American Horror Story: Scary Unnecessary

Hey guys, let me just turn this chair around and sit on it backwards. Can I rap with y'all?

I love horror. It's my favorite genre. So this feels weird to admit, but in my opinion, sometimes, in its quest to rattle or disturb us, horror can go too far. It doesn't matter how desensitized you think you are—for every level of jadedness, there's still probably a film just waiting to ruin your sleep patterns or make you want to write a letter to your congressperson. Personally, the two most disturbing films I've ever seen are a pair of ditties called Martyrs and Irreversible. (Come to think of it, both are French, which—is everyone okay over there?) Both of these films contain imagery and concepts that verge on the reprehensible and are borderline indefensible. I say "borderline" because there is one minor defense I can offer for their existence: They're both brilliant. Just brilliant movies, as intellectually weighty as they are repulsive. For all its flash and bluster, American Horror Story hadn't necessarily crossed any lines (from my mostly desensitized perspective, anyway). But that changed this week. Parts of the episode were strong, even wildly entertaining at times. But that opening scene, all four minutes and 40 seconds of it, was probably the most shocking, unnecessary, and gratuitous sequence I've ever seen on television. I absolutely despised it.

I just don't think I'm ready to be entertained by school shootings. I really don't. What I loved so much about last week's appearance of the ghosts of Tate's shooting victims was what it inferred rather than laid bare. That plotline pretty neatly stepped around the visceral awfulness of the original shooting and instead addressed the emotional, traumatic repercussions of it. I admired how American Horror Story attempted to exorcise our collective angst over too many real-life incidents by giving angry voices to the victims. I especially admired how it did so without actually trying to thrill or entertain us by portraying the actual shooting. So when "Piggy Piggy" opened on a shot of those same teens huddled together in a library looking very much alive, I had to put down my sandwich. I knew what was coming.

The opening scene depicting Tate's chillingly methodical library rampage was expertly filmed, frightening, and awful. My main objection—and this is really something I can't quite get past—was that it showed us nothing we didn't already know. Absolutely nothing new was brought to the table, so that leads me to conclude that it was merely meant to titillate us. To frighten us. There was no intellectual weightiness. There were no necessary meanings presented to justify tearing open the psychic scars we all have from real incidents like the one portrayed here. Call me sensitive, but I felt very sensitive about this! I mean, was it really necessary to let us know the poor cheerleader wet her pants while waiting to die? Also, not to nitpick, but the scene didn't even add up to what we'd been told already! Tate didn't ask the goth girl if she believed in God, as she said last week. Plus he used a shotgun when the football player had clearly been killed with a smaller-caliber bullet? Perhaps these inconsistencies were intentional, but to me it all just added up to one question: WHY? What was the creative decision here? To shock us? Okay, but why?

So while I'm still having a hard time justifying this scene, I will say that I'm glad we got to see how Tate himself was killed. The S.W.A.T. team's arrival, Constance's protestations, and Tate's final deadly gesture were as enlightening as they were harrowing. That was good television. If that's all we'd seen in the cold open, I doubt we'd miss the shooting scene. I mean, I'm definitely not advocating censorship, merely creative responsibility. I'm thrilled to live in an age when Ryan Murphy can include an admittedly very tame gay deflowering on network television AND present an unflinching reenactment of the Columbine shootings in the same week. Hooray for creative freedom! It's just a shame creative freedom was used for this.

Thanks for listening, guys. I feel better now. That rant aside, I DID really enjoy the remainder of "Piggy, Piggy." Honestly, it was crazy in a good way.

