FX’s American Horror Stories continues to deliver short stories based on urban legends and myths as it delves into the world of the occult with its latest offering.
Episode 5 of American Horror Stories is titled Ba’al and anyone who got hooked on Wicca in the 90s will know this god is a vicious one.
Unfortunately, none of the characters in this episode worked that out quick enough.
A devastating blow
Episode 5 of American Horror Stories opens with Liv (Billie Lourd) and Matt (Ronen Rubinstein) learning the devastating news that they will probably never be able to conceive naturally.
They won’t give up, though, and when Liv books a new appointment, she is offered something too good to be true: a fertility totem.
And, of course, it’s not good. But they don’t know that yet.
Backstory and intimacy
After a backstory dump (TL;DR Liv was born into money, Matt is an out-of-work actor), they get intimate and you just know this is going to end badly, if only because this is American Horror Stories and there haven’t been many happy endings yet.
We then jump to 16 months later and a baby is crying. So the fertility totem worked.
However, poor Liv is not coping with a baby that doesn’t even seem to like her.
Remembering the totem after all this time, Liv decides to complain to it and hide it in a shoebox.
Matt then returns home in full corpse make-up and scares her. They have another little
backstory dump chat about Matt’s work and how all Liv wanted was a baby and now all she does is complain about having a baby.
Yeah, this is totally a story about being careful about what you wish for.
Paranormal Activiy: Baby Edition
Just when Liv falls asleep, she sees a huge scary figure in the baby monitor and it freaks her TF out.
In fact, she chats to her counselor about it, as well as the fact that the baby seems to love everyone else but her.
The therapist totally blames Liv for being uptight. Nice.
She then suggests a night nurse and pills but Liv refuses, so they move on to strategies.
Enter the happy version of Liv. Because, after all, part of life is merely faking it until you make it.
And with that, mixed with some detox baths and podcasts, everything seems fixed.
Until the fertility totem turns up again with a makeover.
It freaks the housemaid out enough that she immediately quits. So, that can’t be good.
Neither is the noise coming from the basement.
What’s in the basement?
Liv immediately heads down to the basement, because this is a scary story, and no normal human would do that. She finds scratch marks on the walls. Double crap.
Telling Matt, he immediately suggests a raccoon — even after she shows him the fertility totem. Thanks, Matt.
Also, he got more work, so won’t be around much. Oh, goodie.
Wikipedia at night is never a good thing
Since Matt is at work and it’s late, Liv looks up fertility totems on Wikipedia and immediately discovers an entry for the Ba’al demon.
She also takes up some mad paranormal recording skills and discovers that Ba’al is saying, “I want him.”
Predictably, Matt thinks she should get some sleep and stop listening to all that static.
He also brings back the therapist who blamed Liv for being too anxious around her baby. This time she blames her lack of sleep and prescribes drugs.
It’s party time!
Now, to make matters worse, during a party with Matt’s actor friends, they find an Ouija board just laying around. *rolls eyes*
It comes as no surprise that Ba’al spells out, “He is mine.”
When Liv freaks out, Matt gets mad because she has embarrassed him in front of his friends.
Liv confronts the fertility nurse and rituals go bad
Liv confronts the nurse, Bernadette (Virginia Gardner), that gave her the totem originally. She can’t work out why Ba’al is so nasty. After all, he’s supposed to be a fertility god, not a demon, according to all her pagan-lite books.
So, Bernadette gives Liv a knife and a ritual to fix it all. With Matt conveniently working, she can do the ritual immediately.
Unfortunately, Matt comes home during the ritual, and Liv stabs him. This grants her a trip to a mental health facility.
Matt turns out to be shady AF
So, after a brilliant performance when Matt visits Liv in hospital, it is revealed that he is getting things on with Bernadette and they planned the entire thing. It looks like Matt really did just marry Liv for her money and now he’s going to get it all once she’s proven to be insane.
All his mates are in on it as well. They planned it all — even Matt’s low sperm count.
It’s all fun and games after that — until the actual Ba’al turns up.
It takes the demon all of thirty seconds to kill off all the grownups — except for Matt. This means he gets the blame for everyone’s murder and winds up in jail.
Karma is a delicious b***h sometimes.
Especially when Liv turns up to chat with him in jail and he tries to convince her that he didn’t kill anyone and that it was a monster, Liv does exactly what he did to her previously and tells him he is full of it.
He still tries to get her help with a decent lawyer, though, which truly proves how horrible Matt really is.
Instead, Liv goes home, has a chat with the real Ba’al, and insists she will only release him from her when he gives her another baby.
Yeah, so Liv was the one who summoned Ba’al for real and instructed him to kill all of Matt’s friends, thus framing him and making sure that he never got his claws into her money once and for all.
American Horror Stories airs every Thursday night on FX on Hulu.