I always struggle with opening lines and paragraphs for my TV reviews, so I’m skipping the opening on this one. We’ll just imagine the house didn’t like it and offed it.
Therefore, this episode of American Horror Story fits nicely with the story since it manages to just keep moving it forward without falling into the deeper drama the previous two episodes had – This time around, the main cause of drama is the desire one of the prospective buyers has of tearing the house down and building over it, thus not only destroying Constance’s life (Who has been repeatedly visiting her dead children on the house) but also effectively locking Moira as a ghost forever, her soul unable to rest while her body remains unfound.
Other than the storyline with the attempts to sell the house that I’m sure will go on as the series evolve, this episode actually featured very little – The main other points being Vivien apparently having twins, Tate and Violet still hanging out (With Tate showing Violet how to get rid of the ghosts she sees around the house) and explanations to the reasons why a few of the ghosts are in the house, along with what’s pretty much the final confirmation that the house’s powers resemble those of the animal cemetery in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary and having Vivien finally realize she’s not living in so much of a Murder House, but more of a Ghost House after Violet shows her a picture of the original owners of the house, Nora and Charles Montgomery.
Overall, this episode feels more like a small bridge between bigger episodes, being used mainly to clear up several lower-profile mysteries with the house and its inhabitants and setting the table for Vivien to actually react against the house, something she would’ve started doing the previous episode if Violet had actually gotten around to letting her know Tate is actually the ghost of Constance’s son. Perhaps the best development of the episode this time around belongs to Constance, who’s shown to be living in the past by having knowingly either killed or let her children die in the house grounds so they’d stay around as ghosts – Something she attempted to do with Addie, who died in the gutter in front of the house. There’s something about the character at this point and what we’ve learned about her that’s actually pushed her away from the maniac character that was shown in the first few episodes and actually turned her into an extremely worried mother who’s just unable to let go of her children and therefore prefers they stay around forever as ghosts. However horrible, said storyline is an understandable one and, though common sense would generally tell people that’s not a good idea, it simply shows the kind of things some people can do in desperate times that often call for desperate measures.
That said, though this particular episode didn’t quite reach the heights the previous two episodes had reached (And sadly we didn’t get a follow up to the piggy man story), it still moved the plot along just enough to justify itself. Open House, though not even close to being the best American Horror Story episode to date, is still a nicely crafted episode and a mildly entertaining entry on a series that’s so far been excellent and will most likely go back to bringing in amazing episodes soon. Let’s for now just consider it the Order of the Phoenix episode of American Horror Story.
Final review rating: 3.5/5