The season finale of American Horror Story is quickly approaching and with Birth we got the table pretty much set for it. Being the second-to-last episode of the season it had a lot to live up to and I must say I feel rather thankful to say it did.
The storyline for this episode centered around two things – First Vivien’s twins and second Violet’s way of dealing with her own death. For the first time in a few episodes, however, we are presented with an episode where absolutely nothing feels like filler, even when a few of the situations seem a bit too far-fetched. Regarding Violet, she spends most of the episode trying to let Ben know she’s dead and trying to find a way to make sure Vivien’s babies will be safe in the house after learning that pretty much every single ghost in there wants to put their hands on the babies. In order to try and keep the spirits away, she gets Constance to hire the medium to go to the house and help her find a way to deal with them, triggering a scene during which the medium tries to explain Violet the differences between the living and the dead while also letting her know how sad she feels that she died so young and, more importantly, instantly feels something evil in Tate. However, perhaps the most important part of her role was establishing that there is indeed evil in the house that’s attempting to pass into the real world by the mean of Vivien’s babies while also stating that the house has been using the ghosts to get its way.
This could be just a random bit of information weren’t it for it being a possible explanation to many of the things that have happened inside of the house – In fact, said small phrase might as well work as a deus ex machina that solves most of the plots related to the ghosts and Tate, simply saying that the murders were indeed caused by the house itself. However, I seriously hope the final resolution of the episode doesn’t end up being that, since that’d be a horribly cheap way to end the show – Even when I’m sure that’ll come to play when it comes to Tate at least, I really hope there’s more to it than just blaming the house for everything.
Speaking of Tate, we’re at last given the reason why he wanted to give a baby to Nora and, though still a pretty odd reason, at least we know he attempted to give her some closure due to personal reasons – Whether Nora will actually find some rest or not now that she has the baby she longed for remains still to be explained. Less satisfactory, however, was the storyline with the resident gay couple (Or with pretty much everyone else), with everyone and their mothers wanting to put their hands on Vivien’s babies, something that’s made even stranger when we consider Constance lived there with small children (And one can guess she had at least one of them while there) without any of the ghosts going batshit insane over the children.
Vivien’s part of the storyline, however, is the one that gives us the framing story for the episode: She’s finally out of bedlam and attempting to go to Florida to run away from the house. However, as soon as she enters the house trying to get Violet, she enters labor and gets forced to give birth inside the house (with several of the ghosts supposedly helping her on the process, something that Constance says but can be a bit hard to believe considering her personal agenda). After a long process where they’re unable to get outside assistance due to a power outage and the ghosts damaging Ben’s car, Vivien delivers both kids – A stillborn one that Nora gets, and a live one that Constance runs away with. Vivien, however, dies right after due to blood loss. Though an interesting storyline, it wasn’t really Vivien who shone here since her part in the episode had Constance taking over it constantly, the storyline becoming more about how Constance attempts to get her grandchild and run with it rather than about how Vivien finally delivered both children she’d been pregnant with. Nevertheless, it was masterfully executed.
All in all, this is one of the best American Horror Story episodes to date and one of the few ones where no time is spent in filler, all of its scenes being properly used to explain something about the plot. With only one episode left, I’m hoping the season finale will actually be as interesting as this episode was while also wrapping up the plot nicely – However, I fear we might be about to receive a cliffhanger ending with the second season continuing with the current story rather than giving us a different one. I, for one, hope it doesn’t end up being so since I’m not sure how well the story can stand going through several seasons, but there are currently so many things up in the air I believe the chance of actually being able to wrap up the season in just the following episode (Which, by the way, should be an extended one) is rather small.
Final review rating: 5/5