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"American Horror Story" -- "Smoldering Children" -- She Met With A Violet End

By Joanna Robinson | TV | December 9, 2011 |

By Joanna Robinson | TV | December 9, 2011 |

Things We Learned:

  • Back in 1994 Tate, enraged at his mother and hopped up on something snortable, paid a visit to Larry Harvey’s office. Word to the wise, Lar, if a troubled teen whose mom you’re boning and whose deformed brother you killed visits you with his reddest, sloshiest gas can, it’s okay to stop ten-keying for a second and give him your undivided attention. Tate doused good old Larry in gasoline and lit him on fire.

  • In our only scene with Viv this week she learns her twins have two daddies and that she’ll be able to go home soon.

  • The great Charles S. Dutton showed up as Detective Granger to grills Constance about the death of her boy toy Travis aka The Boy Dahlia aka The Worst Tabloid Name Ever and to give her an excuse to use some choice, racist language.

  • A truant officer reveals that Violet has missed 16 consecutive days of school. Hmmm. He also notices the Tell-Tale Blowflies coming up from the floor boards.

  • Violet wanted to go to Harvard because she is SMART and her future is BRIGHT and she is GOING PLACES, people.

  • The way that Jessica Lange strokes Larry’s burn scars and then discreetly but disgustedly shakes the traces of him off her hand is why she is a f*cking genius actor. Constance gets very excited that Travis died in the Murder House. She can ghost bone him in the basement anytime she wants!

  • I like to think that I was a strong, independent high schooler, but if my Kurt Cobain-looking boyfriend offered to let me win at Scrabble, I would skip all the school.

  • In one scene, Jessica Lange drips Southern honey all over the words “Bunglers” “Beauregard” and “Exuberant Boy.” I’m starting to think I would tune in each week just to hear her read the phone book. Also, after shooting her husband and Moira, Constance served her dogs something that was not Purina.

  • Speaking of, where is the ghost of Hugo Langdon? Why has he yet to make an appearance?

  • I have such a hard time keeping my feelings for Tate clear. Between the constant Rubber Suiting Up and the sweetly tearful supportive boyfriend act, I don’t know what to believe.

  • How was Tate not suspicious of Violet’s request to make their murder/suicide pact “more romantic” with a hot bath and candles? Oh, and by the way, though many of you called it, VIOLET IS DEAD Y’ALL. Has been for, well, sixteen days I guess. Hence the truancy and the blowflies. Tate claims he didn’t tell her because he was trying to protect her. And Evan Peters is so good, I almost believe him. All in all, this reveal was treated very well. Though I could have done without the heavy handed “MY DAUGHTER HAS A BRIGHT FUTURE THIS I KNOW” garbage from Ben.

  • Violet’s death should not completely overshadow Larry’s story which had a lot of twists and turns this week. He finally got to see the ghosts of his charcoaled wife and kids (the titular smoldering children). Bra-f*cking-vo to the makeup department for those burns. Hideous. Larry turned himself in for the murder of Travis Wanderly in order to make amends for his earlier crimes and to get Constance off the hook. Because he loves her, even after all this time. And if you thought Constance was cold-blooded when she convinced Larry to mercy kill her deformed son, she musta had ice water in her veins when she denied Larry any comfort from the other side of that glass.


  • Lawrence’s Complexion And His Chances To Star In Brigadoon. (Cause Of Death: Tate And His Shiny Red Can.)

    The Verminator. (Cause Of Death: Tate And The Verminator’s Own Poisonous Petard.)

  • Violet Harmons. (Cause Of Death: All Those Pills…So Many Pills, Violet.)

    Horror Cliche:

  • We took a week off from the Anti-christ plot line for some good old-fashioned murder and mayhem. I’d say the Charcoal Children Tea Party fulfilled the creepy component.

    Best Lines:
    “Even dead, even a boy, he’s twice the man you are.” “Well he is now.”

    The Gist: Every since one of you commenters urged me to stop worrying and embrace the unlikablility of the living, I’ve enjoyed this show more and more. The performances from Evan Peters, Denis O’Hare and Jessica Lange continue to be top notch. The Violet Is Dead plot twist is phenomenal because now the Harmons have a reason to stay in that damn house. Can you clever cats in the comments clear something up for me? Where was Beau when Larry killed him? In that attic of The Murder House, yes? Why? Wasn’t Larry living there with his family at the time? Am I missing something? And while I know Ryan Murphy loves us, I’m sad he doesn’t love us enough to show us the all-inmate version of Brigadoon starring Larry, the deformed accountant. I would pay a lot of money to see that.

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