American Horror Story Review: Open House

The show starts with a normal looking Larry putting a phone on the hook and sitting down in front of a younger looking Constance. He asks her what “they” said and she tells him that they’re charging her with criminal child neglect and they’re going to take “him” away and place him in an institution. She gets even more upset thinking about her child, Beau, not being with her. Larry tells her that he loves her and would do anything for her. She then tells him to do what they discussed. The year is then revealed to be 1994. Larry goes up into the attic of the house and calls out Beau’s name, telling him he should be in bed. Beau is revealed to be a deformed child in chains. He wants to play and rolls a red ball towards Larry, but he says it’s too late. Larry tucks Beau and says “time to sleep, but chance to dream. For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come.” He tells Beau to close his eyes. When Beau closes his eyes, Larry smothers him with a pillow.

Vivien and Ben are in the doctor’s office waiting for the results of the tests. The doctor reveals that Vivien is having twins. The realtor is showing the house to a man. They walk into the kitchen and the man sees Moira. He sees her as her young self and immediately begins flirting. Vivien walks in and introduces herself. The realtor introduces the man as Mr. Escandarian and says he was in the neighborhood looking at the house two blocks away. He says that the other house has a swimming pool. The realtor tells him that there is space for a pool in the backyard. He says that he would have to tear out the gazebo and Moira seductively agrees. The two have a brief conversation filled with innuendo and Moira tells him that he would have to dig up the entire backyard. Vivien awkwardly cuts into the conversation and asks if he would like to see the rest of the house, but he just wants to know what’s wrong with it. Vivien reveals some of the history of the house. He is still interested in the house despite its history. Vivien tells the realtor that they should take the murder tour to find out what happened in the house. They hear something in the kitchen and go to investigate it. They see Larry in the kitchen asking about the open house. The realtor is hostile to Larry and tries to get him to leave. He tells them that he looks that way because he ran onto a burning school bus to save some children. He pours himself a glass of wine and tells them that they’re going to show him the house. The realtor then pulls a gun on him. Vivien tells her to put the gun down and Larry says that she is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and that he plans to sue. She puts the gun down and they show him the house. He becomes intrigued by the fireplace and lights it. Later that night, Vivien gets in bed and masturbates. She imagines the police officer, Ben, and the rubber man. She gets freaked out and stops. Tate sees Violet cutting herself and licks the wound on her wrist. He tells her that he stopped cutting himself and has her promise him that she will stop hurting herself. Violet is complaining to Tate about a family dinner that her parents planned. Tate asks her if she believes in ghosts. He says that it can’t all be shit and there has to be a better place for people like Violet. She inquires about why he didn’t include himself. He tells her “ever since you got here, this is the better place”. Violet is having an awkward dinner with her parents. She says she’s not hungry. Ben is concerned because Violet is showing signs of depression. Violet is angry because they moved to Los Angeles to save their family, then they decide to break up. She says they bought a house she actually likes, and then they tell her they’re selling it. She admits that she’s depressed, but says that she’s not going to kill herself. She tells them that they can go back to their policy of benign neglect and walks out. Vivien tells Ben that they have two prospective buyers. She describes one of the buys as having a badly burned face. Ben has a brief look of alarm, but Vivien doesn’t catch it. She tells him that she’s going on the murder tour so she can give full disclosure of what happened in the house. Ben says there are only required to disclose anything that happened in the last three years. Ben is adamant that she not tell the buyers the full history of the house. She says its right thing to do but Ben disagrees. The two argue about it and Ben tells Vivien not to screw up the sale of the house. Mr. Escandarian returns to the house and Moira tells him that Vivien is gone, but she will show around. He follows her into Violet’s room. Moira suggests that he paint the room red and add a sex swing. She then begins to seduce him and kneels in front of him. She tells that she’s not like any household help and he’ll never want to leave the house. She then performs oral sex on him. As they’re walking out of Violet’s room, Ben sees them. Moira introduces them to each other and coldly asks Ben why he’s there. He tells her he’s picking up some clothes. Moira walks off and Mr. Escandarian tells Ben that he plans to bulldoze the house and turn it into units.

Larry walks into his apartment and Ben is sitting in a chair. Larry says that Ben startled him and asks how he got in. Ben tells that he gave someone $20 to let him in. Ben is upset that Larry went back to his house and bothered his wife. Larry says that he’s an interested buyer and Ben asks him what he plans to buy it with. Ben tells Larry that he knows he’s a liar. He says that Larry never went to prison for murdering his family. He was in a burn ward for two years and then institutionalized. Larry tells Ben that his family did die in the house. Ben says that Larry didn’t kill them and he didn’t kill Hayden. Larry says that Ben knows that house has power. Larry admits that he tried to scare Ben out of the house, but he did it for his own good. Larry tells Ben that he needs the house because it’s only place that he can ever be happy again with “her”. We then see a flashback of Larry telling his wife that he’s fallen in love with Constance. He tells his wife that she should take the girls and go back to Ohio and stay with her mother and that he will always provide for her. His wife gets upset that he is going to move Constance into her house, but Larry tells her that it was Constance’s house first. He tells his wife that he can’t live without Constance. His wife wipes her tears and calmly leaves the room. Larry walks upstairs and sees smoke coming out of one of the rooms. When he kicks the door open, he sees the room on fire. The scene comes back to the present and Ben tells Larry that they have a buyer with real money. He says that the buyer is going to bulldoze the house and he’s happy about it. Ben says that he’s going to let it happen. He also tells Larry that he’s going to report him to the police and file a restraining order on him. Vivien and the realtor are on the murder tour. They come to the murder house and the scene flashes to Nora Montgomery polishing silver. Charles comes downstairs and tells her there won’t be a funeral for their son. He tells her the baby is waiting for her upstairs in the nursery. Nora goes into the nursery looking for the baby, but it’s not in the bassinet. She hears a hissing noise and turns around. Charles is downstairs doing drugs. Nora walks in and asks him how he did it. He tells her he used the beating of one of the girls. He asks her where the baby is and she says she thought the baby was hungry and she tried to nurse him, but it wasn’t milk he wanted. You then see scratches on her chest. Nora tells Charles they’re damned because of what they did to the girls. She says the thing upstairs isn’t human and she tried to kill it by stabbing it with a letter opener, but it survived. Charles refuses to let her kill it because he finally succeeded at something. Nora tells him that she will alert the media. Charles falls to his knees and hugs her. She pulls out a gun and shoots him in the head and then shoots herself. In present day, the tour guide says that according to legend, the ghost of Nora Montgomery and her mutilated toddler still haunt the house. The realtor tells Vivien they shouldn’t put that in the listing.

