RECAP: American Horror Story Episode 11

12.15.2011

By Mark Peikert

Another one bites the dust as the season nears its end

First, congratulations to Jessica Lange for her Golden Globe nomination (and the show itself, which was nominated in Best Drama). But can we officially declare American Horror Story a high-concept nighttime soap? It’s definitely not scary anymore, that’s for sure. And now that we’re deep into storylines involving ghostly breakups, unwelcome pregnancies and custody battles, there’s little else it could be called—beside uneven.

The penultimate episode of the eason, “Birth,” at least explains Tate’s odd attachment to original owner Nora: She was kind to him in the basement as a child, just as the Infantata was about to slash him to bits. So natch, when he’s a strapping young ghost, he’d want to rape a woman to give Nora the baby she needs.

Actually, almost every ghost in that house wants Vivien’s babies. Nora and Tate have a bit of a standoff; gay couple Chad and Patrick are already decorating the nursery, though the question of painting a crib red or not is a thorny one. The now-dead Violet is less than pleased with the duo, which necessitates a visit from Jessica Lange, seemingly lured in by the hanging smoke from Violet’s session with American Spirits. Furious that someone might try to take her grandbaby away, Jessica Lange climbs the stairs in search of Chad, cigarette firmly clutched. Turns out, Constance is a bit of a homophobe, which I was surprised to find myself surprised by. Chad was also surprised to find out that Tate—who, if you will remember, killed Chad and Patrick—is the father of one of the babies. Gays shouldn’t raise children, Jessica Lange warns. Chad laughs, and calmly explains that he and Patrick don’t intend to raise the twins: They’ll wait until the kids are at that super-adorable age, and then smother them with hypoallergenic pillows.

Does anyone else think there are already too many children in this sexy house?

Anyway, Chad has seriously pissed off Jessica Lange, who calls in Billie Dean, the candy-apple-nailed psychic. Billie Dean telepathically tells Violet she’s sorry that Violet is dead, but Violet is more concerned with how to get rid of Chad and Patrick. Apparently, she has yet to meet the likewise baby-hungry Nora and Hayden. Billie Dean spins out a tale of a spell from the lost colony of Roanoke, which leads to a super hot scene where Tate tries to seduce horndog Patrick to get something of his for burning. Patrick’s not horny for jailbait, though, and beats the shit out of Tate, screaming that because of Tate, he’s trapped with Chad. Chad, of course, overhears, and the baby hunt is officially off. Bloodied, Tate nevertheless got what he was after.

Except the spell doesn’t work, of course, and Violet realizes what Chad has known all along: The living are not in charge.

Speaking of the living, Ben and Vivien intend to pick up Violet and then fly straight to Florida from the house, but Violet can’t leave the house (obviously), and as she tries to confess to Ben that she’s dead, Viv goes into premature labor and Jessica Lange hustles her into the house.

From here on out, the episode takes on a smoky, hazy quality, as Ben slowly realizes that he’s surrounded by ghosts, and the dead nurses and Nora’s abortionist husband help deliver Viv’s two children: one is stillborn (allegedly, but Nora hustled that one right out of the room, didn’t she?) and the other healthy. This time, Jessica Lange hustles it out of the room, where she and Frances Conroy Maid gaze longingly at it until Hayden appears to stake her claim.

Unfortunately, Viv is hemorrhaging in the living room. Ben begs her to stay with him, but Violet appears behind him, and tells her mother to just let go. “I don’t think I have a choice,” Viv says. And… another one bites the dust. Was anyone else’s first thought that Viv is never gonna lose that baby weight now?

In a tête-à-tête earlier, Chad cattily spilled the beans about Tate to Violet, disputing her claim that she had changed him by asking if it was before or after Tate raped her mother. With Viv now dead because of the babies, Violet confronts Tate with the truth about why the cops killed him: he massacred a high school. “Go away,” she screams as he pleads with her to forgive him. And poof! He’s gone. Way easier than that Roanoke thing. And as Violet sobs, Vivien appears behind her, and thank god Connie Britton gets to look pretty again. Two down, one to go.

Next week, not only does Connie Britton look great, but she gets some fierce costume changes. She’d better kick that bitch Hayden’s ass.

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