Building off last week's discovery of Tate's deadness, Violet hopped on Bing to learn the true events of Westfield High. Hysterical with disbelief, Violet confronted Constance, who confirmed that ghosts do indeed exist, that Tate had been living in the Murder House when he died, and that it was the house itself that had possessed him to "lose his way." Next thing we knew, Constance was enlisting Violet to help her, I guess, coax Tate to "cross over." To assist them Constance introduced Billie Dean Howard (Sarah Paulson), a medium she'd originally found on Craigslist. Now, first of all, this lady was amazing. She was apparently a normal, rich housewife who one day saw the ghost of her dead cleaning lady. But also: Did she remind anyone else of Constance? Are they secretly mother and daughter? Because they were clearly both born in Camp Town (you know, where they have the races). Anyway, Violet wasn't really into having to deal with this situation and ran out of there.

Later, the realization that she'd fallen in love with a ghost caused Violet to get back into bad habits like cutting her arms and hanging out with girls in floppy hats. Eventually she just decided to overdose on pills, but it was unclear if it was to join Tate or merely be a brat. Anyway, in one of Tate's more redeeming moments, he saved Violet's life, tearfully dragging her into a cold shower and forcing her to puke. That night he gave a pretty genuine speech about how much he loved Violet and that he'd respect her wishes if she didn't want to see him anymore. She didn't push him away though, and instead invited him over to the bed to spoon. It was actually pretty touching. Say what you will about Tate's broken brain... Who wouldn't want a ghost boyfriend or girlfriend?

The other primary plotline of the episode involved Vivien's stiffening backbone as she pushed Ben out of her life and the increasing weirdness of her pregnancy. After a spooky nightmare in which her baby's CLAWS were visible on the surface of her stomach, Vivien was treated to meat "delicacies" courtesy of a very pushy Constance and Moira. Claiming they were "good for the baby," the offerings first included sweetbreads and raw pancreas, but later included a RAW BRAIN? What. Hello? And, I'm sorry, I don't care what these crazies claimed, that thing looked human. Which is probably why Vivien paused for three seconds before digging in. Fair enough. Demon baby gotta eat!

The other Vivien highlight involved her pursuit of the nurse who passed out during the sonogram last week. Hilariously enough, the nurse had quit her job and had become a full-time Catholic harpy, only agreeing to speak with Vivien in a church, then spouting Biblical verse (the scary verses) at Vivien as she fled. Spooky stuff! But basically, Vivien's baby is the devil. Duh, everybody knew that.

In what represented a stand-alone plotline—and a terrific one at that—Modern Family's Eric Stonestreet guest-starred as Ben's new patient, a man with a paralyzing fear of mirror-related urban legends, including Bloody Mary, Candyman and especially Piggy Man. Piggy Man was not as cute as he sounded! In a highly misguided attempt to help the patient deal with his fear of Piggy Man, it was hilarious when Ben took him upstairs (Vivien agreed to let Ben continue seeing patients in the house) and made him summon the Piggy Man in a haunted house. So obviously the dead nurse teenager made an appearance. And in an especially nasty punchline, the patient later attempted to deal with his fears in his own home, only to be gunned down by the ROBBER hiding in the shower who'd been offended at being called a pig. Normal stuff, basically.

A nice cap to the Constance storyline was when the medium character actually helped her get some closure with Adelaide. The mother and daughter-via-medium exchange included some touching words—tears were shed—about how much they loved each other and that Adelaide was indeed now a pretty girl in the afterlife. But one spooky addition: Adelaide said she was grateful she hadn't died on the Murder House property because she knows the truth about Tate and doesn't want to see him anymore. Haha how rude! No just kidding, Adelaide for President. Getting trapped in that joint seems pretty awful all around.

So if you haven't yet noticed, I'm pretty conflicted about this episode. It's been one of the best yet! It's just that opening sequence left me so troubled. I don't know, maybe I'll come around on it, but for now I just wish I hadn't watched it. It may not have been super bloody, but sometimes the scariest horror isn't the blood but the concept. And that's just one concept I'm not ready to be entertained by.

 

QUESTIONS

... What did you think of the episode? Am I being too sensitive about that opening?

... Is Vivien falling for the hunky new security guard?

... Is Tate to be trusted?

