American Horror Story: Piggy Piggy

Posted on November 10, 2011

On this week’s installment of The Jessica Lange Method of Scenery Chewing and Scaring Your Co-Stars, Professor Lange was uncharacteristically subdued. No threatening to break anyone’s goddamn arm; no scenes where her tears literally leap off her face like they’re committing suicide, no young male lovers to seduce while locking her daughter in a closet full of mirrors. No, it was all tea, cigarettes and revelations this time around.

Please expect these reviews to be as jumpy as the show is, by the way. If they can’t manage linear narrative, why the hell should we try to make our sentences flow into each other? JUMP CUT! FETUS IN A JAR!

We think we’re going to keep doing that.

So, mysterious smoking medium lady shows up suddenly in Constance’s kitchen, all arched eyebrows and knowing looks. There’s obviously a plan afoot here and we have no idea what it is, although it would make the most sense that Constance is somehow using the Harmons to get Tate to cross over to the other side. Then again, she tried to get Addie’s spirit tied to the house, so maybe she likes having her children next door for all eternity.

CLOSEUP OF AN EYEBALL!

Meanwhile, Moira and Constance are quite the little quilting bee of concern over Vivian’s pregnancy, aren’t they? What expectant mother hasn’t found herself wishing for a plate of raw animal organs to tuck into?  And ladies, it’s right around your second trimester that you all go crazy for raw brains swimming in blood, amirite? Viv certainly looked blissful eating that thing, didn’t she? We love that this family constantly has these ultra-bizarre moments (like, say, joyfully eating a brain without a second thought) and then they just shrug them off. Then again, Viv shrugged off the former ultrasound tech who now apparently lives in a church and thinks her baby has hooves, so we’ve established that she has an amazing capacity to not examine her surroundings or think about her life too much.

FLICKERING BARE LIGHTBULB!

So we’ve established that Constance, and possibly Moira, have some sort of plan for Viv’s pregnancy. We’ve established that her baby probably has hooves. We’re thinking that the baby is somehow the key to releasing all the spirits from the house, although we have no idea why that is. First, we’d have to come up with a theory as to what or who the rubber man is and frankly, we’re not willing to invest that much brain energy into guessing games and theorizing. The point is, the baby has hooves and Vivian has a taste for bloody offal, which has been cultivated by Moira and Constance.

SHADOWY STAIRCASE!

Poor Violet. Not only does she have to come to terms with the fact that the only person who cares about her is

a) dead; and

b) crazy

but she has to deal with the fact that both her parents are self-absorbed jackasses. She managed a loud, screaming suicide attempt and no one else in the house seemed to notice or care. Well, no one living, that is. Apparently Viv couldn’t hear the screams over her chewing and Ben couldn’t hear them over his hard work of being the worst therapist in the history of therapy. At some point, it’s going to become a bit hard for the police to ignore the string of dead bodies and missing people that all seem to lead right back to his office.

Still, a fun, engrossing episode, so long as you remember to go into it with the realization that no one in this universe acts like anyone you know.

KNIFE! CANDLE! DARKENED HALLWAY!

 

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  • Sobaika Mirza

    KNIFE! CANDLE! DARKENED HALLWAY!

    I look forward to these recaps so much.

  • http://profiles.google.com/laurenjeanstm Lauren St Martin

    FLICKERING BARE LIGHTBULB!

    Seriously just lost it. Coworkers are not so amused.

  • http://joyouslifesf.wordpress.com Kiltdntiltd

    I’ve been tuning in with relish each installment.  And yeah, none of these people is from any rational universe you’re aware of.  But that’s part of the fun as far as I can see it.  Just suspend yourself in this alternate space and go for a ride! 
    I adore Jessica Lange in pretty much anything, including this vehicle.  And I have the happy obligation to watch cause a dear friend is the art director for the show.

    • Terence Ng

      She is very clearly the strongest actress in the cast. Watching her is just a sumptuous experience.

    • Anonymous

      I must say that if given a little foreknowledge as to plot (or maybe incidents) & the scope to indulge in subtleties that most people won’t catch till a second viewing, art directing the ‘little touches’ for this show must be big fun.

      • http://joyouslifesf.wordpress.com Kiltdntiltd

        Ed tells me he’s been having a lot of fun on this show.

