American Horror Story: Episodes 2 – 4

Sorry, but we’re a little behind with Glee/Tuck Lights 2: Revenge of the Lights American Horror Story, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to recap in a slightly different style — by going back and forth between two hesitant fans, variously questioning and theorizing.

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Is Durmot Mulroony a terrible therapist? It seems like his patient/doctor relationship is already well compromised. Did he have some other bond with Russel Edington we didn’t see on screen? It almost seems like lazy writing, dyah I mean they had additional conversations off screen. And he cries in front of Tate? It’s stretching the limits of my suspension of disbelieve.

Dermot is possibly the wost therapist in history. First, he nods off into a laudanum coma while his patient slits her wrists, next he takes young Tate out for coffee/girl talk and weeps (not unlike when we wept while jerking it in front of Russel in the first episode.) If he keeps it up, he’s going to be stuck with ghost-patients only, which begs the question: how do his ghost patients pay?

Good point. Maybe he just blacks out right before the end of each session?

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Are there too many elements? I realize it’s just the start of what Ryan Murphy surely hopes will be a long-running series, but I am starting to get the sense that not all of these things will be resolved. Or worse, they’ll be hurriedly and unsatisfactorily resolved.

Given the direction that Glee took (pile on the storylines and characters! More fake pregnancies!) I fear that they will be hurriedly and unsatisfactorily resolved. For now, they are all intriguing me and keeping me interested, but I think the best episode was the very focused murder-trio scenario one. It was so tightly conceived and still super scary and moved the plot forward.

Agreed. That was the first moment where the family had a clear reason to fear the house, and yet it was only the house’s history indirectly culminating in the murder pact — not an actual spirit attacking them. Sure, it was straight-forward, but as you say it was clean.

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Oh boy, Connie Britton’s performance! I can’t help but see tinges of Mrs. Coach Taylor here, of course, but still. Still! She’s so adept at being in command yet vulnerable. And sultry. Oh so sultry.

Tammy Taylor is a national treasure.

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Oh my god, the bad girl closet is amazing! I want one.

The bad girl closet is for serious my worst nightmare. I would rather play hide and seek with those two dead gingers in the basement than spend a night in the bad girl closet.

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I also like that it is pretty quickly set up that this family wants to (and should) sell this horrific house. Sure, I doubt they’ll actually move any time soon, but at least it isn’t explained away in some throwaway two lines of dialogue. Then later we have a pleasantly cohesive (though obviously unpleasantly scripted) gazebo.

Maybe the whole show is really an allegory about the housing bubble and mortgage crisis, and America being haunted by the ghosts of its own greed and delusions. Hahahahha, jokes.

The gay couple represent Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the ghost baby is Florida’s real estate market, and the gazebo is a collateralized debt obligation.

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Side Note: How much do you feel about the creepy 19th century baby pictures? Some say we’re in the golden age of television credits, and though I think AHS borrows heavily from others, it’s still pretty great.

As a photohistorian, my initial impulse was “I hope no tin types were harmed in the making of these credits.” That said, I love how just showing a tin type of a kid next to a jar of nebulous fluid evokes instant horror. My only complaint with the credits is that every single time they begin, I just think they’ve cut to a flashback or scene in the basement. I find it confusing.

Damn, now that is all I am going to see. I’m liking the show opening horrific scene. Although it feels very policy procedural, it’s personally unfamiliar to me. In fact the flashbacks peppered throughout are all quite good.

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Oh my goodness, I love the maid character. From the stain-cleaning from the grave, to the connection with Jessica Lange, to the odd eyeball, to the crude sexuality. Can you think of a comparable character on another show?

Yes, her character is fabulous. But, why didn’t Tammy Taylor get MORE freaked out by her husband hitting on a wonk-eyed old maid? Why is Durmot not in therapy himself?

Right, exactly. I find his entire character not only the least believable but also bordering on absurd. It seems like one eye-roll excuse after the other. He disappeared to go to Boston “on business.” What business? He’s a therapist, and obviously his place of business is the house, so…he was at a conference?

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Is Marcy the realtor a ghost? There’s hardly any evidence to suggest such, but still. Still?

I hadn’t thought of that, but it seems reasonable to me. Or, at least she is also “touched”? Like, I’m fairly certain she knows ALL about the ghosts that chill in the basement.

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This is obviously a little superficial, but are you getting a little Erik Northman from Pat? Just saying.

It can’t be a coincidence. He was giving all kinds of Scandinavian realness. BTW how did Twink references all of a sudden become a given in mainstream tv? First we had Jack’s ill-fated Kabletown channel, now the references to Power bottoms and such? Not that I don’t love it (and Zachary Quinto) just that I’m fascinated by the term’s current visibility.

Agreed. Maybe it was common on Nip/Tuck, and it’s not that shocking for Ryan Murphy on FX? I don’t really know. I’m confused how “power bottom” entered the entertainment vernacular. I mean, do people know what that means? It was be like saying “pussy slut” or something. Well, perhaps that isn’t so unusual either, and it’s simply our turn.

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Jessica Lange was driving that car, obviously, right?

Whoa. I hadn’t even considered this. You could be right. I want to know, though, whether her daughter will exclusively haunt the murder house now, or will she allowed to go back and make more ipecac cupcakes with mommy while Travis reads above his grade level?

Wait did her daughter actually die? If so, then yes, she’ll definitely haunt the house. She almost already was when she was living.

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Also, two big questions right now are: Tate is clearly a ghost, sure, but what is his backstory? I would be willing to put money on him being a Cobain acolyte who committed suicide in his footsteps back in 1994, before the gays moved in.

I didn’t consider this one bit! You think he’s a spirit? He obviously has a connection with the basement entity. I was thinking it was more of a connection from earlier in his life. Like maybe he was one of the former tenants, before the gays, and his parents committed suicide, and now they help him scratch high school girl’s faces?

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Second, who is in the latex bodysuit? I mean, we’ve seen Tate wear it, but I don’t think it was Tate banging Tammy Taylor or killing off the gays. Obviously this has implications for Tammy’s spawn, which is apparently growing fast enough to scare the ultrasound technician. Are we about to be Rosemary’s babied?

Another good question. I’m going to go out on a limb and say there’s no person inside the bodysuit. It’s the heteronormative essence of the house?

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2 thoughts on “American Horror Story: Episodes 2 – 4

  1. Jerch says:

    We will never see the ultrasound woman ever again.

  2. funnynurse says:

    Apparently it is called a ‘gimp’ suit. Popularized by Pulp Fiction. True Story. This show is awful…ly good!? Dude, I am at am impass- Ryan Murphy is the king of starting story lines and then abandoning them- like, why did the ultrasound tech pass out after seeing the baby? I need answers!! DAMN YOU MURPHY!!

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