Just like in the pilot episode, ‘Home Invasion’ starts off with a little background of the history of the house. It’s 1968 and three women are heading out to a Jim Morrison concert at the Hollywood Bowl. The house is the home of a sorority and a live in nurse. They invite another young lady, Maria, to join them but she declines as she needs to study for an anatomy test. Once the girls leave, a knock is heard at the door. Maria answers it and sees a young man who seems to have injured his head and needs medical attention. Inside, he is tended by Maria as the nurse looks on. Maria comments on how she is unable to find the cause of the bleeding when all of a sudden he takes an object near him and knocks her unconscious. The nurse looks in horror and gets up to run away, but the mysterious stranger blocks her and pushes her to the ground.
Maria wakes up as water is dropping from the ceiling onto her forehead like a Chinese water torture. The mysterious man throws her a nurse’s dress and cap and tells her to change into it. She begs for her life as he tells her to strip. Once in full nurse garb, Maria is face down on the couch and tied up like a trussed up turkey. Full of fear, she begins to pray. As she finishes, the mysterious man moves out of her line of sight and she thinks he has gone. A few seconds later, we realize that was the last prayer Maria would ever recite.
Back to present day, Tate is in another session with Ben when Ben’s phone begins to vibrate. He ignores the call and returns his attention to Tate. Tate begins to taunt Ben and brings up the subject of sex and how he thinks about having sex with Violet. He continues to push Ben’s buttons by bringing up the affair Ben had in Boston and how Violet told him that the girl was not much older than her. Ben stops this line of conversation by telling Tate that their time is up. After Tate leaves, the phone vibrates again and Ben answers it. He angrily says, “I thought we had an agreement! Do I need to get this number changed?” To which the other person answers, “I’m pregnant.”
Ben’s practice is taking off as he is in another session with a patient. This time, it is with a young lady named Bianca who has a reoccurring nightmare of getting stuck in an elevator between floors and as she is crawling out of the elevator door onto the floor, the elevator begins to work again and begins to move upward. She is unable to get through all the way before it splices her in half. Ben tells Bianca that he feels her dream represents her reaching for that part of her that is missing just like when she reaches for her limbs in her dream but all she finds is a bloody stump. He asks Bianca what might have caused a shut down. She replies she doesn’t know. She just thought she was afraid of being cut in half.
Later, Constance is at home making cupcakes and Addy is at the table looking through fashion magazines. She asks Addy to hand her a bottle of ipecac. Addy asks if that is what makes cupcakes taste good and Constance tells her that you can’t taste what’s in the brown bottle but it causes violent stomach upset and internal bleeding. Then she tells Addy to spit in the batter.
Ben is on his routine jog and is running as though he is escaping the memories that plague him. He stops in a tunnel, remorseful of what he had done, when Mr. Harvey shows up. Ben tells him his guilt is from his infidelity and that the girl wants him to go to Boston to see her. Mr. Harvey tells him that he needs to do the honorable thing to save his family and lie. Ben decides to follow Mr. Harvey’s advice and tells Vivian he needs to go to Boston at the request of her parents to see their daughter who tried to commit suicide when in reality he is going there because the girl he had an affair with wanted him to be with her as she undergoes a procedure.
The next day, Constance comes by with cupcakes as a peace offering for Addy coming over and disturbing them the other night. Vivian thanks her but says she is not much of a sweets person. Constance tells her it’s not for her but for Violet. As she is about to give Vivian the cupcakes, she realizes that Vivian is pregnant. With a shocked look, Constance says she has a nose like a truffle pig and could smell “the little angel” the second she walked through the door. Constance insists on giving the cupcakes to Violet herself but Vivian states she’s not home. As Constance is about to leave, Vivian asks her if she smells anything else about the baby. Constance talks about her husband and how they had 4 children and all but 1 had a some sort of defect. The one that was a “model of physical perfection” was lost to other things. She finally tells Vivian her baby is fine.
