This was the conclusion of the Halloween two-parter ghostravaganza! I’m sorry this is a bit late, I have
a mild cold MALARIBOLA FEVERCULOSIS and am being a giant baby about it enduring stoically. Also, I’ve taken a ton of Nyquil and Sudafed, which I think my body has metabolized into crystal meth, so I apologize in advance if this isn‘t very good (or if I steal your car and drive it through the front of a Wendy‘s). Fortunately, being on meth is probably the best way to fully enjoy this show!
Let us begin!
We start pretty much where we left off, with Larry pounding on the door while Violet called Ben and Ben gave her bad advice to cover his own ass. Violet backs away from the pounding door, nearly into the arms of the Rubber Man, but he disappears and Larry stops knocking/ringing the doorbell. Satisfied that all is quiet on the Western front, Violet goes up to her room to decompress. A scary female hand reaches out from beneath her bed, but Violet goes to the window before it can grab her.
Tate is throwing pebbles, and Violet suddenly remembers their Halloween date and goes down to meet him. He reassures her that it was probably just asshole kids, and gives her a rose that he painted black. She loves it, because she’s a disaffected 16-year-old.
We catch up with Ben and Vivien’s last scene from the previous episode, when they couldn’t find Violet and when Ben slammed a door in Hayden’s face. Violet calls Vivien from where she and Tate are on a lifeguard station at the beach, apologizing for not calling earlier and assuring Vivien that she’s happy and out with friends. Vivien tells her to be home in an hour. Tate is doing weird Titanic poses the whole time, and kiss-tackles her when she gets off the phone.
Ben grabs a knife out of the block in the kitchen. Vivien comes in and tells him where Violet is, and is like “What are you doing with that knife?” Ben pretends to be really angry about the pumpkins and not the pregnant girl he accessory-to-murdered and then hid with a gazebo, and says he’s going to teach those punk kids who smashed the pumpkins a lesson. Vivien says “So your plan is to kill them?” with way less sarcasm than the situation calls for.
Ben says he’ll go clean up the pumpkins instead. Vivien goes to take a bath, and tells him that they’ll discuss him moving out when she’s done. He decides to pretend his family is more important to him than himself and says he’s not giving up on them. Dude, they’re giving up on you. You can’t rage against this machine because it fucking despises you.
Credits. Ben goes outside to search for Hayden, grabbing a shovel along the way. Larry scootches up behind him with a friendly “I want my money” and receives a shovel to the face and a fairly brutal beatdown. Ben demands to know where Hayden is, and if she and Larry are working together. Larry seems surprised when Ben tells him about Hayden appearing, and you-really-don’t-get-it-do-yous him when he continues to be obtuse. Dude, seriously? Your pregnant East Coast mistress who you saw get murdered and a burny-face maniac working together in a convoluted plot to extort you is more likely than a ghost? Call me a romantic, but I’d rather believe in the restless spirits of the unquiet dead than figure two people need a thousand bucks that badly.
Ben resumes with the yelling and punching of Larry’s face. Larry ends up begging Ben to kill him, so he can come back and haunt Ben’s ass, but Ben just yells some more, throws a shovel, and skitters off into the night with a warning that he’ll kill Larry if he sees him again, he really will this time! Larry says “Promises, promises” to Ben’s retreating back. I love Denis O’Hare.
Doorbell rings. It’s Luke, the foxy security guy from the last episode! But it feels like he’s about an hour too late to have been of any use in the event of an actual emergency. It’s okay, because flirts with Vivien and she really, really needs a semi-competent hot dude in her life right now. She sends him on his way with a promise to send any asshole pumpkin-patch-destroying children in his direction.
Tinkly piano scare keys. Tate and Violet make out on the beach next to a campfire. She cups his junk, and everything gets awkward because he can’t get an erection. Violet is disappointed by his haunted dong. He promises that he’s not gay and he really does want to be with her, and says it must be the meds Ben prescribed because “They can do that, you know.” It’s okay, Violet, ghost penises are probably supremely unsatisfying. Plus, ectoplasm is a bitch and a half to get out of clothing.
Tate convinces her to stay and cuddle with him while he regales her with a monologue about his feelings and the ocean. He finishes it with “Kurt Cobain. Quentin Tarantino. Brando. De Niro. Pacino. All of ‘em, high-school dropouts.” Yeah, but also: dead, foot-fetishist and kind of an asshole, dead and kind of an asshole, Little Fockers, shadow of his former greatness. Take the good with the bad.
His sentiment is kind of lovely and poignant, particularly with the friendlier piano and the ocean sounds. Violet seems hypnotized.
A twig snaps and breaks the illusion. Five teenagers with various gross-looking wounds come down over one of the dunes and immediately start in on Tate, threatening to kill him and Violet. Tate seems confused, and Violet is combative, assuming they‘re executing a weird and pointless Halloween prank. Tate hustles the two of them out of there, and the teenagers watch them leave. The wound makeup is pretty heinous, in a good way.
