American Horror Story 1.11 “Birth” Recap

American Horror Story 1.11 “Birth” Recap

American Horror Story - BirthAmerican Horror Story adds to its ghostly ranks with “Birth,” as Vivien Harmon (Connie Briton) goes into labor to deliver her twins, as Violet (Taissa Farmiga) looks to protect her family by evicting the spirits of Chad (Zachary Quinto) and Patrick (Teddy Sears) intent on keeping the children for themselves. In case you missed out on last week’s “Smoldering Children,” we’ve got all the ghostly twists and turns to hold you over until the next terrifying episode!

Of course, if you’re too frightened to watch tonight’s action for yourself, read on for our American Horror Story recap of “Birth’!

In 1984, Constance lies passed out drunk with past due bills on the table, as a young Tate roams the house playing with his dump truck toy. The basement door swings ajar, and Tate playfully sends the truck down the stairs, creeping down to retrieve it. As he looks for his toy, Tate comes face to face with ‘Infantata’Thaddeus, from which Nora Montgomery rescues him, telling him how to shoo ghosts away. She insists that she’ll protect the boy, and he replies by wishing he were his mother.

Flashing forward a bit, the ghost of teenage Tate nostalgically picks up the same truck, and encounters Nora sobbing about the loss of her baby. Tate comes clean to her by admitting he loves Violet, and can’t give Nora the Harmons’ baby anymore, but she insists that she will take the baby for herself.

Up top, Ben tries to drag Violet out of the house to retrieve her mother from the psychiatric hospital, but the young girl protests, knowing she can’t actually leave the property. Ben all but forces her in the car, and she agrees to lie down in the backseat out of view, and when the car leaves the property Violet predictably resurfaces in her own room upstairs.

American Horror Story - BirthAs Tate explores the internet, Violet questions the future of their predicament, given how technology evolves and that her death won’t stay secret forever, nor can she and Tate have children from their love. A noise stirs them down the hall, where they find Chad (Zachary Quinto) and Patrick (Teddy Sears) painting a nursery in anticipation of Vivien’s baby. When Violet assures them they won’t take her mother’s child, they remind her Ben and Vivien will stay resigned to the murder house as long as Violet remains a ghost bound to it.

Seeking out Constance’s aid, Violet insists she speak to medium Billie Dean Howard (Sarah Paulson) for a way to evict certain ghosts from the house. Constance travels upstairs to speak with Chad, who appears before she can touch their delicately painted crib. Constance and Chad taunt one another over his homosexual parenting and her dead children, and in the process Constance accidentally reveals that Tate fathered one of the children. Despite her offer of the Harmons’twin, Chad remains firm that they’ll take both children, and eventually smother them to death to keep them cute for eternity.

American Horror Story - BirthPsychic medium Billie walks through the house rattling off the laundry list of emotions she detects, including pain, longing, regret, fear, sadness and guilt, to which Constance adds perversion. Billie insists that banishing spirits will be difficult, telepathically apologizing to Violet for her ghostly end. She elaborates on the spirit world, that the ghosts in the house are bound by a” paramagnetic grip,” that evil creates a force every bit as real and powerful as physics, and that psychic trauma congregates in the house by drawing further traumas, like a battery. The house itself wishes to use those trapped between worlds as conduits to enter real life, and while there might be a way to banish Chad and Patrick, Tate shouldn’t be present for it.

At the hospital, Vivien questions why Violet didn’t arrive along with Ben, before a doctor arrives to inform the two of his concern in Vivien travelling to Florida. Despite the precautions they’ll take, the Doctor reveals to Ben that one of the twins is nearly ready to be born, seemingly siphoning off nutrients from the other, weaker fetus. He advises an emergency C-section, but Vivien maintains she’s in control.

