This is an oddly self-explanatory title for an AHS episode given the sidewise way they’ve gone with recent weeks. Obviously there’s going to be the birth of Vivien’s twins, and there’s also the “birth” of someone new into the house’s ghostly denizens. Meanwhile, Tate and Violet try to figure out how to banish some ghosts from the house, and there’s a whole lot of other messed-up craziness. But when isn’t there with this show?
We open in 1984 with Constance sleeping in the living room while young Tate plays with his dump truck. The basement door opens and he hurls his truck downstairs before following it and exploring what’s there. Creeped out a bit by the basement, little Tate clambers under a table to get his truck and is scared by FrankenThaddeus. Thaddeus pulls him and goes to scratch the boy, but then Nora Montgomery grabs Tate and tells Thaddeus to go away. She then tells Tate that if Thaddeus scares him again, he should just close his eyes and say “Thaddeus go away.” He tells her he wishes she were his mom, and she says that life’s too short for so much sorrow.
Back in the present day, Tate finds his dump truck again. He also finds a sobbing Nora and repeats back what she told him as a kid, right before saying he can’t give her one of Vivien’s babies. He’s too in love with Violet to take her brother away. Nora doesn’t have the same problem and declares “that baby is mine.” OK, crazy lady. You figure that out. Side note: I love Lily Rabe’s performance in this show. She brings such a depth to Nora, when the character could’ve easily been a cardboard cutout.
Upstairs, Violet teaches Tate how to use YouTube, and muses on how one day they won’t be able to use the internet because everyone will have chips in their heads. Her parents will be upset she killed herself, and she wonders how long it will take before she and Tate are unhappy like everyone else trapped in that house. Tate says they’re different — they have each other. But they’ll never have kids, Violet retorts, bringing the conversation to a whole new level of low. Thanks for the insight, Debbie Downer.
Nora’s not the only one with designs on the baby. Chad and Pat are decorating the nursery, and reveal to Tate and Violet that they’re planning to steal Vivien’s twins. Tate threatens Chad, but bites off more than he can chew. Chad’s not having any of it because what else can you do to a dead man after all? Kill him? This is easily one of my favorite Zachary Quinto scenes in the show so far. I love his cattiness about the coloring of the crib (Chinese Red) and that he’s working on his issues to make Patrick happy.
Violet meanwhile calls Constance into the house. She’s interested in talking to Billie Dean the psychic to find out the best way to get rid of ghosts. She also reveals Chad and Pat are planning to steal Vivien’s twins. Constance assures her that won’t happen, and goes up to have a chat with our favorite gay ghosts. Cue a bit about there being no study that shows rearing by a same sex couple is detrimental (kudos for working that in Ryan Murphy), but Constance makes the mistake of telling Chad that Tate is one of the baby daddies. She tries to convince Chad to only take the baby fathered by Ben Harmon, but Chad ain’t buying it. Constance moves to the dead-parent defense. Chad then tells her that he and Patrick aren’t planning to raise the kids. They’re only going to wait until kiddos are a year old and then smother them with hypoallergenic pillows so they’ll be “cute forever.” The hypoallergenic pillow mention made me chuckle despite the horribleness of the act done with it. Does that make me a bad person?
Billie Dean comes over and does a walkthrough. She tells Violet “This is a very crowded house.” No, really? Thanks for the update, psychic lady. She telepathically apologizes to Violet for the teen’s death, and Violet begs her not to tell (she doesn’t). Billie informs Constance and Violet that before they can banish the ghosts from the house, they have to destroy the Evil force living there. It wants to move in their world, or so Billie says. Tate shows up and Billie demands he leave. He wants to help, but she tells him that he’s helped enough. Hmm … I wonder what Billie knows about our favorite school shooter?
At the hospital, Vivien asks why Violet never visited. We know, of course, but the parents still don’t. The doctor comes in, and advises against flying to Florida in Vivien’s condition. In fact, he recommends an emergency Caesarean section be done for the babies. Vivien downplays this, telling the doctor that she’ll be in capable obstetric hands once they reach Florida. However, Ben’s not having it. He asks the doctor what’s going on, and that’s when we find out at least one of the babies is ready to come out after only 6 months gestation. Ominously, the other child is getting weaker by the day. Why do I get the feeling Tate’s baby is sucking the life from the Harmon one?
Meanwhile at the house, Billie Dean explains to Violet one of the ways to get rid of vengeful spirits with the story of Roanoke Colony. In 1590, all the English colonists died and then haunted the Native American tribe that lived there. The chief was able to banish the spirits by burning their private possessions and uttering the word Croatoan as a curse. Violet relates this story to Tate, who calls bullcrap, and then wonders why Billie said all those things about him. “I did something bad didn’t I?” Tate realizes.
