This show is really starting to click, especially now that the Murphy/Falchuk team are no longer writing the scripts themselves. Last night's first installment in American Horror Story's two-part "Halloween" extravaganza was credited to James "Final Destination" Wong and next week, the marvelous, merciless Tim Minear is on deck for the concluding chapter. (We'll be disappointed if there isn't at least one major character death. Please let it be Ben, please.) Wong gave us some intriguing new backstory about the Murder House (apparently, if you die within its walls, you're unable to move onto the next plane of existence); introduced us to some promising new characters (Zachary Quinto's former owner-turned-fluffer and Morris Chestnut's security specialist that was obviously -- and understandably -- making eyes at the gorgeous Viv. Why did Ben cheat on her again? Oh yeah, because he's an idiot); and devised some of the show's freakiest and funniest moments to date, including...
Freaky: The Return of Rubber Man
We weren't particularly scared by the first appearance of this rubber suit-clad mystery man (you don't really think that it's been Tate in that suit all along, do you? We smell fresh red herring with that particular "twist") back in the pilot. But he (it?) was far more menacing here. Maybe it's the way he wordlessly attacked an apologetic Chad (Quinto) -- who believed it was his boyfriend Pat's way of a make-up present for their fight earlier in the day -- and dunked his head in the apple-bobbing barrel. This scary moment was immediately followed by the episode's first big laugh...
Funny: Urban Cowboy
It was just a quick moment, but the sight of Pat (played by Torchwood: Miracle Day star, Teddy Sears) -- all done up like a rodeo cowboy for their Halloween party -- coming face-to-face with the Rubber Man was so incongruous, we couldn't help but smile.
Freaky: Constance Marks Her Territory
She may have a funny way of showing it sometimes, but Constance really loves her daughter, Adelaide. Of course, she also loves having young boy toys around to service her needs. Those passions overlapped when she caught her current much-younger beau and Addie laughing together in the kitchen over a Halloween-themed book. First, she sent the stud away on a routine errand and then told her daughter in no uncertain terms that she wasn't the type to share lovers with "any woman." And after last week, we know exactly what she's capable of when she thinks some chick is sneaking around with her man.
Funny: Gazebo Building 101
We neglected to mention last week the dubious speed with which Ben -- one of the dullest tools in this show's shed -- was able to construct the gazebo over the backyard grave of his pregnant lover Hayden (Kate Mara). Fortunately, our favorite burn victim Larry pointed that out it in this episode and goes onto suggest that he may have to call the city inspector about this unauthorized gazebo unless he gets his blackmail money. And all Ben can think to do in response is kick the poor guy's pumpkin pail like some lame playground bully.
Freaky: Sew, Sew, Sew Your Baby
The already-twisted story of the house's builder Dr. Charles Montgomery took another dark turn this week as we discovered that his baby was kidnapped by the boyfriend of one of the women he discretely got out of "trouble." The kidnapper then returned the infant to Dr. Montgomery and his wife... in pieces. As if that weren't awful enough, the good doctor tried to right this terrible wrong by sewing his dead child back together. The remains of the resulting monstrosity still lie somewhere in the basement. Boy, do we not want to see what it looks like. (Who are we kidding? Of course we do.)
Funny: Ben Lies When He Cries
We know, we know... we spend an awful lot of time complaining about how much Ben sucks. But c'mon, he really does. His tearful confession about his troubled past to Tate displayed a complete lack of professionalism, not to mention sound judgment. At this point, he should really start paying Tate for the counseling sessions, rather than the other way around.
Freaky: Is That Her Baby In There?
It's never a good sign when the sight of your child on the ultrasound causes a nurse to pass out. It's even worse when her last words before fainting are "the baby seems to be a lot bigger." So what exactly is growing in Vivian's uterus -- a baby or one of Daenerys Targaryen's dragons?
Funny: Dialogue Like This
"I want a relationship with a man, not Martha Stewart."
"I can't believe this is who we've become: Hallow-queens arguing over pumpkins."
"Everybody thinks they have style and everybody thinks they are funny. Most people aren't."
"I do the full seven days, it's the only time I can really be myself."
"You play the role of the dutiful house husband, but you like having that cock sucked often and well. I can do that. Four minutes and no one will know."
"Violet. That girl's got another cupcake coming."
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