Vivien is telling the doctor that she gets sick when she leaves the house. She says that she’s worried that there’s something wrong with the babies. She requests more tests. Constance is waiting in the basement for someone. She begins to talk out loud about how she received cheap flowers with a note. The person she’s waiting for is Larry and she says she’s seen him outside the house. She then asks him if he’s seen her new boyfriend. Constance says she wants to see his shame. He tells her he loves her and she scoffs. She coldly tells him that he’s disgusting and weak because he let the house get the better of him. He tells her the house didn’t do that to him, she did. Constance tells him that if she sees him peeping through her window again, she’ll send her boyfriend after him. She turns to leave, but Larry tells her the Harmons are selling the house and the buyer is tearing it down. Violet hears a ball rolling in the attic and investigates it. A red ball rolls toward her and Beau suddenly appears. She screams and backs up into Tate who tells Beau to go away. Tate calms Violet down and tells her that the ghosts are appearing to her because she’s evolved. He tells her that if she tells them go away, they will. Violet comments that Tate knows his way around the house. He tells her that he’s been exploring the house after his sessions with Ben. He shows her a hiding place with different things in it. He pulls out a jar of remains, gay porn, a box of spoons, and a box of pictures. While Violet is in her room looking at the pictures, the ghost of the co-ed who was stabbed appears to her. Violet closes her eyes and tells her to go away and when she opens them, the ghost is gone.

Constance visits Mr. Escandarian to talk about the house. She talks about California. She says that at one point in time, no one was from California and people moved there to start a new life. He tells her he’s not interested in a history lesson. He is very short and rude to her. Mr. Escandarian tells her he builds a new future. She tells him that he should show some respect. Constance tells him that he’s not an archeologists and he should stop unearthing. She says that we have a responsibility as care takers to the old lands. He says that cemeteries are for the past and his time is now. He tells her that if she wants the house, she should buy it. When she tells him she can’t, he tells her to leave. He tells her that there are three reasons he deals with women. Those are sex, money, or making him sandwiches. He tells her that unless she’s planning to make him a sandwich, she needs to leave. Tate tells Ben that he doesn’t have any more visions. He seems happy. Ben ends the session and asks him about Violet off the clock. Ben tells Tate that if Violet is in real trouble to come to him because he wouldn’t be able to survive it if he lost her. Tate tells Ben that he wishes he had a father like him. He says that his life would’ve been different if he did. Constance comes to the house looking for Tate. She sees Moira in the kitchen and the two exchange words. Moira calls Tate a psycho and expresses joy at the fact that Constance has been crying. Constance goes to see Tate but he won’t let her touch him. He tells her that his sessions are helping him and that he hates his mother. Constance then goes to see Beau and tells him goodbye. She then goes back into the kitchen and sees a smug Moira who tells her Mr. Escandarian is building her a swimming pool. She says that when they dig her bones up, Constance will go to prison. Constance calls her a stupid slut and tells her there’s not going to be a swimming pool. She tells Moira they’re going to tear the house down and build affordable housing on the land. She tells her that while she would enjoy the thought of Moira having to clean toilets in affordable housing, there’s a chance she could lose her family forever and she won’t let that happen. Moira gets upset that he lied to her. Constance tells her that they can help each other. Mr. Escandarian comes to the house and Moira takes him to the basement. She begins to perform oral sex on him again. He requests that she use “a little less teeth” and then she bites him. He begins to scream and you see Moira rise up with blood on her mouth. Larry comes up behind him and puts a plastic bag on his head. As Mr. Escandarian is suffocating, he sees Moira as her older form. Constance appears and tells Larry to make sure Mr. Escandarian is off the property before he dies. Violet is sitting on her bed looking at pictures. Vivien comes in and tells her that she thinks the guy is interested in buying the house. She tells Violet that they will probably go stay at an Aunt’s house. She doesn’t know about Ben. Violet asks her mother how she knew she loved Ben. Vivien says that he was handsome and kind, but when you fall love you go crazy and then the whole world looks different and you’ll do anything for the other person. Violet changes the subject by showing Vivien an old picture of the house. Vivien then sees a picture of Nora and Charles Montgomery. Vivien recognizes Nora as the woman who came to see the house.

This episode revealed a little more character history. Larry was and is still in love with Constance. He didn’t actually kill his family and he didn’t go to prison. Most importantly, he’s alive. Well, as far as we can tell, he’s alive. Is Constance cursed through her children? We want to see some of her actual story. Also, we didn’t actually see the mutilated baby on screen, but it was still creepy. Vivien is having twins? Violet is starting to cope with her ability. This episode gave insight while increasing our curiosity. It seems like each week, we find something out, but the discovery leads to more questions.


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