‘American Horror Story’ 1.07 Recap: “I Want to See Your Shame”

How many episodes are left in this season of ‘American Horror Story’? Not nearly enough!

From what I can gather, the first season is scheduled to run for 12 episodes total, with the last being a 90-minute finale that will air on December 21st. The finale was originally planned for a two-hour slot (which, in TV accounting terms, would bring the episode count up to 13), but had to be shortened by half an hour due to production scheduling issues. The good news is that the series has definitely been picked up for a second season, which may be extended beyond FX’s usual 13-episode length.

With that settled, let’s talk about last week’s episode, ‘Open House’. As the title suggests, this one finds Vivien making a strong push to sell the evil house and get the hell out of there. Even so, she insists on full disclosure about its history to any potential buyers, and takes the Murder House tour in full to hear the whole story about the crazy doctor who built it. (More on that later.)

The most promising buyer is a sleezy Armenian man named Joe Escandarian, who takes special interest in one of the house’s finer amenities – the young and hot Moira. Sensing an opportunity, she shamelessly seduces him. This leads to one of the episode’s more darkly humorous moments, when old Moira is seen wiping her mouth after fellating the man in Violet’s bedroom. Eww. Moira also tries to talk up the benefits of tearing down the gazebo and installing a pool in the backyard, in the hope that her corpse will be dug up and her spirit set free.

Escandarian has no intention of putting in a pool, however. He’s actually a developer who plans to tear the whole damn house down and put in condos. Viv and especially Ben are perfectly fine with that. (Remember that Ben believes at this point that Hayden’s murder and burial in the yard were just a prank by Larry.) Neighbor Constance, on the other hand, has far too much invested in the house and its various secret inhabitants to let that happen. She tells Moira that the whole plot of land will be buried in cement, and that her soul will be trapped forever. Moira is crestfallen and agrees to help Constance rectify this little problem. (I guess it doesn’t occur to her that the builders will have to dig up the yard anyway to put in the foundation for the new building.)

So, Moira lures Escandarian to the basement of the house for more oral pleasure, whereupon she bites his dick off!!! Really! Larry then rushes up from behind and asphyxiates the man with a plastic bag. Not enough to kill him right away, though. Constance insists that he finish the deed off the property, so that his spirit won’t haunt the house.

How does the show get away with this sort of insanity? I don’t know, but I love that it does.

Other Revelations in This Episode:
  • When he lived in the house in 1994, Larry had an affair with Constance. He’s still obsessively devoted to her.
  • Constance had another son named Beau that she kept chained in the attic. Sort of like Sloth in ‘The Goonies’, he was severely deformed and mentally retarded, possibly the result of inbreeding. We still don’t know who fathered these children. At Constance’s instruction, Larry smothered Beau to death. Now the boy’s spirit is stuck in the attic forever. Constance visits him occasionally.
  • Larry did not murder his family or set fire to the house. Instead, he very coldly dumped his wife to be with Constance. The wife set the fire in a murder/suicide in which she killed herself and their daughters. Larry was burned trying to save the children.
  • Viv is pregnant with not one baby, but two. Her new doctor says that they appear healthy, and doesn’t mention anything about hooves.
  • Violet is depressed and won’t eat. She doesn’t want her parents to sell the house. At no point in this episode is she seen outside of the house, which plays into my theory that her suicide attempt in the previous episode was actually successful.
  • On the Murder Tour, Vivien learns all about the house’s original owners, crazy doctor Charles and his wife Nora. It seems that Charles’ experiment to bring their dead baby back to life bore some monstrous fruit. This drove Nora to insanity as well. She killed Charles and herself.
  • Viv recognizes a historical photo of Nora as the woman who visited the house at Halloween. She’s finally starting to put the pieces of this puzzle together. My guess is that she’ll look up photos of the gay couple and other previous owners next.


    • Josh Zyber

      He died in the attic while Constance was still living there. Perhaps he’s forced to stay in the same chained-up state as when he died? Or perhaps the other ghosts have locked him up to keep him out of their hair?

  1. Violet’s ghost being stuck in the house will be the twist at the end that keeps the family there for a second season. I was wondering how they planned to extend this insanity over more than one season, but that seems like the most logical way to do it.

    • Josh Zyber

      It’s my theory that Violet died when she overdosed on pills. I don’t think Tate really “saved” her.

      I suppose that it’s not clear exactly when Larry killed Beau, but I have to think that it happened while Constance was still living in the house. In which case, she must have started the affair with Larry before his family moved in. Perhaps this will be cleared up later.

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