American Horror Story Season 1-10 ‘Smoldering Children’ Recap

So aside from tonight’s insanely interesting title, we’ve got plenty to look forward to on American Horror Story. There’s going to be some crazy happenings with an exterminator, Tate comes back in vicious style, and Ben is going to get the crap kicked out of him by Rubber Man (AKA Tate). Let the good times roll!

This episode starts back in 1994 with Constance and Larry sitting down to dinner with Tate and Addie. Tate gives an interesting prayer about his terrible family life before getting angry at Larry about his family’s death. Tate also accuses Larry of killing his brother Beau, but Constance defends him. After the two get in another fight, Tate leaves the table and heads to his room for the night. The next morning, he does a bunch of drugs, grabs his guns and goes to the place where Larry works. He goes into his office and pours gasoline on him before setting him on fire, showing us how Larry got his scars. Now THAT’S how you introduce an episode!

Back in the present, Ben visits Vivien in the hospital. He tells her that he believes her when she says she was raped before telling her about how the twins have two different fathers. He promises to find answers about how the rapist (Tate in the rubber suit) got into the house. After this, we see Constance get a visit from two agents who bring her pictures and news of Travis’ death. When Ben gets back home, he gets a visit from a truant officer who spots flies hovering around a bowl of fruit, which causes Ben to call an exterminator. The officer tells Ben that Violet has missed 16 days of school in a row. This could be because she is dead seeing as since the pill incident a few episodes ago she hasn’t really left her room or the house.

Anyways, Ben talks to her about how hard the year has been for everyone and convinces her to go to a new school. Constance heads over to Larry’s apartment where she tells him about Travis being killed. She thought Larry killed him, but he reveals that Travis was killed in the house and that he just moved the body. Larry admits his love for Constance, but she denies him and storms out. Violet gets ready to head to school, but Tate grabs her and tells her to spend the day with him instead. When Constance gets home, the agents are there for another visit and they find her knife that she hid in her purse before taking her to the station.

The exterminator comes to the Harmon’s house, revealing that the house is infested. Constance is then seen arguing with the two agents while they bring up the history of her family, such as the death of Beau, Tate’s murder spree, and her husband’s disappearance (she killed him and Moira and buried them in the Harmon’s yard). The agents also reveal that Constance murdered the DA investigating the case of her missing husband, but no one could ever prove it. She apparently chopped him up and fed him to her dogs, which is just plain awesome. Her lawyer shows up and makes the agents leave before revealing that the whole agency is looking to pin the murder on her.

Back at the Harmon’s, the exterminator goes into the crawlspace to look for the bugs. Instead of bugs, he finds Tate, who promptly murders him. Ben is shown talking on the phone with a boarding school, which makes Tate mad because he thinks Ben wants to separate him and Violet. She also gets mad about it, causing Tate to promise that they’ll stay together before he goes and suits up in some rubber. We all know what happens when Tate gets his rubber on.

In the basement, Larry is tearing up a wall, looking for Travis’ stuff that was hidden there so he could move the evidence. Travis is happy to hear he was famous after his death before he leaves to play with Larry’s dead children. Larry also sees his dead wife and he asks her why he can see her. She cryptically answers, “Because you’re ready.” He promises to make up for it by hurting Constance, but his wife says its Larry that hurt the family. As Ben climbs out of the shower, he gets attacked by Tate in the rubber suit, and they fight their way through the house. As he’s strangling him, Ben rips off his mask to find out that Tate is the one who raped his wife. He’s then knocked out and left on the floor.

Constance’s attorney arrives at her house and tells her that she is most likely going to be charged with Travis’ murder. Violet gets mad at Tate for scaring her Dad, but Tate asks her to commit suicide with him so they can stay together forever. She lies and says she will, but only in the bathtub. As she goes downstairs to set it up, she starts screaming for Ben to help her. She runs outside screaming for help, and the strangers passing her ignore her…except for their dog. Every time she runs outside of the house, she finds herself running back in. Oh yeah, she’s totally dead. Tate tells her this, and she freaks out.

Tate calms her down and takes her to the basement, where he shows her the crawlspace that she is buried in. Then the show flashes back to when she took all those pills, revealing she’s been dead ever since that incident. Tate tells her that he wanted them to die together so that she wouldn’t have to find out how it really happened. Back at the police station, the agents reveal that a man claiming to know her confessed to the murder. She finds out that Larry came in and confessed out of guilt.

Violet and Tate are still talking about how they’re both ghosts and whatnot. They discuss how they can’t remember the way they died and how things are going to be now that they’re both dead and aware of it. Tate says, “It’s you and me…together for always.” I guess it will have to be, won’t it? Larry is seen in jail, talking with Constance through the visiting glass. Larry reveals that he is being sent to Illinois to serve his sentence. He also tells her that he confessed because he wants to pay for all of his crimes before begging her to say she loves him one more time. Once again, she denies him and leaves in silence, leaving him alone and heartbroken.

So this episode was definitely interesting, but there weren’t many new revelations. Of course, the news that Violet was dead was big news, but if you’ve been watching carefully then you’ve had an idea that she might be for a while now. I’m definitely interested to see how this situation pans out, however, because her death won’t be easy on Ben and Vivien, especially since they can’t even tell.

So although it was a good episode, nothing new was really brought to our attention. Luckily, the last two episodes of the season are going to deal with the birth of the twins in American Horror Story fashion, so keep an eye open for next week’s recap and let us know what you thought of tonight’s episode in the comments!

About the author


Christian Law

An avid gamer, moviegoer and music lover, he can be found giving his opinion on entertainment to anybody who will listen, and especially to those who won't. Otherwise, he's busy writing film and music reviews over at the Speakeasy Online Magazine.