  • http://twitter.com/wednesdaydreams Natalie

    This was my favorite episode so far! Not sure what the Eric Stonestreet plot was all about, but everything else was great. Constance was both batshit crazy and sympathetic. Moira was both creepy but caring… I don’t know with these people. And Tate and Violet really take star crossed ‘Ghost’ couples to a whole new level! I think Tate has a split personality disorder which doesn’t make up for the fact that he killed a whole bunch of people but it would explain why he can be so psycho and creepy sometimes (like how he randomly pops up, the first few episodes) but completely sweet and insecure (the date last week, when he freaked and saved Violet and obvs the speech at the end). 

    or it could be you know, typical Troll Murphy trolling away giving us characters with seeming split personalities 

    • Terence Ng

      Yeah, I felt the same about the Derek storyline. I was writing up the mini synopsis on Wikipedia and realized you could cut that whole storyline with no consequence to the episode itself except the title. Unless it comes back later, it was a weird one-off, but he wouldn’t come back, since he died in his own house.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      For me, the episode was all about our greatest fears. Morris Chestnut mentioned it in the beginning. While they can be foolish (piggy), some turn out to be real (Violet discovering ghosts, a hooved baby). Especially when there are things that can actually hurt you, like burglars and the horrifyingly real school shooting.

      • Terence Ng

        Wow, excellent analysis!

  • http://twitter.com/wednesdaydreams Natalie

    Haha, I loved the brain scene. It made me think about how my parents used to force me to eat all sorts of traditional delicacies when I was little for my health, including brains! I think mine was pig’s brains. And it was cooked, not raw, and it tasted like egg. 

    • Sobaika Mirza

      I’ve had cow brains. When I was little my mother told me it would make me smarter.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah!  And maybe the brains tie back in with the “Piggy piggy” thing. . . . .

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1344922354 Eric Scheirer Stott

      I liked the little parsley garnish- and it was from an organic farm!

  • Terence Ng

    Next episode cut superimposes hot cop Morris Chestnut with Ben with Rubber Man. This strengthens my idea that that the Rubber Man is a personification of violent lust rather than a real ghost.

    The school massacre opener was one of the hardest things to watch.

    • Anonymous

      Yea the massacre was so sad but very well done. And I got so mad when the jock got out from under the table!! And when they showed how the cheerleader peed, ugh that was so sad, I can’t imagine being so terrified

      • BerlinerNYC

        I gasped at the peeing. It’s one of those little details that is both very real and over the top in terms of what we’re used to seeing on television. This show will go there.

        • Terence Ng

          I was pissed that they didn’t throw the table up at him. On the off chance that it falls on him, it’ll take at least one second for him to crawl out from under it and that’s time you have to make a break for it. And on the off chance that he fires through the table, you have some metal in the legs that might jumble or deflect trajectory a bit. Chances, chances, chances…*sigh

        • Anonymous

          going there is the whole gimmick with this show. It’s already droll to me.

      • Anonymous

        I think Murphy just like to be depraved. He thinks it makes him edgy and artsy. I don’t.

        • Anonymous

          You think the peeing was depraved? I think it was very real, and gave a good image on how scared one must be in that situation. Now if they had shown her crapping her pants, yea I’d consider that depraved

  • http://twitter.com/happykatt64 gini lenning

    Is anyone else thinking “Rosemary’s baby”?

    • Terence Ng

      Hail Satan! (hail satan!) HAIL SATAN!

    • http://joyouslifesf.wordpress.com Kiltdntiltd

      “He has his Father’s eyes”
      “But Guy’s eyes are brown!”
      “Satan was his father!”

    • Anonymous

      A bit of Rosemary’s Baby with a touch of Amityville Horror and a dash of The Shining. Maybe the daughter will Carrie-out at the prom.  

  • MilaXX

    KNIFE! CANDLE! DARKENED HALLWAY!
    I still roll my eyes at every stutpid thingthat happens on this show, but your recaps make it worth watching.

  • Ledasmom

    So, was there actually a noise or did Viv just want a return visit from Morris Chestnut? That bit almost felt like the setup for really bad porn.
    Yes, Ben, the perfect place for your patient to get over his mirror/evil lurking killer phobia is in the old, shadowy bathroom with a curtain around the tub. Worst therapist in the history of therapy, indeed. And why couldn’t he give the poor man something to help him sleep? I  was on medication once that kept me from having real (dreaming) sleep for a week, and towards the end I would have eaten raw brains if it made me sleep properly.
    I have to say, the pancreas and brain were disgusting (I wonder what she was actually eating? Brain jello mold?), but those sweetbreads looked damn good. With a squeeze of lemon, mmmm.

    • Sobaika Mirza

      According to an interview with Ryan Murphy, it was a gelatinous mold, and Connie Briton had to power through that scene because she is super health conscious and gelatin is very much not part of her regularly scheduled diet.

    • Terence Ng

      I know, right? I get you’re making him recite the mantra, but did you REALLY need to turn off the lights and close the door? REALLY?

