A phone is off the hook, and Constance is talking to Larry about someone on the other end who is going to remove her child, Beau, and place him in an institution due to child neglect. Constance pleads with Larry, who is in love with her, to do as they discussed. Beau, in the attic, plays ball with Larry before Larry puts him to bed and smothers him with a pillow.
Later on, during a scheduled open house, Marcy is showing the house to Joe Escandarian who wants to replace the gazebo with a swimming pool, at Moira's bidding, whom he sees as the young woman. He wants to know what's wrong with the house, and Vivien soft-pedals the previous deaths. As Moira shows him around, Vivien and Marcy fight about revealing too much of the house's history to potential buyers.
Soon after Joe leaves, Larry arrives for the open house, but Marcy tries to send him away. Larry refuses, stating he is an interested buyer and Marcy pulls a gun on him, and threatens to shoot him if he doesn't leave. She 'rationalizes' this with a bizarre racist statement against "ethnic" men, which is rendered even stranger due to Larry being Caucasian. He in turn threatens a lawsuit, according to the "Americans with Disabilities Act". Vivien breaks the standoff by offering to show him around, but for some reason, Larry seems particularly taken with a fireplace.
Violet is back to cutting herself before Tate intervenes asking her what she thinks she's doing. He licks the blood from her wrists and makes her agree to stop cutting. Later, in her room he asks her about whether she believes in ghosts and the afterlife. He says that he believes in ghosts and that Violet, should she die, would move on to a "better place". Violet asks why he doesn't believe in the afterlife for himself and Tate states that this "better place" is with Violet, since she arrived in the house.
At a family dinner, Ben and Vivien confront Violet about her depression as she doesn't want to leave the house and isn't eating. Ben and Vivien confirm that they are definitely selling the house, and Violet leaves. Vivien tells Ben about the prospective buyers, including Larry and that she and Marcy will be taking the Murder House Tour to find out the rest of the houses story before arguing with him about giving full disclosure to potential buyers about the history of the house.
Joe returns, claiming he's had a hard time getting the house out of his mind, and Moira gives him a sexually laden tour of the rest of the house while everyone else is away. She leads him to Violet's room and they have a sexual encounter. They then run into Ben in the hallway, who is picking up some of his clothes and Joe reveals his plans to bulldoze the house and convert the land into condominiums, with Moira just out of earshot.
Larry comes home with groceries to a waiting Ben who confronts him about coming back to the house, and that he never went to prison for murdering his family; he was institutionalized instead. Larry says he needs the house to be happy again with 'her'.
Larry tells Lorraine that he has fallen in love with Constance. He tells her that to avoid problems she and their daughters should move back with her mother in Ohio and that he'll always provide them with money and occasionally visit. Larry tells her he plans to move Constance back into the house and Lorraine leaves the table. When Larry pursues her, he finds a room on fire, with presumably his wife and children inside.
Ben tells Larry about Joe's plan to demolish the house, to Larrys chagrin.
Charles tells Nora that their son, Thaddeus, is waiting upstairs in the nursery for her. Nora cautiously goes upstairs to a draped crib, but Thadeus is across the room. A disturbed Nora comes back down to ask about Thaddeus' resurrection and laments that the baby is now bloodthirsty, stating that she tried to breastfeed her child but was bitten and clawed instead. She tells her husband she attempted to stab it to death with a letter opener, which unsettles him. To calm him down, Nora tells him she's proud of what he's achieved, which brings him to tears of joy, and as he falls to his knees and hugs Nora, she draws a revolver and shoots him in the head before shooting herself as well.
Vivien goes back to the doctor for a checkup and mentions to Dr. Hall that the vitamin B-6 isn't helping as she seems to be getting sick whenever she leaves the house. Dr. Hall suggests maybe that's a sign she needs to stay home and not overexert herself. Vivien and asks for additional tests.
Constance is in the basement of the house, speaking to Larry who is hiding in the shadows as he sent her red roses. She wants to see his burnt face and is subsequently disgusted by him when he reveals himself. He blames her for what happened to him and fills her in on Joe's plan before she walks away.
Violet hears chains jangling in the attic and goes to investigate. She is scared by Beau, but Tate tells him to go away. He tells her that she is seeing the ghosts because she's more evolved now, and that if they scare her she just has to tell them to go away. He shows her hidden boxes of old photographs, including the Montgomerys, and memorabilia from old house owners that he has found. Maria arrives, but Violet successfully tells her to go away.
Constance visits Joe, who thinks she wants him to buy her house as well to enlarge the plot size and they discuss real estate. She wants Joe to show respect for the house but he rebuffs her and says if she wants the house that badly, she should buy it before kicking her out.
Tate is in session with Ben and says he no longer has fantasies, and is doing better. Ben asks Tate about Violet's state of mind and wants Tate to tell him if there's a problem, especially if Tate suspects that Violet is suicidal. Tate envies Ben as a father but does not, tell Ben about Violet's recent suicide attempt.