... How much do you wish you had a ghost maid who prepares fresh brains for you AND works for free?

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Feb 12, 2016
I personally think that scenes like that are what make it such a scary show. I think your view on the whole entertainment piece of it doesn't make sense, as I don't find any of what happens on AHS to be something to eat your sandwich while watching. Yes, you are right about the continuity errors, but I think that other than that this was a chilling, well filmed scene. I also think of it as the writers nod to Columbine, as it is based off of that and they set it up similarly. I think that the point of AHS is to be scary for people who don't get scared by scary. Does that make sense to you? Trust me, I've watched the real video from the library at columbine which had audio because of a 911 phone call put on speaker, AHS didn't cross the AHS line.
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Apr 28, 2014
I'm with you 100% on the school shooting scene. COMPLETELY unnecessary. They could have just as easly cut straight to Tate at home when swat arrives and, as viewers, we would have been none the poorer.

If they're going to exploit a school shooting for entertainment purposes, then at least make an effort to maintain continuity. The as mentioned missed question to the goth girl and different method for the football jock. Additionally, when asked last week about how could she not have heard of the high school, Violet answered, "I just moved here". Really?!? 15 dead kids, paralized teacher and shooter taken down by a swat team and that didn't get any media attention outside the greater L.A. area?

Maybe I missed it, but I didn't hear a whole lot of outcry about this scene. Yes years later, Kurt Sutter is the bad guy for airing an episode of Sons of Anarchy about a school shooting WITHOUT actually showing anything inside the school. Just the sound of shots. That's it. That's all.
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Oct 16, 2014
I'm sure that it got coverage outside of the L.A. area, but that happened about the time Violet was born. I'm sure there are plenty of kids today that don't know about the Columbine shootings.
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Oct 16, 2014
The most ignorant shouldn't be baseline whether we're talking about fiction or real life.
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Nov 29, 2011
Hey fellow American Horror Story fans! Are you on Google plus? If so, please check out the +American Horror Story Circle and meet other fans of this amazing show! http://gplus.to/ahscircle
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Nov 28, 2011
http://culturemob.com/in-defense-of-american-horror-story-its-complicated
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Nov 20, 2011
Oh, and to answer your last question, if it's the young, slutty version of the maid, I'm cool with that....
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Nov 20, 2011
I don't understand the reasoning behind your objection to the school shooting scene. You don't think it can be entertaining? Well that misses the point on a number of levels. Firstly, you've seen several murders so far, including that of a pregnant woman. A totally batshit in a really annoying sort of way pregnant woman, but a pregnant woman nonetheless. Yet you still find the series entertaining. Why is it acceptable to show these deaths? Is it the number? The setting? As Dylan Thomas points out, after the first death, there is no other. No, we are not meant to find the spectacle entertaining of itself, but revolting and abhorrent, as you did. The horror of the scene was not in it's gore - there was none - but in the senseless banality of Tate's act. The purpetrators of these thankfully rare killings appear to romanticise themselves and the act itself. It is a grand gesture. Their heads are filled with stylised, sanitised violence of action movies and video games. The reality is more ordinary. The Meaning of the sequence depended on concentrating on the ugly terror felt by the victims. The crucial moment of it was the detail of the cheerleader wetting herself. This is visceral, messy, horrific. It is never the spectacular act the would be shooter kids himself it might be. They died in terror not knowing why and this explains the unrest of their ghosts. Tate as ghost, however, barely understands it has happened. This is built on in the scene with the librarian, trying to come to terms with the further horror that there may just have been no meaning or motive at all. It was hammered home with the SwAT team asking Tate why he did it as he died without saying a word. Yes, the shooting scene was hard to watch ( if you found it otherwise, you are probably a psychopath. Careful with that axe, Eugene). But it was not gratuitous.you are not meant to find individual acts of violence entertaining, you are meant to find the arc of the story and character entertaing, challenging and thrilling. And this show is succeeding so far. As for the brain eating, the way I read the performance, the house is lowly influencing her to ct in ways he would not have done before, slowly and insidiously. Perhaps like Tate in the beginning?
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Nov 18, 2011
Wow, you really understand nothing about what you're watching do you Price Peterson? And where you felt the shooting scene was not needed because we already knew, no, we did not know. If you've been paying attention to the same show I have then you would know how many different conclusions one could come to. It was vital to know what happened as Tate's character is developed and more of his back story is shared. As for the other things you've said, well, like I first said, I don't think you really pay too much attention to what you're watching other than just so you can write a blog entry about it.
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Nov 17, 2011
I understand how you feel. For me cannibals freak me out so I get it. As for AHS's opening act I thought violet had a dream or vision of Tate's final act. It freaked her out so she checked it out on the web and found out the truth which lead to her discovering she was a medium.
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Nov 16, 2011
Evan Peters for best supporting actor emmy!
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Dec 01, 2011
It's amazing how he can make the character so likeable and vulnerable DESPITE all the horrible things he has done!? I am really conflicted! I don;t know whether to love Tate or hate him! Evan should definitely get an emmy