    • http://profiles.google.com/shannonlstewart Shannon Stewart

      I remember I was seeing a shrink who apparently didn’t believe in sleep meds when Micheal Jackson died — so I was averaging 2 hours a night without REM.  My first thought on hearing about how he died was “Where can I get that doctor’s number?  ‘Cause that sounds freaking GREAT!!!”  That was the point my husband made me switch shrinks:)

      • Anonymous

        Husbands have their uses!

        More seriously, that sounds just hideous. I believe in sleep’s therapeutic properties like some people vitamin C or meditation or kombucha tea.  Or like my grandmother believed in a hot water & Irish whiskey with sugar (for 5-year-olds, no wonder the family landscape is littered with alcoholics).

    • Anonymous

      Yes, Ben must be the worst therapist EVER.

  • Anonymous

    Jessica Lange is phenominal in this, I started tearing up when she was talking to Addie’s spirit. She does such a great job at being likeable, even though she’s pretty nuts and a bit of a villain.

    And what the hell happened to Sarah Paulson?! She looked so plastic and puffy, was that plastic surgery, or was she just made up for the show?

    • Terence Ng

      I actually thought she was Kristin Wieg and then Julie Benz at first.

    • Anonymous

      No, Sarah Paulson needs to quit having her lips plumped. Awkward.

      • Anonymous

        Yea they looked awful!! They even made her have a bit of a lisp, I’ve never noticed that about her before and it’s probably b/c she can’t speak correctly with those fat lips

        • Sobaika Mirza

          I think she’s always had a lisp.

          Who knows, maybe she had something done, but I thought the show was trying to make her look that way. Very trashy-LA. She’s getting a pilot on Lifetime after all.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1042716137 Jenny Stark

    “…no scenes where her tears literally leap off her face like they’re committing suicide”  LOLZ!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1042716137 Jenny Stark

    …and I will not be reading this article multiple times, because unfortunately I can’t look at the brain again.  I want to, it’s hilarious, but no.  

  • Sarah Tyrchniewicz

    I usually come to this site for the fashion commentary. But I ADORE these recaps. They are in many ways a better guilty pleasure than the show itself. Thank you!

  • Anonymous

    I cannot even begin to tell you how much joy that recap brought me.  CREAKING STAIRCASE!  Love Professor Lange and how she can make insanity look sane.  CREEPY HAND UNDER THE BED!  This show is freakin amazing.  DEMON BABY! 

  • http://twitter.com/Goldielox73 Goldie

    This has nothing to do with the episode itself but I thought it was neat.  Ever since the first episode, I’ve thought the actress who plays Violet looked familiar.  Then I noticed her last name was Farmiga.  For anyone who watched Up in the Air with George Clooney, Vera Farmiga played the woman he was having an affair with.  Turns out they are sisters with a 21 year age difference.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046681022 Paula Berman

    I feel kind of embarrassed admitting this, but I found the Tate/Violet story kind of… sweet.  Honestly, it seems like Tate was possessed when he killed those kids, and he doesn’t remember it at all.  The real Tate sounds like he was thoughtful, morose, and kind of emo, then something in the house pushed him over into doing something crazy, as it does with everyone who lives there.  The scene where he is imploring Violet for her love, and both of them are weeping, was so terribly sad.  He may have been a psychotic; hell, he might have been a psychotic even without the house’s influence, but most psychotics are not violent, just scared, confused, ill people.  Tate’s story is a tragedy b/c the house took a sad, broken kid and turned him into a monster.  Maybe Violet can help him, though I fear she may have to do it by crossing over with him.

  • Anonymous

    This episode did not have enough Zachary Quinto. I disapprove. On the other hand, it made me realize how much the guy who plays Tate looks like Alex from Clockwork Orange… and I approve of that.

  • Anonymous

    I think I also read in the interview with Murphy that Constance and Moira do NOT know what this baby truly is. So they think they are getting a sweet little baby, I guess? No hooves in their minds? Which means I guess that they think offal is just really good stuff. 

    • Anonymous

      Ryan Murphy is driving me crazy with all his oversharing in interviews! I actually had to stop reading them because they were full of spoilers. For instance, he revealed that Tate was Constance’s son beforehand, said Addie was not coming back as a ghost, told us that Hayden was the hand reaching for Violet,  said Ben and Vivienne would be moving out of the house at different times, and the biggest spoiler of them all is below. Only read if you want to know.

      Murphy ruined many of the theories about Rubberman by stating that it was “obvious” who Rubberman was from the first episode. And he was surprised people didn’t already know.  Thereby, effectively eliminating future suspects. Gah! That man’s mouth needs to be zipped up like Rubberman’s

      • Anonymous

        He is more interested in being a celebrity at this point that the creative If you ask me.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, I forgot. SHOVEL! GAZEBO! SHARDS OF GLASS!

