American Horror Story creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk infuse the latest episode of their increasingly bold FX program with a little nostalgia for some real life L.A. noir by casting Mena Suvari (American Reunion) as Elizabeth Short – more widely known as The Black Dahlia.
In a twist on the lore surrounding the infamous Dhalia murder, Murphy and Falchuk have reorganized history a bit to see Short, a struggling actress, raped and accidentally murdered by her dentist, played by Joshua Malina (The West Wing, Sports Night). However, the dentist happens to have the spirit of a twisted surgeon lurking in his basement – just waiting for a shot at fame.
‘Spooky Little Girl’ is certainly an appropriate title for this episode, which finds Ben (Dylan McDermott) home alone amongst a gaggle of spooky women – all of whom seem to be preying on Dr. Harmon’s base instinct to satisfy his urges and continue to make the kind of decisions that have pushed his marriage well past the point of reconciliation.
Chief among those vying for Ben’s attention is Hayden (Kate Mara), who, despite her delusions about having a future with Ben, seems to have a pretty decent grasp on the whole being dead thing. She even takes time out from seducing Constance’s boy toy Travis to inform Elizabeth that, in death, she managed to achieve the fame that eluded her in life.
Constance (Jessica Lange), meanwhile, pays Vivien (Connie Britton) a visit in the mental ward, after confronting Tate about his role in her condition, as the terrifying Rubber Man. Despite the natural awkwardness that exists every time Vivien and Constance talk, the visit goes far better than when Ben stopped by to share his feelings upon learning one of the twins his wife is carrying doesn’t belong to him.
Ben’s suspicions naturally turn to Luke (Moriss Chestnut) the Harmon’s home security guard, but the confrontation is short-lived after Luke reveals that, biologically speaking, becoming a father just isn’t in the cards for him. The declaration leads Ben to the equally painful realization that Vivien may have been telling the truth after all, and that Moira is in fact an elderly woman with a bad eye.
Finally, after some prodding, Constance is delivered the unpleasant news from her friend Billie Dean (Sarah Paulson) that conception between a spirit and a human will result in a child to “usher in the end times.”
It looks as though Constance is going to be grandmother to the antichrist come season 2.
As always, discuss under the assumption that others have watched the episode. If you have not, the comments section should be considered off limits.
American Horror Story airs Wednesday @10pm on FX.