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Feb 12, 2016
Agreed. Great actor, love him. AHS is a great show, but without him it would sink. There is no replacement.
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Nov 16, 2011
Plain and simple: This show absolutely rocks! It's truly chilling and scary and the acting and story lines are excellent. Very cool.
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Nov 15, 2011
Wow, Price, how can you praise Martyrs on one hand and say that this opening scene was off limits in the other ? I mean Martyrs was nothing else than gratuitous violence and sadism disguised as a philosophical quest (I'm not spoiling anything for those who haven't seen it yet). That opening scene carefully avoid any gratuitous violence : not a drop of blood nor brain matter was depicted : it was pure psychological terror. The only gratuity on it is, like you said, that it did not add anything new to what we knew. But heck, Martyrs neither (wink).

Now maybe I'm not as sensitive as others about school shootings because I'm not american and it seems to be quite ... more frequent for you (some would say : "duh, stopping dealing guns like candy could be a good start", but that's not the debate here).



The brain moment was one of the only moment since the pilot that made me go "hewww !" : I loved it ! I love the show as psychological thriller (most of the horror went away after the pilot) but seeing something truly disturbing (not the shool shooting for me then) from time to time is quite pleasant. The show really did a good job with his characters : that family is way more interesting than the Shannons of Terra Nova ^^.

I'm really looking forward to see what's next.
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Nov 14, 2011
You're way too sensitive, hehe. Guess you americans aren't as desensitized as you like to think :P
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Feb 12, 2016
I doubt this guy survived Coven.
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Feb 12, 2016
Trust me, I'm American and this was probably my favorite episode. I like something to actually be able to scare me, not just gross me out, and the psychological AHS horror is perfect for that.
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Nov 14, 2011
I find it interesting that you condemn the opening scene and then say the scene between Tate and Violet was touching (since if anything the opening scene was set up to show us how messed up Tate is). I agree the opening scene didn't add anything and could have been cut but perhaps the inconsistencies in the ghosts of the students story and the scene we saw is something they're going to touch on later (like maybe that wasn't how it really happened).



My biggest problem with the episode was Vivian eating the brain raw. Who would do that?! I'm not living in a murder house and I wouldn't eat raw brain if some strange person I barely knew set it down in front of me.
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Nov 14, 2011
I just got around to watching this ep. tonight, and having seen several headlines on the web about the opening scene, I was a little scared to watch it. It wasn't nearly as graphic as I imagined, although it WAS tense and scary and awful. But it didn't upset me THAT much.



