"Piggy Piggy" is the sixth episode of the first season of the television series American Horror Story, which premiered on the network FX on November 9, 2011. The episode was written by supervising producer Jessica Sharzer and directed by Michael Uppendahl. This episode is rated TV-MA (LV).
|American Horror Story episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Michael Uppendahl|
|Written by||Jessica Sharzer|
|Featured music||"I, the Sun" by Lights On|
|Original air date||November 9, 2011|
|Running time||44 minutes|
Piggy Piggy was nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Special, and for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or a Movie.
In this episode, Ben (Dylan McDermott) sees a patient who fears an urban legend about a man who slaughters those who say a special mantra into a mirror. Eric Stonestreet guest stars as Derek, Ben's patient.
At Westfield High School in 1994, a shooter enters the school and begins killing students. He winds up in the school library, where he wounds a teacher trying to block the entrance and murders five students. The shooter is revealed to be Tate (Evan Peters). At the end of the episode, a SWAT team finds him at the house (owned at the time by Constance) and kills Tate when he pulls a gun in an attempt to kill himself.
After Violet (Taissa Farmiga) confirms online that Tate was killed after his massacre at Westfield High, Constance (Jessica Lange) introduces her to a medium, named Billie Dean Howard (Sarah Paulson). She and Constance explain that Tate is unaware that he is dead; Constance has been sending him to Ben, hoping a breakthrough will help him pass on and they need Violet’s help, though Violet is frightened by this revelation.
Ben (Dylan McDermott) needs to use the house for his therapy sessions to make them money, and Vivien (Connie Britton) agrees out of necessity. Ben sees a new patient, named Derek (Eric Stonestreet), who is terrified by urban legends, most recently the urban legend of "Piggy Man", who will slaughter anyone who repeats a specific mantra in the mirror. Ben also begins noticing that Vivien has developed an attraction to the security officer Luke (Morris Chestnut) who checks on her after she purposefully pushes the security alarm.
Constance and Moira (Frances Conroy) help Vivien with the pregnancy, preparing healthy foods for her in the form of sweetbreads. Though initially disgusted with the dishes, Vivien develops a ravenous appetite toward them. She contacts the ultrasound technician who fainted during the ultrasound, and who has since quit her job, claiming that she saw that the baby is the Devil. Vivien walks out, angered at the accusation.
Taking Ben's advice to face his fear, Derek repeats the mantra in his bathroom mirror, but is ironically shot and killed by an armed burglar hiding in his shower. Violet tries to confront Tate in the basement, but is mobbed by the other ghosts. Overwhelmed, she attempts suicide by taking several sleeping pills, but Tate attempts to save her by taking her to the bathtub and forcing her to vomit the pills. Later, Tate tearfully confesses that he loves her and cannot understand why she has turned cold towards him. He plans to leave her alone if that's what she wants, but she comforts him. Constance speaks to Addie through Billie Dean, and receives closure, but learns that Addie is glad she was not revived as a ghost because she now fears Tate, after learning what he did.
The episode was written by supervising producer Jessica Sharzer, and directed by Michael Uppendahl.
On creating the character of Billie Dean and her "gift", series co-creator Ryan Murphy relates his own experience with a medium, "When we created her, all of us in the writer's room have had some experience with psychics or not. I'm somebody that was very skeptical until I went to a woman who [asked] me out of nowhere, 'Is your father ill?' and I said, 'No. He just had a physical and he's fine.' She said, 'You need to tell him to go back.' So he did go back and they found prostate cancer and he died two years later. So Billie Dean was inspired a large part by that experience. We are saying that, yes, she is legitimate."
Rotten Tomatoes reports an 88% approval rating, based on 8 reviews. Carissa Pavlica of TV Fanatic gave the episode 4.7 out of 5 stars, saying, "I have absolutely no idea what is happening on American Horror Story and I love every moment of it." The Star-Ledger's James Queally said, ""Piggy Piggy" contains more good than bad, but it also has a lot of scenes that require me to take a wait-and-see approach."
In its original American broadcast, "Piggy Piggy" was seen by an estimated 2.83 million household viewers and gained a 1.6 ratings share among adults aged 18–49.
- Stack, Tim (November 9, 2011). "'American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy on Vivien's blood-craving baby and next week's 'most sexual episode' yet -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 17, 2011.
- "Piggy, Piggy – American Horror Story: Murder House, Episode 6". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
- Pavlica, Carissa (November 10, 2011). "American Horror Story Review: Here Piggy Pig Pig...". TV Fanatic. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- Queally, James (November 9, 2011). "American Horror Story 'Piggy Piggy' Recap: Mmmm ... Brains". NJ.com. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
- Seidman, Robert (November 10, 2011). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'American Horror Story,' 'South Park' Lead; 'Psych' Lower + 'Real World,' 'Mythbusters' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 11, 2011.