As Billie swills scotch, she tells the story of the most successful spirit banishing, that of the 117 colonists who disappeared from North Carolina in 1590. When the ghosts plagued the local tribes killing indiscriminately, an elder cast a powerful banishment curse by burning their personal belongings and talismans, and uttering the word found upon the abandoned colony, ‘Croatoan.’

Tate paces upstairs, not trusting Billie, when Violet enters to tell him the plan to take Patrick’s ring and another item of Chad’s. Tate then heads to the nursery to taunt Patrick about their parenting arrangement before attempting to appeal to Patrick’s lust for other men as a means to get close. Just as Patrick seems to fall prey, he violently attacks Tate, reminding him as a spirit he can do this til the end of time. He blames Tate for his being stuck in the house, nearly free of Chad at the time of his death. Chad overhears, and Patrick runs off to smooth things over, as a bloody Tate reveals that he secured the ring.

American Horror Story - BirthBen and Vivien arrive in the driveway downstairs, though she refuses to enter the house, only to start experiencing labor pains after Ben enters the house to collect her things! Violet and Tate recoup their procured talismans, when Ben begins beating down the door for Violet to start packing her things. Still unwilling to tell her father the truth, Violet insists they leave without her, denying Ben’s claims that she must be on drugs. Violet finally confesses that she died, but Ben incredulously ignores her claims. Vivien honks the car’s horn in the distance, but finds only Constance, who ushers Vivien screaming into the house to deliver her baby!

With Vivien in labor, Ben finds he can’t get any cell phone or land line service, and soon overhears the house’s redhead twins smashing his car outside. When the power cuts out, Ben arrives back in Viv’s delivery room to find dead nurses Gladys and Maria assisting Dr. Charles Montgomery in the delivery, leaving the man aghast at the insanity of the situation. Constance commands him to focus, and while flashing back to their delivery of Violet, Ben lovingly coaches his wife through the first delivery, a stillborn. Charles whisks away the stillborn and gives it to his wife Nora, before returning for the next.

Upstairs, Violet attempts the ritual to rid the house of Chad and Patrick, but despite her “Croatoan” yell and Chad’s pantomimes, nothing seems to work, much to his amusement. He then partakes in his own ‘bull ritual’by burning the crib legs in her fire, and assuring her mother’s babies are safe from the quibbling couple. He then advises her situation with Tate to be worse, her man forever destined to be a monster, as Tate never really changed from his school shooting days, having killed Patrick, Chad, and raped Violet’s mother. This, she did not know.

With lots of blood around the scene, Dr. Montgomery attempts to salvage the next baby through Vivien’s painful delivery, before the child finally arrives seemingly healthy. Vivien on the other hand, continues to bleed as Constance whisks away the healthy child to the other room, and her and Moira fawn over the child together before Hayden appears demanding the baby!

American Horror Story - BirthVivien begins hemorrhaging and drifting in and out of consciousness, as Violet appears to her mother to apologize for not going to the hospital, and invite her mother to let go and join the dead rather than suffer such pain. Ben tries to coax his wife to stay conscious to resume a life together, but Vivien doesn’t believe she has a choice, and slips away into death.

Upstairs, Violet confronts and recoils from Tate, deciding to reveal his true murderous nature to the ignorant spirit, that he killed the students at his school, others in the house, and that raping and impregnating Vivien led to the woman’s death as well. He sobs and insists on his ability to change his ways, but Violet dismisses him as pure darkness, rather than someone only attracted to darkness like herself. She ultimately believes Tate when he professes her love as a light that changed him, but insists she’ll never forgive him, and he’ll pay for his actions. She refuses to be with him anymore and the two scream at one another until Tate disappears.

As Violet sobs, Vivien’s ghost appears to comfort her daughter, and hushes Violet’s apologies for having lost her baby. Vivien reminds her, ‘I didn’t lose my baby,’comforting her true daughter.

Did American Horror Story shock you with Vivien Harmon’s death? What did you think about the episode? Join us next week for an all-new episode of American Horror Story, its season finale “Afterbirth” on FX!

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