American Horror Story Burning Questions: Why Not Just Move? Why the Sexy Maid? And More!

You watched the season premiere of FX’s American Horror Story (airing Wednesday at 10/9c), and now you want answers! Well, good luck with that. Here at TVLine, we’re three episodes into this creepy creation of Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk’s, and you can rest assured that the next two installments will only introduce new mysteries, cast doubt on certain realities, and possibly land the show’s logo next to “Twisted” in the next Merriam-Webster dictionary.

That said, we rounded up a handful of burning (sorry, Larry) questions and dug up (sorry, Moira) some answers… or in some instances, quotes that bear a resemblance to answers.

WHY DON’T THE HARMONS JUST, LIKE, MOVE? | This question looms especially large after the events of this week’s episode, which, titled “Home Invasion,” prompts at least one character to finally broach the duh! topic. Frances Conroy, who plays (the older incarnation of) housekeeper Moira, has the theory that “this house demands people answer for what is going on inside them. I think it even brought them to buy the house.” We’ll have more on that in a moment, but for now watch for the prospect of packing to be nipped and tucked away in Episode 3. 

WERE THE HARMONS FATED TO INHABIT THIS HOUSE? | At Horror Story‘s August TCA session, Murphy said that the randomness (…or not) of the Harmons’ relocation would be addressed a few episodes in, but TVLine has since learned that question will in fact not be touched on until after midseason. For now, let’s just say that the house has something it desperately wants (needs?) from its inhabitants.

WILL EVERY EPISODE BE AS MANIC AS THE PILOT? | Heck, is that even possible? Murphy says to expect a mix of tempos. “Our two-part Halloween episodes… feel very similar to the scares of the pilot,” he says. “But then there’s an episode we’re doing about the haunting of the various characters that is much more slow and sort of melodic and not so startling.”

WHY DOES MOIRA APPEAR TO BEN AS THE SULTRY, GARTER-SNAPPING ALEXANDRA BRECKENRIDGE? (NOT THAT WE’RE COMPLAINING) | Meanwhile, (almost) everyone else sees the Six Feet Under mom. The disparity, Conroy tells us, “is very revealing about Dylan [McDermott]’s character, where his mind and his soul are centered. He has a deep conflict that this house is revealing and forcing him to come to terms with. That’s why his perception of Moira is much different than anybody else’s.”

WHAT DID NOSY NEIGHBOR CONSTANCE MEAN WHEN SHE WARNED MOIRA, ‘DON’T MAKE ME KILL YOU AGAIN’? (AGAIN?!) | “There was a decisive moment between these two characters, yes,” Conroy hints. “They’ve known one another a long time, so there is a certain intimacy and history there.” Watch for Episode 3 to shed more light on that murderous mystery.

SPEAKING OF WHICH: WHAT BRINGS OSCAR WINNER JESSICA LANGE TO A SERIES-REGULAR TV GIG? | Lange says that American actors, more than ever, are loath to put themselves in a film, TV or stage “box.” “So when this came up, I 
thought, ‘Well, here is great writing, a
 wonderful character, and something very unusual….’ I had a couple phone
 conversations with Ryan [Murphy], and I’d never had a man 
promise me so much!”

HAS DENIS O’HARE BEEN BURNED BY THE RIGORS OF APPEARING DISFIGURED? | To play “Larry the Burn Guy,” one of the house’s previous owners, “I don’t mind the [three-hour application of] make-up,” the True Blood alum insists. “I’m kind of a Method actor, so it gets me where I need to be. I’m all for it.”

Watch a Safe-ish For Work preview of Episode 2 here, then read on for more burning questions….

IS BEN’S DAMNING MARITAL AFFAIR ALL BEHIND HIM? | Ha, were it so easy. 24 alum Kate Mara is about to resurface, bad penny-style, as the comely, slightly crazy co-ed he canoodled with – and she very well may be rarin’ for more attention.

WHAT’S REAL? WHAT ISN’T? (WILL WE GET ANSWERS?) | You’ll be posing those three Qs even more loudly after the next two installments, which feature black-outs, a disappearing [spoiler] and even an appearance by [spoiler]. Murphy says that “by the third episode, sort 
of all of the big mysteries are settled,” including the matter of the two Moiras and their attachment to (or imprisonment by?) the house. “Then, the audience can just be along for
 the ride.”

