In an episode that saw Connie Britton eating brains and Cam from Modern Family being terrified by the piggy man in the mirror, it was the kids that actually brought some levity to the proceedings. Opening with a horrible flashback sequence to the Westfield High massacre, this was an hour driven by Violet's gradual discovery of Tate's murderous rampage and her horror at her ever-present feelings for him. I'm not sure I totally buy that she'd still be into him, considering a) he's a multiple murderer, and b) he's dead; but the story is an interesting one.
Violet was also brought into the ghostly fold by Constance and a similarly campy psychic, played with gloriously nutty charm by Ryan Murphy regular Sarah Paulson. You can already see the route the show is headed, with Constance desperate for Tate to cross over to the other side and Violet's love for him preventing that from happening. Unlike a lot of the other craziness on offer, this particular story works well as a kind of metaphor for teenage angst. You really felt that ending, with Tate rescuing Violet from a near-fatal overdose: the turmoil created by somebody you can't help but have feelings for, despite knowing they're bad for you.
Everything else was pretty nuts tonight, especially the demon-baby hoodoo. Casting Connie Britton on this show continues to create comedy, as her naturalistic demeanor as an actress only makes the wingnuts she's paired with on-screen seem so much more crazy. Top of the heap this week was that wacko scene with the nurse proclaiming Vivien's unborn child a "beast" and an "abomination", telling her how she saw its devil hooves in the ultrasound. Hah! Everything's so overblown, and there's Connie Britton pulling that same "what the hell am I doing here?" expression...
As much as I love Eric Stonestreet, his subplot was a good example of the show having its cake and eating it too. It felt a lot like the writers randomly throwing horror stories at us for no distinct reason, and the ending felt too abrupt to truly work. There were obviously some neat moments, and the Pig-Man was reliably gross (if a little Saw-ish), but generally it didn't totally enamor me.
I've read a couple of articles recently in which Ben and Vivien were highlighted as the two weak links on this show, and I'm inclined to partly agree that they're certainly the least fascinating characters right now. But, generally, I'm intrigued by their subplots; even if they always look and feel so nutty compared to everything else. Piggy Piggy was a step down from last week, but this show is still crazily entertaining. B
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