Vivien prepares a bath, but her cell phone rings. It’s Hayden. Vivien keeps it together at first, trying to relate to Hayden by telling her about her own misspent youth chasing after a married guy. She tells Hayden that, for a married man to cheat, he’s missing something inside that has nothing to do with anybody else. Hayden tells Vivien that Ben said he’d found something inside Hayden that he didn’t in Vivien, and that “he said my face was soft like a baby, and between my thighs, I taste like raspberries and cream.” That sounds like a medical issue that should probably be checked out soonish.
Vivien snaps, and says that she wishes she’d ripped Hayden’s face off. Hayden tells her that it’s way too late for that, and to ask Ben about Boston, then she hangs up. Vivien throws the phone with a frustrated scream, rubbing her face. She turns the water off and stops getting undressed, turning when she senses something is amiss. She sees ASK HIM written on the glass.
She runs downstairs, telling Ben that Hayden is in the house. Ben tells her not to call the cops when she suggests it, that he can talk to Hayden. WORST HUMAN BEING. He comes up with the worst excuse–“Do you seriously want ten cop cars in front of the Murder House on Halloween night? You think that‘s going to help us sell this place?”–and Vivien goes along with it. At some point, you just have to assume that the house is influencing these people and forcing them to make awful, stupid decisions, because otherwise, it’s impossible to root for any of the people who are supposed to be our heroes.
Ben tells her to wait there, and grabs another knife out of the block in the kitchen. He goes into the basement and finds Hayden there, standing creepily in the shadows. Girl is looking rough, all grey-skinned and red around the facial orifices. We have about the same color scheme going on right now, honestly. She immediately gets on his jock, telling him to kiss her because she misses his mouth…and that she aches for him, that her “tongue is swollen and my lips are raw.” He pushes her back and she spits a couple of bloody teeth into her hand. “I’m rotting from the inside out,” she gasps. Looks like scurvy to me. I was hoping she was a zombie, but I guess she‘s not.
She doesn’t waste a lot of time being horrified at her body falling apart before calling Ben on that bullshit gazebo he built over her makeshift grave, and also calling him on treating her like he did/treating women like he does. Which: she’s crazy, obviously, and a horrible person, but she didn’t deserve what she got. Kate Mara is doing an excellent job, playing her as this repulsive but also really pitiful girl, obsessed with mattering to this person she’s obsessed with that couldn’t give a shit about her. It’s sad and frustrating because sometimes you know people like this. Hopefully none are zombie ghosts, but if they are…sweet.
Larry appears, only to knock Ben out with the shovel. Hayden stares daggers at him as he apologizes, saying she’ll deal with him later. Now, she has to “take care of Vivien.” Larry asks to come along, as he hasn’t burned shit down in a while.
Vivien runs outside to see Chad going buckwild on the remaining pumpkins and Halloween decorations. She asks what the hell he’s doing, and he accuses her of ruining his Halloween, and somehow being responsible for Pat cheating on him (“He’s probably on his fourth unprotected blowjob”). She calls him a psychopath and tells him to leave. Even with that approach, she’s still a better therapist than Ben is.
He threatens her, chasing her back into the house and knocking more stuff over when she gets inside. Vivien goes back to the bathroom, calling for Ben. The bathroom door is locked from the inside, and we see it’s because Hayden has commandeered the bath and turned the water into gravy (do you get it? It’s like the same color and consistency of gravy and she came out of a grave and yeah I’m going to go full Situation on a wall until I forget I just typed that). Vivien realizes something is wrong, and hits the panic button Luke gave her. We can probably expect him to actually show up by halfway through the next episode.
Vivien hears crackling, and goes into another bathroom to find two towels on fire. The evildoing team of Hayden and Larry is seriously unimpressive. “Let’s get back at them by making the bathtub dirty and lighting two towels on fire!” That’s some Ben-league shit.
Violet asks Tate to explain what happened at the beach. He’s evasive, saying that they’re just “High school assholes” and “Popular kids who get off on being mean. I thought you understood that.” Violet sees that the teenagers have followed them back to the house, and grabs a pair of scissors before going down to meet them.
Vivien’s phone rings from the floor; she picks it up and asks where Hayden is. Hayden apologizes for the gross bathtub ring. We hear her say “Come here, girl.” and Vivien says she’d be happy to, if she knew where Hayden was. Hayden tells Vivien she wasn’t talking to her, and that she loves what Vivien did with the kitchen.
Vivien runs downstairs with a golf club, and sees the dog dish upturned and kibble all over the floor. My dad’s dog has the same bowl! Vivien then hears the microwave going. Uh oh. My friends and I immediately began expressing our disgust and hatred because you can murder all the innocent people you want, but this is America: do not kill the fucking dog. They are really pushing the Fatal Attraction angle with Hayden.
There is a gory explosion in the microwave. Vivien screams.
The busted-up teenagers all convene on the front walkway. Violet goes out to meet them, and they immediately get all creepy and hostile on her. It becomes clear that their gross makeup is not makeup at all, but actual wounds. They circle her like sharks, trying to intimidate her, but instead of coming out and saying “Yeah, he school-shot us all,” they refer to it abstractly. But it’s pretty clear that Tate’s murder fantasies from the first episode weren’t fantasies at all.