Moira is happy that Constance is crying and unhappy, for once unaware of the reason. Constance leaves to look for Tate and when she finds him, he is angry with her. He walks away, and she looks for Beau in the attic-- she has come to say goodbye to him. On her way out, Constance tells Moira that Joe is going to seal Moira's tomb, not unearth her remains and they agree to unite and take care of the problem.
Moira invites Joe over and under the assumption she is initating sex, leads him into the basement. She bites off his penis during fellatio and Larry asphyxiates him with a plastic bag from behind as Constance watches. This earns Moira some respect from Constance, who bids Larry to get Joe off the property before he properly dies.
Vivien and Violet talk about leaving the house, thinking the property deal is still on. Violet asks how Vivien knew when she was in love with Ben, thinking of Tate. Violet shows Vivien the pictures of the Montgomery family, and Vivien is in shock, realizing that she has encountered Nora before.
Joe Escandarian is an Armenian-American real estate developer who was interested in buying the Harmon's home with the intent of tearing it down and building several affordable housing units. He comes from a wealthy Armenian family who moved to California when he was two.
After Vivian places the house on the market, Joe originally seems to be interested in the low priced but lavish house. He is instantly attracted to Moira's younger form. Moira seductively tries to convince him to build a swimming pool in the backyard, but Vivian doesn't see anything wrong, as she only sees her eccentric old maid Moria sharing her opinion. Later on, when the Harmons are not at home, Moira gives him a tour and leads him to Violet's room. She seduces him and performs oral sex on him. While Moira is not within earshot, Joe tells a recently-arrived Ben that he is planning to bring the house down and turn the lot into housing units. Later, however, after Constance tries to convince him not to tear it down (as it could ruin her connection to her son Beau), she finds out about his plan and reveals it to Moira. This horrifies her, as she would rather be the housekeeper to a family in an elegant home, rather than run-down government housing projects.
Once Moira discovers his plans of destroying the house, she teams up with Larry and Constance to lure Joe into the basement where they ambush him. While performing oral sex, she bites his penis off, and he is then strangled into unconsciousness with a plastic bag. Constance tells Larry to make sure he dies off property so his ghost cannot be attached to the house, exposing the murder to the Harmon family.
Personality and Appearance
Joe is tall, well-built, and wealthy with a taste for neat, elegant clothes. He is self-confident and straightforward towards other people, acting and speaking his mind in a rather bold kind of way, without showing any embarrassment.
- Marcy: "Everything was meticulously restored by a couple of the previous homos. Owners. Homeowners."
- Joe Escandarian: "Fags have such a great eye for detail, don't they?"
- Moira O'Hara to Joe Escandarian: " I've always heard Persians have big, thick cocks. Something a girl can gnaw on."
- Joe Escandarian to Moira O'Hara: "Yeah, no teeth though. And I'm not Persian, by the way. I'm Armenian."
- Marcy: "A woman in my line can't be too careful. There are a lot of minority men in this city who would like nothing more than to ravage me on this counter-top."
- Constance Langdon to Joe Escandarian: "You should show some respect. You're not an archaeologist. You should stop unearthing while you're ahead."
- Joe Escandarian: "There are three reasons I deal with women: sex, money, or making me sandwiches. And unless you're planning on going into my kitchen and slapping some ham between two slices of bread... this conversation is over."
Cast and Characters
- Connie Britton as Vivien Harmon
- Dylan McDermott as Ben Harmon
- Taissa Farmiga as Violet Harmon
- Evan Peters as Tate Langdon
- Frances Conroy as Moira O'Hara
- Denis O'Hare as Larry Harvey
- Jessica Lange as Constance Langdon
- Lily Rabe as Nora Montgomery
- Alexandra Breckenridge as Moira O'Hara
- Christine Estabrook as Marcy
- Matt Ross as Charles Montgomery
- Morris Chestnut as Luke
- Rosa Salazar as Maria
- Rebecca Wisocky as Lorraine Harvey
- Amir Arison as Joe Escandarian
- The opening credits feature a man asphyxiating with a plastic bag over his head in the basement (Mr. Escandarian). This is another clue from the Opening Credits resolved.
- Larry is particularly taken by a fireplace. On the Family Portrait website and video, he steps out burning from a fireplace into the room.
- Alexandra Breckenridge on the scene in which she bites off Mr. Escandarian's penis: "Originally we shot a sequence where I spit out the tip. We used the top of a banana. It was a bloody banana. I had to do take after take after take. It was awful. I'm ruined on bananas. I could never eat them again. It was terrible. It was not cute. I haven't had a banana since." Th\e plastic penis that was supposed to be shown in the episode can be seen in the "Making Of" video (see below).
- Further videos:
- Episode: Murder House
- Goldberg, Lesley. "'American Horror Story' Adds 'Homeland' Actor -- EXCLUSIVE | Hollywood Reporter | 8 Nov. 2011 <http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/american-horror-story-homeland-guest-star-258851>.
- Malkin, Marc, "Gross Alert! American Horror Story Is Bloody Bananas (Literally)", E! Online, 28 Nov 2011