This is it, you guys – the season finale. Apologies for the long post, but the episode was a big one and it ran longer than earlier ones. Does the big finish crazy do justice to the long, strange trip we’ve seen so far? Check it out…
We begin with our weekly dose of flashback irony, as Vivien prepares to leave Ben nine months ago in Boston. Intercut between their sad debate about whether or not they’ve tried enough to keep the marriage together, we see clips from the past 12 episodes. Ben insists that moving together to the new house will restore their hope. Connie Britton nails this scene, crying softly while her idiot husband drones on in rose-colored tones about how great life will be there. Cut to today as Ben frantically searches the house for the ghosts of his wife and daughter, unable to find them.
Act I! Constance has been babysitting the newest Harmon for Ben until after Vivien’s funeral. She is insistent that the kid not be allowed back into the house. Ben says they’ll be fine and Constance asks what we’ve all wanted to ask Ben since this started – “after all you’ve seen, how can you still be so blind?” Flashback to a few months ago, Ben calls Constance to say he can no longer see Tate after he started going into Violet’s room. Addie is coloring at the kitchen table. This is important simply because Addie is awesome. In the house, Vivien is adjusting to ghost life and chatting with Old Moira, who reminds her that Ben can’t see her unless she wants him to, so kindly stop hiding under the table every time he walks into the room. Moira suggests that maybe Vivien’s keeping herself so involved because she wants Ben to see her, but Vivien says she and Violet will not to appear to him because they want him to leave with the baby and raise him somewhere safe. Vivien asks Moira to make her some tea, but Moira gently tells her no, saying that they are equals now and she can get it herself. Later, Ben tells the baby that everything will be okay and his aunt will be there for him soon. Then Ben lays out the keys to the house and puts a gun to his head. Before he can pull the trigger, Vivien appears and stops him. She tells him she forgives him and that the baby needs a father. Violet joins her echoing the call for Ben to leave. Ben fetches the baby, but is stopped on the stairs by Hayden and the two home invaders, who throw a rope around Ben’s neck, hanging him from the chandelier and killing him.
Pictured: The Audience's ambivalence about Ben's fate.
Act II! It is several months later and Marcie the real estate agent is showing the house to Miguel and Stacy Ramos and their teenage son Gabe. Stacy wants to know why the house is priced so cheap. Marcie whitewashes the story of the Harmons as a “tragic love story”, which I’m betting was the rejected first name for this show. Gabe is fine with it, saying he doesn’t believe in ghosts and takes his own tour of the house on his skateboard before getting tripped up by the exploding snaps from the two 70s twins who promptly vanish.
Act III! The two LAPD Detectives are back, apparently having moved on from “solving” Travis’s murder to trying to figure out what happened to Violet. Constance recounts how she found Ben’s body shortly after he died. Flashing back, Ben and Vivien are reunited in death while Constance is pissed that the child is missing. Constance finds the baby in the basement (natch) being cradled by Hayden. Travis slits Hayden’s throat and gives the baby to Constance. Constance lies to the police, saying she believes that Violet ran away with him, when in fact the little tyke/demon is upstairs taking a nap. Back in the house, Gabe finds Violet in his (formerly her) room, listening to his music, which she deems awful. She introduces herself as “a ghost of my former self” and a neighbor and flirts while Tate watches from a distance. Downstairs, Miguel and Stacy put together their kitchen before getting intimate and talking about maybe having another child. Ben and Vivien are watching all of this and can see right where this is headed. They decide that the Ramoses can’t suffer the same fate as them and they need to do something. Moira offers to help, saying that while the house has many spirits, not all of them are angry or vengeful.
Act IV! Miguel, waking from a sound sleep, leaves his bedroom in a trance to go downstairs and play with fire, just as Ben once did. Stacy is left alone when the Gimp appears. Stacy screams and runs down the hall, only to have Beau suddenly jump at her from the trapdoor to the attic. Downstairs, Vivien and Burning Man’s wife tell Miguel that he needs to wake up and save his family. Young Moira leads him to the dining room, where the grotesquely carved up Black Dahlia tells him this isn’t a dream. Upstairs, Stacy is hiding in the bathroom when one of the murdered nurses comes out of the water. She is chased by the Gimp into the basement, where she finds Miguel. Vivien stops the Gimp who reveals that he is Ben. Vivien scolds Ben for “preying on the new meat” before they’re barely moved in, then she eviscerates his torso, spilling his entrails onto the floor. Yes, for realz. Vivien gets a wicked moment where she gets to say to the Ramoses, “you have no idea how long I’ve been wanting to do that.” Vivien, once again, is the audience surrogate. Ben responds by shooting her in the head. Now utterly gory, they turn to the Ramoses, telling them both to run. In Gabe’s room, Tate attacks Gabe with a knife, saying he has to kill him for Violet. Violet appears, telling him she wants to say goodbye to him, distracting him enough for Gabe to run. Once he’s gone, Violet vanishes, leaving Tate alone. As the Ramoses all flee the house in fear, the Harmons watch from the porch, lamenting that some other poor family will just move in next.
Act V! Marcie is again selling the house and getting pissed that it’s still on the Murder tour. Inside, Ben is cleaning up his former office. Tate appears asking if they can talk, but Ben calls him a psychopath and says he’s not worth it. He also says psychology doesn’t work, which actually explains why it was that Ben was so terrible at it. Tate tries to apologize, finally admitting to all his crimes, but to no avail. Elsewhere in the deserted house, Vivien hears a baby crying in the basement. She finds her stillborn infant son in the arms of Lady Macbeth, who clearly has no aptitude for parenting, but insists that the child is hers because “arrangements were made.” Vivien convinces her to let her hold him and the child settles as she sings to him. Vivien brings him to the kitchen where Moira is cleaning out of boredom. Vivien asks if she’d be willing to be his Godmother, calling Moira a “great addition to the family.”
We don't often get to say this about this show, but "awwwww..."
Christmas music begins and we see the Harmons and Moira happily decorating a tree together using old ornaments they found in the attic while Hayden and Tate menace at them from the darkness of another room. We flash forward to three years later – Constance tells her hairdresser that she has adopted a young boy named Michael, the son of “distant cousins” who died in a car accident in Virginia. Constance says all the tragedy in her life was preparing her for Michael, himself destined for greatness and in need of a great mother. Coming home, Constance finds her nanny dead in a pool of blood while little Michael, resembling Tate, rocks in a chair with bloody hands and grins wickedly. “Now what am I going to do with you?” Constance mutters.
dun dun DUN!
Coming soon - Season 1 wrap up and what's ahead for Season 2?