American Horror Story

Season 1 Episode 5

Halloween (2)

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Nov 02, 2011 on FX

Episode Fan Reviews (5)

Write A Review
out of 10
245 votes
  • Ghosts Gone Wild


    It's a testament to the writing staff that, after only a handful of episodes, how incredibly layered this show already feels. Sure, you spend half of your time screaming at the TV about how idiotic anyone would be for staying in the house, even after only experiencing a fraction of what has plagued this family so far; but due to some consistently strong performances and, for better or worse, never a dull moment to be had, there is just something so watchable about all of this starking madness.

    A good way of keeping us glued every week is meeting us half way. There are enormous amounts of questions raised in a given episode, that are thankfully [almost] always answered sooner rather than later. Like, Tate, for example, is revealed, amidst Constance's emotional breakdown (and Jessica Lange's powerhouse performance) to be her son. It's something we've all expected, but it's nice to have it in writing. So I'm guessing Tate has no idea that he's dead? I had the idea that perhaps the slaughtered breakfast club that visited him were apparitions from his future, but then it all sounded a bit too sci-fi, and so I rolled with that his dreams were just repressed memories resurfacing and he really did dress as a skeleton and gun down his school. Eeek.

    The entire bunny-boiler (or should i say dog-microwaver) scenario with Vivien and Hayden didn't exactly set the episode alight (though not for Larry Harvey's lack of trying) and Ben's denial over everything that's going on certainly took the biscuit here. Apparently being repeatedly hit in the face by a shovel was some elaborate ploy by Larry and Hayden to swindle Ben out of a measly grand? Um, ok, buddy. But, no, I mean, c'mon, her face was fine here, Ben! Not a mark! And you saw him bury her. AND you built a freaking gazebo over her. Who is she, Houdini?

    Overall, though, there was enough momentum and pathos from the House's ghostly prisoners to round out the hour. Tate's subplot was a very strong, twisted, and ultimately sad tale; and I do wonder what the House will do in order to keep Ben from leaving. Strong performances and a few jolty moments also help things along. But clouding characters', sanity, for the sake of milking a few plots, strains an otherwise strong continuation of the season.