Entertainment Magazine

Review #3143: American Horror Story 1.7: “Open House”

Posted on the 18 November 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Gregg Wright

The Halloween two-parter appears to have been the start of a pretty consistent run for “American Horror Story”, and it’s showing no signs of letting up. Much of this can be attributed to the smart planning for the season. The earlier episodes were a bit rough, but none could legitimately be called filler. And now, every new episode is a relevant addition to the show’s ever-expanding mythos.

Review #3143: American Horror Story 1.7: “Open House”

“Open House” jumps around a bit, but the biggest reveals are related to Larry Harvey, who we can now say, with reasonable certainty, does not exist only in Ben’s head, and is probably not a ghost. Larry’s connection with the house and its history runs much deeper than expected. But this is where things get a little confusing. It may be that the showrunners/writers are being purposefully coy about the details, but I wish some things were made a bit more clear.

Assuming that all of the flashbacks in “Open House” take place in 1994, which is the same year that Tate was killed, we must then assume that Constance moved out of the house sometime during that year. Larry and his family then became the new residents of the house, and Larry quickly fell in love with Constance. What doesn’t quite make sense to me is how Larry could be secretly keeping Beauregard in the attic, while the authorities are somehow able to learn of his existence.

The reveal that Larry didn’t kill his family, but that his wife actually started the fire that killed them and left Larry disfigured, is interesting enough that I’m willing to give the show a chance to further clarify these details. And considering how well-planned the show has been so far, I suspect that things will make more sense with time. For instance, it’s still not completely clear what effect the house actually had on Larry, since he didn’t murder his family. One might guess that the house simply utilized a more insidious method of making Larry cause the death of his family.

Larry’s connection to the house may be the biggest strand of the mystery that “Open House” unravels, but there’s much more to the episode than this. Arguably, the main focal point of the episode is the threat posed to the house by a potential buyer (who plans to completely demolish the property), and the efforts by Constance and Larry (and eventually Moira as well) to combat this threat. If the house is demolished, the ghosts residing there go to “who knows where”.

One of the things I love about “American Horror Story” is that, though the Harmons may officially be the leads, it’s really all about the supporting players. I rather enjoyed seeing Constance, Larry, and Moira coming together to defeat their common enemy. That developer is about as sleazy as it gets. So even though his fate is decidedly gruesome, it’s hard not to see him as the villain who gets his just desserts.

One seemingly important reveal this week is that Vivien is having twins (both of whom apparently look completely normal on the ultrasound). Viewers have noticed the recurring theme of twos. Whenever a death occurs in the house, there are two victims. Well, not quite (or so it seems anyway). We’ve had the twins in the pilot, the two women at the beginning of “Home Invasion”, Moira and Hugo in “Murder House”, the gay couple in “Halloween”, and then… Tate. Just Tate.

And this week brought another exception to the trend, with Larry’s mercy-killing of Beau. Perhaps this “twos” theme isn’t as significant as we thought? Or maybe there’s simply more to the story? “American Horror Story” has offered enough surprises that I’ve become fairly confident that I’ll be intrigued by whatever else it has in store for me. The next episode looks especially interesting, but I’ll refrain from discussing it until then.

Rating: 8/10

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog