This week and last, FX's big horror drama, American Horror Story, pulls out all the stops for a two-part "Halloween" showdown. Because of the holiday, the walls between the ghost world and the "real" one are thin, and the house's previous residents manifest more than ever. What's more, they can leave the property, and they do. This provides trouble for Ben (Dylan McDermott) when Hayden (Kate Mara) insists on telling Vivien (Connie Britton) the truth, and possibly microwaves her dog. A gang of teenagers come after Tate (Evan Peter) as he tries to enjoy his date with Violet (Taissa Farmiga). And feuding gay couple Chad (Zachary Quino, Star Trek, Heroes) and Patrick (Teddy Sears, Torchwood, Raising the Bar) try to help decorate their former home.
When a series hinges on the creepy, as American Horror Story does, it makes total sense to celebrate "Halloween" in a big way. As such, the series brings in a ton of guest stars for this episode. Not only do Chad and Patrick, the most recently deceased residents, pop up, but so does virtually every ghost seen in the first few episodes, including Nora (Lily Rabe), Charles (Matt Ross, Big Love), Angie (Missy Doty, Shameless), and Maria (Rosa Salazar, Parenthood). As if that isn't enough, the gang of teenagers that chases Tate boasts some recognizable faces, such as Alessandra Torresani (Husbands, Caprica) and Ashley Rickards (Awkward.). One would think that this means "Halloween" is just a stunt episode, but it's not. Each extra performer is used sparingly, but importantly. They enhance the plot without distracting from it. Good thing American Horror Story gets a full two hours to tell this tale, because there is far too much going on for a standard episode length.
Of course, horror stories are not nearly as scary without death. "Halloween Part 1" delivers a significant, and unexpected, one when Adelaide (Jamie Brewer) is hit by a car. Desperate to save her, her mother Constance (Jessica Lange) pulls Adelaide frantically towards the property where the haunted house sits. This seems to support what has been suspected, that people who die on the property do not follow the same rules as the ordinary dead. Sadly, it looks like Constance doesn't quite make it, and so Adelaide will be absent for the remainder of the series. Unless the creators are just trying to trick the audience, a possibility they could choose to utilize right away, or save for years from now. Or she can still return next Halloween, either way.