists and turns and I also love the characters…especially Constance.   In fact, I’m thinking about going as her for Halloween.

 I just need a bouffant wig, a slight accent, a nicotine addiction…and a board up my ass.

Easy…

Speaking of Halloween,  F/X will air a special Halloween marathon of  AHS,  featuring the first four episodes of the series on Monday, October 31 beginning at 10:00 ET& PT/9:00 Central.  Now, in addition to the Halloween marathon, series Co-Creators and Executive Producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have produced a special two-part Halloween-themed episode in honor of the horror-filled holiday.  From what I understand, at least one of these two shows will be a whopping 90 minutes long and check this out:   Young Moira will actually reveal herself to someone else OTHER than Ben or the horny detective…and this time, it’ll be a female.  

 But which female????   
 
Part One  airs Wednesday, October 26th  at 10:00 PM ET/PT….9:00 Central and the second airs  the following Wednesday, November 2nd at the same time.     See ya next week
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It’s Wednesday, Kids

And you know what that means;  American Horror Story is on tonight…and yes, my name is Laurie and I’m an AHS junkie.

Then 12 step all over me, because I AM ADDICTED!!!   

We’ll be treated to the third installment of this strange and creepy saga and from what  I’ve been able to glean from other blogs and articles,  episode #3 should include some interesting revelations.   As episode #2 ended last week, we learned that after a horrible home invasion and attempted recreation of a murder that happened in the house decades earlier, Vivien told Ben she wanted to sell the house.

Well, tonight she takes one step closer to accomplishing that goal.  She calls the real estate agent who sold “MURDER HOUSE” to them two episode ago.  They meet at the house and over coffee (probably more like tanna leaf tea, knowing this  crazy ass house!!!) the real estate lady tells Viv all  about the home’s first residents and of which I feel certain  in my sleuthy, Nancy Drewish heart of hearts, Constance was a part.    Meanwhile, Ben’s visitor (Burned Guy–I think) tells him something that causes Bennie to unravel even more and Constance and Moira’s histories are revealed and this ought to be good since we already know that Constance has killed the strange, red-headed, shape-shifting maid once before.     

Oh goody….

Also, an insider has shared with me something interesting:  watch for clues; I understand they’re everywhere….even the music that’s played in the background.

Okay, if that’s the case, let’s take a closer look at the music:   when the red-headed identical Satan’s spawn (the baseball bat wielding twins who vandalized the interior of the house…and died there…JUST as Addy told them they would)  were in the house wreaking havoc, this song,  “Tonight, You Belong To Me” was played.

The  Fifth Dimension’s song, “Age of Aquarius” played as the flashback began last week, but I think it was used only as a scene setter;  to hammer home the point that the flashback took place in 1968.   If it’s a clue, I can’t figure it out.

And last but not least, when F/X plays promos for the show, Hannah Peele’s version of the Soft Cell oldie, “Tainted Love” always plays underneath.

“Tainted Love”????   Interesting, because in the very first episode, Tate writes the word “taint” on the wall of Violet’s bedroom.   He doesn’t explain why he wrote it, nor does Violet seem at all bothered that he’s defacing her boudoir.   

Also, prior to the series premiere, F/X released several clues that shed some light on the series. They were offered on the show’s official  YouTube channel.  Ten clues were released, entitled “Cello”, “Baby”, “Couples”, “Coffin”, “Lying Down”, “Fire”, “Stairs”, “Melt”, “Red Cello” and “Rubber Bump”.     I’ve watched all of them.   Strange. Strange.  Strange.

Combine those with the musical clues–tonight you belong to methe age of Aquarius and tainted love?????????????

And I’ll admit, it all beats the hell out of me.

Join me here after the show tonight for yet another synopsis and review of  American Horror Story:   Technicolor heroin, ya’ll.