The penultimate episode of the season caused me to eat some previously skeptical words about the nebulous plan for this show, as several storylines were tidily wrapped up—so tidily that I’m left wondering what the finale could possibly bring. Obviously a pile-on brawl for the babies, but there has to be more to it than that, which is why I’m still hanging on to the theory that we will learn something insidious about Ben. But this episode seems to have played pretty heavily against my theory of last week that Ben killed Violet, as this week he tries to drag her out of the house and hilariously keeps asking her if she’s high. On the other hand, the writers could just be trying to throw us off. We’ll find out next week!
In the meantime, let’s do a brief recap as to how many people, dead and alive, are trying to steal poor, beleaguered Vivien’s babies. We’ve got Constance, Hayden, Nora, Dr. Montgomery, Chad and Patrick. Now that Vivien is also dead, I expect a real ghostly tussle next week, particularly between Hayden and Vivien. Hayden’s power has heretofore been credited to the fact that she’s dead and therefore omniscient and omnipotent. She’s used her ghostly prowess to screw with Vivien mightily, and I can’t WAIT to watch Vivien have it out with her. It's time for Hayden to get hers. Vivien’s got Violet and Moira on her side; Hayden appears to have manipulated the rest of the dead folks to her team. What’s going to happen?
Connie Britton was a dynamo this week, making up for her scant scenes in the past few weeks by giving birth, dying and reuniting with her daughter in the afterlife with striking panache. She is such a good actress! Her delivery scene in the Murder House, surrounded by malevolent spirits and bleeding to death, was legitimately intense. Taissa Farmiga was even more moving than usual as Violet, Evan Peters gave his usual heart-wrenching performance as Tate, Jessica Lange made me laugh aloud with her dramatically homophobic delivery of, “That’s all very interesting, but what do we do about the gays? How do we get rid of them?!” And Zachary Quinto managed, as always, to turn a stereotype into a revelation. “Well, I’m certainly quaking in my loafers.”
We learn why Tate was initially so eager to help Nora score a baby, willing to rape (Vivien) and murder (Chad and Patrick) for her, after she protected wee little Tate from her babystrosity Thaddeus while Constance was charmingly passed out on the sofa during an episode of Newhart in 1984. The lingering close-ups of the babystrosity were duly horrific, and Nora taught Tate how to banish ghosts from his presence by firmly telling them to “Go away.”
Unfortunately for Violate 'shippers (my friend Megan came up with that couple name for Tate and Violet, and it so perfectly captures the supremely damaged nature of their relationship), Violet uses the same banishment method on Tate after discovering that he murdered Chad and Patrick and, more to the point, raped and impregnated her mother. Will they be separated for all eternity, or will Violet eventually forgive Tate and invite him back into her ghostly presence? At least Violet has Vivien now to comfort her in her warm, maternal way until the end of time. Their reunion was beautiful (the line "But I didn't lose my baby" was particularly moving), and I look forward to periodic guest ghost spots from them next season.
We also had another Billie Dean sighting, and another several minutes of my swooning over the boozy charm of Sarah Paulson’s psychic performance. She’s proven that she’s not a hack by instantly picking up on Violet’s death and projecting into her mind; but she’s also proven that she doesn’t know everything by believing in the Croatoan banishment spell that so totally didn’t work on Chad and Patrick. I liked the Croatoan angle on Supernatural much better, by the by. We don’t get to see the babies yet, so we’re not sure if Billie Dean was right about the Antichrist, but the Tate-fathered kid doesn’t appear cloven-hoofed and swathed in latex. However, he apparently grew at a vast rate and absorbed all the nutrients of the Ben-fathered kid, so maybe there’s something to this Antichrist thing. It’s kind of funny when you think about it, that Tate’s baby is considered the alpha fetus to Ben’s baby, when Tate is such a shrimpy little guy and Ben is so broad-shouldered and muscular. But I guess ghost sperm trumps living sperm any day of the week.
Chad and Patrick have a devastating week; at first they seem adorably reconciled, decorating the nursery and cheerfully planning their abduction and eventual murder of Vivien’s twins just when they reach the most precious age (18 months, evidently), so they can forever have pretty ghost babies that never talk back. People often ask me why I don’t want kids; don’t I like babies? My answer remains firmly the same: I love babies. I hate teenagers. So Chad and Patrick’s plan sounds like a good one, but unfortunately it goes awry when Chad hears Patrick tell Tate that he is forced to “live” with a man he doesn’t love for all eternity. Chad destroys the nursery and gives up on his dream of cohabitating peacefully with Patrick in the Murder House.
After all these reveals, what can we expect in the finale? Tune in next week to find out, as I recap the hideously titled final episode of Season One of American Horror Story, “Afterbirth.”
No really, what could possibly happen next week? We’ll finally meet the babies, I assume, and learn which of the clamoring would-be parents manages to keep them, and something will happen with Ben, but I feel like there has to be at least one big reveal left in the season.
Something major has got to happen with Ben, right? He must have some darker secret remaining within him. Or maybe he’ll just kill himself now that he’s all alone and the whole Harmon family will live in ghostly discord, with Hayden thrown in for extra discordant measure.
Hilariously Overwrought Lines:
I could watch Constance and Chad trade barbs all day. “Man must not lie with man; it is an abomination.” “So is that hairdo, but I figure that’s your business.”
Catch up on the recaps before the finale!