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American Horror Story – Recap & Review – Birth

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American Horror Story
Birth

Original Air Date: Dec 14, 2011

Kym – TwoCents Reviewer
kym@thetwocentscorp.com

It’s 1984 when a young Tate first meets Nora in the basement when she saves him from the abomination that was her son Thaddeus. It is this kindness, and the motherly attitude so lacking in his own life, that led directly to present day events and Tate’s desire to make Nora happy in return. But he can’t fulfill the promise he had made when he first did the deed with Vivien. He didn’t love Violet then and that has changed everything. He can’t take the child away. But she still thinks she can.

Nora’s not the only one that wants the babies though, so does Hayden, and the gay couple, and Constance herself. Who will win?

Vivien’s coming home today and Ben is insisting that Violet come with him to pick her up. She tries to explain that she doesn’t feel well to avoid going. She doesn’t want to tell her parents she’s killed herself, but how else will she explain disappearing from the car when it pulled out of the driveway. And on top of that, they want to take her with them to Florida? She’s going to need to confess at some point, and soon. Her observations are astute though, comparing them to “prisoners in a windowless cell”. Tate’s got on his rose (or is it Violet) colored glasses though, and thinks that their love will overcome the misery that everyone else trapped there suffers from. Not that Chad and Patrick appear to be suffering at the moment; they’re busy decorating the nursery for “their” babies.

When Violet and Tate try to confront them about stealing the twins, they’re not the least bit threatened, so Violet calls in Constance for help. She wants to meet with the psychic and find out how to banish at least some of the spirits in the house. Constance vows to take care of it and goes looking for Chad herself. During a heated discussion, in which it’s clear what Constance thinks of homosexuality, Chad lets slip that not only are they planning on taking the babies, they’re also planning on smothering them as toddlers so they’ll be “cute forever”. In the face of that, Constance does bring in her psychic, who confirms Violet’s feelings that everyone there is miserable (and who instantly recognizes that she’s dead herself) and tells Violet about the Lost Colony and how the Native Americans banished the ghosts of the missing colonists that were tormenting them. I live in North Carolina, and I must confess that this story was news to me, so I was dubious of the “curse” she offered. As dubious as it sounds, Violet and Tate are going to try the curse anyway. Tate comes on to Patrick to get his ring from him. He gets beaten pretty badly in the process, but he gets it. Not before Chad overhears him telling Tate during the beating that he had fallen in love and was about to “get out” when Tate murdered him. Chad, for his part, had left his watch just lying around while he was painting.

In the meantime, Ben is at the hospital to get Vivien and the doctor insists Ben know that one of the babies is already fully developed at six months and is killing the other. He recommends an emergency c-section to try to save both of them. Without the rapid development of course, this does sometimes happen with normal twins, sometimes even resulting in the larger twin absorbing the smaller one. But were not talking normal here. The doctor’s going on record as having informed Ben so he can’t be sued later, but he can’t force them to have it done and Vivien’s blowing it off. They head home, where Ben leaves Vivien in the car while he gets Violet so they can go to the airport, but she goes into labor. Ben finds Violet just as she and Tate are getting ready to banish the gays and she tries to tell him everything and that he needs to leave her there and take Vivien somewhere safe. But Constance is already bringing Vivien into the house. The babies are coming – now. Ben can’t get any of the phones to work, of course, but Constance is there, and so is Dr. Montgomery and the nurses. Even the twins are “making sure” – taking out the family car with their baseball bats. Ben finally sees all the ghosts and has trouble coping, but as Constance points out, it’s too late, and they need all the help they can get. Ben holds himself together with flashbacks to Violet’s birth, I think because he’s also processing the idea that Violet’s dead. It’s a beautiful moment woven into tragedy as the first, and smallest, of the babies is stillborn. Nora is happy to take that one though. She’ll have her baby forever.

Violet has gone to the basement and thrown the ring and watch into the furnace to try to banish the gay couple. Chad shows up, but only to mock her and the “dime-store” psychic’s curse. Alas, she has no need to worry about them anymore though. He’s down there for some burning of his own. Patrick’s confession has dispelled the notion that they can be happy and the twins are safe from then. If he could only have left it at that, I would have been happy with this scene, but he just had to go and fill Violet in on Tate’s darker side. He may not remember killing the kids that got him shot, but he certainly made the choice to kill Chad and Patrick and to rape her mother. It’s not that Violet didn’t need to know, or that she wasn’t going to find out eventually. It’s that Chad is such a mean-spirited prick, I didn’t want it coming from him, just as Tate’s baby is tearing her mother apart upstairs. It makes it into the world and Constance whisks it away to clean it up (and try to protect it from Hayden) while Dr. Montgomery tries to stop the bleeding, but he can’t. There’s too much. Violet shows up bedside to give Vivien a choice. Live and spend the rest of her life with Ben (and look how that’s gone lately) or let go and be with her forever. I can’t blame Vivien for her choice, if it even was a choice – she’s lost a heinous amount of blood and may not have even survived had she given birth in a hospital.

After Vivien dies, Violet goes to confront Tate for everything he’s done. It’s tragic, because we know Tate has changed, but it’s also understandable when Violet tells him she can’t be with him because she can’t forgive him. He isn’t the “darkness” anymore, there’s hope for him, but what he’s already done, particularly to her mother, is too much for Violet and it’s him that she banishes, at least from her presence. Vivien’s there to comfort her though, leaving Ben, and the newborn boy, the only living Harmons left. What will happen with them next week? Does he remember that it was Tate that was behind the mask? He must know that it’s not his son that survived, so will he take the baby with him when he leaves? Or will he become like Constance and Larry – the living still so tragically tied to the house where everyone they loved has died? Or will he die himself? There’s only one episode left this season to find out and I’m torn. I can’t wait to see what happens, but I don’t want it to be over either. Anyone know when season two’s supposed to start?

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