American Horror Story in Two Minutes (Episode: Smoldering Children)

It’s time to recap Season 1, Episode 10.

We start back in 1994 when Constance owned the murder house. Constance, Tate, Addie, and Larry (the burned faced guy before his face was burned) are having dinner. Larry is trying to make nice with Tate and Addie but Tate knows he killed his brother Beau, and Tate’s pissed that Constance even brought Larry in the house after his wife killed herself and their children when she discovered their affair.

Tate leaves the table in a rage and goes upstairs to his room. An indeterminable amount of time passes where Tate does some coke Requiem for a Dream-style, grabs some guns and gasoline, and makes his way to Larry’s work to kill him.

Tate douses Larry in gasoline, lights a match, sets him on fire, and walks away.

Back to present time.

Ben visits Vivien in the hospital and tells her that her twins have two different baby-daddies, how he now believes she was raped by a man in a rubber suit, and that he’s going to help her find out who did it.

Meanwhile, the police are all up in Constance’s biz because they think she killed Travis (her young boyfriend). They call her down to the police station for questioning where she’s pretty much screwed because her son turned into a mass-murderer and because of all the deaths (Addie, Beau) and disappearances (her husband, the maid) that suspiciously happen when she’s around.

Over at the murder house, Larry is disposing of Travis’ bloody clothes when Travis shows up. Larry finds out Travis has been spending time with two children. Larry looks behind him and can see he’s talking about his own children that burned in the fire. He can see them for the first time and they look like they are still smoldering from the fire.

Then, Larry’s wife appears. When Larry asks why he can finally see her, she tells Larry that he’s almost ready and that Constance isn’t to blame for what happened – he is. Larry promises to make it up to her.

Later on, Constance shows up at Larry’s place and accuses him of killing Travis. He assures her it was someone in the house and he only disposed of the body. Then he decides to turn himself into the police for the murder even though he didn’t commit the crime.

While Larry is in jail, Constance visits him. He tries to get her to admit that she did really love him but she is all, oh no I didn’t. And then she is all psych! I’m not putting my hand on the window after all!

AH

Back at the house, Ben gets a visit from an officer who threatens to take Violet to juvenile court because she hasn’t been to school in over two weeks. Ben talks to Violet about how she’s been missing school and she promises to meet Ben to talk about it but Tate intervenes and wants to spend the day with her instead.

Ben decides boarding school might be best. He calls a school about registering Violet while Tate eavesdrops. Tate gets pissed Ben wants to take Violet away so he dresses up in the rubber suit and attacks Ben and his wet, muscular abs after he gets out of the shower. Pillow fight!

Tate doesn’t kill Ben because he’s a great guy like that. He just wants to make sure he and Violet can have some time alone without Ben interfering. So he chloroforms Ben, but not before Ben sees who’s under the mask.

After the post-shower tousle, Tate finds Violet and tries to convince her that they need to be together forever and if they commit suicide, she won’t have to go away to boarding school. Violet runs screaming that Tate is trying to kill her but Ben is out cold.

When Tate finds her, she runs outside to escape him only to end up back in the house. She tries over and over to leave, but she always ends up back inside. Violet is scared and doesn’t know what’s going on so Tate tries to calm her down.

Tate tells her that he wants to show her something and she can go wherever she wants to afterwards. So, Tate takes her into a crawlspace in the house and shows Violet her own rotting corpse. Violet is dead, ya’ll!

Tate was unsuccessful trying to revive her after her suicide attempt and has been trying to protect her from finding out this whole time while Violet thought she was protecting Tate from finding out he was dead. Nope. He’s known all along.

*****

This episode may be my favorite since Piggy, Piggy. Evan Peters does such a great job making Tate sympathetic and a monster at the same time.

  • Do you think this is the last we’ll see of Larry? (I hope so! Because he sucks.)
  • Why did Larry want that $1000 from Ben anyway?
  • If Tate knows he’s dead, is he also pretending to not remember the murders?
  • Someone mentioned in the comments that next season will have a new family. (Couldn’t find the comment to give you credit, who said that?) Do you think killing this family will keep them in next season?

Past recaps: Pilot, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, Episode 5, Episode 6, Episode 7, Episode 8, Episode 9

23 Comments

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23 Responses to American Horror Story in Two Minutes (Episode: Smoldering Children)

  1. oh boy i loved this episode! confirming that violet was dead totally threw me for a loop. and i really hope larry is gone for good. i’m not a fan of his. and i honestly have no idea why he wanted the $1,000. maybe to get his life in order so constance would love him? i dunno. and i don’t think tate is pretending to forget about the murders. i just think he is pushing wayyyy back in his mind so he basically blocked it out. and a new family next season?? ooh. that’s be interesting

  2. Brandiosa

    So this is really morbid but I was kind of glad Violet was dead. Before this her character was so irrelevant to me. I also have a love/hate relationship with Tate. Thanks for the recaps. They help me explain things to my husband who is interested but not quite enough to sit down and follow every episode. Also I can’t wait to see the dymanic between Ben and Moira now that he sees her as the old woman.

    • I feel that way about Larry! Like, why is he even in the story? He has no bearing. I didn’t like Violet at first, but once the Tate stuff started happening, I like her much better.

