It’s Halloween at the Harmon house, which is more than a little amusing because the entire series has been all Halloween-esque. In the course of this first half of the two-hour Halloween special, we get to meet even more of the house’s former owners and find out yet more reasons why the Murder House is freaky as all get out. That’s of course assuming you haven’t been watching the last three episodes and the myriad amounts of insanity that occurred therein.
This episode opens up in 2010 with previous owners Chad (Zachary Quinto) and Pat (Teddy Sears) trying to decorate the house for Halloween in an attempt to flip it and re-sell it. Kind of like what the Harmons are doing now in 2011. Quinto is snark-tastic in this role as interior designer Chad who’s working to “fluff” the house with fancy Halloween decorations; meanwhile Pat is skipping out to the gym, and Chad confronts his erstwhile boyfriend about the fact that he’s been sleeping with his personal trainer. Patrick admits to this, and the bitter argument that ensues ends with Chad getting drunk while he furiously fluffs the house. Pay attention to the word “fluffing” by the way, since that’s a major theme in this week’s episode. To fluff, incidentally, means to hide the faults of a home (or a relationship/person/etc) under a veneer of style so it looks better than it actually is.
The Rubber Man shows up after Pat leaves, and Chad in his drunken stupor thinks the suited gent is his boyfriend in costume. Yeah, not so much, and poor Spock gets hurled into a wall before his neck is snapped over the side of the bobbing for apples bucket. Patrick returns home just as Rubber Man kills Chad. They look at each other, and then the episode switches into the present day. So even though we hear the story from Marcy that Chad and Pat died in a murder/suicide, we don’t actually see Pat kick the bucket (too soon?). Ben and Vivien find themselves in the same sort of bind one year later — desperate to sell the house but faced with an image problem because of all the deaths there. I don’t know about you, but someplace nicknamed “Murder House” would not be high on my list of dream homes.
Anyway, Marcy convinces Ben and Vivien to hire a “fluffer” to decorate the house for Halloween so as to make it more attractive to potential buyers. She offers up two names — an expensive older Englishwoman and a cheaper gay man who can do the same sort of thing. Naturally, Ben and Vivien decide to go with the gay man being the cost-conscious consumers that they are.
I’ll give you three guesses who the fluffer ends up being. Yep! Chad and Pat make their appearance at the Harmons’ door to help with making the house look all purty in time for Halloween. In the midst of carving pumpkins with the Ghost Fluffers, Chad remarks that the gazebo marking the secret grave of Ben’s lover Hayden is an eyesore that needs to go. Ben ends up so shaken by this idea that he slices his arm with the carving knife.
Pat, who was a paramedic while alive, takes Ben upstairs and after dressing the wound comes on to our philandering Mr. Harmon. Meanwhile, downstairs Vivien is getting a lesson from Chad as to how to find out if your lover’s been sneaking around. Text messages can be deleted, but cell phone records never lie.
Not to be let out of the Halloween fun is Addy, who wants to dress up as a “pretty girl” for trick or treating this year. Constance, in true mean-mom fashion, declares that it’s Snoopy or nothing at all upon seeing how nice her current boyfriend is being to Addy.
Inside the house’s basement, we find out more about the crazy Dr. Charles Montgomery and his wife Nora. Tate brings Violet down to the basement, where he reveals that in 1922 the Montgomery baby was kidnapped and chopped into tiny pieces in retaliation for an abortion the doctor performed. The crazy doctor went … well, crazy … and stitched the dead baby together with animal parts. This became the infanta demon baby creature we’ve been seeing around all over the place.
So we’ve got the Ghost Fluffers, Addy wanting to be a pretty girl, and Tate freaking Violet out by telling her about the crazy demon baby thing that haunts the house. Sounds like a party doesn’t it?
Addy sneaks into the house and freaks Violet out by grabbing her ankle. She ends up convincing the youngest Harmon to make her into a “pretty girl.” Violet obliges, and though Constance shouts at Addy when she comes back all made up, the Horror Queen eventually gives her a “pretty girl” mask and a maternity dress to wear for Halloween.
Vivien confronts her cheating hubby on the advice of Chad, but Ben assures her rather smugly that Hayden won’t be calling again. Except the phone rings. And it’s Hayden. Vivien tries to boot Ben, but the 8-week-old baby Vivien’s carrying somehow manages to kick and they rush to the hospital. Cue obligatory ultrasound to check the baby’s condition. The nurse faints, but of course we don’t see the screen ourselves in order to freak out properly.
Addy meanwhile goes trick-or-treating at the Harmon house, but is mocked by a group of mean girls. Deciding to follow them, poor Addy doesn’t see the car that strikes her dead. Constance rushes out and shoves the paramedics aside, instead she drags the dying Addy toward the Murder House so she can live with the ghosts there. But she fails, and Addy expires just shy of the lawn.
We end up back at the house, and get one of the most amazing twist endings. The doorbell rings, and guess who’s there but a dead Hayden with her skin coated by dirt and a creepy grin that promises violence next week.
If you missed last week’s episode be sure to read our ‘American Horror Story: Murder House’ recap to catch up.