  • Anonymous

    This was the first episode I found genuinely disturbing.  The ghostie, ghouly and gimpy elements of the show are usually hilarious, but flashbacks to Columbine, not so much.

    So here’s the thing, I like Tate.  Compared to the others ghouls around that house he’s Casper the Emo Ghost! The actor playing him is very attractive even if it makes me a creepy cougar to notice. I think he and Violet have great chemistry and they work well together as a very strange couple.  But I really hope that the house made him do it or I’m rooting for Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold and morally speaking that makes me feel dirty – the bad kind of dirty!

    • Lori

      I had the same reaction, especially when they went there with such realistic reenactments, I think they even used some of the victims” actual words.  I get it that Columbine is in some ways the ultimate American Horror Story but watching it had a bigtime ick factor considering how I’ve been rooting for Tate.

      • Anonymous

        it certainly should not be fodder for a fictional entertainment program. I am no prude but I sincerely disapprove. Its exploitive and very VERY bad taste.

        • Janet Romo

          As someone who was involved in a school shooting (NIU Valentine’s Day 2008), I can say that the scenes depicted were very tastefully and did not stir up any bad feelings, beyond the obvious heeby-jeebies. I didn’t find them offensive at all, perhaps a bit more intense.

        • Janet Romo

          As someone who was involved in a school shooting (NIU Valentine’s Day 2008), I can say that the scenes depicted were very tastefully and did not stir up any bad feelings, beyond the obvious heeby-jeebies. I didn’t find them offensive at all, perhaps a bit more intense.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1046681022 Paula Berman

      I feel like the fact that Tate has amnesia about the event indicates that he was not in control of himself when he did the murders.  My prediction is that, in order to have him cross over, he’s going to have to remember what he did and accept it, then let go.  I’m not sure what Violet will do when that time comes.

  • Anonymous

    You guys, this is hilarious.  I may have to start watching this show.

  • Anonymous

    “I didn’t even get to the last ‘pig’”

  • Anonymous

    Ryan Murphy creates like a toddler telling a story or leading a game making up rules as he goes along and not caring how it’s received as long as he wins. I’m done with the show and possibly anything RM does. I think he is the M. Knight Shamalamadingdong of TV.

    • Anonymous

      Agree cpmpletely.  And the M Knight thing really really great.

  • Anonymous

    God bless the Jessica Lange Method of Scenery Chewing and Scaring Your Co-Stars. Well, HE may not bless it but I digress. 

    My absolute favorite line from this episode, spoken by mysterious smoking medium lady: “Do you think I wanted a bloody Mexican ghost in my bathroom?” Priceless.

    And T Lo’s JUMP CUT! FETUS IN A JAR! stuff is absolutely freaking priceless. PRICELESS! It’s reminding of something. Maybe an SNL spoof or something? Whatever it is it’s delicious.

  • http://twitter.com/thisiscarlijn Carlijn Kruidhof

    I really like the drama of these characters. In some tvshows, people don’t show any emotion when someone they love is hurt. While AHS might be slightly too much, it’s a lot more realistic than say Vampire Diaries. Kid loses both her parents: nothing. No tears, no drugs, no alcohol, just, plain old life everyday. You’d think she didn’t even have parents in the first place. That’s not human. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/shawn.eric.hill Shawn Hill

    You guys have convinced me to watch that DVR’d episode as soon as I get home tonight after all. I don’t need consistency, just random jump cuts of awesome!

  • nikki ilvento

    My theory is that they are all in purgatory and just don’t know it yet.  Love this show.

  • Anonymous

    It’s the old saying, if everyone is bad no one is bad.  If everyone is really stupid, no one is.  If everyone is dead, no one is alive.  So why bother caring?  It makes for some giggles but not a lot of real tension or interest.  And the Connie Britton Mom character is just so damn annoying all the time.  When Jessica arrives on the scene the show lights up.  Without her, it feels DOA.

    The wonderful Zachary Quinto is, however, in an excellent film called “Margin Call.”  The real American Horror Story.  Jeremy Irons,  Paul Bettany (love), Kevin Spacey, Demi Moore, Stanley Tucci.  Fantastic film.  Hope Quinto gets a ton more film work as a result.  He was the other highlight of the tv show for me.

  • KinoEye

    Just started and finished the first season. As usual, you’re spot on, and I can’t tell you how much I laughed at “Apparently Viv couldn’t hear the screams over her chewing and Ben couldn’t hear them over his hard work of being the worst therapist in the history of therapy.” Perfect.