In 1994, Constance is serving a ridiculously candied ham to Tate, Addie and Burning Man in what I suppose is meant to be a family dinner. Tate offers to say grace, which in true angsty teenage grunge fashion, is pretty bitter, citing his father who “ran away” from the family and being grateful that his mother is shaking up with a man she doesn’t love who let his original family burn. Addie, either being the cutest or the slyest person, offers a hearty “Amen.” Burning Man says Tate will understand better when he’s older, meanwhile who wants tickets to Brigadoon next week? Tate blames Burning Man for killing Beau but Constance tells him to shut it. Because she’s awesome, Addie just keeps eating dinner. Later, Tate does lines of coke in his bedroom and retrieves a weapons stockpile from under his bed, including sniper rifle, because I guess he was planning on joining the Michigan Militia? Survivalist fantasies be damned, he instead goes to Burning Man’s office and douses him with gasoline, setting him on fire before heading off to the high school to get in touch with his inner Columbine.
Monday mornings at the office can really burn you, you know?
Act I! Ben comes to the hospital to apologize to Vivien and says that he knows she was raped and that the twins have two fathers. He says she can be released just as soon as they work out the “legal hiccups” of Vivien shooting Ben. Vivien refuses to return to the house. Elsewhere, detectives tell Constance that Travis is dead and show her the gruesome crime scene photos, because the LAPD is nothing if not sensitive. Back in the house, Ben is dealing with a sudden infestation of flies and is visited by a truancy officer who says Violet hasn’t been to school in 16 days. Ben tells Violet they can find her a new school, but she has to start going, which she agrees to. Constance visits Burning Man, pretending she just wants comfort but quickly pulling a knife on him and blaming him for killing Travis. Burning Man says he only moved the body and that one of the ghosts killed him. Constance realizes tells Burning Man she never loved him and that even dead, Travis is still twice the man. Burning Man says, “He is now.” Oh snap. Back home, Violet is leaving to go to school when Tate forcibly stops her from leaving the house. (I see where you’re going with this, show!) The detectives are back, suspecting that Constance, who doesn’t help her case by insulting the Korean race and then accidentally dropping the knife that she threatened Burning Man with from her purse.
Act II! Downtown, the detectives remark how people close to Constance seem to end up dead, like her three children, or missing, like her husband and Moira. A flashback reveals that Constance is the one who buried Moira’s body and she did it in her shoulder pads and high heels. Also, she ground up her husband’s body and fed it to her dogs in the basement. Constance is hardcore. Before the detectives can j’accuse her too much, they are shooed out by a lawyer, who, because he’s a new character, I’m betting will either end up dead in the basement or having sex with Vivien. At the house, an exterminator is checking the crawlspace under the house for the source of the flies. He discovers something that freaks him out, but before he can scramble out, he’s killed by Tate. While making his way up to the attic where Violet is hiding out, Tate overhears Ben talking with a boarding school. He tells Violet Ben wants to keep them apart, but he’s going to take care of it and then dons the Gimp suit to become Justice Man!
Act III! In the basement, Burning Man is recovering Travis’ clothes. (Sidebar, how thick are the walls in this house that ALL these people can get in without anyone in other rooms hearing them?) Travis wants to know if he’s made the news and Burning Man tells him they’re now referring to him as the “Boy Dahlia”. They’re interrupted by two burned little girls playing tea party in the corner, who ask Travis to come back to play. As Burning Man watches them, his still-smoldering wife comments on how good Travis is with the girls, marking yet another time in Burning Man’s life where Travis has upstaged him with people he cares about. Burning Man asks why he’s finally seeing his family now, after all this time. His wife tells him that he’s “on the cusp” and it’s about as sweet of a scene as you can have with four people who are literally burned to death. Burning Man says he’ll make Constance pay for what she did, but his wife reminds him that Constance isn’t the responsible one. Cut to Ben naked in the shower, a return to earlier themes, when he is suddenly attacked by GimpTate. They tussle and Ben manages to unmask Tate just as he is losing consciousness from chloroform. Man, Hollywood loves that stuff, don’t they?
Pictured: The moment this show admitted it's just a vehicle for all your Dylan McDermott S&M fantasies.
In the attic, Tate tries to convince Violet to commit suicide with him, “like Romeo and Juliet”. Violet seems to agree, but then tries to get away from Tate. She runs outside and calls for help, but the passing couple on the street doesn’t hear her, although their dog does. She tries to run off the grounds, but is instantly back in the kitchen. She tries multiple times to leave, but always comes back to the house. She tells Tate she doesn’t want to die, but he says “it’s too late for that.” I TOTALLY CALLED THIS ONE! MUST CREDIT CLOVIS!
Act IV! Tate takes Violet to the basement crawlspace and shows her the source of all those flies – it’s her rapidly decaying body. She died back in the bathtub with that suicide “attempt.” Downtown, the detectives tell Constance that Burning Man has confessed to Travis’s murder and want to know if she can help ascertain his motive. Constance suggests he confessed to pacify his guilty conscience. Back in Violet’s room, Tate and Violet discuss the practicalities of dating while dead. Neither actually remember dying, but Tate says it’s okay because now they’ll be together forever. It’s not clear if Violet’s all that thrilled about this. In jail, and hilariously next to a “no smoking” sign, Burning Man tells Constance he confessed because he needs to pay for his crimes with her. Constance tells him, “You’re going to die in here.”
Next time – BABIES!!!