Monday, December 19, 2011

Recapping AHS: The Jig Is Up!

1984. Young Tate plays in the house while Constance is passed out on the couch listening to Newhart when his toy truck as it moves down the stairs to the basement on its own. Young Tate follows, finding the toy truck in the darkness when something that looks hideous grabs him, pulling him into the dark. Lady Macbeth suddenly yells, “No, Thaddeus!” and pulls Tate away, telling him that all he has to do is shut his eyes and tell Thaddeus “go away” and he will. She comforts a very freaked out Tate, who says he wishes she were his mommy. It’s understandable – honestly she does “comforting” a lot better than Constance seems able to. In our time, teenage Tate finds the toy truck again and sees Lady Macbeth crying in the basement. Tate says he can’t give her Vivien’s baby any longer. Lady Macbeth is not to be dissuaded and says the baby is hers.

Dating's going to be hard on Thaddeus

Act I! Ben is dragging Violet through the house, trying to get her to go with him to pick up Vivien. Violet sobs and resists getting in the car. Ben throws her in anyway and as he pulls away, Violet is back upstairs. She and Tate wonder how she’s going to break the news about her death to her parents. Violet correctly surmises that they’ll always be stuck as they are now, never growing or evolving. They find Spock and Mr. Spock decorating the nursery and Violet tells them that the Harmons are leaving, but the gays point out that the family will never leave as long as Violet’s stuck there, which works perfectly for their plans to raise the babies themselves. Violet calls Constance over and she wants to talk to the medium about how to get rid of ghosts. Constance finds the nursery and the snarking continues. Blah, blah blah, everyone wants a baby. Babies all around. Constance says the gays can have Ben’s baby, but not her grandson. Spock says they need both – they’re going to wait until the babies are older and them smother them to keep them cute forever. With hypoallergenic pillows! Because this show is nothing if not sensitive to stereotypes about gay men. Or maybe just suburbanites. I’m honestly not sure which is more into specialty pillows.

Act II! The medium has arrived and it takes her all of two seconds to realize that Violet is dead. The medium says there’s an evil in the house, fed by the house’s traumatic history and trying to break through to our world. She says spirits can be banished, but the last time it was done successfully was 400 years ago at Roanoke, when the entire colony died and then haunted the local native tribes. According to the medium, the Indian Chief banished the spirits by burning the colonists’ personal items and saying the magic word “croatoan.” In the hospital, Vivien is being discharged. She’s planning on giving birth in Florida with her family, but the doctor says Vivien needs an emergency C-section and one of the two babies is ready to be born, while the other is slowly dying. Back home, Violet tells Tate they need the wedding ring from Mr. Spock for the banishment spell. Tate goes to Mr. Spock who is understandably a little bitter about Tate killing him. Tate offers himself to him, yes, in the biblical sense, and again he’s still totally not gay. Mr. Spock is not going for it, beating Tate up, confessing along the way that he was planning on leaving his husband right before Tate killed him and now they’re stuck together. Spock overhears this and runs off, but Tate managed to get the ring. Ben and Vivien arrive home when Vivien starts having contractions. Ben retrieves Violet, who says they need to leave and not let Vivien in the house. Ben wants to know how she got away from the car, assuming she’s on drugs because that totally explains teleportation when Violet drops the bomb – she tells him she’s dead and can’t leave the house.

Yay, motherhood!

Act III! Vivien is giving birth on the couch, attended by Constance and Ben. All the phones including cell phones aren’t working. Outside, the Evil Twins are trashing the car. Then the power goes out. Ever observant, Ben is starting to notice things may not be normal. The dead nurses and Dr. Montgomery are helping Vivien in the living room and Ben can see all of it. Constance says the house is trying to help them. Dr. Montgomery orders ether and Vivien flashes between the current birth and giving birth to Violet. Several horrific minutes later, the first baby is stillborn. Dr. Montgomery passes the “stillborn” baby to Lady Macbeth, who cradles it kindly. In the basement, Violet throws the ring into the furnace fire and yells “croatoan” to banish Spock. It…doesn’t work. Neither does burning sage or anything else. Spock says all those spells and chants are bullshit – attempts the living make to let them believe the world is more orderly and controlled than it really is. Spock recognizes that he’s doomed to spend eternity with a man who doesn’t love him, but of the two of their predicaments, Violet’s is worse because Tate will always be a monster. Violet says he’s changed, but Spock asks if that can be true given that he raped Vivien. Revelation!

Act IV! The birth is getting bloodier and screamier. Vivien says the baby is ripping her apart. Basically this is the worst birth since that Twilight movie. The baby comes out crying finally, with Vivien not looking good. Constance takes the baby then makes for the kitchen where she and Old Moira wash the baby. Moira cries and calls the baby beautiful, but Hayden suddenly is there to collect. In the living room, Vivien is hemorrhaging and sees Violet appear and says she’s sorry and if Vivien is in pain, she should let go. Ben sees none of this and begs Vivien to stay. Violet beckons Vivien as she goes limp and still. Ben’s left alone in the room, now ghostless, with just Vivien’s body. Upstairs Violet tells Tate that Vivien has died and wants to know if Tate knows why Constance wanted him to see Ben. She tells Tate that he killed the kids who came to them on Halloween and he’s dead because the cops killed him. Tate breaks down, swearing he’s different now, but Violet says he isn’t and she can’t forgive him. His baby killed her mother, so Violet shuts her eyes and tells him “go away” – the magic incantation that actually banishes him. Violet is left crying alone in her room until Vivien appears and comforts her, telling her she was brave. Violet says she's sorry Vivien had to die and lose her baby. Vivien responds that she didn’t lose her baby at all.

Next time – the season finale!

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