Episode 7 of American Horror Story marks the midway point of American Horror Story’s debut season, but the episode actually felt like more of a placeholder than an organic plot-mover or thriller. Right? Bat-shit crazy stuff happened throughout the episode, yet the series’ main story lines hardly budged an inch.
“Open House” gave us more of a peek into supporting characters Constance and Larry, which was great, because Jessica Lange and Denis O’Hare are my two favorite actors on AHS. We learn that Larry wanted to leave his wife for Constance, and that said wife, Lorraine, is the one who actually set the family ablaze. Which means, what else has Larry lied about? And what right did Constance have offing her husband and maid Moira for fooling around when all along she was bonking the neighbor??
Ah, Moira. She became quite the focal point in “Open House,” as her younger version (Alexandra Breckenridge) seduced a nasty potential buyer for the murder house (Amir Arison). The rich Mr. Eskandarian planned to tear the whole house down. But what about the gazebo? Would he just build over it, Poltergeist-style? We’ll never know, because he is a bad, bad man. Falchuk tells us this when Mr. Eskandarian delivers the line “There are 3 reasons I deal with women. Sex, money, or makin’ me sandwiches.” Clearly, he won’t be around for future episodes – at least not in living form.
And his days are indeed numbered. In the episode’s coup de television, Moira leads him downstairs for another round of oral pleasure, when she goes all War of the Roses/ Teeth on his member, chomping down. One is almost glad, then, when Larry appears behind him, suffocating the man with a plastic bag. This leads to my second favorite line of the night, delivered by Constance: “After all these years, Moira, I have finally come to appreciate your talent.”
Lange better watch out. She’s now fallen into the same trap that Golden Age goddesses like Joan Crawford and Bette Davis did in the later years of their career, doing campy thriller work like Baby Janeand Night Gallery. Except her material here is so outlandish, she makes Joan and Bette’s performances look like Jake La Motta in Raging Bull by comparison.
By this time, however, I have come to realize that not one character on the show is in any way likable. There is no one with whom I empathize or even cheer against. Everyone has a secret or a trick up his or her sleeve, but when the deck is split like that across the board, the payoff becomes minimal. So when we learn that Vivien is expecting twins with either Ben or Rubber Soul, I’m only mildly intrigued. When daughter Violet blithely threatens to attempt suicide due to her parents’ divorce and pending move, I’m un-moved.AHS has planted itself so firmly in a world where anything goes, real world concerns suddenly seem frivolous. Though I did enjoy, Viv and Vi’s conversation about being in love at the end of the episode. Sorry Viv – she’s in love with the boy. And in her case, the boy is a dead man walking.
We do get a big reveal next week, when we learn who Rubber Soul really is. I have my thoughts. Predictions, anyone?
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