Well, the first part of the two part season finale has finally descended upon us and it was a pretty strong episode through and through. Any doubts that I've had about the series pulling off the haunted house story and keeping its family in the house are completely dismissed with what happened this week. The creators have really pulled together a horrific story for the first season and I can't wait to see the second half of the finale. I do have some questions about the direction of the second season, but we'll save that for next week. I'll take this time to drop my weekly *SPOILER WARNING* for those who have yet to watch this week's episode. Here's a quick look at the trailer for episode 11, "Birth":
This week's episode dealt mainly with Vivien giving birth to the twins but also gave us a further glimpse into the lives of some of the other ghosts in the house, an emotional moment between Violet and Ben/Tate/Vivien/Chad (well, let's just say everyone) and of course, the death of yet another important character in the series. Here are my three favorite story arcs from this week:
1. Vivien gives birth; or as Constance would say, "It's time." Upon her release from the psych ward, while waiting in the car for Ben to pack up their things for the move to Florida, Vivien goes into labor. This of course forces her to give birth inside the Murder House with various ghosts assisting in her delivery. Ben watches helplessly as she gives birth to first a stillborn baby (his) and then the more developed "alpha" baby (the demon baby/antichrist), which Constance quickly carries off to be cleaned up. Unfortunately, ghost doctor Charles is unable to stop the bleeding from the grueling delivery and Vivien slips away as Violet stands beside her telling her it's okay to let go. This in my opinion, was Vivien's best episode. So much emotion was brought into her birthing scenes and her death, not to mention the mother-daughter ghostly reunion in Violet bedroom. Actress Connie Britton owned this episode.
2. Violet learns of Tate's monstrous activities. In an effort to banish gay couple Chad and Patrick from the house, Violet practices a ritual taught to her by Constance's psychic friend. An angry Chad (Zachary Quinto) tells Violet about how he and Patrick died in the house (viciously murdered by Tate) and about how Vivien was raped (also by Tate). The scene where Violet confronts Tate with all that he has done, from the school shooting to the murder of her mother was definitely a stand out scene, as we watch the devastation that washes over Tate's face when he learns of the murder of his classmates when he was still mortal. I also liked that Violet banished him away using the same dialogue ("Go away!") that Nora taught a young Tate in the 1984 flashback, although I'm not quite sure that they will be done with each other in the second season.
3. What will happen to the demon baby? After Vivien gives birth to the demon baby, Constance and Moira are wiping it off while Hayden makes an appearance to claim "her" baby. With all these ghosts fighting over the baby, I wonder if Ben will wake up from his grief/shock over Vivien's death to claim the baby for his own. And when are we going to see this demon baby? Based on the sonograms and psychic visions in past episodes, we are supposed to be seeing a demon baby with hooves, that's supposedly here to bring about the start of the apocalypse. I want to see the antichrist, dammit!
The second half of the season finale is set to air next Wednesday, December 21st and is aptly titled "Afterbirth." Given the blood bath we witnessed in the "Birth" episode, I can't even imagine what's in store for us in the finale.