RECAP: American Horror Story Episode 4

10.27.2011

By Mark Peikert

Despite his promise to Ben to leave the Harmons alone, Tate creeps up to Violet and convinces her to meet him in her basement—where he’s wearing the rubber fetish suit. That thing is remarkably one-size-fits-all. Downstairs, surrounded by candles and an untouched Ouija board, Tate spins the tale of that chiclet-teethed baby that terrorized the cokehead queen bee in the pilot: The infant of the house’s original owners Norah and the Mad Doctor, the little boy was kidnapped by an enraged boyfriend after he found out the Mad Doctor had given his girlfriend an abortion. The Mad Doctor, being, you know, a Mad Doctor, eventually took his dead son’s corpse and began experimenting on it—much to the horror of Lily Rabe’s Norah. If this show does nothing else, I hope it proves to everyone that Lily Rabe is an amazing, idiosyncratic actress.

Speaking of idiosyncratic actresses, Jessica Lange got some juicy material to play this week, as she fought with Addie over Addie’s Halloween costume. “I want to go as a pretty girl,” Addie pleads, but Lange is having none of it. “You’ll go as Snoopy or not at all,” she snaps, after sending her gigolo for more chocolate chips and a carton of Pall Malls. “Do you know what people think when they see us walking down the street together?” Lange continues. “They think ‘There but for the grace of God.’” Eventually, Lange relents and presents Addie with a really creepy, fleshy, full-head mask to wear as a pretty girl (what former occupant of the house did that face come off of?), but Addie, happy and alone, gets hit by a car crossing the street and dies before Lange can get her body to the Harmon’s lawn. Apparently, if you die in the house or on the grounds, you’re set for eternity. Just ask The Maid(s), who are depressed that they’re stuck cleaning the same house forever. At least Halloween gives them the night off, as it’s the only night that the dead can walk freely. So they head to a nursing home and euthanize their mother.

Meanwhile, Viv and Ben get into a nasty argument with Patrick and Chad, who are tired of watching them, with their unfabulous style, living in their home. Viv, already on edge from checking Ben’s phone bill and seeing calls from his mistress, freaks out on them, throwing over tables and decorations and ordering them out. Ben promises that Hayden, his now dead mistress, will never contact them again—but she tries to call Viv and then shows up at his front door.

Viv, after throwing an extremely weak hissy fit (seriously, Connie Britton just could not get into that scene), suddenly feels her 8-week-old baby kicking. At the hospital, the nurse looking at the sonogram faints—never a good sign. And poor Violet, home alone on the night the dead can wander the earth, must deal first with crazy, angry burned Dennis O’Hare, who wants to be paid for killing Ben’s mistress—which means that she is now stuck around Ben’s house, so thanks dude—and the rubber fetish suit guy, who is hovering over her shoulder in the house. By the time Ben and Viv return home—no word about what that sonogram shows—Violet is gone. Good thing Ben and Viv have another baby on the way.

Next week? More Halloween!

-- MARK PEIKERT

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