5 user 8 critic


The aftermath of Vivien's difficult labour is revealed and Ben makes plans to get out of the house. Some of the spirits have other plans and the family has to pull together to make it through these very tough changes.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
... Dr. Ben Harmon
... Vivien Harmon
... Tate Langdon
... Violet Harmon
... Larry Harvey (credit only)
... Constance Langdon
... Hayden McClaine
... Detective Granger
... Moira O'Hara (Old)
... Moira O'Hara (Young)
... Nora Montgomery
... Marcy
... Travis Wanderly
... Miguel Ramos
... Stacey Ramos


Ben is in mourning following Vivien's death and plans to take his own life. Constance is taking care of the newborn but Ben wants him back so the child can be raised by his sister. Vivien and Violet purposely avoid him - he could only sees them if they choose to allow it - thinking they don't want to give him any reason to stay. Hayden has her own plans however for Ben and his spirit soon joins that of his now dead wife and daughter. When the house is sold and a new family moves in, the Harmons ensure that they don't fall into the same trap they did. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Horror | Thriller


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Release Date:

21 December 2011 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


There is a reference to the mystery town of Roanoke. "My Roanoke Nightmare" is the theme for season 6. See more »


Gabriel: Who are you? What are you doing in my room?
Tate Langdon: It used to be my room... And then it was hers.
Gabriel: What are you talking about?
Tate Langdon: Violet. She was my girlfriend.
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References Beetlejuice (1988) See more »


The Little Drummer Boy
by The Harry Simeone Chorale
Written by Katherine K. Davis, Henry Onorati and Harry Simeone
[Vivien, Ben, Violet, the baby and Moira decorate the Christmas tree while Hayden and Tate watch]
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User Reviews

Worst Episode of Any Show I've Ever Seen, And I've Been Watching TV My Whole Life
25 March 2017 | by See all my reviews

There are movies and TV shows that are dissatisfying, not exciting / scary / happy / whatever enough, or poorly acted / directed /shot / whatever, as I said. Sometimes there are plot points that make no sense; sometimes there are characters who behave in unrealistic or unbelievable ways. I have never EVER seen an episode of a professionally produced television show however, that I felt didn't seem to understand how to TELL A STORY at all until this "Afterbirth" episode of American Horror story. I'm absolutely dumbfounded.

Those who have been watching "American Horror Story" Season 1 know the basic setup, and it gets reviewed at the beginning of this episode if you don't: Philandering therapist Ben Harmon (Dylan McDermott) moves into an old mansion with his wife (Connie Britton) and daughter (Taissa Farmiga) in an attempt to repair his marriage after his wife Vivien (Britton) finds out about his infidelity. Unfortunately for all of them, the house is haunted, and over the course of this season, the ghosts have tortured and toyed with all of them, in ways that I won't spoil for the uninitiated, but have now left us with Dr. Harmon in great danger and a new baby, with his wife and daughter trying to help him. Will he escape? In any other normal series, that would be the whole premise of this episode. Here however? HO-Boy...! Again, without spoiling it as best I can, suffice it to say that what WOULD be the major conflict of the story gets wrapped up in the first act, in a way that I think anyone with a literary or television or BASIC STORYTELLING background would agree makes the whole first season seem pointless. From there it becomes a gimmicky scare-fest that felt to me like an attempt to turn it back into a horror story, and not just ghost science fiction (complete with an explanation of the rules of how the world works, in the aforementioned first act, preventing the audience from figuring it out on its own and taking satisfaction from that). To me it just meanders aimlessly from the second act onward, ending in what struck me as a too-little, too-late attempt to be creepy that couldn't possibly work on me because I'd already stopped caring. I love the cast, including perennial favorite Charles S. Dutton in a minor role, but they're given a story that really feels to me like something a sixth grader might have come up with. I've never seen anything like this in my life, and cannot understand why this show is so well-regarded today. I can only assume that it gets better in subsequent seasons but frankly, I loathed this season finale so much that I'm never watching this ever again. UNBELIEVABLY bad, in my opinion. Stay away from this first season at all costs!

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