Review

Review

TV Recap: 'American Horror Story' Episode 112 - 'Afterbirth'

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American Horror Story Episode 112

"Afterbirth"

Written By: Jessica Sharzer

Directed By: Bradley Buecker

Original Airdate: 21 December 2011

In This Episode...

Following Vivien's death, Ben has Constance watch the baby while he sets the funeral arrangements. When he comes to collect the child, Constance throws a fit and tells Ben the baby isn't safe in that house. Ben sees a photo of Tate and Addy and puts the pieces together, but seems to have a hard time believing Tate is a ghost.

Back at the house, Vivien is having a hard time adjusting to her life as a ghost. Moira is proving to be a good friend, and Vivien is adamant about remaining unseen to Ben. If he knew she was still there, he wouldn't leave and get the baby away. But Ben is not planning on leaving. He has laid out financial papers, keys, money, and everything else needed to manage his assets, and heads into the office for a smoke and a drink - and a suicide. Vivien's sister is due any moment, so she will be there to care for the baby. Before Ben can pull the trigger, Vivien stops him and insists that he take the baby and leave. Ben agrees, packs a bag, and takes the baby. He is unable to get down the stairs before Hayden stops him. With the help of a number of the ghosts in the house, they string him up and hang him.

Constance finds the body. When the police question her, she spins a story that Violet took the baby and ran. In actuality, Constance has the boy and is raising it as her own.

With the house on the market again, Marcy is back. She has adopted Hallee the dog, the "only living Harmon left." She sells the house to Stacy and Miguel Ramos, and their 17-year-old son, Gabe. The couple is very much in love and Vivien doesn't want the house to ruin another family. With the help Moira and a few other ghosts, a haunting is arranged. It mimics the haunting that occurred when Ben and Vivien first moved into the house. Miguel, in a trance, sleepwalks down to the kitchen and starts playing with fire while the Rubber Man attacks Stacy (it is not Tate, for he is busy messing with Gabe). Stacy screams for help, but finds none. She alternately runs into Beau, who pops down from the attic; one of the drowned nurses in the bathroom; the Black Dahlia sprawled on the kitchen table. She is chased into the basement by Rubber Man and met by a now-coherent Miguel, who starts fighting Rubber Man. RM removes his mask to reveal he is Ben. Vivien meets up with him and guts him, letting intestines sprawl out. He responds by shooting her in the head. Viv warns them to leave. They vacate that very night. Vivien, Ben, and Violet watch them go, proud of their handiwork and knowing they will have to do this every time a family moves in.

Vivien hears a baby crying and finds Nora in the basement with the stillborn twin, also a boy. Nora is ill-equipped to care for a child, even a ghost child. She pawns it off to Vivien, who she thinks is the nanny, and Vivien is all too happy to play along. It only took death for the whole family, but the Harmons are finally a happy family.

Three years later...

Constance is having her hair done, the first time in ages, according to her hairdresser Helen. But Constance has good reason: she has a child, Michael. The son of a distant cousin who died in an accident, she tells Helen. Returning home, Constance calls for Flora, the nanny. She gets no response but a trail of blood. She follows it, finding more and more until she reaches Michael's room. Flora is on the floor, neck split and dead in a pool of her own blood. Michael is bloody but unharmed, rocking and giggling in his rocking chair.

Dig It or Bury It?

As far as season finales go, this one was fine. It was about what I expected; there were no surprises. The ending reminded me a lot of Dexter, in Dexter's flashbacks from when his mom was killed and he was "born into blood." Of course, Dexter was an innocent in that one; Michael... not so much. There were a number of unsettling Norman Rockwell moments in this episode, namely where the Harmons are decorating a Christmas tree. Nothing that was going on would lead you to believe there was something wrong. No strange music or ominous shadows or devious voice inflections; just heartwarming family joy that left me feeling a little anxious.

Full Disclosure

We go back nine months, to when the Harmons still lived in Boston. They had already made the decision to move to Los Angeles, but Vivien changed her mind and was planning on leaving that very day to move in with this mythical sister she keeps talking about. Ben had found the house online, and was totally enraptured with it, hard-selling her based on the idyllic visions he had for their life there. Of course, cut together with creepy, oppositional scenes of what actually happened.

Constance Harm

The old gal kidnapped a baby and, for at least a day, made it live in Addy's mirror punishment closet. When she sees that Ben recognizes a photo of Tate and figures out that Tate is her son, she tells him he is dead, "in the grave longer than he was alive."

Marcy was special this week. When showing the house to the Ramoses, she comments on how "exotic" it would be to sell the house to some "South Americans." Miguel comments that he is actually from Spain, and Marcy is relieved - she prefers European Hispanics.

Prophecies?

I really hope that this doesn't turn into "let's scare the family of the week" show. The dynamics of so many colorful ghosts now living in the house could be interesting - but it could also devolve into Grey's Anatomy.

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