Friday, December 2, 2011

Review of American Horror Story Season One, Episode Nine: Spooky Little Girl

I actually dread sitting down to watch this show each week, because of its tendency to overwhelm the viewers with isms.  This is the first episode in some time that I didn't walk away feeling absolutely disgusted.  It began with one of its every famous flashbacks to the year 1947.

It begins with Elizabeth Shore visiting Dr. Curan in the now famous murder house.  She says that she is an actress and is desperately in need of a filling. but does not have the money to pay for the procedure.  Elizabeth makes it clear that while she does not have money, she can pay for it in other ways, after affirming that Dr. Curan does not indeed have a wife.

In the present day, Moira is up to her old tricks.  Ben approaches her to get her to make a sandwich for Violet.  This of course is the beginning of the flirtation.  She tells him that his secret is safe, the way he looks at her and fantasizes about her.  Ben answers, "I think you must have pretty low self-esteem to keep throwing yourself at a man that does not want you.I don't want this, I love my wife. I love my wife and I want her to get better, to come home, so that I can take care of her".  Moira replies "It's just a matter of time Ben, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." I suspect she is right about this because even though Ben rejected her, he fantasized about her.

Constance is painting and clearly drunk when her boy toy Travis shows up.  When he tracks in mud along with a new dog, she tells him to clean up his mess.  This however does not make Travis feel manly enough and he says, "I already have a job and when I come over here, I don't want to have to work more."  This is one Constance pays her trump card and answers, "You gotta job, reading a script down at a call center for two hours a day. Oh my, let me rub your feet.  And how did those head shots that I paid for work out for you?"  It is clear that Candace's power in this relationship is based on her wealth, because she is not afraid to remind Travis who has the money in the relationship.  Travis starts to walk out after she accuses him of abusing Adelaide, but Constance stops him saying, "Why don't you run down to the Koreans and get us another pack of ciggies (cigarettes), take that dog with you and don't come back until it does its business"  Well I suppose Constance wouldn't be Constance if she didn't say something offensive continually.  I will however say that this is yet another example of a White character something offensive about a historically marginalized group that goes unchallenged.

On his way to the store he is stopped by Hayden with a whistle.  Travis asks, "do you want me to get you some candy little girl?"  Really? Is that the best the writers could do?  After a few minutes, Hayden and Travis end up in bed together.  When he orgasms he tells her, "I came inside," but she eases his worries saying, "It's cool, I can't get pregnant."  Yeah after you cum is the perfect time to worry about protection. Just sayin. Travis tells her that he hopes that Constance gets pissed but then makes the point of saying that he is not going to tell her.  Picking up on the illogical nature of his actions Hayden responds, "Then what's the point? Sex is the only weapon you have against her. She's treating you like shit because she is afraid of losing you. Prove to her that she's right and she'll be blowing rainbows up your ass again."  It seems that Travis' willingness to upset Constance only goes so far because he loves her.  When he asks what Hayden's story is she replies, "I don't live here yet but I'm moving in soon. Dr.Harmon and I are in love. When Travis asked why she rocked it out with him she says, "to see if I could do it with a guy who is alive."  Well it seems that Hayden has some plans for Ben.  This is not going to end well for him I suspect.  He still thinks that she is alive, though he watched as Terry killed and buried her in the backyard.

Detective Jack Colquitt and Marla McClaine (Hayden's Sister) show up at the door.  It seems that Marla has filed a missing persons report in the belief that Ben has something to do with the disappearance of her sister. When he denies it, she tell him, "you're a liar, Hayden's pregnant with your baby and she comes here with that crazy idea that somehow you are going to leave your wife, support her and lead a life together. So what did you do Ben? Where is she in a hole somewhere?"  The Detective points out that the last time he was here he saw Hayden leaving his house and that he was also working on a hole in the backyard.  Hayden then saves Ben's ass by walking into the room asking, "What's with all of the drama?"  She tells them, "you were wrong about Ben. I've decided to say here in lala land. This is my home now."  As soon as they leave Ben threatens her for her actions on Halloween but she calms him by apologizing saying that she was pregnant and scared. "I deserve whatever punishment you think is right. Ben this whole thing has been so ugly. It's not me, it's not how I want you to think of me. I don't know if we have a future together but I've always been there for you, from the beginning. I just want you to remember that. By the way, I had the abortion. You don't have to worry about it anymore."

Okay, why is he not questioning how she got in the house and telling her to leave?  How is it that doctor is going to fall for the excuse, it's not me, it was my hormones?  Really?   I suppose that Ben grasped on to this because it is known that pregnant women simply aren't responsible for their behaviour what with all those pesky hormones flooding their system.