So is Price being overly sensitive? I don't know. I can't watch the opening scene of the first 'Scream' because right around the time it came out, a friend of my mother's was brutally stabbed to death by her boyfriend, and in that context, a scene depicting a woman being terrorized and stabbed to death is just too real for me. Actually, I hate slasher films in general, but this has taken it to a new level. There's just something about realistic violence that is harder to stomach for some people.
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Nov 14, 2011
Great episode, it confirms what many of us were wondering all this time if Tate was a ghost or not. I wonder if Adelaide will return as a ghost, I really hope she does.



I love this show and happy to hear a second season has been approved!
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Nov 14, 2011
Sadly, Adelaide mightn't come back because she didn't make it to the yard of Murder House. Let's just hope that the medium was wrong (or that we took everything out of context) and Adelaide comes back in other episodes.
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Nov 14, 2011
I think you went a bit over the top with the opening paragraph. In television HISTORY? I highly doubt that. The scene isn't really graphic, doesn't do anything that hasn't been done before.



School shooting are a part of life, unfortunately. In this case it wasn't graphic, or glorified. Had he tortured or taunted them I could see having some issue with it... but as is it was pretty tame considering where it could have gone. I've seen gorier and more disturbing stuff on television. Heck, a lot of the stuff on Tosh.0 I'd say is more disturbing.
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Feb 12, 2016
I agree.
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Nov 14, 2011
MAN UP DUDE. The world are FILLED with teens wasting usefull space, so let's rejoice this few opportunities to watch them blow away. But I have to draw a line at cute puppies. Keep them barking around.
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Nov 14, 2011
as a person who can get to the end of "martyrs" (I could not even completed reading its recap, let alone watching it) yes, you are being way too sensitive.. school shootings are not a taboo, and actually if I were to choose, I would prefer to die with a single bullet than be tortured, hanged, drowned, slashed etc (like we see in many other tv shows based on real life stories).. if it is about entertainment, sorry but death and especially killing/murdering should have never been a part of an entertainment process from the beginning as obviously there is nothing entertaining about it.. yet, the whole show and many other shows are based on that; so that whole rant was pretty much useless..
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Nov 14, 2011
Oh, so we're just going to ignore how AHS linked itself to one of the best TV series EVER ('American Gothic')? Hello -- Sarah Paulson??
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Nov 14, 2011
I read the first paragraph of this review before watching the show (couldn't help myself!) and it left me with was the worry that something so horrible was going to happen that it would scar me for life. I'm thinking, omg there is going to be some horrible scene with rape and torture and finger nails pulled out. Then I watched the show, forgetting what I had read and only remembering when it was over that you were so traumatized by it. Took me a sec to remember what traumatized you exactly... ? Oh yeah the first scene. Come on!!! Grow a pair wtf people!? Like many have said in the comments below, we see teenagers killed all the ... more time in all kinds of shows, what makes this diff? That it could actually happen? Well sure it could just like all the other stories in CSI, Criminal Minds, SVU, etc. etc. etc. You don't get to be overly sensitive to this without in fairness being overly sensitive to all the other shows that portray death of any kind, and don't forget the kidnapping & confinement, rape, torture, and molestation that often accompanies those deaths. This is practically child's play compared to some of that sh*t! The scene was well done and if you want to take some peace away from it, those kids died pretty quickly and relatively painlessly than most of what we see on tv these days.
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Nov 14, 2011
In my opinion, the best episode of this season.
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Feb 12, 2016
agree
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Nov 13, 2011
Yes, I would love fresh brain from my free ghost housekeeper, I'll be my very own zombie :P



Is it just me or were the first 2 episodes the scariest? I find this show becoming a bit bland now, piggy man come on that was soooo boring. Rather have Bloody Mary then!

