American Horror Story 2×09 The Coat Hanger Recap and Review
If American Horror Story has been a little light on meme-worthy sound bites this season, that came to an abrupt halt with last night’s musical chairs-esque mid-season ender where every character seemed to switch positions in one way or the other.
Last season’s Dylan McDermott returns playing a different kind of character than his Ben Harmon. He visits a therapist, Dr. Gardner, with a strategically-placed mask on her desk, appropriately played by Silence of the Lambs’ victim Brooke Smith. You see, this is 2012 and he calls himself Johnny Morgan and believes that he is the son of Bloody Face. He feels this entitles him to feel the same psychopathic tendencies, even though he feels inadequate to his medically-skilled “father.” He asks, “Is it too late?” The therapist says, “It’s not too late to turn yourself in.” He replies, “No. To go to medical school?!” The episode could have ended there and I would have been happy. Fortunately, there’s still 39 minutes worth of thrills to go.
It is not too much of a spoiler to reveal that this therapist doesn’t live to give much advice beyond that. We even see Johnny skinning a woman in the decaying remains of Braircliff and telling the woman to hold the mask after he removes it. I don’t believe for a second that Johnny is really the son of Bloody Face. That would be too predictable, even for this show. After this episode, I’m not sure what to believe.
Back to 1964, Sister Eunice comes into Lana’s room. Lana tries to cover up her rape claims, but it is too late. Eunice informs her that she is pregnant. She suggests a Drain-o margarita. Lana doesn’t want to have the baby. Eunice seems pretty determined that she do.
Next, Sister Jude wakes up in a similar way Lana did in a previous episode: in a neck brace. It seems Jude’s co-workers have turned against her. We see all of them blame Jude for Frank’s death and trying to kill Lee. Even the Monsignor is against her, painting her as delusional. Of course, Lee is listened to since he claims he’s found religion. All of this adds up to a magistrate being convinced that Jude has lost her mind and condemns her to stay at Braircliff for the rest of life…as an inmate. At least Jude won’t have to sneak in anymore. Surprisingly, this upsets Jude and she screams to be released, but her pleas fall on deaf ears.
Back in the bakery, Lana works diligently. She sees wire hangers and gives a look as if a light bulb has gone off in her head. If you need a more subtle inclination, you’re probably watching the wrong show.
As Jude’s material possessions are being packed, the Monsignor seems intrigued by her red lingerie. Eunice enthusiastically joins him. Monsignor doesn’t seem fazed at all by the insincerity of any of this.
Back in Lana’s cell, she examines a wire hanger she has taken. I’m tempted to make a Mommie Dearest reference, but I’m just not that mean.
Jude is not taking any of this well. She scratches a nun who is trying to get her to take her pills. The Monsignor arrives, as does Lee. Lee has found religion and puts on a show where he “forgives” Jude and seems to freak Jude out so much that she is stunned into silence as the heavy-handed editing contrasts Jude and Lee’s changing power positions. Lee once rejected forgiveness after being caught with the ironically named Sister Chastity. She’s not alone. I’m guessing that Lee gets away with this charade b/c this is set in the 60s. Or maybe redemption really was that easy to attain back then, but I severely doubt it.
I loved the next scene, where we see Kit taking his IV out of his bed pan and putting the end back into his arm, only to throw it back in the bed pan when Lana enters. Lana wants to kill Dr. Thredson. Of course, Kit still thinks Thredson will testify on his behalf. Lana thinks she can torture him into doing it. I think they’re both wrong, but I don’t blame them for trying.
Dr. Arden then revisits the tunnels where the aliens took Grace’s corpse. Cue the quick cut and dissolves.
Lana arrives in a storage room where they are keeping Dr. Thredson. Lana taunts him and claims she is pregnant but she will kill the baby before he can grow up to be like his father. Thredson then confesses all of his killings to her. He even says that Lana’s girlfriend never loved her, which we have kind of already figured out. We then hear his voice being played back on a gigantic 60s-era recording device. I wasn’t sure they had those in asylums. Seems Kit was recording the whole time.
Lana then confesses that she killed the baby the night before. She’s so sure it’s dead that we have to actually blood emerging from under her garments. Lana then claims she will leave the room to get a knife and finally kill Thredson. And if Lana actually thinks that is going to work, she really has lost her mind.
Kit then is found by Dr. Arden. Instead of hurting him, Arden decides to interact with him privately. This cannot lead to good. Arden seems polite and unassuming for a change. Kit doesn’t buy it, but then Arden says he believes his stories of the aliens now b/c they took Grace from him. Arden knows he’s telling the truth. Arden asks about Kit and his wife having sex before she disappeared, and concludes that the aliens are experimenting…on Kit. Arden wants to kill Kit for a bit as a way of meeting the aliens, then bring him back to life, Uma-Thurman-in-Pulp Fiction-style. Kit just wants to see his wife again and agrees to this rather insane suggestion.
Next, Lee prays in the chapel. When the Monsignor finds him, he suddenly reveals his megalomaniac side and says this is inspiring him to want to become Pope again. Monsignor needs to baptize Lee to make this game-changer official. Of course, Lee tries to drown him…or does he? I only hope Ian McShane returns in future episodes so we can find out if any of this “change” is for real.
After failing to obtain a knife, Lana then test out her shiny new wire hanger to see if it will do the job. It will. Of course, Eunice catches her on her way and informs her with her satanic powers that not only is she still pregnant, but it is a boy who is probably not Dylan McDermott. Thredson’s gone, too, as if we couldn’t have guessed.
Back in 2012, we see that Johnny has killed Dr. Gardner when another of her patients comes to get a refill on her prescription. If you ask me, if you are a therapist who advertises in the Penny Saver, aren’t you asking to be visited and killed by a psychotic? Johnny is still standing there, waiting to skin this pleasantly plump victim. Next time, I’ll be sure to call in my prescriptions.
In 1964, Jude comes into the Common Room as a patient, which seems to freak everyone out more than usual. She sits next to Lana. Jude seems to think that she can win over Lana and free her. To prove this, Jude destroys the record that plays the French “Dominique” song that drives the viewers crazier than any character on this show. Even Lana seems impressed. I’m not as easily fooled, though.
Next, Arden puts Kit under and the aliens do, in fact, arrive. As Kit lies dying slowly, Arden sees a nude Grace, pregnant with twins. The patient, Pepper, talks in a normal voice and says she will take care of them. I have no idea what is really happening in this scene, but I am willing to wager that Grace is Johnny’s real mother now….and that Kit is royally screwed now, unless the aliens can save him in the afterlife.
Finally, a janitor finds the Monsignor crucified on the giant hanging cross. He seems dead, but then starts to move once the janitor. The only one who listens is the Angel of Death, who is about to take him away…or can her kiss be refused? I guess we have to wait three weeks until January 2nd to find out.
Now, we really must ourselves, how could Lana still be pregnant? Is the baby protected by some demonic magic? If so, then why would he grow into the un-magical Dylan McDermott? Is the Monsignor dead, or just stuck in Braircliff’s purgatory? Will Jude use her supreme intelligence to escape through the tunnels she already knows how to get out through? Will Kit ever wake up to receive the death sentence? Is Grace actually alive thanks to the aliens? Will she have twins…or any at all? What would the aliens want with Arden? Has Lee actually found salvation, and, if he has, will the producers decide to bring back Ian McShane for next season? And will anyone find a replacement for “Dominique??????!!!!!!!”
I guess there will be an upcoming episode where half the cast is killed, but they all are already the walking dead, if you ask me. And, wait three weeks to find more out???? Oh, American Horror Story, WHY HAVE YOU FORSHAKEN US???!!!
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