"American Horror Story" Afterbirth (TV Episode 2011) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • 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.

  • 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.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Nine Months Ago

    In their Boston residence, after Vivien (Connie Britton) has caught Ben (Dylan McDermott) cheating on her, he begs her forgiveness, saying he would do anything to save their marriage. This includes getting out of Boston and moving to a different city. He shows her pictures of this great house in an older district of Los Angeles, claiming Vivien loves old houses. He tells her the price of this house is strangely lower than those around it, and that it would be a great place for the family to start over.


    Days after Vivien's death, Ben plans to commit suicide and leave the baby to Vivien's sister. However, he reconciles with Vivien and Violet's (Taissa Farmiga) ghosts, who encourage him to take the child and start a new life away from the house. Before he can, Hayden (Kate Mara), enlisting the help of other ghosts, kills him, making it look like a suicide. Hayden takes the baby, but Constance (Jessica Lange) reclaims him with Travis' (Michael Graziadei) assistance. She tells detectives that she found Ben after he hanged himself and that Violet must have taken off with the baby, leaving without a trace.

    As ghosts, the Harmons are reunited as a family. However, they realize that the house is a danger to those living in it. With future families potentially moving in, they resolve to protect those families by scaring them away. Moira (Frances Conroy) explains that while some ghosts in the house only wish the living to suffer the same fates they did, other ghosts are innocents and do not wish to see any more bloodshed. Both of Moira's ghostly forms (Conroy and Alexandra Breckenridge) and other ghosts, including nurse Gladys (Celia Finkelstein), Beau (Sam Kinsey), the burned Lorraine (Rebecca Wisocky), the exterminator (W. Earl Brown), and the Black Dahlia (Mena Suvari), join with the Harmons to help scare new families away from the home.

    Meanwhile, Tate (Evan Peters) is still in love with Violet, trying to make her happy out of fear that she is alone, going so far as attempting to kill Gabriel (Brennan Mejia), the son of the Ramos family that has moved in, because he might be a good boyfriend for Violet. She stops Tate, helping the boy escape, and gently rejects him once more, telling him that she has her family and is not alone. Tate then seeks council from Ben, who wants nothing to do with him, labeling him a psychopath full of charisma, but incapable of true remorse or admitting responsibility for his actions. Tate is moved to finally admit his responsibility for the massacre, burning Larry, killing Chad and Patrick, and raping Vivien and attempts to apologize. Ben tells him that the only people who could forgive him for the awful things he's done are the ones he hurt directly, adding that, regardless, he cannot be his therapist. Tate then asks for at least some companionship; Ben does not immediately respond.

    In the basement, Vivien discovers that the other twin had actually lived for a brief moment after its birth before dying. Its spirit is being taken care of by Nora (Lily Rabe), who finds that she does not have the constitution to be a caring mother and returns the baby to Vivien. Moira suggests that Nora never truly really wanted to be a mother, but had merely been stuck on the idea of her lost child at the moment of her death and thus became obsessed with motherhood as a spirit. Vivien asks Moira to join their family as the baby's godmother, which she happily accepts. Together, as one happy family, they all celebrate Christmas by decorating a tree in the abandoned house with various ornaments found in the attic. Watching from outside, Hayden tells Tate that Violet will never let him in again and that he should get over her, but he resolves to wait, even if forever.

    Three Years Later

    Constance has been raising the baby, which she has named Michael (Asher Gian Starita), masquerading him as the orphaned child of distant cousins, who is now in her care. She returns from her errands one day to find that indeed, three-year-old Michael is living up to his prophesied role, having brutally and gleefully killed the babysitter in her absence. She looks in stunned silence at the blood and then the handprints of Michael, who waves at her from a rocking chair. She slowly sits in front of him and muses, "What am I going to do with you?"

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