School shooting, yes true stories are the scariest but I found it a bit popular (not to be insensitive) concidering that happens a lot now a days and is still fresh in memory. It didn't horror me, It just reminded me of real life and I don't want to be reminded when watching a make believe tv show about a haunted murdering house!
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Nov 13, 2011
Personaly I thought that opening scene was the most brilliant scene I've ever seen on tv. I have to admit that the part where the swat team narrowed in on him only improved it, but personally, I thought it was important to see and I don't know what else to say other than it was truly brilliant. And may I just say that when Emmy season comes around again Jessica Lange and Evan Peters better get a Emmy nomination.
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Nov 13, 2011
Okay, I'm not north american, but here in Brazil we had our share of school shooting. But I don't think it was too much. It was necessary to see what Tate did. To be conflict by what he's done and how much we like him. Until the shooting, even knowing that he mudered those kids, I still liked him. Seeing him doing, changes things. I still like him and wnat to believe that he is a good person that just lost it (who wouldn't living in that house and having Constance as a mother?), but the shooting scene was necessary.
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Nov 13, 2011
And also I don't understand why it would be a issue to show the shooting. THIS HAPPENS and sadly will always happen for different reasons. It's an issue that's been shown on t.v. many times but NOT like this. I thought it was brilliant
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Nov 13, 2011
WHAT? UM The first 4 minutes was BRILLIANT. It was a flashback as well. It's a HORROR show and I thought it was brilliant in my opinion. This was without doubt the best episode.
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Nov 13, 2011
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The first 4 minutes of this episode were the best yet. Yeah. It was shocking and almost unbearable to watch. But this is a horror show....its what we want. DUH!



Not to mention, im going to have 10 times for sympathy for school shootings after this. The media dosnt show or discuss how graphic and sad these shootings really are....and this show did,....



This show deserve an award just for this episode. I think your insane not to think so.
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Nov 12, 2011
You have obviously not seen the movie "Elephant". You want to see a disturbing? Watch the school shooting in that movie. It has haunted me ever since I've watched it. Seeing this episode wasn't that bad. I was already used to it.



Ryan Murphy loves his landmarks. I think it is safe to say that a fictional school shooting like this has never been depicted on basic cable TV.
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Nov 12, 2011
"Entertained by."

yes, fine. horror can be entertaining. But that's not all it can be. One of Horror's strengths is to pull out an idea from human conciousness and fears and make us face them, allowing us to theraputically purge and examine them. School shootings are a very real, very terrifying threat for today's society.



When Poe first published his short horror stories, they were often found too 'vulgar' for the current American people, when actually they were brillant--but simply hit too close to home, and Americans couldn't really deal with the horror presented them. It's not that the school shooting scene is tasteless, but that it made YOU physically uncomfortable. Those restless nights are what makes the horror so valuable.



Tate is sympathetic, but the show also lays out in no uncertain terms that he's done some horriffic things. Also, showing Tate being killed wouldn't have made much sense if not preceeded by the shooting.
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Nov 12, 2011
I don't get your problem with the opening scene. There wasn't one drop of blood to be seen. It was all suggestion. Or was it? This is where all the brilliance of the AHS production team comes into play. The whole shooting is just a game. As if they were scary halloween make-up, all the wounds were shown in horrible vivid detail in the two previous episodes. You know exactly how each of those kids dies. Our own mind overlaps those visuals with the shooting scene and... you get a sublime guessing game. It still puched me to the edge of my seat though.



Showing Tate's evil deed was the direct way to put us in Violets emotional mind set. We are confused with her, we cry with her.
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Nov 12, 2011
I don't necessarily have a problem with a school shooting being depicted. I actually really liked Elephant and thought it was handled really well. I think you run the risk of glorifying it though. One of the problems I have with it here is that Tate is such a sympathetic character. I don't really want to like the person, who is shooting up the library. I agree it seemed a little unnecessary. Maybe if it was a sequence of Tate actually remembering what he did and you get to witness his anguish over his actions. That's not what happened though so it is there for pure entertainment and doesn't further the story any other than introducing the teacher.



You mentioned Irreversible. It used the reversed timeline in order to get away with the horrific rape scene. If it had been at the end of the film and in sequence, you would have cared about Belluci's character to much to have endured watching it. You have to be careful when dealing with sensitive material.