If that were not enough, Elizabeth Show who we saw in the opening scene, walks into the kitchen and tells him that she needs help because she keeps sleeping with the wrong man. "I do things with men, things I shouldn't. All you need is that one person who believes in you and every time I go into an audition I think maybe he's the one."  Of course Ben wants to schedule an appointment because the only part of his anatomy he thinks with is his penis. When she tells him that she does not have insurance he suggests they discuss how she is going to pay for treatment.  Elizabeth begins taking off her clothes saying, "I don't know how else to pay you.  You're the one that can help me, I can tell."  He says, you never need to do that. I'm the one you can feel safe with," all the while fantasizing about kissing her.

They are interrupted by a phone call from Vivien's OBGYN. Dr. Hall tells him that Vivien is indeed pregnant with twins but only one of them is his.  This means that she must have slept with two different men within a 48 hour period.  

Moria is cleaning when Constance walks in complaining that Violet has been sleeping with Travis because he took 45 minutes instead of 15 minutes to walk the dog and get smokes.  Moira, says nonsense and that Violet is not into rough trade. She points out that Violet is in love with Tate.   Moira tells her that one one of the children that Vivien is carrying is fathered by Dr. Harmon.  

Constance goes off to find Tate asking, "tell me that you did not crawl on top of that man's wife." When Tate begs her not to tell Violet, she starts smacking him saying, "what is wrong with you? Don't you realize what you have done."

In his study, Ben Walks into the room to see Moira and Elizabeth on the couch making out. He instantly envisions himself in the middle of them.  He tells Elizabeth to put her clothes saying that he cannot treat her anymore.  When Moira asks, "you're not really going to turn this down are you?" He tells her that she is fired. 

When he walks out of the room in disgust, Hayde shows up and tells Elizabeth that Moira is using her.  It turns out that Elizabeth is yet another ghost who does not realize that she is dead.  We get another flashback scene in which Elizabeth is unconscious due to gas and Dr. Curan is raping her.  When he takes off the mask, he realizes that she is dead. Dr. Curan drags her down to the basement and Charles Montgomery shows up saying that he is a renowned surgeon. Charles then proceeds to hum as he cuts Elizabeth into pieces. He says that he has done that to make her more portable.  Elizabeth realizes that this is how they found her body, "naked on display for the whole world to see."

Ben visits Vivien and learns that she attacked one of the orderlies.  When Ben enters the room he says, "I know that you can't carry on a conversation right now but that's okay, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, thank God he's here. Thank God he can see what they're doing to me and how wrong it is. Thank God he's a shrink so he can get me out of here. You're right, you're in hell here. This is no place for my wife. You're a stranger to me."  It seems that Ben who has been fantasizing about other women on a regular basis and has in fact impregnated another woman is hurt and feels betrayed.  What's good for him, is apparently not good for her. 

Ben flashes back to a night in a bar with Hayden.  He tells Hayden that his marriage is not a happy place.  Hayden tells him that she has a crush on him but he tells her that this is a bad move and that she is going to have so many men in her life. Hayden shows up and tells him that she was a consenting adult and still is.  Ben breaks her heart and tells her that they weren't meant to be together and that he was lonely heartbroken and that he used her.  He says, "No matter what happens with my wife I can't be with you. I don't love you. I am sorry I never did."  Tears roll down Hayden's face and seh asks him for hug, which turns into a kiss. He says, "Hayden come on it's over. You can't just hang around here."  Hayden takes the opportunity to tell him that Luke, who she sweetly refers to as that Black guy has been hanging around and she suspects something is wrong.  Uh huh, of course the Black guy did it, don't they always?

Constance has been making plans. It seems now she wants to raise the Vivien's baby. All of a sudden Travis is a good man.  Though he says that he is not ready to have a child, this what Constance wants and so I suppose the next little while her life will be dedicated to getting a hold of that child.  Constance is one woman who should never be around children.  Unfortunately for Travis he will not have the opportunity to help Constance fulfill her dreams because Hayden kills him.

When Constance visits Vivien in the hospital Vivien asserts that she was indeed raped.  I know that she is in a mental institution and trying to prove her sanity, but of all people to trust, Vivien is not the one.

When Ben finally confronts Luke, Luke tells him that he is shooting blanks and that he can ask his ex wife if he does not believe him.  Luke makes a point of telling Ben that how he is talking about his wife is terrible.  Ben finally admits that Vivien has indeed been rapes. Gee, isn't that sweet of him.  He was so ready to make her assault about him.  It bother me also because he has experienced unexplainable things in the house yet, it's Viviens sanity that is in question, not the loyal and always logical Ben.

Yes, this was not an episode filled with the normal hot mess that happens on American Horror Story but it did include yet another rape and murder of a marginalized person. If I were Luke I would be worried.  We can also add the second death of a White heterosexual male to the death tally at last with the demise of Travis by Hayden's hand.  His death stands out not because it was particularly horrific but because the show has a habit of killing off historically marginalized people.