Halloween (American Horror Story)

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"Halloween"
American Horror Story episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 4 & 5
Directed by David Semel
Written by James Wong (Part 1)
Tim Minear (Part 2)
Featured music
  • "Big Mother" by Jesse Carrillo Jones and Feeding People
    "Lavender Moon" by Haroula Rose
Production code 1ATS03 (Part 1)
1ATS04 (Part 2)
Original air date October 26, 2011 (2011-10-26) (Part 1)
November 2, 2011 (2011-11-02)(Part 2)
Running time 39 minutes (Part 1)
41 minutes (Part 2)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Murder House"
Next →
"Piggy Piggy"
American Horror Story (season 1)
List of American Horror Story episodes

"Halloween" is a two-part episode, consisting of the fourth and fifth episodes of the first season of the television series American Horror Story. The first part aired on October 26, 2011, and the second on November 2, 2011. Part 1 was written by James Wong and Part 2 was written by Tim Minear; both were directed by David Semel. Part 1 is rated TV-MA (LSV) and Part 2 is rated TV-MA (LV).

Part 1 was nominated for a Primetime Emmy award for Outstanding Costumes for a Miniseries, Movie or Special.

In this two-part episode, the Harmons are visited by the former owners of the house and are given advice on Halloween decorating while Tate (Evan Peters) is harassed by bloody teens while on a date with Violet (Taissa Farmiga). Kate Mara and Zachary Quinto are credited as special guest stars for their roles as Hayden McClaine, the student Ben was having an affair with; and Chad Warwick, one of the former homosexual owners of the house.

Plot[edit]

Part 1[edit]

2010[edit]

In 2010, a gay couple Chad (Zachary Quinto) and Patrick (Teddy Sears) now own the house. They have a damaging relationship and while decorating the house, Chad confronts Patrick about his infidelity after finding seductive messages to a person online before an angered Patrick leaves. Moments later, the Rubber Man appears and Chad believes the man to be his partner but the latex figure ends up attacking him before attempting to drown him before breaking his neck. Patrick, in a cowboy costume arrives and sees Chad's corpse before staring at the Rubber Man in shock.

2011[edit]

Vivien (Connie Britton) calls a private security officer named Luke (Morris Chestnut) over to install more defense mechanisms for the house. The Harmons hire interior designers ("fluffers") to make over the house to help it sell, mistaking Chad and Patrick for the fluffers. Chad tells Vivien that he once caught Patrick cheating by checking his phone bill, suggesting she do the same. Meanwhile, Larry (Denis O'Hare) harasses Ben (Dylan McDermott), demanding payment for killing Hayden (Kate Mara), but Ben rebuffs him. Ben agrees to continue sessions with Tate (Evan Peters), but outside the house only.

Addie (Jamie Brewer) argues with Constance (Jessica Lange) about wanting to dress as a "pretty girl" for Halloween. Constance laughs at her, but later buys her a "pretty girl" costume to make up with her. While trick-or-treating, Addie is hit by a car, and Constance attempts to get her to the Harmons' lawn before she dies, so Addie's ghost will remain in the house but fails and Addie then dies on the pavement. Violet (Taissa Farmiga) meets Tate and demands to know what is in the basement. Tate says it is the still-living abomination created when Dr. Charles Montgomery (Matt Ross), tried to bring his dismembered child back to life by sewing the pieces together with various animal parts.

Chad and Patrick continue to decorate the house for Halloween night, however their controlling demeanour eventually leads Vivien to kick them both out of the house. They initially refuse, but leave once Chad sees the Rubber Man starring at them through the window. Vivien confronts Ben with his phone bill, but Ben insists that he and Hayden are over. Thinking that Ben is lying, Vivien demands that he leave. Suddenly, the baby kicks – despite the fact Vivien is only eight weeks pregnant. At the hospital, an ultrasound reveals that the baby is more developed than it should be; the X-Ray technician then collapses after seeing the baby on-screen.

On Halloween night, when "the dead can walk freely", Moira (Frances Conroy) visits her comatose mother in a hospital and disconnects her life support machine, but she is unable to pass on with her pleading mother's departing soul. Meanwhile, Violet, left alone in the house while her parents are at the hospital, hears Larry banging at the door, demanding "his money". She calls her father, who tells her to make sure everything is locked, and wait for them to return. Violet hangs up, not noticing the Rubber Man is standing behind her.

When the Harmons return from the hospital, they find the house broken into and Violet missing. Ben answers a knock at the door, and finds Hayden standing there, covered in dirt.

Part 2[edit]

Larry leaves and Violet decides to go upstairs. The Rubber Man, unnoticed by Violet, also disappears. Whilst Violet is sitting on her bed, a hand tries to grab her leg, but misses when Violet gets up after hearing Tate throw rocks at her bedroom window. Tate and Violet go out on a date. Ben and Vivien return to the house and start looking for Violet, but after Violet calls Vivien and assures her that she is safe, Vivien allows her to stay out. Tate and Violet go to the beach where five mutilated teens (seemingly in costumes) appear and harass Tate, prompting him to leave with Violet.

