American Horror Story: Episode 7: “Open House” review

The following is a review of Episode 7 of American Horror Story: “Open House”.

With the purpose of keeping myself less long-winded lets skip around this slower wordier episode. It was one of the first that seemed actually pretty absent of that shock and awe this show was hinting at being its A-game. We got some quality dialogue, crisp informative conversation, and ZOMG! SLOTH IS THERE! (Otherwise known was “Beau”, and Constance’s third known child).
This episode certainly slowed but this proved to me that it can work just as well with or without the aggressive horror. In fact in some cases more interesting.

LARRY THE LIAR
The show opened giving us a more truthful back-story for Larry – the liar. Its 1994, I am assuming Constance is experiencing the fallout of Tate’s 15-person killing spree before committing suicide by cop. LARRY THE BURNED is seen looking very much not-burny and making lovey dovey eyes at her. I’d to also point out that the room is covered in those lovely murals Vivian discovered way back when are prominent and visible. We spy this manipulative couple have an emotional discussion concerning Constance finding out ANOTHER son of hers is being taken away by because she is being charged with criminal neglect. She seems genuinely hurt and I feel bad for Constance because for the last few episodes they have been giving her some semblance of a heart. But that image disappeared as Larry (WHO LOVES AND WILL DO ANYTHING FOR CONSTANCE!!! WTF) agreed to take care of it in some preplanned way… He travels to the attic and we see SLOTH – er – Beau looking while slightly monstrous but also he is sadly leashed on a chain. He rolls a red rubber ball to Larry – the same Addy was seen playing with in the basement at one point. Was Addy visiting her brother? He wants to play with Larry and in a fatherly way Larry plays along while insisting upon it being bedtime. It’s actual very sweet but you know it won’t stay this way because the plan Larry and Constance have certainly isn’t putting Beau to bed. Beau cutely gets into bed, pulling the sheet up – My heart clenches mostly because the movie Goonies was basically on repeat for a portion of my childhood – Larry spins what sounds like a bedtime story but is actually a bit of a paraphrase from Hamlets “To be or not to be” soliloquy. He tells Beau to close his eyes – “god help me” – and Larry smothers Beau with a pillow! The folly of man indeed.

Back in the present Larry is attending an open house at Murder House claiming interest in purchasing the house. Larry lies more colorfully to Vivian and Marci the racist/homophobic/but completely comical real estate agent. He claims his burns are from trying to save child from a burning bus. HA! Marci gets extra spicy with him, even pulling a gun (?wtf!). I am still not convinced Marci isn’t a resident ghost eternally selling this awful house – but even if she isn’t I love having her around. I liken her to Charlie Day (Wild Card Bitches! -It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia). Larry talks himself into a tour and feels up the fireplace looking almost sexual satisfied with it. He admits his interest in the house but certainly not the current wallpaper. He likes the idea of some murals. HA! I can’t wait to hear the origins of the satanic looking murals under the wallpaper in the house.

Later on Vivian must know its sexual Wednesday because its pocket rocket time. She begins to make love to herself picturing LUKE (when did we actually learn his name? was I too preoccupied oogling his looks? Probably) THE HOT AS HELL SECRUITY GUARD. That image works for her. He morphs into Ben next and she seems a bit confused but its still working so she continues. Until her dream lover is suddenly the Rubberman! It gets rougher – much like her real encounter with the figure. There is violent pumping and Vivian screams in a mixture of pleasure and pain. Is this her own mind psychically slipping or a real mind intrusion? I do not know but Vivian is disturbed. No more playtime as she puts her battery operated toy away. Her fantasy stopped abruptly.

VIOLET AND TATE GET CREEPIER AND CUTER
Violet is reaching for her razor blade again in the bathroom. As soon as she does it Tate appears telling her to “Stop it”. He then brings her bloody wounded wrist to his mouth and licks her blood like a god damn Popsicle. Violet is all EWWW and Tate agrees: “You’re right! It is! You mutilating yourself!” He has stopped and he wants her to promise to stop as well. Surprising me, she does. She actually seems a little touched at the tough love.
We next see them in Violet room. We see a jar of literal doll parts. We can connect this to Dr Montgomery’s Frankenstein complex but we also can connect this even further into the nineties Kurt Cobainy angst: “Violet” and “Doll Parts” brings Courtney Love (via Hole days) who was Kurt Cobains significant other to mind.
Back to the episode Tate is reading a suspicious little red book (I wonder if we will see that again) and seemingly out of nowhere asks Violet is she believes in ghosts. Violet is having yet another “I can’t believe this is my life” moments because of the absurdity of the situation. She asks Tate why. “It can’t all be shit,” said her dead boyfriend “There has to be someplace better somewhere. For people like you, at least.” Violet asked, “Not you?” Tate answers, “Ever since you arrived this is the better place.”

