Saturday, April 12, 2014

American Horror Story- Murder House- Episode 6- Piggy Piggy

**This review contains spoilers**

Synopsis: In 1994, Tate Langdon (Evan Peters) walks into Westfield High School with a set of guns. Tate goes on a vicious shooting spree with no mercy, as the entire school desperately seeks shelter. In the library, Tate corners five students. Stephanie Boggs (Alessandra Torresani), Kevin Gedman (Jordan David), Amir Stanley (Alexander Nimetz), Kyle Greenwell (Brando Eaton), and Chloe Stapleton (Ashley Rickards) beg for their lives in the library, but Tate murders everyone after a series of pleas for mercy, failed attempts at reasoning with Tate, and one act of defiance from Kyle.

Tate returns to the Harmon’s future home with his mother, Constance (Jessica Lange), but a SWAT team invades the house. The SWAT team forces Tate into a surrender at gunpoint, but Tate reaches for a gun under his pillow at the last second. Tate tries to pull the trigger, but the SWAT team murders Tate, leaving a distraught Constance to grieve over her dead son in the hallway.

In the modern world, Constance introduces Violet (Taissa Farmiga) to a medium named Billie Dean Howard (Sarah Paulson). Constance and Billie have a plan, but they need Violet’s help. Tate is dead, but Tate is oblivious and he refuses to accept his place in the afterlife, and Ben (Dylan McDermott) couldn’t help Tate. Constance paid for the sessions with Ben to help Tate cope with his death, but Tate’s obsession with Violet complicated the patient/doctor relationship, so Violet is Constance’s last resort. The plan? Violet needs to convince Tate to cross over into the afterlife, and accept his death with no questions asked.

Meanwhile, Ben is living alone, and he’s trying to help a new patient named Derek (Eric Stonestreet). Derek can’t shake his fears for urban legends, and the “Piggy Man” urban legend is ruining Derek’s life. The Piggy Man was a butcher from Chicago in 1893. He wore a mask made of flesh from a pig’s face, but the Piggy Man suffered a gruesome death one day after an accident in his peg pen. According to the legend, whoever speaks the Piggy Man’s name repeatedly, while standing in front of a mirror will unleash the Piggy Man’s wrath. In the end, the Piggy Man will return to the living world, and murder the victim, who speaks his name.

Vivien (Connie Britton) opens up to Luke (Morris Chestnut) about the split  from Ben, and Luke shares a story about his problems with infidelity and his ex-wife to help Vivien. Money is a big problem in the Harmon household, so Vivien tries to fire Moira (Frances Conroy), but Moira refuses Vivien’s demand.

Instead, Moira will work for free, because she won’t leave a pregnant mother alone without a man in the house to take care of her. Together, Constance and Moira continuously feed Vivien a series of strange meals for a raw meats only diet to help the baby with Moira as the cook. Vivien is trying to move on after life with Ben, but she wants some answers from the ultrasound technician, who fainted on Halloween night during Vivien’s emergency trip to the hospital………

Review: Murder House opens the door to reveal more details about Tate’s past here. Now we know Tate is the one, who murdered the group of five from Halloween night, and Constance reaches out to Violet for help, but there’s one big problem: Violet is afraid of Tate.

Violet uses her computer to research the details behind the shooting, and Violet questions a teacher, who was paralyzed by Tate in the shooting. Violet is clearly shaken up and disturbed after the personal investigation. At first, Violet gravitated towards Tate, because she was attracted to the loner and the misunderstood outcast. Now? Violet sees a cold-blooded murder.

Although, Violet’s faith in Tate is restored after a failed suicide attempt. Violet is having trouble sleeping, so Leah (Shelby Young, the bully from the pilot)  offers Violet some pills for the problem. But a distraught Violet pops one too many pills. Luckily, Tate was in the house (Violet was alone), and Tate rescues an unconscious Violet.

Vivien hits a few bumps in the road during the early stages of her life without Ben. She’s lonely, but Luke is a reliable support system for security, and he’s around, if Vivien needs someone to talk to. Constance and Moira? There’s something fishy about the mission to “help” Vivien. All the raw meat meals, Moira choosing to work for free, and Constance’s perky attitude? Yeah, something’s not right, and you have to believe Constance and others are working to together to complete some kind of diabolical plan for Vivien’s baby.

Remember the ultrasound technician? She quit her job at the hospital, because the image from Vivien’s visit is still haunting her, but she agrees to meet Vivien at a church (it’s the only place, where she feels safe from Vivien). So why is she afraid of Vivien and her baby? The ultrasound technician spotted something evil in Vivien’s womb. The ultrasound technician recalls sightings of hooves from a small demonic figure. Vivien dismisses the technician’s sightings, and the technician scolds Vivien with foreboding warnings after the talk.

Wait. A woman, who’s possibly carrying a demonic baby? The pregnant mother developing a taste for raw meat? And a kooky (Constance) neighbor, who’s trying to lend a helping hand with a secret agenda for the evil baby? The similarities to Rosemary’s Baby in this one episode are almost impossible to ignore, and the doctor is an ideal candidate to add to the list of suspects. Sorry, but she’s too cheery, and she’s dismissing all of Vivien’s concerns as harmless hiccups? But I’ll say this, the only big difference (for now) is the husband (Ben) is not apart of the scheme to help his career.

The Piggy Piggy stuff? It’s a sinister twist for the Bloody Mary folklore legend, but don’t get your hopes up for something special. A robber murders Derek after a “face your fears” mirror test from Ben, and if I’m using this episode as a measuring stick, it’s safe to say the Piggy Piggy storyline is a one and done deal.

Piggy Piggy is another solid episode for American Horror Story’s first season, and it’s nice to see a debut appearance  from Sarah Paulson here. From what I remember, Paulson’s role is limited in the first season, but she’s a mainstay for American Horror Story, and Paulson’s characters receive prominent roles in season 2 (Asylum) and season 3 (Coven).

The flashback for Tate’s backstory is genuinely dark and disturbing, and Violet and Tate’s relationship is put to the test after Violet learns the truth about Tate’s past. Ben? He’s on the outside looking in for the first time in years. There’s a scene with Ben, and he’s walking by the house. From the outside, an exiled Ben watches Vivien and Luke share a friendly chat, and you can clearly see a happy Vivien. And Vivien’s not in the mood for forgiveness, because she’s “disgusted” with Ben and his relationship with Hayden.  

What’s going on with Vivien and her baby? I find it hard to believe Moira and Constance are trying to help Vivien with the hopes of a positive outcome. They’re taking advantage of a vulnerable and lonely woman, who’s desperate for companionship, and hopefully we’ll learn more about the stranger in the latex suit, because there’s a GOOD chance he’s the father of Vivien’s baby (remember the pilot episode).

Rating: 7/10

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