by Alex Greenberger
Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS to follow. It’s hard to discuss this one without them.
Sometimes I honestly wonder what goes on in Ryan Murphy’s head. Where in that tortured mind of his does he get the opening sequence for this episode? The sixth episode, “Piggy, Piggy,” begins in 1994 with Constance rushing to the door. A firing squad rushes in and quickly finds Tate. The show flashes back even further to a few hours before when Tate went through his school, as said in last week’s bizarre “Breakfast Club” scene, and systematically murdered several students in a library. The scene is about as chilling as horror movies go, partially because school shootings are terrifying ideas, andpartially because of it’s stylization. Filmed like an 80’s teen slasher flick, the scene works as an exercise in tension.
Who thinks of a scene so disturbing, so brutal as that? Only Ryan Murphy, of course. The writing on this show is truly unbelievable—Murphy and Falchuk give the show such sass, such wit, such drama that it becomes over-the-top scary. The plot of “American Horror Story” continues to chug along with this installment, holding nothing back. In the first five minutes, the entire flashback with Tate is revealed and Violet discovers via Google-knock-off search that Tate is dead. That would be a lot for any show, but honestly, this is all typical for “American Horror Story.” Murphy and Falchuk’s show makes AMC’s disastrously slow horror show, “The Walking Dead,” look like a, well, lethargic zombie.
Then there’s the whole thing going on with the baby. Murphy and Falchuk really do seem to love “Rosemary’s Baby,” because they’re going all the way with this allusion. In this one, Constance gets Moira to feed Vivien animal brains and pancreases because they are “good for the baby.” There’s also a really creepy scene where Vivien finds herself actually liking eating the animal parts, so much so that she leans over the raw uneaten pieces and sniffs them, almost attracted to their scent. But there is something more that Murphy and Falchuk aren’t telling us. We do find out that there’s something demonic about the baby. I really want to know where this is going because honestly, I have no clue, and that truly scares me.
Now, there’s another ghost to add to the mix in the Harmon home. Can we just talk for a second about how Ben has no idea what he is doing as a therapist? I mean, honestly, one patient turned out to be a home invader, the next killed herself because of him, and he lets this new one overcome his fears by confronting them? It seems like Ben’s license needs to be seriously reevaluated. The scenes involving the so-called “Piggy Man” (a “Saw” allusion?) that his newest patient feared are seriously terrifying, and they include some great jump scares. The conclusion to this story was also pretty good. Instead of being killed by his imagined assaulter, the patient died at the hands of a home invader. What’s “American Horror Story” without a little signature Murphy wit?
Then, at the end of this episode, the show reveals just how nasty Tate can be. His death resulted from the fact that he tried to shoot at the firing squad. I suppose this should have been evident from the “Taxi Driver” allusion in the beginning with the gun hand gesture, but damn, what a twist. And now he’s in love with Violet too. And even worse, she loves him back. More sex with ghosts is in “American Horror Story’s” future! Yay?
Alex Greenberger is a staff writer. Email him at email@example.com