After Birth, I decided to avoid any AHS-based discussions so that I could enter Afterbirth completely theory-less. However, I was expecting a murder/suicide starring Ben and Constance, and considering the show’s affinity for all things gross and disturbing, I also prepared myself for some literal afterbirth. Well, I got part of that right.
I didn’t see last night’s season finale as “game-changing”. Instead, the whole episode felt like closure. In a morose way, the Harmon’s got a “happily ever after” and we won’t have to spend the next few months wondering what happens to them. All things considered, game-ender would be a more appropriate description. The perfect way to close out one horror story and make room for a bigger and better one next season.
- “I don’t know, maybe it’s haunted or something.” Although Ben casually wondered why the house was so cheap, his gut instinct was that buying the house in L.A. would be the perfect fix for their dysfunctional family, while Vivien’s gut was telling her to grab Violet and head down to Florida. Watching the flashbacks to how horrible everything turned out for the family over the last few months, and knowing it was almost avoided, was like a cruel joke.
- Moira and Vivien become best friends (literally) forever. Vivien figured out her new reality pretty quickly, but is still lurking around Ben. Moira wants her to let go of Ben and tells her to consider “the end game” (potential clue for next season??). The ladies have similar, good-natured personalities, so it’s not surprising that they continued to click post-mortem.
- Ben planned to commit suicide. His wife, daughter and the twin that was his all died, so he organized everything and headed to his former office to shoot his brains out. Vivien stopped him and he made peace with his family. All signs pointed to Ben leaving, but there were at least 40 minutes left in the episode so I figured the house would keep him there somehow. I didn’t expect what came next…
- Hayden (and two of the home invaders from Home Invasion) killed Ben. The scene played out fast and the end result was Ben hanging from the chandelier. Did Hayden have a reason for staging a faux-suicide instead of just murdering Ben outright?
- Marcy adopts Halley and sells the house again. Stacy (Lisa Vidal, The Event), Miguel (Anthony Ruivivar, Third Watch) and Gabe Ramos (Brennan Majia, iCarly) move in. Stacy and Miguel have happily married kitchen sex, while Constance and Ben watch. Violet flirts(?) with Gabe, while Tate watches. This could have been another happy family in a horror-filled home.
- No one knows Violet is dead. Outside of Constance, who else would benefit from this? Another potential clue for next season??
- Constance and Ben pull a Beetlejuice. Watching Stacy fight off Ben in the Rubber Man suit and Miguel initially see old Moira signified that this family was a lot stronger than the Harmons. The icing on the insane cake that sent them running into the night, with Patience and Prudence’s ‘Tonight You Belong to Me’ as the soundtrack? Vivien ripping Ben open, followed by Ben shooting her square in the forehead. Bye-bye Ramos family.
- Tate fears he’ll never be forgiven. He was willing to kill Gabe for Violet, which was twistedly romantic. He finally admits to every horrible thing he’s done the past few years, as if that will offer him solace. Unfortunately, his story ends (at least for this season) with two things he wants far, far out of his reach: Violet and forgiveness.
- Vivien gets at least one of her twins. Nora and Moira were the only two that knew the baby survived for a moment before dying. Vivien took over the motherly duties and made Moira the godmother. Complete with a Christmas celebration, this was such a cozy ending.
- “You’ll come to understand Violet, that the word ancient will lose all its meaning when your entire existence is one long today.”
- Don’t tell mom, the babysitter’s dead. Three years later, we find Constance raising Michael as her son. She notes that he is a remarkable boy that needs a mommy who was “forged in the fires of adversity.” She comes home to find that her golden boy, giggling as the babysitter he killed laid bleeding at his feet. Tate was nurtured into a monster, but it seems his son was just born one.
Of course Constance is the lone survivor from this horror story. I don’t see where else the show can go with the Harmon family, but I doubt this is the last we’ve seen of them.
Update: Looks like we’ll be starting (relatively) fresh for the second season. Check out ‘Next Season of American Horror Story Will Be in a Whole New Haunted House‘.