American Horror Story: Smoldering Children

Posted on December 08, 2011

We’d like to be all smug (we LIVE for being smug), but let’s face it: half the internet figured out the twist in this episode. We weren’t the only ones and we doubt we were even close to being the first. But what made the reveal so interesting was the way it was revealed: almost matter-of-factly. In fact, long before Violet figured it out, the creators made sure that we, the audience did. The scene of Violet running out the front door only to immediately come in the back was both very effective and a nice way to wink at the audience, saying, “WE know what’s going on here, don’t we?” in that classic horror-story manner, as we wait for our dim-witted protagonists to figure out what’s been obvious for a while.

And speaking of dim-witted, Ben Harmon, current front runner in both the “Worst Husband and Father in the World” AND “Worst Psychiatrist in the World” sweepstakes, slowly starts to realize that hey, things are a little …  funny in this house and maybe I shouldn’t have had my wife committed. Also, sweetie, could you please go to school some time this month? Mkay, thanks. Say, what’s that smell? And why are there flies all over the house?

Oh, Ben. You’re only really of use to us when you’re naked.

Viv was mostly sidelined this week, but at least Ben got to tell her the most devastating news of her life right after telling her he’s sorry for calling her crazy. Next time, say it with flowers, Ben.

This was another of Constance’s episodes and we’re quite fine with that. Once again we have to wonder how the hell they’re going to sustain this story with all the crazy shit they’ve thrown at the wall. We were able to suspend our disbelief that Constance could go mostly unobserved by the police even though the pile of dead bodies at her door is massive. But once you bring the police in and reveal that they’ve always been suspicious of her, well, it kinda falls apart for us. The shit floating around her past is so great in volume that you’d have to be the dumbest cop on the planet to let her just slip through your fingers like that. Constance works when she exhibits an almost supernatural ability to walk around doing whatever the fuck she wants. When you bring the police into it, any result that doesn’t end with her in handcuffs is a little hard to swallow.

HAHAHAHAHA!! We’re complaining about plausibility! With THIS show! We obviously didn’t get enough sleep last night.

Anyway, if Jessica Lange doesn’t get an Emmy out of this role, we’re flying out to Hollywood and burning it to the ground in protest. Who’s with us? Somewhere up in heaven, Bette Davis smiles and murmurs “Attagirl” every time Jessica tears the scenery apart.

In other news, it appears Burned Larry is written out of the story, which makes us a little sad. He’s been great in every scene, but watching him and Constance go at it is like watching an old school battle rap, only instead of two rappers bragging at each other, you’ve got two actors gleefully trying to out-act each other. They have insane chemistry together and we’re kind of sad to see him go.

As for the late, not-yet-lamented Violet, we give the creators a lot of credit for going in this direction. Then again, killing off your teenage protagonist can’t be seen as all that risky once you wrote the scene where her dead boyfriend raped her mother. If anything, it’s almost a let down. We admit, there was a part of us that was wondering right up until we saw her dead body if there was going to be some way for the writers to get out of this with some sort of “She’s ALIVE!” twist. One thing’s for sure. We CAN’T WAIT for Violet to meet Hayden. That out to be a blast and a half.

Oh, and two final WTF moments:

1) Where’s the exterminator’s van? Ben didn’t notice that he disappeared? Then again, Ben didn’t notice that both his girlfriend and his daughter are dead, so we’re not dealing with the sharpest knife in the drawer.

2)We’re supposed to believe that Tate walked into a busy public office, dumped gasoline on a man and set him on fire, and then sauntered out in full view of everyone?

Writers, please.


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