American Horror Story went full-on Shining in the second and concluding chapter of its two-part "Halloween" centerpiece. The various ghosts that have been popping up all season long, from Moira the Maid to Chad the Fluffer, descended on the Murder House en masse last night, causing plenty of headaches for the increasingly unhinged Harmon clan. A few new phantom faces joined in the haunting, most notably Ben's recently deceased ex-lover Hayden and a group of high school students who credit Tate with their ethereal state of being. Speaking of Violet's creepy boyfriend, episode scribe Tim Minear dropped a doozy of a revelation on us concerning his lineage: it turns out that Tate is Constance's son. Though the episode was light on deaths (apart from the folks that are already dead, of course) -- a rarity for a Minear-scripted outing -- story nuggets like that made "Halloween Part II" the most substantive info-dump we've received so far.
Freaky: Why So Serious?
As if there haven't already been enough signs that there's something just a little off about Tate, his muted, almost dismissive reaction to Violet's fears about the strange stuff she's been seeing all night struck us as pretty creepy. And his delivery of the line, "It's fine now, I'm here," sounded way more sinister than reassuring. You can't say that he doesn't understand his new girlfriend though -- handing Violet a black rose was a surefire way into her heart, since she doesn't like "normal things." Which explains why she's attracted to Tate.
Funny: Ben Harmon, Man of Action
Fed up with the troublemaking firestarter Larry and freaked out about the reappearance of the supposedly dead Hayden, Ben marches into the kitchen and arms himself with a butcher knife. When Vivien asks him what the hell he's up to, he stammers out some lame explanation about wanting to confront the kids that destroyed the pumpkins on the front porch (she's clearly not buying it) and then heads out into the backyard, trading his knife for a shovel along the way, which he uses to whack Larry upside the head. "Let me tell you who's dangerous -- that would be me," he screams, looking and sounding about as dangerous as a three-year-old in mid-temper tantrum.
Freaky: Oh, What a Night
Usually only parents are supposed to worry about this sort of thing, but we were genuinely disturbed at the thought of Violet losing her virginity to a kid like Tate. Fortunately, he slammed on the brakes before she had the opportunity to make a big mistake, the first responsible thing he's done... ever. His "It Gets Better" monologue about how life improves after high school further endeared him to us as well. Y'know, maybe he is the right guy for Vi, after all.
Funny: All the Cool, Dead Kids Hang Out at the Beach
After their little heart-to-heart, Violet and Tate are happened upon by a roving gang of aggressively unpleasant teenagers (including Ashley Rickards from MTV's Awkward), all of whom seem to be sporting Halloween-appropriate fake wounds and massive head trauma. Their banter is hilariously high school, right down to Tate's parting shot, "This beach sucks!" Of course, by the end of the episode, these teens become a heck of a lot less amusing when we learn their tragic backstory...
Freaky: Vivien vs. Hayden
Tired of waiting for Ben to man up and tell Hayden to go you-know-where, Vivien decides to confront her nemesis face-to-face, uh, make that voice-to-voice (remember, she still doesn't know that the hussy's body lies decomposing in her backyard). Leading off by confessing her own indiscretion with a married man, Vivien then proceeds to tell Hayden that she wished she "had ripped her smug little face off" when she caught her and Ben in the act. Hayden signs off, telling her she should ask Ben about what happened in Boston. When Vivien turns around, she finds that message written in big block letters on the foggy bathroom mirror. Creepy!
Funny: Fun With Microwaves
We've got a sick sense of humor, so we couldn't help but chuckle at the practical joke that Hayden played on poor Vivien, tricking her into thinking that her beloved doggie was cooked until she went all kablooey in the family microwave. Turned out it was just a tomato, so we say no harm, no foul. (Credit where credit's due: the 2009 remake of The Last House on the Left pulled a similar stunt, although in that case, it wasn't a joke -- some dude's head was really cooked until it exploded.)
Freaky: The Elephant in the Room
After drawing the gang of dead teens away from Violet, Tate is eventually surrounded and kicked around a bit. But they're not really out for his blood -- mainly, they just want to know: why. Why he walked into school one day with a gun and shot them all in cold blood. Tate insists he didn't do it, but bursts of long-suppressed memories, in which he enters a classroom in full skull makeup and cocks a firearm, bubble up to the surface of his subconscious and overwhelm him. Okay, we've changed our minds again -- he's definitely not right for Violet.
Funny: Dialogue Like This
"So your plan is to kill them?"
"You see that crazy bitch, you tell her we're done."
"He said my face was soft like a baby. And between my thighs tasted like raspberries and cream."
"He's probably on his fourth unprotected blow job."
"She's like those lonely fat chicks that marry guys on Death Row."
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