FX’s American Horror Stories
1×02: “Robber (Wo)man: Part Two”
Directed by Loni Peristere
Written by Ryan Murphy & Brad Falchuk
* For a recap & review of the Season 1 premiere, click here.
* For a recap & review of 1×03, click here.
We see the ghosts of Murder House running amok with one of the ghostly nurses being chased until Scarlett stabs her to death all over again. Seems that Scarlett’s found one of the house’s ghosts to befriend. The young lady, Ruby (Kaia Gerber), tells Scarlett about her parents dying, getting sent to live with her Uncle Tony, who was a nasty sadist. Tony slowly drew a young Ruby in until he began torturing her brutally, escalating the violence to the point that when she was sixteen, he took her into the desert someplace. There, he revealed that Ruby’s parents never died, they sold her to Tony; he wasn’t even her uncle. Jesus. All that led to Ruby’s suicide. She chose Murder House because of infamy, hoping it’d be news if her dead body was found on the property. Instead, she wound up stuck inside those walls forever. The realtor found Ruby’s body, burying her in the yard and burning up her suicide note. Truly tragic. And now, Ruby wants Scarlett to commit suicide so they can “be together forever,” too.
There are already cops turning up to ask about the four dead girls. They’ve already been there before. Now they’re back with a warrant for Scarlett’s phone records. They know the girls were at Murder House the night of their deaths. Michael and Troy are concerned the cops are targeting their daughter because of the bullying she experienced. They shut things down, knowing the cops are looking for whatever will “fit their narrative,” and won’t talk any further without a lawyer. The dads ask Scarlett if she’s hiding anything, but she denies it, suggesting “maybe the ghost killed them.” At night, Scarlett continues seeing the ghosts, including the murdered therapist. The doc gets murdered all over again by Maya, who’s back with her angry friends. It helps that Scarlett’s got Ruby around to be on her side. Ah, the joys of Gothic, ghostly lesbian love!
The therapy still continues. Michael tells everybody about seeing the Pig Man in their shower, though Troy thinks it’s all nonsense. He insists it wasn’t wine and prescription pills making him see things. He really thinks the place is haunted now, and he’s been attempting to convince Troy to sell the place instead of holding onto a crumbling investment. The married couple’s relationship is fractured. Michael feels scared, but Scarlett likes the place. It’s obvious Murder House is working its way under the entire family’s skin. Nevertheless, Troy isn’t ready to let go of the place yet. We find out he’s been “dipping into” Scarlett’s college fun; something he hasn’t told Michael. He’s also got a new contractor kicking around—a sexy one, too. Will this cause more trouble for the dads? Or will this handsome contractor get swallowed up, in a bad way, by the house’s terrors?
It doesn’t take long and Troy’s got the contractor, Adam (Aaron Tveit), with his pants down in the basement. Sad to see Troy throwing away his marriage, only concerned about the house and economics, while his marriage is falling apart and his daughter’s psychologically deteriorating right under his nose. He’s interrupted when something dead stinks up the joint. Adam goes upstairs to have a look with Michael and Troy, only to discover the dead girls encased behind the wall. Adam then murders his co-worker, “seizing an opportunity” to make himself a partner in the “haunted B&B” the husbands are trying to get going under their roof. Trouble is, Adam wants to fuck the husbands, too. Michael also finds out Troy fucked the contract. What a mess! When Michael tries to toss Adam out they’re interrupted by the Rubber Man, or the Rubber Woman, and Adam gets stabbed to death. All the ghosts come out now, and Troy realises the truth, as the two husbands try to escape and they can’t leave. Uh oh. Turns out that Michael and Troy were murdered by Ruby, forever stuck inside Murder House. There are now no living humans in that place, aside from Scarlett.
And Scarlett finds out the truth now, too. Ruby’s trying to make it so Scarlett has nowhere else to go but stay there with her. Michael and Troy are using the services of their therapist, one of the other ghosts, to try understanding their new imprisonment. Troy’s sad there’s no sexy “torture and torment” like a Catholic hell, instead they’re just locked away with all manners of murderous ghosts. Scarlett tells her dads the truth about Ruby, and they keep acting like dads who, y’know, aren’t dead. They don’t want her to get killed like them. But their daughter’s not the least bit scared. Interesting that Dr. Grant mentions the “other therapist“—she’s talking about Ben Harmon, right?
Tonight’s Halloween, as well. You know what that means! The spirits can roam.
Ruby and Scarlett take the time to have a Halloween date, as the former makes a promise not to kill the latter just so they can spend eternity together. There’s also Maya and the girls, who want to take advantage of their one night out of the house. Ruby and Scarlett run into Shanti, who’s surprised that she hasn’t heard from her friend in a long time. Ruby runs Shanti off, perpetually jealous and possessive. But Scarlett goes after her friend to talk. Shanti’s concerned that Scarlett’s a psychopath. She knows her friend killed Maya and the girls, and it’s traumatised her just by knowing the truth. She lied to the cops about believing Scarlett is capable of murder. When Scarlett leaves, Shanti meets the ghostly dead girls; they’re about to kill her when Ruby stops them, threatening eternal pain and violence.
But Maya makes clear: “This isn‘t over yet.”
When Scarlett goes through a Halloween haunted house she comes upon Ruby, committing gruesome crimes. They’re about to do nasty, murderous things together. Then Maya and the girls show up, looking for revenge. This sends Scarlett running. It also gets people confused when some of the dead girls run into living people they knew while alive. Scarlett’s able to get away safely, and eventually she reunites with Ruby before they head back to Murder House. She also tells Ruby she doesn’t want to die at Murder House; anywhere but there. She’s going to leave and go elsewhere, using her dead dads’ money. It’s better than potentially getting killed by a ghost and never being able to leave the property. So, Michael and Troy say goodbye to their daughter as she packs for her journey. Scarlett just has to get past those doors first. She hugs Ruby, then leaves.
Skip to 10 months later.
Scarlett calls Ruby back at Murder House. It’s like a Gothic sitcom. Michael and Troy are playing dads to the young ghosts. Then Scarlett tells Ruby she’s tracked down the fake Uncle Tony. She wants to exact a bit of vengeance for her ghostly lover. A twisted romance, indeed. Back at the house, Ruby’s turned a corner, it seems. She’s not as violent lately. And she has visits from Scarlett to look forward to these days.
“You’re the only person in my life whose suffering brings me no pleasure.”
A great follow up—unexpected, too. It’ll continue to be fun watching this story unfold.
Not sure where it goes next, but I’m looking forward to wherever it’s heading. UPDATE: I had no idea about the format of this new series; a reader commented that the next episode will focus on different characters. Exciting! And it makes sense with the closure at the end of this episode.