Attempted murder: it’s a piece of cake!
1.02 “Home Invasion”
Writers: Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy
Director: Alfonso Gómez-Rejón
THE ONE WHERE Three murder-groupies take the family hostage to re-enact a slaying from the ’60s.
VERDICT After the brio of the pilot, this episode comes as a slight disappointment, as realisation dawns that the show is going to be extremely housebound, and that certain elements – like the historical flashbacks to ghastly events – are likely to recur every week. And we’re docking marks for using the “figure passes in front of the camera” trope not once but twice.
Still, there’s some bracingly intense violence (although arguably the fate of Adelaide, locked in a cupboard full of mirrors by her mother, is even more gruesome), while the nature of the relationship between Constance, Tate and the housekeeper (and indeed, their very nature – could all three of them be supernatural beings?) still holds considerable fascination.
IT’S WOTSERNAME! You may remember Azura Skye (one of the murder-groupies) from her role as Cassie Newton, the girl who predicts her own death in the Buffy episode “Help” (and whose form is later assumed by The First Evil, when it appears to Willow).
NITPICKS Why is Constance so keen to poison Violet, and why does she attempt to do so using such easily-traceable means? Speaking of which, have you ever seen a bunch of people so reluctant to eat a delicious cake? That baby wouldn’t last 30 seconds in our office.
SPECULATION Constance says that she’s had four kids, and three of them had some form of handicap. Could Tate be the fourth?
BERNARD HERRMANN This week, we’re treated to generous lashings of the score from Psycho .
BEST BIT It’s not exactly novel (see Final Destination 2 , Resident Evil and Total Recall ) but we never tire of seeing someone get chopped in half by a lift.
BEST LINE Constance’s cupcake-related advice to Vivien: “At your age you might as well just crazy-glue a stick of butter to your ass.”
Read all of our American Horror Story season one reviews . Read our interview with American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy .
American Horror Story airs on FX every Monday night at 10pm.