Constance asks Moira to make sure that Violet alone gets the cupcake and that she should clean up the crumbs from the table. She tells the Harmons that she and Moira go way back and at one point, she even hired Moira herself for a time! Ben again sees Moira as the young enticing maid as she takes his bags out to the car while everyone else sees an older woman.
In the evening while Ben is gone, the doorbell rings and Vivian looks through the peephole and sees a young woman who is says she is hurt and needs help. Vivian is reluctant to let her through and the young woman says that someone is out there and he’s coming. She needs to come in or he will stab her. Vivian tells her she is going to call 911 as the young lady wildly bangs on the door to get in. Just then the banging stops. Vivian looks though the peephole and she is no longer there but a shadowy figure runs across the room behind her. Vivian is freaked out and yells to Violet to get her cell phone and call 911. As Violet looks for her cell phone, a man with a ski mask comes out of her closet and sneaks up behind her. At the same time, the doorbell rings again and at the door a person turns around and is wearing a black mask. Both Vivian and Violet scream.
After that encounter, Vivian and Violet are now tied up in the living room with Bianca and 2 other people who are there to recreate the murders that happened at the beginning of the episode. We find out that the guy who killed Maria was named Franklin and he hated nurses due a bad experience with them. He had drowned Gladys (the nurse) in a tub before going to Maria. Bianca tells them that they are there to pay tribute to Franklin and plan on recreating the murders with them as Gladys and Maria. She tells Violet to put on the nurse outfit. As Violet gets up, a fight ensues and she gets away only to be grabbed by Tate who tells her to get to the basement. Just then Violet is grabbed by the girls and brought upstairs into the bathroom to re-enact Gladys’ drowning. As Violet is getting dressed, Bianca comes in eating the cupcake Constance had made. All of the sudden, Bianca is feeling sick and leaves the bathroom to go throw up. When this didn’t help, Bianca tells her friends that she needs to go to the hospital and their re-enactment may have to be postponed to another time. As she heads to the bathroom where Violet was to be drowned, there is no one there. She turns around and is met with Tate wielding an ax.
The male accomplice unties Vivian so that she can dress into her nurse’s outfit and she manages to run off but her assailant tackles her to the ground. She grabs hold of the same object that Franklin used to knock out Maria and bashes it several times against the assailant’s head leaving him unconscious.
Violet manages to get the last assailant down to the basement by telling her the original bathtub used to drown Gladys is located there. As they reach the last step, the lights go out and Violet vanishes. She yells for Violet but hears Tate’s voice instead. As she heads toward the voice, she finds Tate next to a bathtub filled with water and is met with a shock. Vivian hears screams from the basement and, as she heads down the stairs, she is met by Violet. They run out of the front door and yell for help as they run away from the house.
Coming to, the male assailant heads to the basement where he finds the remains of the other girl and something waiting for him by the tub. Later, Moira, Tate and Constance find the male and female assailants on the floor gruesomely dead with gashes in their neck. Constance asks Tate if this is his handiwork and he says no but they need to get rid of the bodies if they want Ben to keep treating him. Moira offers to get the shovels and the bleach.
At the police station, the police tell Ben that they found Bianca six blocks away from the house almost cut in half. They surmise that she probably couldn’t go through with the murders so her friends decided to go after her. Ben apologizes to Vivian for not being there and she tells him she wants to sell the house.
This episode was jammed packed with backstory, action and lots of unsettling and creepy moments. Although we still don’t know who the father of Vivian’s baby is (gimp suit man or Ben) or why Ben continues to see Moira as a sultry seductress, we do get a sense that the house seems to attract certain personalities to its premises and that Tate, Constance, and Moira have a deep and long connection to its secrets. But it does look like some of these secrets will be revealed in the next episode as executive producer Ryan Murphy has said that “by the third episode, sort of all of the big mysteries are settled…” Will it really? I guess we’ll have to wait until next week to find out.
So what are your thoughts of ‘American Horror Stories’ so far? Why does Constance want to harm Violet and what are your theories of the connection between Constance, Moira, Tate and the house? Did you miss last week’s pilot episode? If so, check out the ‘American Horror Story: Pilot – Recap’.