This week's American Horror Story was a wonderful exercise in emotional attachment, and what happens when there is none. It's probably a bad sign when I'd rather hang out with the extras handing out blow jobs to Jim Morrison than the actual cast, isn't it? Ah well, at least we'll always have Constance.
One thing American Horror hasn't failed at yet is delivering the goods on the soundtrack. The new episode started with a bang blasting "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" and set the stage for their bloody flashback. They even managed to put a new spin on this sometimes overused classic by bringing out the beats and zooming in on each gorgeous teen in slow motion, as she glided down the stairs. It was hypnotic (and that's why I picked it as the clip to represent this episode).
Plus this girl is just over-the-moon gorgeous. Anyways, blah blah blowjobs for Jim Morrison — what, did you forget this show was on FX?
Then comes the horror. The cat-eyed girls are horrible bitches. (No surprise there — when are the pretty girls ever nice in Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk's stories?) They make fun of the smart girls and take off for their Doors concert. Meanwhile a strange man shows up and murders both of the smart girls. Sure, it was "scary" because watching some creepo dig a knife into anyone is "scary." But I wouldn't call any of this horror. In order to be horrifying, this show needs to start killing off people in much more horrific ways or AT LEAST give us a second to care about the characters — that way, it will elicit some sort of emotional response from the audience. Like fear.
This is the real problem with American Horror Story, why are we supposed to care about the horrible can't-stop-putting-my-penis-into-other-women-or-I-start-crying husband, the token emo daughter or the clueless housewife? This show throws peril at these three every four minutes, in the form of ghosts, bullies, murderers, ghost rapists and poisoned cupcakes (none of which are particularly scary Oh no what if she eats the barf cupcake and barfs?) There is too much generic "scare" and not enough "care." Not yet, at least.
This episode was basically Bryan Bertino's The Strangers, in which a pack of strangers break into a couple's isolated summer home and murder the pair, slowly. It was very scary. American Horror Story's version, not so much. First off there was no real danger because the ghosts that live in the home are now protecting the family (they do that now?) and it's the SECOND EPISODE OF THE SEASON. There is NO WAY they were going to kill off the two main characters with some serial killer-worshiping HUMAN. (BTW Mrs. Harmon and Baby Harmon were basically held hostage in their own home by a couple of teens who were obsessed with the flashback murder, because apparently they wanted to recreate it or something. I don't know why, all the guy did was stab a woman in a nurse's outfit, but whatever, each serial killer worshiper to their own I guess).
No one died but the people trying to kill the Harmons, there was never ever any real danger ever for this couple, and I'm not sure why anyone would think that there was. Also, Violet is now friends with the bully she trapped in a basement with the ghost. The bully's hair is turning white and she has deep scars on her face, but that's all demon water under the demon bridge, I guess. Because now they are besties, because the bully can't tell anyone she was trying to score coke from the girl who permanently marred her face forever. THIS IS NOT A THING THAT HAPPENS EVEN IN FAKE HORROR SHOWS, PEOPLE.
But enough of the negative — let's talk about what was GOOD from this week's episode. I did like that we now know that Tate, Constance and Moira are working together, in some sort of horrific ghost plan. I don't think that Constance is a ghost — maybe a medium or some junk — but Tate and the housekeeper are clearly spirits. Watching these two get ready to clean up the bodies was both surprising and a bit of fun.
And more time with Constance is always a good thing, always. We even got to see inside her home, and of course it looks like it was pulled out of a 60s Better Homes and Gardens.
However, what I can't believe is that Constance lives in a home just like this. Why did Constance want to poison Violet? Who cares, Violet is the worst! It was good creepy fun. Plus we got to find out a little bit more about her tragic background, and check out her sex life — go on with your bad self and the male models, Constance! This woman is nuts, dangerous and downright cruel (she locked poor Addy in that mirror closet so she could continue on with her "business meeting").
But the rest was just weird. Why is Dr. Ben still treating Tate, and why is he not completely freaked out that wherever he runs, Denis O'Hare pops up telling him he's going to murder his family? Why is he allowing this conversation to even happen? At least we got the obligatory Dylan chest shot. Hello ladies!
American Horror Story needs to figure out what is scary, and what we've seen too much of before. Or just spend sometime with the characters, specifically Constance. I'm not giving up yet, but hopefully next week will be better. Hopefully the trio of Tate, Moira and Constance will prove a ghostly plot has been brewed. I'm not sure why Tate "needs" to get his head shrunk by Dr. Ben but I'm happy to find out more.