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RECAP: American Horror Story, Episode 3

Viv, determined to get the hell out of the Murder House--as it's called during the creepy bus tour of famous L.A. murders, including Sal Mineo's alleyway death in a throwaway scene that starts off like a gay porn outtake--engages in some genteel blackmail with her realtor to get her to find them a buyer. Unless they make back everything they paid, there's no way the Harmons can move, and Viv is determined not to raise a child in the house where she was held hostage. Violet, of course, feels differently. "That's the house where you and I kicked serious ass," she tells her mother, before warning her that if she is forced to move, she'll run away. Maybe she's planning to sit in the basement in the dark.

While Viv is trying to get her family to safety, Ben is busy waking up in his backyard, with no memory of getting there. The first time it happens was during a session with a patient, who mysteriously disappears before Alexandra Breckinridge Maid starts cleaning up blood in the hallway. When a cop comes by to question Ben, he, too, sees Alexandra Breckinridge Maid. Of course, as Frances Conroy Maid explains to Viv when Ben tries to have her fired for being so damn hot, "men see what they want to see." Oh good, another mystery solved.

And then a third is solved when Viv takes that murder tour and discovers the origins of her house. Built by a doctor to the stars during the '20s, her house was the site of many an illegal abortion in the basement, where the original owner experimented on animals by sewing bat wings to pigs (thus the pickled animal fetuses of the pilot). His wife, played by the always-wonderful Lily Rabe, supplies the pregnant girls in between popping pills and complaining about making do with only two servants.Later, she stops by to check out the house with Viv, who assumes she's a potential buyer. After giddily explaining that the Tiffany windows match her eyes, she disappears while Viv makes them mint verbena tea, but not before we see a giant hole in the back of her head.

In addition to wondering if he's killed a patient who is so boring her husband is divorcing her, Ben has to deal with the sudden appearance of his former mistress, still pregnant and insisting that he finance her move to L.A. But, in true Ryan Murphy fashion, she's dispensed with almost immediately by Dennis O'Hare's charred former occupant, who bashes her head in with a shovel. Ben is teary, but Dennis O'Hare rightly points out that his problems are basically solved. Oh, and he could really use $1,000.

While Ben cleans up, O'Hare digs a hole in the spot where Ben kept waking up on, discovering the corpse of The Maid(s) in the process. He examines the skull and the rotting uniform, then dumps the mistress' body in with it. Taking Lange's previous advice, Ben covers up the spot with cement and builds a gazebo from scratch in what looks like the course of an afternoon. "Now you're stuck here forever," Lange smirks to Frances Conroy Maid, whose body will never be discovered underneath that elegant gazebo. Ah, that's why The Maid(s) kept flavoring Ben's coffee with laudanum: They were hoping he'd dig up that spot to see if he'd buried his patient there. Too bad. Oh, and Ben's patient? Killed herself in a motel, after slashing her arm in his office, which is why there was blood and a blood-red herring. (See what I did there?)

As for Dylan McDermott's body, it was kept under wraps for the ep, though even a hoodie can't disguise how ripped he is while jogging. Something about him turns viewers into a horny Jerri Blank--and we're not complaining.

Next week, newly out Zachary Quinto pops up as a gay decorator for a Very Special Halloween episode.

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