American Horror Story 1.12: Afterbirth

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(This program airs Wednesday nights at 10:00 PM on FX)

(My sincerest apologies for how long it took me to get this up.)

Wow, this was a weird twelve weeks! As expected, the finale answered precisely zero of the questions I had, and considering spoilers about the next season, they’re probably never going to get answered. But that’s okay–this was a strange, solid finale.

The episode doesn’t really require recapping, since the pacing and the content are fairly low-key and quiet. The few kick-your-ass-shocking moments are interspersed with a lot of silence and soul-searching and pining. For instance, Ben spends much of his time wandering around the house, thinking Vivien is just out of sight, while Vivien…remains just out of sight, trying to convince Moira not to be so judgmental about Ben. Moira has the right idea, however, since Ben’s big emotional moment is the fact that he tries to kill himself, and Vivien and Violet have to stop him. And just when we’re all like, cool, this baby might have a dad, at least! he waits around just long enough to get his ass hung from a chandelier by Hayden & Co. And that was the end of the Harmons.

Unfortunately, they have to spend a lot more time processing their emotions and whatnot. I mean, I like Vivien and Violet and their emotion-processing is fine/totally deserved, but Ben is Ben. His emotions suck. His one good emotional process is listening to Tate’s tale of woe, then telling him to go fuck himself. Even then, he seems to take it back when Tate makes sad faces at him. In general, I don’t think the emotional stuff was that great. The Harmons and Moira ended up fairly happy, even though they’re all dead (and is Moira young or old? SERIOUSLY), which is way too Disney for this show. They even end up with the other twin after Nora realizes that babies are annoying little wailmonsters! It’s just…way more cheerful than I thought it would be, and I don’t mind a happy ending sometimes, but I don’t really think that Ben deserved his.

Hayden and Tate, however, are the literal children staring through the window at the Christmas they can’t have, and they neither find closure in their unlives, nor do they really deal with any consequences of their actions. I don’t know. This episode was okay, but a lot of stuff didn’t sit right for a finale, particularly since we probably won’t get any of this season’s questions answered next season.

The pseudo-subplot concerned the Ramos family: Stacey, Miguel, and son Gabe, a happy family who move into the house. Marcy has adopted that silly dog and lays the racism on pretty thick, but despite all this, the family ends up in the house. They do all sorts of nice family things like having sex in the kitchen while Gabe is in the house, but they seem nice and damage-free, as far as this show is concerned. Because they are so nice and unassuming, all the good ghosts of the house get together and decide to gaslight them, hard. Ben dons the rubber suit and rapey-scares Stacey into the basement, where Miguel follows her. Ben and Vivien put on a hilarious show for them, yelling cutely about how much they hate each other until Ben shoots Vivien and Vivien disembowels him. Upstairs, Tate plans on killing Gabe so he can be Violet’s boyfriend for all of eternity, but Violet saves Gabe’s life. The Ramoses GTFO with a quickness, and Marcy must once again put the house up for sale.

While this is going on, the two detectives question Constance about the baby, who went missing from the house after Ben was killed/apparent-suicided. She’s all, “Violet must have took him and run away!” but, as expected, she’s keeping the baby in the creepy mirror room.

Three years later, and we find that she’s also named it Michael and is raising it as the Antichrist, which entails looking fabulous and scaring your hairdresser with the force of your megalomaniacal narcissism, apparently. It also entails letting your maids get super murdered. Let me tell you, whoever cast the kid playing Michael did an excellent job. He’s creepy as hell.

Now, it’s impossible to know if any of this episode is going to have any bearing on the next season, which won’t include the Harmons. This is one of those shows where, even if the next seasons suck, I’ll be watching it until one of us dies because I still have no idea what the hell is going on.

Thank you to everyone who’s read along, commented, and discussed this weird little show on this website. You’ve improved my viewing experience, and I hope I’ve improved yours a bit, too. See you next season!