So, I sort of agree that it felt unnecessary. But I still enjoyed the episode.

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Nov 12, 2011
I don't know about anyone else, but I didn't know until the reveal that Tate was the shooter. In Halloween Part II he professed not to know any of the HS students, so part of me thought/hoped he wasn't. Sure, his identity could have been revealed by Violet hopping on Bing, but that wouldn't be very horrific.



-Yes, you are being too sensitive.



-Yes, Vivien is falling for the security guard. Who wouldn't want to have the Fifth Column on your side? The downside--Ben knows. This will not end well.
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Nov 12, 2011
The school shooting is really part of our contemporary reality that it was disturbing. But AHS have always been about shock value first. I think adding the scene makes the student ghosts more human that some pissed off spirits. It's a message from the house that NO ONE is safe, not even the people who lives far away from it's vicinity.



Billie Howard was hilarious with her line " I don't want to keep seeing a dead Mexican cleaning lady at my house". This show sure don't follow the PC rules of TV.



Now when was Tate born and who was his father? I hope we get more answers.



Though Moira despised Constance like she's Hitler, she still conspire with her. Maybe also to please the house. Anyway, even if given a chance, I don't think Moira would kill Constance. Especially, not IN the house. A Constance ghost living with Moira makes purgatory look like Disney Land. haha
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Nov 12, 2011
I agree 100% with Price Peterson's feeling about the opening. The inferred violence plays more effectively than actually seeing it. The school shootings was in bad taste.



...Yes. Its kind of obvious. Besides, security guards never look like Morris Chestnut. Unless they're gonna bang pregnant wives



...Uh, remember that opening scene we just talked about? The answer is no.



...Only if the ghost maid is hot all of the time and old none of the time. And if the brains are of the "chilled monkey" variety :)
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Nov 12, 2011
I think the opening was also necessary, because you actually saw what happened. The opening scene also made the finale , which you loved, that much more impactful. It also added depth to Constance and what she has endured as a result of living in the house. I am a little concerned about the "Rosemary's Baby" subplot and the on-going inconsistencies in the filming of events explained. The show is so great, It would be even better if they payed attention to details...
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Nov 12, 2011
"...To assist them Constance introduced Billie Dean Howard (Sarah Paulson)...Did she remind anyone else of Constance? Are they secretly mother and daughter?"



American Horror Story FuN FaCt: Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson are really good friends in real life, and Ryan Murphy wrote the part of Billie Dean Howard especially for her.



"Later, the realization that she'd fallen in love with a ghost caused Violet to get back into bad habits like cutting her arms and hanging out with girls in floppy hats. Eventually she just decided to overdose on pills, but it was unclear if it was to join Tate or merely be a brat. Anyway, in one of Tate's more redeeming moments, he saved Violet's life, tearfully dragging her into a cold shower and forcing her to puke. That night he gave a pretty genuine speech about how much he loved Violet and that he'd respect her wishes if she didn't want to see him anymore. She didn't push him away though, and instead invited him over to the bed to spoon."



Very Romeo and Juliet-y! Despite Tate's monstrous deeds, Violet has fallen BIGLY. Ah, young love! *begins singing* How do you solve a problem like Ta-ate?

How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?

How do you find a word that means Ta-ate?

A flibbertijibbet! A will-o'-the wisp! A clown!



Poor, Bitten-by-The-Bug Violet, because what a dilemma! What do you do when you're in love with a mass murderer?
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Nov 12, 2011
The scene was creepily realistic and scarier than any movie I've seen in a long time. Thats what the show is all about and it fits right in with the show. It was very graphic which I liked. I think Vivien is falling the the security guard and is going to start fantasizing about him soon. Tate is definitely not to be trusted under any circumstances.
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Nov 12, 2011
Yeah, you're being way, way too sensitive about the opening. As a horror fan you should know by now that absolutely nothing is off limits, and the minute you do start putting things as "off-limit" is the moment you start trying to silence art and creativity, and that's honestly one of the most dehumanizing things you can do, much moreso than touching on some touchy subject matter like this. I mean, you want to see an actual example of someone trying to use school shootings as comedy and failing terribly in that exploitation? Watch the low budget film "The Carbine High School Massacre", it's a gigantic steaming pile of shit, but not because they exploit the Columbine massacre, but because of how poorly written, acted, and directed it is.



