HomeTelevisionAmerican Horror Story Went Back Home in 'Return to Murder House'

American Horror Story Went Back Home in ‘Return to Murder House’

Photo Credit: FX

American Horror Story finally went back home, but is it the welcome we truly have all been waiting for? Well, the answer to that is: sort of?

After years of fans eagerly awaiting the crossover event that would bring us back to our roots aka Murder House, we’ve finally arrived to the main event. We got to finally see Tate (Evan Peters), The Harmons, and even the great Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange in her triumph return), but after all this waiting, something seemed a little dead… and I’m not talking about the ghosts. This episode was truly fan service at its most shameless, giving happy endings to almost everybody at the Murder House, even if story wise they may not deserve it.

But it was not all a loss.

Jessica Lange made her return to the series after a three-season absence, leaving a hole in the series since Freak Show. Murphy has tried time and time again to give us a lead as memorable and talented as Miss Lange, but unfortunately no one can come close to her, and this episode proved it. While her scenes were short, taking up around 25 minutes of the episode, but she made every one of them work, and relished every line.

Anytime Lange graces the screen, her talent is truly something special to behold, giving a sense of humanity to an otherwise awful human being. While you know this character is bad, and she is awful to many around her, you feel for her. You understand, in a dark way, where she is coming from and watching her go out on her own terms is nothing less of what you would expect Constance to do. Her scenes with other fan favorite Frances Conroy aka Moira were also a blessing, but too short lived. Lange is truly the matriarch of this show; without her, the show is nothing but a shell of its former self.

Along with the return of Lange, we also got to see the Harmons back in their element (Connie Britton, Taissa Farmiga, Dylan McDermott) which, while nice, seemed underdeveloped as they were all separated, each telling a tale of their own that didn’t seem to make much sense. The episode’s other scenes shined in their own way, as we finally get an origin story for Michael making his motives a lot more clear. However, anything that didn’t involve with this plot had less life than the residents of the house.

I get it: people love Tate. Hell, I love Tate, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know that he was the true monster of season one. He committed dozens of murders, even in death, and twisted the events in his head to make him seem he was doing a good thing or lying about it to make others feel bad for him. Tate was and is a bad guy, and I’m sorry, but the idea the house was making him evil was dumb.

This in itself is an example of the shameless fan service the episode did, mocking the memory of the genius that was the first season. All in all, it was nice seeing everyone again, hearing hilarious one liners from everyone in attendance, and of course seeing the majesty that is Jessica Lange back in action, but this episode makes me question…was it all worth it? Besides the story for Michael, did this crossover really serve much purpose at all besides being fan service? For all the lead up and promotions Murphy and company did, it seems like this is the last time we will see the Murder House which seems anti-climatic.

Overall rating: 6 out of 10 (mostly for Jessica Lange)

Laura Dengrove
Laura Dengrove
Hello! My name is Laura Dengrove. I am currently a Junior at Rutgers University, double majoring in Journalism/Media Studies and Cinema Studies. I am a film critic and interviewer by choice, professional Linda Belcher impersonator by birth.

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