  3. Amanda

    OH MY WORD! Ok, so maybe this makes me a terrible person, but I totally read your recaps BEFORE watching the episodes. I get so totally confused while watching about who’s alive and who’s a ghost. Plus, your recaps are so awesome! It’s kind of like reading the book before watching the movie, but in this case the TV show is totally awesome.
    I don’t know how I feel about a new family yet. Would it be a new family, but the same ghosts? I don’t know if I could handle more Hayden and Larry for another season. Even Constance is starting to irk me.

  4. Laurie

    I think it was me that said that a new family will be on the next season. I read that on another site that was talking about American Horror Story. Don’t know if it’s true or not or if someone was giving their insight on it. It may be true, because Violet is dead now and it looks like from the previews for next week that Vivian will have the babies and maybe die???? Then of course some ghost will kill Ben and they will be together again as a family 🙂
    I think this episode was a favorite too! Yeah, I hope Larry goes away too, he gets on my nerves!

  5. I was so sad when Violet was confirmed as dead. Of all the deaths, hers had nothing to do with sex, money or fraud. She was just really scared, tried to killer herself, and succeeded. Poo.

    I am SO over Larry. I am also over the the brown haired guy that is part of the gay couple. I love Constance so much – her demeanor is just so dignified, even though she is so awful.

  6. Loved this episode! Violet is such an idiot. You’re gonna cry about being dead after you intentionally took pills to die? Fool.

    I cant believe that Tate lit Larry on fire. Wow, what a nut job. But then he is so sweet to Violet. I feel some type of way for liking his character a little! And please no more Larry because he definitely sucks a big one.

    Mannnnn the babies. I cant wait to see what happens when these babies come out! Violet will be dating her half-brother/sisters dad. Doesnt that just sounds gross?

    Ben gets parent of the year award for not realizing that his daughter is dead.

    I am a little tired of cray cray Hayden though. Meh.

  7. Glad this episode filled so many holes. A few of my random thoughts.

    Completely screwed up to move in (with your two kids) with the married man you were cheating with after his wife killed herself and children because of the affair.

    Tate dousing Larry and throwing a match at him with zero emotion might have actually been the most bad ass killing scene I have ever seen. He didn’t even flinch, what a psycho.

    Violet being dead is the first time I found this show to be predictable.

    I am so happy that Ben apologized for being the worlds biggest jerk (and hypocrite) in the last episode. He was so cruel but I’m glad he came to his senses.

    • Did they move in together? Or was he just having dinner? I couldn’t tell. And I totally agree! Lighting Larry on fire was pretty bad ass.

      • I’m pretty sure they moved in together. Tate mentions that Constance would do anything to get back into this house and how gross it was to move them in after his family died.

        Not sad to see Larry go.

        • I think they must’ve moved in together, because after his killing spree, Tate is in his own bedroom in the murder house and that’s where he’s gunned down by the swat team, yes?

  8. Wow, I’m kind of confused by the whole Larry situation (mostly because your recaps are all I know about the show). Even I thought Violet was dead when you mentioned it a week or two ago. This show sounds like it gets creepier and creepier every week.

  9. Morian

    I have to say I love your recaps. This was an excellent episode. I hope they do have a new family next season but hope that ben and vivian aren’t present. Maybe they’ll both go to jail for the suspected murder of their missing daughter (and twin babies?) and they’ll be trying to tell everyone as their being carried off that the antichrist is loose in the house and everyone will think they’re just insane murderers.
    Didn’t Ben wonder why the exterminator never came out of the crawl space?
    Also, I missed seeing Moira in this episode, I really want to see Ben try and explain to himself why she looks like an old lady now.

    • Lindsay

      When the maid turned into the old lady version of herself in front of Ben, wasn’t she walking out the front door? This is when she tells him that he is finally seeing things as they are. Can anyone remember this scene and if she was in-fact walking out of the house? I wonder if she was able to leave the house for some reason and won’t be coming back???

  10. The whole Violet thing totally threw me for a loop! But I like that she is dead because I kept thinking that she was going to kill herself eventually anyway. So at least we didn’t have to see the agony of that. It’s so crazy that her parents don’t even know she’s dead. Do you feel like they all live in like their own worlds in the house, where they don’t see or hear what the other person is doing, ever. That frustrates me. It’s like, “did you not hear your mother just screaming bloody murder?” Anyway…

    I feel like I have no idea where the show is going to go next season. I don’t know that I would want to see a new family in the house, yet, I don’t think the show can continue on just centering around the current family (their name escapes me at the moment). Next week looks scary good with the birth (I’m assuming) of the antichrist. I’m so ready for that. Is that morbid??

  11. Megan

    FYI, all you Larry haters… Ryan Murphy confirmed in an EW interview that this is the last we will see of Larry. Rejoice!

    http://insidetv.ew.com/2011/12/08/american-horror-story-ryan-murphy-smoldering-children/

  12. theAlmostRunner

    I had no idea Violet was dead and I like it that way. I enjoy just watching instead of trying to predict… probably because I’m just an idiot. Either way, this was my favorite episode so far.

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