One of the reasons the original 1978 “Halloween” is one of my favorite movies of all-time is because the movie didn’t try to explain WHY Michael Myers did what he did or HOW he got that way. No BS explanations of what actually possessed him and made him live through being killed dozens of times (although the original novelization does that a bit). We just had to accept that there was nothing you could do no matter how you tried to wrap your mind around it. As the late, great Donald Pleasance summed it up, Michael was simply evil.
“AHS’s” Murder House is the same kind of evil.
If you have read my reviews so far and have been keeping up with American Horror Story you know I can’t describe and review this last episode, “Birth,” without launching immediately into spoilers. So, if you are saving Season One for DVD (how nineties) or streaming (how now) then read no further. But for those already initiated – follow me…our Season One journey is almost at an end.
This past week’s episode, “Birth,” can be summed up with two words…evil and inevitability.
Ben gets Vivien out of the institution but they learn that one of the twins, the Alpha, is literally sucking all the life away from the Beta, and that the likelihood of both twins surviving was slim especially since the Alpha was ready to be born now and the Beta is six months developed.
Cut to the “residents” of Murder House all hatching their plans for the babies. Chad and Patrick are decorating the baby room and reveal a plot to smother the children when they are young so they can be cute forever. Constance tells them they can have the Harmon’s baby, presumably the Beta, but Chad wants the Alpha…but so does Constance. Meanwhile, Violet calls Billie Dean, Constance’s psychic friend, to find out how to rid the house of its spirits. Billie Dean senses Violet is now one of those spirits and explains that the house absorbs the psychic energy released into it and that that negative energy feeds on trauma and pain. It draws those things to it and that the force is larger than its many individual traumas. Finally, Billie Dean says that that force wants to move in OUR world and is using those trapped in it as conduits.
Violet tries unsuccessfully to rid the house of Chad and Patrick but learns from Chad exactly how evil Tate really is…murdering high school classmates (the same ones who visited on Halloween), killing Chad and Patrick and, yes, raping and impregnating her mother. Horrified, Violet confronts Tate who says he’s changed and Violet accepts that he has changed but explains he’s never really accepted punishment for his crimes. Violet backs away and says she will never forgive him, closes her eyes, and chants “go away” (the one tried and true way to send a spirit away). Just then Ben pulls up to the house with Vivien to get Violet and get the hell out of dodge. As Ben runs in to get his daughter Vivien goes into labor (the force of the house pulling its baby closer?) and Constance pushes her into the house to give birth. Ben sees the abortionist doctor and the murdered nurses standing ready to assist in the unnatural birth and accepts Constance’s word that there’s no time to leave (not to mention that his car is destroyed by the mischief twins). The Beta is delivered stillborn (or so the doctor says) and is handed to Norah who walks away fulfilled that she now has a baby to call her own. Then the Alpha is born and is taken by Constance into the kitchen where he’s cleaned up…just in time for Hayden to say to her and Moira “Hey bitches. Got that slime off my baby yet?” Finally, unable to stop bleeding, Vivien dies in front of Ben. Murder House has its newest resident and mother and daughter are reunited forever.
I can’t begin to tell you how on the edge of my seat I was during this entire episode. I have said before that “American Horror Story” is part of the new generation of soap operas, the perfect show that will on its surface serve as a wonderfully book-ended show and deeper, show others that with just a little thought and a whole bunch of creativity you can have a show that does something that so, so many other shows do not do…make you CARE about what happens to characters and, despite the inevitable, fight alongside them to help them break away and escape.
But isn’t that the definition of insanity? Expecting a different outcome no matter how many times the same situation presents itself? Maybe that’s what the realtor thought when she sold Murder House to the Harmons, or what Tate thought when he met Violet. That things would change. But as Jules Winfield says in “Pulp Fiction.” “that shit ain’t the truth.”
The truth is we have one episode left and I have a feeling all the show’s characters will welcome one more sad spirit into Murder House, Ben. But will Ben be able to save his baby first? Or will that unspeakable, unexplainable evil finally have its vessel to wreak havoc on Earth. And despite my prediction (which is coming true, by the way) that everyone will die by next week’s season finale, you root for Ben to at least get the baby(ies) away from the unspeakable evil that resides in the house.
But the pull of evil is too strong and the inevitable is coming to pass.
No matter what happens in the finale, “Afterbirth,” American Horror Story, like the first season of “Heroes” or “Twin Peaks” was perfectly written and I savored every blood-curdling second. But did you like it? Am I full of beans (or raw brains)? Write me and let me know.