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The American Horror Stories Ba'al Moment That Has Fans Divided

Contains spoilers for "American Horror Stories" Episode 5 "Ba'al"

The latest episode of "American Horror Stories" is now on Hulu, and like its predecessors, it has fans buzzing. Episode 5, entitled "Ba'al," centers around a married couple named Liv Whitley (Billie Lourd) and Matt Webb (Ronen Rubinstein) who are trying to conceive their first baby with the help of fertility specialists. After their latest failed attempt, the receptionist at the clinic gives Liz a totem that she promises will result in a baby — and 16 months later, we see Liv and Matt with their baby boy, Aaron.

Liv, struggling to adapt to motherhood, appears to also be struggling with postpartum depression, and soon starts seeing visions of the demon Ba'al around the baby. When Liv attempts to perform a ritual to ban the demon, she is put in a mental institution after accidentally hurting Matt — which is when the first of the twists comes into play. Unsurprisingly, fans are split about the reveal at the end of the episode, with some thinking it detracted from the story and others thinking it was genius. 

Here's what fans are saying about the big moment.

The plot twist left fans conflicted

Once Matt leaves Liv at the mental institution, we learn that he'd actually been colluding with the fertility clinic receptionist Bernadette (Virginia Gardner) and their friends the whole time in an effort to gaslight Liv and get their hands on her money.

On the "American Horror Stories" subreddit, a user with the handle u/gifted_eye started a thread asking others for their opinions on the twist in Episode 5, which they felt was "jarring" and ultimately left them confused, since they thought the first half of the episode was done so well. Another user named u/Userful-Ad-5743 agreed that while they enjoyed the episode at first, the ending left much to be desired: "my biggest issue with the ending was too much exposition dumps right at the end ... I think Billie Lourdes final monologue explaining how she summoned the demon shouldn't have been spoken to the demon, but she should've told the husband in jail cause no one would believe him anyways if he knew and that would potentially drive him crazy."

User u/Castlewallsxo mirrored those statements, writing "I partly agree. I enjoyed the episode but the last 7 minutes were so rushed and tbh I don't fully understand it (did she find out about the betrayal when she was in the hospital, and if so, how?). But I guess it will inevitably be rushed since it is only one episode."

Despite the conflicted feelings that "Ba'al" gave fans, some still considered it to be one of the best episodes of "American Horror Stories" yet.

Some fans loved the twist ending

Plenty of fans disagreed with the original poster's comments, arguing that they felt the big reveal in "Ba'al" was a great addition. A user named u/Crescentmoonman wrote "This episode is my favorite probably, just because of how many emotions it made me feel in a matter of minutes lmaoo. At one point the gaslighting had my jaw on the floor for at least five minutes before watching the ending feeling happy for her, the episode is literally gaslight gatekeep girlboss."

User u/davey_mann praised the episode, saying it left them pleasantly surprised: "The writing, acting, pacing, buildup, atmosphere, and twists all combined to make for an episode worthy of not only the best of AHS, but classic shows like The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Crypt." 

u/Seer77887 also praised Episode 5 by comparing it to classic horror, commenting that "Hitchcock would commemorate the twists."

Whether you're a fan of the twist or not, "Ba'al" is definitely an entertaining watch for those who are fans of "American Horror Stories" — or just demonic horror in general.