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Constance Langdon is the next-door neighbor of the Harmons. She is a character in American Horror Story portrayed by Jessica Lange.

Background

Constance was born and raised in Virginia, but moved to Los Angeles to become a screen actress. After objecting to the nudity that was flooding the film industry at the time, her dreams of becoming an actress fell to the wayside.

In 1983, Constance murdered both her husband Hugo Langdon and their maid Moira O'Hara, (with whom Hugo had cheated with once before) after she caught her husband forcing himself on Moira, possibly believing that the interaction was consensual. After disposing of the bodies, Constance fell into a deep depression and began drinking heavily, neglecting her children. With Hugo gone and the family's income greatly depleted, the bank repossessed the house and Constance had to move out.

In 1994, Constance is present when her son Tate is killed by a S.W.A.T team after shooting up his school and setting Larry Harvey alight. Before this, in the same year, to keep her son Beau from being taken from her and put in an institution, Constance employs the be-smitten Larry Harvey to murder him.

Personality

Constance is an archetypal faded Southern Belle. She purports to be gentle, god-fearing, and good-natured, but in actuality, Constance is cunning, hypocritical, and discourteous. Lange describes Constance as "a broad from another time", highlighting Constance's unashamed homophobia, racism, sexism, and ableism. Constance deeply loves and cares very much for her children, but is frequently cruel or neglectful to them.

Constance is very concerned with her social status and physical appearance, even stealing expensive silverware and jewellery from Vivien Harmon. To curb her loneliness as a single parent and carer, Constance begins a relationship with Travis Wanderly. When the Murder House fell out of her possession, Constance unremorsefully seduced Larry Harvey, an influential banker who moved into the house with his wife and children. After the death of Larry's family, Constance moved back into the house with Tate, Adelaide, and Beauregard.

Constance has difficult connections with many of the inhabitants of the house, but especially Moira O'Hara. The two express hatred toward each other, and Constance enjoys taunting Moira over her murder and her situation as a ghost trapped in Murder House. Despite this, the two of them do show some concern for Vivien's pregnancy, as she brings over assorted innards of a pig for Vivien, claiming the organs are good for the baby, which are cooked by Moira. Even though she is well aware of the dead inhabitants and their fates in the house, she says nothing to warn the Harmon family.

Story

Murder House

Constance Langdon first introduces herself to the Harmon's as their next door neighbor with her daughter Adelaide. Constance is outwardly welcoming and generous to Vivien, but is often back-handed and discourteous. Constance gives Vivien sage "to cleanse the spirits" of the house. Constance steals silverware from Vivien and also raids Vivien's jewellery box and is caught by Moira, before threatening her "don't make me kill you again.".[1]

Constance bakes two large cupcakes, ostensibly for Violet, adding Ipecac syrup to the batter and telling Adelaide to spit in it. She spends some time with a handsome young man named Travis. She later assists Tate and Moira in disposing of the dead R. Franklin murder reenactors.[2]

Constance is caught again by Moira stealing silverware from the Harmon's. She tells Moira that she will keep stealing until she has "a full set" to sell on eBay and Moira is blamed for stealing. Constance taunts Moira, triggering an emotional outburst from Moira. Constance confesses that her heart sometimes breaks "just a sliver" for Moira, but she ultimately blames Moira for creating the situation. Later, while walking her dogs she spots Tate through the window of the Murder House's attic and waves to him but he does not wave back.[3]

Constance is at home with Travis and her daughter Addy. She gets angry at Addy for her flirtations with Travis. Constance argues with Addy over her Halloween costume but finally changes her mind and settles on buying her a "pretty girl" mask. Addy is later killed in a hit-and-run accident and Constance, distraught, tries to drag her onto the lawn of the house so she would come back in spirit.[4]

Constance reveals to Violet that Tate is her son. Mourning the death of Adelaide, Constance visits the corpse at the morgue, where she puts eyeshadow and lipstick on Addy so she can finally be a "pretty girl."[5]. She introduces Violet to a medium named Billie Dean Howard and tries to relate to Violet about her dealings with the dead.[6] Constance tries to prevent Joe Escandarian from buying the house[7], and makes a brief alliance with Moira.

Constance has an argument with Travis and he leaves. Constance later learns from Moira that Tate has fathered one of Vivien's twins. She confronts Tate about this and later proposes to Travis, apologizing for her earlier actions. She tells him the two can raise Tate's child together, to which he tells her he's unsure, as he is still trying to build his acting career. She shoots down his dreams, citing her own experiences. After they argue, Travis leaves again. Constance visits Vivien in the hospital, offering her help during the pregnancy. Constance asks Billie Dean what could result from a human/spirit conception and is told that it could result in the birth of the Anti-Christ who will bring about the end of times.[8]

Constance is questioned about Travis's murder as well as the murders of Hugo, Moira, and Beau. Although he did not have a hand in Travis's murder (other than disposing of his remains), Larry takes the fall in order to pay for all his sins. He tells Constance he will be able to endure any punishment as long as she admits she loves him, to which she coldly refuses.[9]

Constance assists in the birth of Vivien's twins and quickly snatches Tate's child (her grandchild), Michael.[10]

Constance cautions Ben against bringing Michael back into the house. When Ben dies, she takes it upon herself to raise Michael as her own. Three years later, she returns home to find he has murdered his nanny. Constance smirks at the sight commenting "Now, what am I gonna do with you?".[11]

Apocalypse

In 2017, Madison Montgomery and Behold Chablis 'move in' to the Murder house to retrieve information on Michael Langdon's origins. At first, the spirits of the house refuse to give them any information whatsoever. Constance eventually introduces herself to the two alongside Billie Dean Howard. 