You're being way, way too sensitive man. And as a horror fan, that's one of the worst things you can be. I shudder to think how you would react to most of the major horror films of the last decade if this offended you.
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Nov 11, 2011
I just saw the trailer for Martyrs on youtube.... The AHS opening was downright TAME compared to that movie trailer.
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Nov 11, 2011
I wanted to think, well at least they found a way to get the lovely Alessandra Torresani, damn she was the best thing about "Caprica", another episode, but THIS scene is all they could muster. Hard time seeing as how that was necessary except to make it more real what those poor kids were feeling before and during their execution. Kind of unnecessary sick voyeurism.
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Nov 11, 2011
I don't think the opening was as bad as you say. As was pointed out below, they didn't show the actual shootings. My emotions as I watched that scene, were ones of sorrow for the people in the library. Until then, I thought Tate's character was too sympathetic. We got to see the impact and the emptiness of his eyes as he did the deed.



Vivien has fallen hard for the security guard.

Tate can be trusted, in that he will protect Violet at all costs. As for people who get in the way or if she rejects him...uh oh.



I'd like the young version of the maid:p and no brains!!!
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Nov 11, 2011
I don't think we have seen the last of the teacher in the wheelchair...that may have been one of the reasons for the blow by blow of the scene. It might also be of some importance for the audience to know exactly what it is that Tate refuses to remember.



Also, for clarity, the wound on the jock did have buckshot.
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Nov 11, 2011
Personally of all the episode I enjoyed watching Tate's nod to Robert De'Niro's scene in Taxi driver putting his hand to his head and whispering bang....
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Nov 11, 2011
... Fantastic episode, the opening was horrific and very well made - and it was important to see Tates face and his eyes I think. And yes you were too sensitive about it. I loved the piggy pig man part, especially the end !!!

... Yes she is ! And Bens not gonna like it ...

... It depends: did the house really fucked his brain up or did he snap out of his own ?

... Very much. I like brains. A LOT.
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Nov 11, 2011
I was most disgusted by Vivien eating raw brains & pancreas than by the school shooting scene...

Don't get me wrong: I thought it was awful, very moving, & not entertaining - I didn't ENJOY it, but I thought it was 'ok' with the plot. Psychologically well done. Maybe not necessary, but ok. (& maybe we'll see the necessity of it later.)

But Vivien & her little raw lunches: GROSS!!! Made me want to puke. Yuk.
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Nov 11, 2011
Ryan Murphy: from Glee to School Shootings. What a man!
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Nov 11, 2011
I thought the opening was brilliantly shot. It was also necessary to show another level to Tate's character. Actually seeing him kill everyone is different from just implying that he did it. The central conflict of the whole episode regarded Tate: can we still sympathize with such an insane character? And what does it mean for Violet to still be with him?



Definitely my favorite episode of AHS yet.
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Nov 11, 2011
The beginning was fantastic. I loved how it was shot, and held my breath during the cold open. You know that television is well done if you actually feel something. The only part I didn't like was when Eric Stonestreet's character was shot. It seemed completely far-fetched for someone to kill him for being called a "pig."
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Nov 11, 2011
Yeah you are being way to sensetive... they didn't even show the actual shots and brain matter flying everywhere :(
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Nov 11, 2011
I completely disagree with the opening of this review. I found the school shooting well done, but it didn't bother me at all, and it was completely necessary. People needed to see it.



I also found the wiki summary of 'martyrs' much more disturbing than anything on any tv show.
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