Last night on the season finale of the show we like to call Elderly Gay Man's Sex Nightmare, we said goodbye to a few old ghosts and hello to some new ones. But the big takeaway of the night for the whole season boiled down to: If you want to solve all your Earthly problems, kill yourself.
Oh American Horror Story, what am I going to do with you? After peaking with a delightful Halloween two-parter you glided on that high and topped your trip off by nose-diving right into the La Brea tar pits. But how can I hate a show that opened with a cry-masturbating Dylan McDermott? I can't. And so this season ended as it began: as highly watchable garbage.
But let's get down to the recapping, shall we? I was really excited for "Afterbirth" after last weeks "Birth." I 100% expected a big time showdown between Ben and all the other ghosts contained in the Murder House. He's morose from the death of his family, and Violet and Vivian don't really know how to use their ghost powers yet. Surely an epic showdown is at hand.
Instead they just offed Ben in the first couple minutes and hit the Beetlejuice switch. Eep.
While I admit Ben's death was actually pretty crazy (as far as how it was shot and looked) it was entirely too easy of a way out for this SOB. But Hayden hangs him, and what's done is done. And since Ben feels really bad about throwing Vivian into a mental ward and for not noticing that his daughter has been dead for weeks, clearly the Rubicon of shit dividing this family has dried up. Let's also not forget that Ben buried the body of his lover in his family's backyard, and built a gazebo over it. This man is an absolute monster. Can you imagine explaining these actions to a sane person? "Well, he cheated on me, covered up a murder and threw me in a mental ward, but what can I say — I love the guy!" As sweet as the honey colored frames of ghost Vivian and ghost Violet convincing Ben not to suicide himself was the minute Ben joked with his DEAD daughter that she saved him money because she wasn't smart enough to go to Harvard. It was game-over town. The cherry on top? Ben's first words muttered as a ghost were, "can't believe she killed me." HA HA HA HA oh self absorbed horrible, terrible Ben. Constance took the words right out of my mouth, "You stupid son of a bitch."
Clearly Dead is Better, because not 2 minutes after he's dead, Violet and Vivian appear for a big family hug. Because when you die, every horrible thing you did is forgiven — except for Tate. Back to the broom cupbard with you Tate! No one is worried about the child that has just been abandoned. Give it to Constance, there's a spare baby in the basement! It's that kind of ridiculous self-serving plot logic that is purely maddening.
So DING DONG, Ben is dead and Constance is raising the Anti-Christ. All's well and good, right? NOOOOO. A new couple and their son move into the Murder House, and it's all downhill from there. Instead of developing the characters this show has already created, and allowing the audience to see what the house looks like from the hauntee's point of view, American Horror Story decides that the new Good Guy Ghosts (the Harmons and Moira) are going to scare off the new family, so they won't be ruined by the Murder House as well. Which sucks — I would have really enjoyed at least a few episodes of "getting to know you" ghost stuff. Ah well. Oh and Ben and Vivian come to this conclusion by watching the new couple bang on the kitchen counter, and saying things like "Aw," while these two people just ravage each other. Gross guys.
The Harmons cut each other up and throw their jangly ghost bodies around the house trying to scare the new couple out. Here's a clip of it.
Meanwhile, during all of the hauntings Tate pops up and decides that he has to kill the new boy moving into the house, out of love for Violet. You see, now that Violet said "Go away Tate," he has to "Go Away." But he loves Violet so much, he still wants her to be happy — so he needs to kill a new boy just so she can have a hook-up partner forever in the Murder House. Then Tate tries to kill the new kid, but he just can't. Why? Because the show would like you to believe that he's no longer a monster, because Violet fixed him. Love made him whole. But honestly, if you introduced me to your cousin that had murdered a couple, raped a woman, set a man on fire and brought a gun to school to execute his classmates, I would leave. Immediately. That person is a monster. They are human garbage, and have no respect for life. Alas, that is why Dead is Better in American Horror Story land because when you're dead, people have to forgive you, or something. After the Harmons kick out the new couple and Violet saves the young boy (actually really loved her saving the teen's butt in that scene — well done Violet) there's nothing left to do but talk.
And talk they do. Tate approaches Ben and the two of them gab about forgiveness and therapy. Ben tells Tate that he's a psychopath and that therapy is a sham. Tate continues to try and endear himself with the dead people of Murder House, only now it's a bit more difficult since he's the reason all of the Harmons are dead. This whole scene was interesting, and had the killing of the Harmons happened earlier in the season I would have enjoyed a little afterlife therapy. Especially now that Ben almost equates his monster side with Tate's. There's more good fire here. But alas this is the last episode, and next year everything will be different — so fuck my need for development.
The last shot inside the Murder House is of the Harmons, celebrating Christmas with their new addition Moira. Yes. The ghosts are really and truly celebrating Christmas, with Christmas music playing in the back. Ben tells Vivian that he didn't think it was possible but he's truly happy. See, dead is better kids! The two things that really truly light me on fire with anger in this scene are Moira's quip to Violet that, "You'll come to understand that the word ancient loses all meaning when your entire existence is one long today." WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? That's is interesting stuff right there. Can we explore the time difference please? Can we explore what it feels like to be trapped in a home for all time with people who hate you, murdered you, or are just simple psychopaths? No, because Christmas Tree.
Second, outside of the festive gathering of dead Harmons pout Tate and Hayden. They stare into the Christmas twinkle lights and fume. Tate says he will wait forever for Violet, Hayden says something crass because that's what her character does. If they really have a problem with this, why not fuck it up? What is the ghost hierarchy here? If Hayden really has a problem with it, why not go in there and push over the tree? And what about Burning Man's wife and kids and Beauregard? They're seemingly good ghosts, are they to be kept in the attic due to their appearances? What about the nurses? The whole thing just makes zero sense. Why do the Harmons get the last say in everything? Where is Chad? Surely he would like to decorate a Christmas Tree? Sigh.
In the end we only have one thing to cling to: Constance. Forever and always, Constance. There's no way this show will do away with Jessica Lange and her Anti-Christ grandchild just yet — she's going to win them a Golden Globe (mark my words). While I'm deeply saddened that Constance has to beat the old tired bad seed rug next season, I know she will make every minute on screen sensational. But how will they get her nails into the new house and presumably new family the show will introduce next year? Because if you didn't know, the Harmons reportedly aren't coming back.
What did you think, will you tune in next year even with an entirely new cast? I will, given that this show never really tried to sell me on the Harmons in the first place. Instead it just force fed the audience flashbacks and McDermott's ass, until our livers turned into foie gras, seasoned by masturbating ghost tears. It's junk food, but highly watchable junk food. I'll tune in next year, mostly just for the shock value of the next strange flashback and Constance. Just call this the Constance Show already, because I'm sold on that idea.