The end of all this is they have to get a talisman from Chad and Pat to banish them. So Tate goes up and flirts with Patrick, who then proceeds to beat the ever-living (whoops) crap out of Tate. He shouts that he was going to get out, that he had fallen in love and was going to leave, but then Chad shows up and hears all this. Pat runs after him and Tate grins because he has Pat’s ring now. Violet managed to grab Chad’s watch, so they’re all good.
Vivien and Ben show up at the house and sit outside in the car. Ben goes in to grab Violet and suddenly Vivien’s contractions start. Inside, Ben finds Violet and demands that she come with them to catch the plane. Violet tries to push Ben out of the house without telling him anything (“You can come back for me later”), but Ben’s not moving. First he accuses Violet of being on drugs. Then finally she drops the bomb — she’s dead and she can’t leave because the house has her now. Ben doesn’t believe her, and tries to drag her downstairs and out of the house. Outside, Vivien is out of the car and screaming with her contractions. Constance runs up and helps her into the house; Vivien screams in agony right when the door is closed.
The living room has turned into a maternity ward with Vivien screaming as she gives birth. Ben’s trying to call for help but none of the phones are working. He looks outside at the twins Troy and Brian smashing his car and shouts at them to get away. The two walk toward the house and give Ben a view of their sliced throats. Then the power dies and suddenly Constance is in the kitchen telling Ben it’s time. Ben follows her into the living room, where Dr. Montgomery and the two dead nurses are helping Vivien. A flash and Ben’s in the corner screaming. Then he’s back helping Vivien. Ben tries to fight the house, but Constance tells him the house is trying to help and he’s in no position to argue. The first baby is stillborn, and Dr. Montgomery brings it over to Nora. Guess she got her baby huh? The most interesting part through this birth scene is the interspersing of Violet’s birth in the hospital with the one happening right now. It was a nice little change of images from the terror of the house, and really shone a light on how Ben and Vivien used to be.
Violet throws Pat’s ring and Chad’s watch into the furnace. Chad shows up and Violet shouts Croatoan at him; he pretends to be affected by it but laughs at her instead. Well that’s a major suck. The spell didn’t work! All those spells are bull, according to Chad, especially the burning of the sage. People make spells up to give themselves a semblance of the control they don’t have. While Chad throws in pieces of the crib, he reveals that Violet’s siblings are safe from them. He’s doomed to spend eternity with a man who doesn’t love him, but at least Pat isn’t a monster like Tate. Violet argues that Tate has changed, so Chad asks when this happened: when Tate killed both he and Pat? Or when Tate raped Vivien?
Upstairs, the second baby is due to be born. Dr. Montgomery calls for forceps to manipulate the baby through and tells Ben to have Vivien stop pushing until he says otherwise. Montgomery does something, and then gives the go-ahead. A healthy little one comes out crying immediately, but then Vivien’s bleeding profusely. Montgomery focuses on healing Vivien, while Constance walks away to “get the baby washed up.” I don’t know that I believe her. Ben asks if everything’s all right.
Constance and Moira meanwhile look at the adorable little one in the kitchen. We don’t see the infant though, and then Hayden shows up and asks if they’ve gotten all that slime off her baby yet. Nice of you to join us! In the living room, Vivien’s going into shock while Montgomery rushes to save her. Violet finally shows up and apologizes for not visiting, but Vivien tells her it’s OK and she’s there now. Ben asks for Vivien to keep fighting, but Violet tells her that if she’s in pain she should just let go. Vivien realizes that she has a choice to make here. And as she decides to die, all the ghosts in the living room fade away. Daaang main characters are dropping like flies around here. Anyone want to take bets on who’s next?
Violet rushes upstairs to find Tate in her room. She tells him that Vivien’s dead, and Tate expresses sympathy that Ben’s now all alone downstairs. Violet then demands to know why Tate was seeing her dad. He reveals he knew he was dead, and he knew why: The cops shot him right in this room. What he doesn’t know is why the cops killed him. Violet tells him it was because he killed those kids that visited them on Halloween. Tate begins sobbing, wondering why he would do that. Then she asks why he killed Chad and Pat, and then why he raped her mom. Tate doesn’t have an answer. “I used to think you were like me,” Violet said, “that you were attracted to the darkness. But you are the darkness.” Ooo … mega-burn!
Tate tells Violet she is his only light. She believes him, and says she loves him, but he needs to pay for what he did. Violet then shouts at him to go away while Tate sobs. She shouts until at last he vanishes, and she stands there alone and crying in her bedroom. Then Vivien shows up, hugs her, and tells her how brave that was. Violet apologizes to her mom, for her dying and for losing her baby. “But I didn’t lose my baby,” Vivien says as she hugs her daughter.
Wow this was a crazy episode, huh? One baby got stillborn and handed to Nora, while the other one is who knows where. Looks like they’ve got a dang good set-up for the season finale next week! Ooo … and the teaser showed Ben with a gun to his forehead. This is going to be good.
If you missed the previous episode, be sure to read our ‘American Horror Story: Smoldering Children ‘ recap.