Tate comes out, yelling at the teenagers to leave her alone. They advance on him, but he bolts, making them follow him as he runs. Violet calls the police. Her call is interrupted by Constance, who drags her off to her house while claiming that Adelaide is dead because of Violet.
The dog is alive! Or is a ghost. Vivien is glad for just a moment before Hayden shows up, wearing one of her dresses and looking just marginally more lively after her bath. Hayden presses the Boston issue while Vivien presses the get-the-fuck-up-out-my-house issue, and both of them lose their composure when they each realize the other is pregnant. Hayden breaks a picture frame, picking up a shard of glass and telling Vivien that Ben wanted her to get an abortion. Vivien is horrified at everything about the situation, but especially the crazy girl who is ignoring her bleeding hand.
Larry splashes gasoline all over the living room. Chad saunters in, asking what Larry thinks he’s doing. Larry backs away, looking frightened as Chad smiles.
Ben wakes up, hogtied. Nora admonishes him for giving up so easily (um, he got hit in the head with a shovel. I mean, I brook no guff when it comes to Ben Harmon, but he’s got a reason to be a failure this time) and unties him, whispering for him to “Save the baby.”
Hayden yells at Vivien, telling her that she doesn’t know Ben as well as she needs to. She also decides, more calmly, that she needs to cut the baby out of Vivien to make things better. Ben appears, and Hayden makes Vivien ask what happened in Boston. Ben spills that he went there for Hayden. We find out that Ben is somehow an even shittier person than before, when Vivien says “She needed you because she was pregnant, Ben? But that’s not true, is it, because you hadn’t seen her in over a year, isn’t that right?” Of course it’s true. Ben will always find new directions in which to disappoint everyone.
Hayden drops the glass shard just as Luke walks in, gun drawn and correctly guessing that the crazy bloody girl is the intruder. Everyone stares at each other for an awkwardly long time.
Constance gets Violet a drink and tells her what happened to Adelaide, interspersed with a scene of her putting makeup on Adelaide’s body in the morgue. It’s really sad, particularly Constance’s shaking hands and the narration: ”They say when a parent dies, a child feels his own mortality. But when a child dies, it’s immortality that a parent loses.” My mom is dead, and I’ve got to say–from what I felt and observed in my grandmother, this is one of those tritely poetic lines that is actually true.
Constance calls Adelaide her “beautiful, beautiful baby” and gently kisses the body.
Back in the kitchen, Violet offers her sympathies, which Constance uses to lay a small guilt trip. “I suppose you did encourage her, but you were just being kind, weren’t you? It was me who sent her out into the world. And the world did what it does.” She gives Violet a cigarette on the condition that Violet not tell her mother. She tells Violet that “My little monster was more like me than any of my other children.” Violet’s like, whoa, wait, other children? And BOOM: Tate is Constance’s son. Violet is shocked, but Constance is adamant that she not tell Tate about Adelaide’s death, because he doesn’t “react well.” He’s “a sensitive boy, with the soul of a poet, but none of the grit or steel that acts as a bulwark against these horrors.” I thought she said “these whores” and laughed myself into a coughing fit, because it sounds like such a Constance thing to say.
Constance tells Violet that Tate likes her because of her strength, and shows Violet a picture of Tate, smiling, with his arm around Adelaide. It’s a modern picture, which makes this next scene bizarre.
The teenagers finally catch up to Tate on the beach. The goth girl (Alessandra Torresani from Caprica) asks Tate if he believes in God, then tells him that he asked her that before shooting her, just like that Columbine rumor. The Twisted Nerve theme plays over the teenagers’ accusations as they get more violent and frantic. Finally, the cheerleader tells Tate that she just wants him to admit it, and that she should be 34 years old. Which means Tate should be around that age, which makes no sense if he’s a ghost or alive. AAAAHHH.
Tate honestly seems to not know what they’re talking about, apologizing for not knowing who they are. The teenagers walk away, comforting each other. That was really sad, too.
Morning. All our ghost pals head back to the house. WHERE DO THEY LIVE THOUGH? Moira and Chad talk, Chad offering condolences for Moira’s mother. Pat appears with a halfhearted apology. Chad says that he feels like he’s trapped in the house, in an adulterous relationship, for an eternity, and Moira says he is.
Luke asks Hayden why she attacked Vivien as he drives her to the police station. He tells her that pretending to nuke the dog was plain evil (it would have been worse if she had nuked it, dude), and asks her what it was. She says it was a tomato. I couldn’t find any good tomato explosion comparison videos on youtube, and was going to make my own and upload it for you before I realized that was just the meth talking, and my roommate probably wouldn’t be too happy with a tomato blowing up in the microwave. Have this hypnotic video of microwaved Peeps instead.
Luke says that Hayden is going to jail when she asks what’s going to happen to her. He’s driving a car that says HEIRLOOM SECURITY (this show loves its letter Hs) and pulls into the station parking lot, but by the time he goes to the passenger’s side to let her out, she’s disappeared.
Ben packs his shit in silence for two minutes, staring at Vivien before he walks out the door. FUCKING FINALLY. But how long do you think this’ll last?