The latest episode follows Liv (Lourd), a wealthy heiress, and her husband, Matt (Ronen Rubenstein), a struggling Hollywood actor. For months, the couple has been desperately trying to have a baby. But they’ve already done five rounds of IVF, and their odds are decreasing every day. Desperate to improve her chances, Liv accepts a fertility totem from Bernadette (Virginia Gardner), the front-desk clerk at the fertility clinic.
Spoiler warning: The following article contains spoilers for American Horror Stories Episode 4.
That night, with the totem tucked under their bed, the couple finally conceives a baby. But when we skip to the future, Liv isn’t nearly the happy-go-lucky mom who has it all that she thought she would be. Instead, Liv is haunted by what she thinks is a demonic presence in her home, a physical manifestation of the totem and the demonic entity Ba’al.
Liv sees strange things in her house, like visions of the demon on the baby monitor and hanging around her child’s bed. She hears strange static sounds in the feedback that she believes is Ba’al saying, “he is mine,” warning that he intends to take her baby. Liv even finds scratches in the basement that she attributes to Ba’als demonic claws.
Matt and her doctor think Liv is suffering from post-partum depression, and her lack of sleep is driving her toward hallucinations. But what is the truth?
American Horror Stories Episode 4 ending explained: Is Ba’al real?
The end of American Horror Stories Episode 4 reveals that the entire “haunting” has been orchestrated by Matt and his group of acting buddies. Matt spent months gaslighting his wife into believing in Ba’al with the assistance of his friends and his secret girlfriend (the fertility clinic receptionist) Bernadette so that she would eventually get sent to a psychiatric facility. Once locked up, Matt intended to swoop down on all of Liv’s inheritance money with his lawyer’s assistance and divide it up among his partners in crime.
With Liv hospitalized, Matt celebrates the completion of their “production” with his friends. But then something strange happens. Suddenly, the real Ba’al appears and brutally slaughters everyone except Matt.
Since it looks like Matt changed his mind and killed all of his friends so he could keep the money for himself, he’s subsequently arrested and sent to prison. In a second twist, it’s revealed that the supposedly fake banishment spell that Bernadette gave Liv to help her get rid of Ba’al and further convince her she was crazy was actually a real summoning spell.
Liv used it in the hospital and summoned the real Ba’al. They made a deal that Liv would free him from his demonic restraints if he agreed to kill Matt’s friends, effectively framing him for their deaths and getting revenge on him for gaslighting her. I’m not sure how Liv somehow knew what Matt had done. I guess Ba’al told her? I don’t know but hoping for American Horror Story plots to make too much sense is a big ask.
Anyway, in the end, Liv wins, and she makes one final request of Ba’al before she sets him free: Help her make another baby!
What did you think about American Horror Stories Episode 4? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
New episodes of American Horror Stories air Thursdays via FX on Hulu.