After Ben shuts the door on Hayden, Vivien attempts to kick him out of the house, but he refuses, as he's "not giving up on this family." He then goes outside and discovers Larry in the back yard. Believing that Hayden's murder was staged and that both of them are attempting to extort him, Ben attacks Larry with a shovel. Larry realizes that Hayden has come back as a ghost, but Ben refuses to listen and threatens to kill him if he sees him again. Back inside, Vivien reiterates her desire for Ben to leave, and goes to prepare a bath. Hayden calls her on her phone and they argue, ending with Hayden leaving a message on the steamed mirror urging Vivien to ask Ben about Boston. Vivien tells Ben that Hayden is in their house. He eventually finds Hayden in the basement and after an argument, during which Hayden reveals to Ben that she is dead, Larry knocks Ben out with a shovel and ties him up, planning to burn the house down. Nora (Lily Rabe) unties Ben, urging him to save his child. Vivien goes outside and finds Chad smashing pumpkins. He is angry that Vivien "ruined his Halloween," and now she has to pay for it.

Hayden confronts Vivien, and they are shocked to learn that they are both pregnant. Hayden attacks Vivien with a shard of glass but is stopped by Ben, who is forced to admit that he impregnated Hayden months after Vivien discovered the affair. Having heard the alarm, Luke arrives at the house and arrests Hayden. After talking with Luke, Hayden disappears from his car. Meanwhile, Ben packs his belongings and sadly leaves the house.

The teens find Tate and Violet, but Tate protects Violet by making them chase him. Constance grabs Violet and takes her to her house, where she reveals that Addie is dead and Tate is her son. The teens catch up with Tate and reveal they are ghosts who attended Westfield High, that were killed when Tate committed a school shooting. The ghosts angrily demand to know why he killed them, or to at least admit what he did, but Tate cannot remember anything. With Halloween night ending, the teens solemnly leave.

The other ghosts, Moira, Chad, Patrick, Troy and Bryan, Nora, Maria, and Gladys wearily return to the house.

Production[edit]

Part one was written by co-executive producer James Wong, part two was written by consulting producer Tim Minear. Both parts were directed by David Semel.

Regarding the house and its ghosts, series co-creator Ryan Murphy speaks as though the Harmon house is alive. "One of the things about the house we're trying to say," he says, "is that the house always has sort of a prescient intelligence in that it knows exactly the right moment to send the undead back to fuck with the people who live in the house. The house knows what you're afraid of and will scare you. The house also knows what you need to hear and then will provide it. So the timing of it, it's almost like what's going on in these character's personal lives is what conjures these spirits."[1]

About the character Chad, Murphy likes Zachary Quinto's take on him: "I think there's a great sadness that he [Quinto] plays to somebody who sort of gave everything to something, be it the house or a relationship, and then it doesn't turn out to your preconceived notions. I think he plays that frustration well. I also love his [Chad's] connection to Vivien in that he and Vivien are both with sex addicts. So there's great pain and frustration to loving somebody with that situation and also like, 'Why do you stay?' I think he created this world of beauty and comfort and hopefully children in the future and so I like the rage of it."[2]

Reception[edit]

IGN's Matt Fowler gave the first part an overall score of 8, describing the episode as a "fairly unsettling romp", adding that the death of Adelaide was unexpected and that Constance's reaction to her daughter's death was "wrenching".[3] Todd VanDerWerff from the The A.V. Club gave the first part a C+ grade.[4] He awarded the second part of the episode a B grade.[5]

In its original American broadcast, "Halloween (Part 1)" was seen by an estimated 2.96 million household viewers and gained a 1.7 ratings share among adults aged 18–49; a then series high.[6] The second part received a 1.6 ratings share among adults 18-49, down a tenth of a point from the first part.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stack, Tim (October 26, 2011). "'American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy talks the Halloween episode and the tragic death of [SPOILER] -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 17, 2011. 
  2. ^ Stack, Tim (November 2, 2011). "'American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy talks Tate's backstory and previews next week's 'pivotal' episode -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ Fowler, Matt (October 26, 2011). "American Horror Story: "Halloween, Part 1" Review". IGN. 
  4. ^ VanDerWerff, Todd (October 26, 2011). "Halloween, Part 1". The A.V. Club. 
  5. ^ VanDerWerff, Todd (November 2, 2011). "Halloween, Part 2". The A.V. Club. 
  6. ^ Gorman, Bill (October 27, 2011). "Wednesday Cable Ratings:'American Horror Story' Series High Edges 'South Park' + 'Psych,' 'Daily Show,' 'Ultimate Fighter' & More". TV by the Numbers. 
  7. ^ Gorman, Bill (November 3, 2011). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'South Park,' 'American Horror Story' Lead + 'Psych,' 'Real World,' 'Mythbusters' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 3, 2011. 

External links[edit]