AT THE END OF SEASON 1, WILL WE COLLECTIVELY SAY, “A-HA! SO THAT’S WHAT THIS WAS REALLY ABOUT”? | Meaning, is there some larger, deeper theme behind all the spooky, freaky what-not? “We do know where it’s going, and we do know 
what that great last episode is,” Murphy assures. “It’s
very unexpected and exciting.”

WILL A NEW SEASON BRING A NEW CAST? | Months ago the talk was that Horror Story would rotate its ensemble with every run of episodes, if successful. Now, though, Murphy says that is “not necessarily true…. We’re keeping that open.”

IS ADMITTED FRIGHT FILM-PHOBE CONNIE BRITTON TUNING IN FOR HER OWN HORROR STORY? | Britton says that in the same way she gave Friday Night Lights a whirl despite not being a football fan, “Yeah, I’m going to watch it.” As she explains, the FX drama “is not just horror, in the way that Friday Night Lights wasn’t just football. To me, it is about this grounded, dilapidated relationship and, you know, all of these … psychosexual, sort of strange psychological things going on in this house. And that interests me a lot.”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. MichelleR says:

    Kate Mara looks like a combination of his wife and daughter — very Freudian.

  2. BRETT says:

    I caught the pilot and was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t expect that, coming from them, and what they’ve done to GLEE. I think it would be interesting to replace the cast each season… And here’s an idea: Have the next family tear down the old house to build a new one, only to find you can’t get rid of evil spirits that easily! I think there’s a lot of potential for this series. After all, it’s horror. And horror never makes a ton of sense.

    • aleksa says:

      I’d imagine if you were only familiar with Ryan Murphy’s work with Glee that this would be pretty shocking. It’s much closer in tone with what they did in the early years of Nip/Tuck. And I think the idea of following different families every season is compelling.

    • Vi says:

      “After all, it’s horror. And horror never makes a ton of sense.”

      Well, that doesn’t make you sound ignorant at all.

  3. ScottB says:

    I was planning on not watching anymore, but now that Kate Mara is going to show up, I may have changed my mind.

  4. SK says:

    Personally this isn’t something I would want to keep watching week after week, but one of the friends who watched it with us last week wants to, so I guess I’ll be tuning in again tonight.

  5. larrouxgirl says:

    Why no mention of the man in the S&M body suit, the one who schtupped Viv? All the while her husband’s down in the kitchen about to toast his digits.

  6. Patchi says:

    I wasn’t planning on watching this show but recorded the pilot to watch when I had some free time and I’m glad I did. The show was really good and interesting, very creepy I’m definetly tunning in for more.

  7. Lisa says:

    Jessica Lange is great!

  8. Plum says:

    I do love this show, it is disturbing but sooo deliciously twisted. I am in love with that house; is it real? Why would anyone ever want to leave it?? Ghosts be damned; if I had old wood floors and that huge kitchen the devil herself couldn’t get me to move, no way. I’ve become a fan of Dylan McDermott and Connie Britton, all the actors are terrific and Jessica Lange is so fun to watch, love her swing dresses. I can’t wait to see inside her house, I imagine it’s very Grey Gardens.

  9. I had no idea when our weekend contributor Eric Baker wrote a piece about this asking the same burning questions—–well, one really: why don’t they just move?–that this was a) a Ryan Murphy show, and b) getting so much interest.

    Baker doesn’t think it can sustain, and as we’ve seen from Glee, he does go for razzle dazzle before he jumps the shark early. Give Baker’s piece a read, too, let us know what you think:


    • Plum says:

      Dude, have you seen the house? It’s fabulous and the Harmon’s got it for a steal. I refer you to Beetlejuice; the Harmon’s would never walk away from equity.

  10. nitemar says:

    Love all the characters so far, but Jessica Lange and the girl who plays her daughter especially captured my attention from the start. Have no idea if its all are hallucinations and what’s with that basement!? All disturbingly intriguing to me! Love it so far. :)

  11. Doug says:

    I love how they use the Bernard Herrmann score from “Vertigo” whenever Jessica Lange’s character is on screen.