‘American Horror Story’ 1.04 Recap: “It’s Very Scary Sexy”

It’s Halloween on ‘American Horror Story’, and the Rubber Man is back! Could there be a more perfectly creepy TV show to watch this time of year?

Last week began the first half of a two-parter called, simply enough, ‘Halloween’. The episode starts with a flashback to 2010, where we meet the gay couple who owned the house last. Patrick and Chad (Teddy Sears from ‘Torchwood: Miracle Day’, and the recently-outed in real life Zachary Quinto) have a huge blow-out fight about Patrick’s cheating and Chad’s desperation to move out of the house. Later, at a calmer moment when he’s ready to apologize, Chad encounters the Rubber Man in the S&M suit. He assumes that it’s Patrick’s Halloween costume, but the Rubber Man quickly attacks and drowns him in a bobbing-for-apples barrel. Patrick walks in, and presumably the Rubber Man kills him as well.

In the present day, Vivien is also desperate to sell the house. The couple’s realtor suggests that they bring in “fluffers” to decorate the place for Halloween, which will make it more appealing to potential buyers. Viv agrees, but when Chad and Patrick show up at the door, she assumes that they’re the fluffers and invites them in to decorate. Chad says that Ben’s new gazebo (which is covering the body of his girlfriend, Hayden) is an eye sore, and recommends that they tear it down immediately. That isn’t what Ben wants to hear.

On Halloween night, Viv goes through the phone bill and finds all of Ben’s calls from Hayden. He lies about them, but she doesn’t believe him and tries to throw him out. However, at that moment, she gets severe stomach pains and Ben has to rush her to the hospital. The doctor comments that her fetus looks much further developed than it should be at her stage of pregnancy, and then the doctor herself passes out when looking at the ultrasound. This is a very bizarre moment that isn’t followed up on… at least, not yet.

Addy (the neighbor with Down Syndrome) wants to be a “pretty girl” for Halloween. Her mother Constance gives her a really creepy-looking mask. When she’s taunted by some teenagers, Addy runs out into the street and is hit by a car that speeds off. Constance tries to drag her onto the lawn of Ben & Viv’s house (which implies that if she dies on the property, she’ll be able to come back), but the girl is already dead. Is this really the last we’ll see of Addy? She was an interesting character.

Alone at the house, daughter Violet is accosted by burn-guy Larry, who pounds on the door furiously and demands that Ben pay him the $1,000 he owes. Violet calls her parents, who race home from the hospital. By the time they get to the house, the door is open and Violet is missing. The next morning, Hayden (looking quite worse for wear) shows up at the door. Cut to cliffhanger.

Other Interesting Developments
  • Tate continues to secretly meet with Violet in the basement. He wears the rubber S&M suit, which he claims to have pulled out of the trash. Is Tate really the Rubber Man?
  • We learn via one of Addy’s story books that the dead can walk freely on Halloween. Constance snarkily replies that they already knew that.
  • Tate tells Violet the story of the mad doctor who built the house in the 1920s. After the doctor’s baby was murdered, he began terrible experiments to bring it back to life, Frankenstein-style. Tate claims that the monstrous result still resides in the basement.
  • Moira pays a visit to her dying mother, and pulls the life support. Her mother’s ghost asks Moira to come with her, but Moira responds that she can’t.

This is another good, really tension-filled episode. I’ve noticed that the critical consensus against this show has been almost overwhelmingly negative. I don’t get that at all. It’s easily my favorite new series of the year, by far.

[Banner image screen cap from RAWR-CAPS.]


  1. Josh Zyber

    Meant to add: Has anyone else noticed that the music during the 1920s scenes is the score from Bram Stoker’s Dracula? Cues from Psycho have been used previously in the show, and I’m sure other famous scores as well.

  2. Gotta say, at what point do we call out Murphy for his exploitation of people with Down’s Syndrome? In ‘Glee’ he used actors with Down’s in a blatant tug-at-your-heart-strings role focusing solely on their chromosomal condition. In ‘American Horror Story’ it’s even worse because he’s using the same condition in a “creepy” sense.

  3. I have to respectfully disagree. I commend Ryan Murphy for creating roles for actors with Downs. Since Life Goes On ended, it’s rare to see an actor with Downs on television. When we do see one they are usually playing a victim of the week on some crime procedural or teaching a lesson in a lifetime movie.

    Murphy has created full characters that happen to have Downs. Sue Sylvester’s henchwoman Becky is a great supporting character and fully part of the fabric of McKinley High.

    Adelaide on American Horror Story is one of the most interesting characters on a very creepy show. She’s not creepy because she has Downs, she’s creepy because she has a crazy mother and a strange connection to the murder house. The actress is amazingly well cast and I like how the character uses Downs to her advantage, letting characters underestimate her when she clearly knows better than they do. I hope this is not the last we see of her on the show.

    Ultimately, most folks I know who have Downs just want to be included. I am glad that Murphy keeps them in the conversation on a consistent basis.

    • PaulB

      Agreed, she is the least creepy of the lot. Only thing creepy is that her character is always reminding you of some onknown evil in the house as she is always playing with them. Her mom is frakkin creepy.

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