Later on Violet ends up investing a strange noise in the attic. Hasn’t this girl seen a fucking horror /ghost movie? Don’t investigate a strange noise in murder house! To her surprise and horror, the noise was Beau (probably being wicked cute trying to get her to play with him and his red ball). She panics and screams backing away straight into her stonewall ghostly boyfriend: Tate. He does not seem to have any recognition of Beau as his brother. Through this episode Tate almost seems to be a bit self aware but that could be just him acting happy.
Tate holds a frightened Violet and tells Beau to “Go away” and that he is scaring her. Tate explains that Beau is a ghost and he also seems to have some thoughts about Violet as well: “They’re from the past. The ghosts of people who have died here. They are appearing to you now because you have evolved. All you have to do is tell them to go away and they will.” Further into the episode Violet gets a ghostly visit from nurse Maria and puts the theory to the test and it works.
Evolved? Is this hinting at the whole Violet is a medium aspect or is it hinting that Violet is actually dead now. I mean her ghostly interaction with more than Tate is on the rise. She is not eating. She is not leaving her room. Unless it is the show trying to fake crazy people like me out? I’m onto you American Horror Story.
Back to Tate. He has been exploring the house in between his sessions with Ben and has decided to show Violet all of the “great shit” he found around the house. First there was a jar of bodily stuffs, which is probably from Dr. Montgomery. A case of silverware, which made me think of Nora. And a box of old pictures from these very original occupants. Then my favorite treasure: a skin mag of all dudes. Tate mock lisps “Check this out” and Violet announces how hot it is.
Violate hearts gay porn. That’s right – I said Violate – Best shipper name ever.

BEN AND VIV THE SITCOM
Ahhh – Ben and Vivian are my favorite warring spouses and all around pretty suck parents. They’re dysfunctional illogical love is completely made up for by all these epic scenes of them fighting viciously with those recognizable askew camera angles. They are at odds with one another over how they should sell the house. Vivian wants to be truthful and Ben totally doesn’t. And whatever middle ground that used to exist for them must have fallen in the pit of bodies in the backyard.
“Do not screw up selling this house!” He chides her. They need the money after all considering we also found out the little devil in Vivian’s womb is actually two very healthy babies. TWINS! We can only hope they are Arnold and Danny Devito.
Vivian orders more tests later in the episode. Something is not okay in uterustown and she seems to know that.
During their pre-planned family dinner later that night Violet doesn’t eat because she is “too full on bullshit”. She confronts her parents, tells them like it is, and allows them to return to their “benign neglect”. Why is this teenager the best character on the show?
Violet not eating is also a hint at my theory that she is no longer in the land on the living. Hmm…

JOE ESKANDARIA-ASS
He is the seeming new owner of Murder House. He has the money, the means, and has no qualms about its bloody past. He and young sexy Moira get into a little verbal porn talking about him putting a DEEP pool in the backyard. Moira eyes dance hoping her bones to be discovered.
This is ever more hilarious looking Vivian and Marci’s reaction to watching older Moira get all flirty with him. Skeeved I believe is the scientific term.
He returns and Moira immediately takes him on a tour – into Violet bedroom for a sex swing fantasy and blowjob. I know this isn’t a big deal but why Violets room? Where is Violet and Tate? Some creepy dude is getting a hummer in your bedroom by Frances Conroy. This is followed up with on of the best moments in this series: Older sadder looking Moira is seen exiting the room afterward whipping cum off her mouth. It is amazing for the audience to keep seeing the dynamic between older prim deadeye Moira and younger sexpot Moira.

LARRY AND BEN
Tables turn as Ben does his best villain impression. Larry returns home to find Ben there (gasp!) and he is smoking. The only thing he is missing is a cat for his lap. Ben confronts Larry about not staying away from the house. He also admits to checking Larry’s back-story and finding it false. He did not kill his family in the house. “But they did die in the house”. Larry told his sad looking wife Lorraine that he wanted Constance (AHHH!) their neighbor and not her and then he went on to tell her he is staying in the house but her and kids are leaving. Larry even not terribly burned is a bit of a dickhead. Lorraine cries and proceeds to go upstairs and burn herself and their two daughters alive. This does not appear to be the same fire that has scarred him terribly.
I cannot wait to see how that fire incident goes down. I can only hope Beau had some hand in it considering Larry is the asshole who will do anything for the completely mad murder house mama: Constance.
Ben tells Larry how it is: New owner tearing down the house and therefore “game over”. Ben runs to his mad murder house mama immediately.

CONSTANCE
Jessica Lang kills this scene – as she does most if not all her screentime. Constance is having a stinging conversation (on her end) with Larry who really needs to really tell her something though. We expect him to bring up what Ben told him immediately but instead he tells her he love her. And she is amazingly disgusted with him.

