Why Hayden Is Such A Polarizing Character Among Fans

Recently, in the “American Horror Story” subreddit, user idk_so_whatever wondered if “Hayden was unstable and obsessed with Ben before her death?” 

Although some fans saw both Hayden and Ben as “trash,” or felt it was (as one user suggested) “too simplistic” to blame “all of Hayden’s mental problems” on her older lover, at least one user felt differently. “She got knocked up by Ben and didn’t want him to just leave her with all the responsibility,” user ona-winters pointed out, adding that “Ben then kills her and their unborn baby. That would make a woman do some crazy things.”

Technically speaking, Ben doesn’t murder Hayden himself, it’s hard to argue that he’s not responsible for her untimely death: Denis O’Hare’s Larry Harvey kills Hayden in an effort to ingratiate himself to Ben. While Ben appears appalled at first, he makes zero effort to seek justice for Hayden, and simply buries her body in the backyard, then builds a gazebo over her makeshift grave. 

If the “obsessive, pregnant former lover-turned-mental-terrorist” character sounds familiar, it’s because Hayden is the contemporary incarnation of Glenn Close’s bereft, infuriated Alex Forrest in “Fatal Attraction.” Both women’s anger and determination are driven less by love and more by the injustice of being treated like they don’t exist. In “Fatal Attraction,” when the married Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) tells his rejected mistress that she’s “sick,” she responds “Why? Because I won’t allow you to treat me like some slut you can just bang a couple of times and throw in the garbage?” Similarly, Hayden says, “I’m not a whore, Ben! I matter!” She repeats this in a later episode to Vivien, saying, “I’m not some silly school girl, I’m a woman, and I matter.”

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