Billie informs Constance that the two are witches and are not interested in living in the house. Moira interrupts them to seek approval from Constance to see if she did well at dusting a mantle. The two argue, with Moira stating that Constance "took the coward's way out" and killed herself. Constance agrees to give Madison and Behold the information they seek if they can banish Moira from the Murder House.

Afterword, Constance sits down and explains that Michael is, in fact, her grandson. She describes the birth of Michael and how she took him into her custody after he was born in the house. Constance is very passionate about the fact that "she was born to be a mother." 

Through his love for her, Michael would leave Constance "presents" throughout her house, starting with amputated flies, to dead rodents, all the way to murdered humans. She buried each one by covering them with a bundle of rose flowers. One morning, she stepped into Michael's bedroom to see that he had aged an entire decade. Michael eventually tried killing Constance for forcing him to follow the rules but stopped and anxiously apologized. Constance was afraid that if she had corrected his grammar one more time that Michael would "slit her throat."

Though Constance struggled with many tragedies, she emotionally mentions that the incredible responsibility of raising Michael just "shattered her." Finding a murdered priest in Michael's bedroom was the last straw, and once again she was reminded that her days of being a mother were over. Constance stated she never wanted to see Michael again; thus, she admitted to killing herself in the Murder House because it is where she could spend eternity with her three children. As she closes her story, Constance gets up and disappears with her daughter Rose.[12]

On Halloween 2021, Mallory traveled back in time by using Tempus Infinituum in order to kill Michael Langdon in his weaker state and thereby prevent the apocalypse.

Back in 2015, Constance walks into Michael's bedroom to find a dead priest. She asks Michael if he has to kill every single living thing. He tries to explain why he did it but Constance tells him that she's done taking the blame for all the evil things that he does. He says he is just a child and she angrily rebuffs him, saying he is just a monster in the form of her grandson, who is the child. She goes to the closet and grabs some of his things. She throws it at him and tells him to get out and never come back. Michael gets furious and grabs Constance by the throat and pushes her up against the wall. She tells him to go ahead and do it, to put her out of her misery. Michael hesitates and Constance calls him a coward. Michael lets go of her and leaves.

Michael walks out of the house and onto the street. Suddenly, a black SUV comes flying down the street and runs him over. The driver is revealed to be Mallory. She reverses and drives over him again. Having heard the commotion, Constance comes outside and comes face to face with Mallory for a moment. Mallory runs over Michael once again before she drives away. Constance runs and holds Michael in her lap and begins to weep. He asks her to take him to the house so that he can be with her forever. As she looks up at the house, she pushes him off and tells him to "go to Hell", leaving him to die on the street.

This event created a new timeline where Constance never committed suicide and Moira was never freed from the Murder House, as Madison and Behold would never visit the House in the altered timeline.[13]

Quotes

  • To Tate Langdon: "Just a smile or a kind word could open the gates to Heaven."
  • To Moira O'Hara: "I am trying to find some dignity in this situation. Move on, Missy!"
  • To Vivien Harmon: "I'm a good Christian, but Jesus H. Christ..."
  • To Moira O'Hara: "Don't make me kill you again."
  • To Moira O'Hara: "Every time I find my heart break in just a sliver for you, I suddenly remember; You brought this all on yourself."
  • To Moira O'Hara: "Jesus H. Christ, you almost gave me a heart attack."
  • To Vivien Harmon: "He was a model of physical perfection. He was my gift. But I lost him to other things."
  • To Violet Harmon: "They say when a parent dies, a child feels his own mortality, but when a child dies, it's immortality that a parent loses."
  • To Violet Harmon: "He's a sensitive boy, you know that; a young man with too deep feelings, the soul of a poet, but none of the grit or steel that acts as a bulwark against... these horrors of this world."
  • To Violet Harmon: "I questioned my sanity when I first found out, but this house will make you a believer."
  • To Vivien Harmon: "We need that baby. We need another... sweet child."
  • Constance Langdon: "At the end of the day... he meant less to me than dog shit."
  • To Chad Warwick: "Why can't you people just be content with having pets? Why must you subject an innocent child to your perversions?"
  • To Billie Dean Howard: "Well that's all nice and dandy, but what about the gays I mean, how do we get rid of them?"
  • To Moira O'Hara: "There's not gonna be any swimming pool you stupid slut!"
  • To Larry Harvey: "Even dead, even a boy, he’s twice the man you are."
  • To Detective Granger: "I have grieved enough for two lifetimes. Most people would be broken by the deaths of their children, but my nature would not permit such weakness."
  • To Vivien Harmon: "I thought those people were supposed to be stylish."
  • To Ben Harmon: "You stupid son of a bitch."
  • To Madison and Behold: "I'm Constance Langdon, and this.. is my fucking house."
  • Constance Langdon: "Like I said earlier, I was born to be a mother. Why not die to be one, too?"
  • Constance Langdon: "Now I am the first to admit that um, there were mistakes made, raising Tate. And that's why with Michael, oh my god, he was such a perfect little angel of light. I thought that would be my chance for a do-over."
  • To Michael Langdon upon his death: "Go to hell."

Notes

Gallery

References

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