Troubled by thoughts of the house being bulldozed – she visits her dead sons in the house. I love how she can just walk into this place all the time even with their new security system. She finds her troubled but “perfect” (in her materialistic mind) boy, Tate. She asks how his sessions with “the good doctor” are going. Tate seemed wicked content and happy in his last session with Ben – Ben candidly asks for Tate’s help watching out for Violet. Tate is the exact opposite with Constance, his mother. “We’re really getting to the root of the problem,” he said. “Turns out I hate my mother.” Burn.
I really question where Tate’s darkness comes from. Is it the house? Constance? Or is he just a “little psycho” as Moira called him snippily to Constance.

Constance tries her other boy: Beau. He is so happy to just be touched by her its so bittersweet. She loves him too much to let him go. Which is Constances problem with all her children seemingly. I am grateful she never got Addy to the property.

Constance visits Joe’s beautiful home. That is about the only positive thing I can say about this man because he is a misogynist dickhead. She tried to bully him out of buying the land, giving him an obtuse speech concerning the folly of man and him being an archaeologist. If my theory about the land being cursed is true I will have to go through this speech with a fine tooth TV comb. Think Poltergeist or Pet Cemetery.
Joe doesn’t go for it. He models himself as the American dreamer, the one building a new future for himself and all of us. But he is ultimately a huge tool so I am totally with Constance when she says “One day your time is going to end”.

Constance goes back to Murder house to confront Moira and they have sort of showdown which ends with Constance owning Moira because that’s how this always seems to end for her. Moira had wanted the new owner to buy the house because he said he would build a pool and she knew he would find her bones and in turn thinking Constance would be arrested. This makes me rethink my whole stance on the bones binding the ghosts to the property. Moira might not want to move on. She wants her pound of flesh. She wants to punish her killer: Constance. Constance tells Moira the truth about the horrible new owner to be. They begin a plot to help one another.

Joe returns the home by invitation. Moira leads him to the basement all monotone sexy voice. She begins to go down on him in the same manner as before but then OHMYGOD. Never lie to Moira. She just totally used her teeth and bit Joe’s penis off. Pants around his ankles, screaming hysterically, dickless, Joe is attacked from behind by Larry. As he is losing consciousness he spies Moira looking less sexpot and more deadeye. Constance comes out of the shadows watching his struggle as well. Constance tells Larry to make sure to actually kill him off the property so she doesn’t have to see his carcass ever again. HA!

MONTGOMERYS STORY CONTINUED
Vivian is back on the Eternal Darkness Tour of Departed Souls to hear the rest of the murder house story. She probably should have just goggled (or roundsearched LOL) it. We stop at the location of the Goldman/Brown murders beforehand which initially seemed random. Back at the house the origin story continues:
Its 1926, and the Montgomery’s are losing it mentally and finacially. They are struggling after their son Thaddeus was kidnapped and murdered, and have let their maids go. Nora crazily babbles about polishing her own silver and wishing she were a widow. I absolutely love this character more and more every time we see her. Charles tells her the baby is not dead but upstairs waiting for her and she goes. Thaddeus, or Infantata, WHATEVER actually hisses which is actually kind of scary. While Nora tries to nurse their NOTABABY upstairs Charles gets high downstairs which he does 95% of his screen time. She comes back downstairs with bloody Infantata claw marks on her breasts explaining that her Thaddeus did not want milk as he tried to drink her blood. MONSTER! She also then tried to stab it with a letter opener but it clung to life. Charles is too stoned to react correctly. She lied to Charles, told him she was proud of him, called him “a man,” said she would “alert the media” and sing praises to his genius. “You would do that?” cooed stoned, clueless Charles. Then she shot him in the head and turned the gun on herself.
“Lets not put that on the listing” Marci tells Vivian. HA!
But, can we trust this story? After all, there are no eyewitnesses just like the Goldman/Brown murders. Wink!

Back at the house Vivian finally approaches Violet alone to tell her the plans for the future and answer any questions she has. Violet is concerned with the whole family drama but she also asks “How’d you know you loved him when you first met” and we know this total TATE topic for her. I think Violet loves her mentally unstable and very dead boyfriend.
Violet shares Tate’s discovered photos with her mom. Vivian is probably just grateful Violet is speaking to her. Violet identifies pictures of the house in the 1920s as well as its original owners: The Montgomery’s.
Vivian is all: WTF I had tea with that lady!
We get a flash of Nora talking about the stained glass matching her eyes.
CLIFFHANGER!
Don’t worry Viv. Nora told you it matched your eyes as well.

-Sagebeth

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~ by ATOM on November 19, 2011.

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