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American Horror Story: Asylum Watch: Episode 11 - Spilt Milk
After “I am Anne Frank: Part 2,” I anxiously awaited Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s directorial return for the finale, as well as this stray episode in AHS’s non-stop river of extroverted melodrama. I may have wasted my energies, as “Spilt Milk,” which contains several scenes of heavy magnitude, shoveled in so many camera tweaks and techniques that I’d believe its purpose was to pay homage to every single 1990s independent film director. Visual flair is one thing, but the first half of this episode, mostly story-forwarding exposition, assaulted the eyes with extreme P.O.V. shots, plenty of low askew angles, and dozens more tics that only distracted me from Grace and Kit casually dismissing the fact that Kit is the link between the aliens and the pregnant girls, one of which is said to be dead but really isn’t, and has apparently just been hiding out in the house that was nearly destroyed by aliens. See, when there’s that kind of batshittery for subtext, I don’t need to see things from a wall outlet’s point-of-view.
Then around the middle of the episode, time progression ceased to be a tangible concept as Lana put a bullet through the back of Bloody Face’s head, and I forgot all about that director shit. Admittedly, had Gomez-Rejon kept the seamless past/present edits limited to just the scenes featuring Doc Thredson and Dylan McThredson, it would have been okay, even though it was all a little too “clever” for this show.
Enough about that. Let’s talk about how, up until the episode finally got to the tortured wraith that is Jude, the best performance came from Bloody McDermott’s well-endowed prostitute, whose job skills include having “just had her baby three weeks ago.” “Spilt Milk” as a title already sparked visions of breasts and lips and suckling, but dammit if I wasn’t surprised by my own disgust for watching Dylan McBonghit get stoned before having an all-you-can-drink buffet from some big black titties before killing the woman in a mommy-fueled rage. It’s like Reefer Madness 2013. There’s no way to convey my true disgust in mere words, so I’ll just say I bet the real lactose fetishists out there were impressed by the hooker’s sincerity, but threw Milk Duds at the screen whenever Surly McDermott was on screen. Get it? Milk Duds…
The milk motif bubbles up again and again, of course, because Ryan Murphy is years past containing such deviancy into two disgusting Nip/Tuck scenes. While Kit is united with Grace and baby boy Thomas, named after her grandfather and not one of the parents she murdered, Thredson asks Grace about her milk production. Pepper says she knows all about him, so off to hydrotherapy she goes. Skip to the last scene, where Lana lays in her hospital bed, reluctant to take her new bastard baby boy to her breast. But he’s allergic to formula, so what are you gonna do? The fade out on the upside-down cross was a nice touch, though I’m pretty sure we’ve already seen a real Anti-Christ on this show, and she didn’t have the month-old beard and acting prowess of Dylan McDairyfarmer.
In a very short order, Lana is freed from Briarcliff by Mother Claudia, drops info-bombs on the police which include Thredson’s confession tape, and then shows up at Thredson’s house like Chili Palmer, holding him at gunpoint while he makes a final drink before hopefully going off to the electric chair. And well-played, AHS, because I was completely taken in by his hidden gun, assuming he would have used it to shoot her, and then himself. But he never gets the chance. I’m grateful the show didn’t ape the “revenge torture” side of the horror genre here, and that Thredson was dead before he could even realize it. I can’t tell if anyone’s death on this show is well-earned or not. Somewhere along the line, probably before having a baby, she writes a book. About tumescence.
Meanwhile, at some non-specific point in time, Monsignor Howard is surrounded by all forms of shit hitting several different fans at once, while reporters are outside waiting to capture it all. First, he’s accosted by Jude, who scathingly confesses her former true feelings about him, wanting to follow him on his “magic carpet ride to Rome” with his “stupid, pitiful naked ambition.” This is Lange on all cylinders, and she positively dwarfs the Fiennes, who looks game in being dwarfed. Because of his embarrassment, and Jude’s all around malaise with the asylum’s society that she helped create, Jude is sent to solitary confinement. Lana later comes, court order in hand, looking for Jude’s release, but Howard regretfully informs her of Jude’s death, and has all the appropriate paperwork for it, as well as claiming she was cremated, not being fit for a Christian burial. But of course, we find out that Jude is indeed still alive and locked deep within the bowels of Briarcliff. And we get to find this out from the point-of-view of a food cart rolling down the hall. Seriously.
Far more successful is the newly-released Kit’s talk with Howard. (And how dusty must those release papers have been, since no one ever leaves that place. And what’s with this scene happening only by candlelight?) Thredson had baby Thomas taken to the Home for Lost Children, because Kit, the only truly innocent character on this show, can’t possibly get ten minutes of undisturbed happiness. Kit demands that Howard release Grace as well, and to get them back their baby, or else he’ll expose even more of Briarcliff’s dark secrets. To get around the legal ramifications, Kit tells Howard that Arden already had a death certificate and other paperwork drawn up for Grace when she was assumed dead. (Which is presumably how Howard himself was inspired to fake Jude’s paperwork, along with everyone else with any inside knowledge.)
When Grace and Kit, who are incidentally also engaged now, get back to Kit’s still messy house, they find Alma sitting on the bed, holding another one of Kit’s alien-children. Didn’t see this coming, somehow, though Grace’s weird alien water tale seemed like a weak way to truly kill Alma off. Grace’s entire ill-advised recollection of her time with the aliens was very much like the opening credits to a terrible conspiracy theory TV show.
So I have a few thoughts about these children. I think that one of them is going to grow up to be one of the rumored lovers Murphy was referring to for the third season. I think that one of them, whenever they’re an adult, is going to be the “good guy” who stops present-day Bloody Face from killing more people. If neither of these things happens, then I predict both children will grow up and inform the Reptilian humanoid conspiracy. Maybe one of them will be George W. Bush, since he’s a lizardman, isn’t he? Kit Walker. George Walker Bush. Holy shit! Wait, there are men in black suits pounding at my door. I have to drop this line of thought immediately.
So there are two things left to talk about after tonight’s spiked mediocrity. One, how in God’s name does Monsignor Howard still have a job, much less plans to keep himself out of further trouble? How vague was Lana’s information to the police that the ringleader behind this entire charade is still left pulling the strings at Charade Central? He should be in jail, certainly, but at least moved to another parish. Indeed, no one seems to have been held responsible for anything that went on. To quote Kit, “This isn’t justice.”
And two, did we really need to get that vivid with the necrophilia? I mean, obviously we did, because Bloody Face needed to fuck a dead person in order to complete his hole-y trinity. But something, or everything, about it made me feel weird in between my bouts of giddy laughter. I’m avoiding thoughts of Zachery Quinto’s face as he stumbles upon the correct ratio of dead orifice to living genitalia.
Rare is it for me to feel put upon while watching a show that my normal reservations gleefully drown themselves for, but tonight was wholly underwhelming. I wasn’t bored, but only got excited during the “oh shit” moments, and then fell right back into blahness. I have no reason to think this will continue in the final two episodes, when the very cloak of mankind’s existence will be pulled back to reveal these events are all just a bunch of haikus in the back of a notebook, written by Diary McDermott. It will be interesting, to say the least, and I never say the least. See you there.
The Inane Asylum
Somebody plug the magic jukebox back in so that Jude can regain her powers! For a show with a character whose homosexuality plays a big part, I’m surprised we didn’t hear the lyric from “Love Potion No. 9” that goes, “But when I kissed a cop down at 34th and Vine…” Which is one of the strangest lyrics in rock history. We all know what Ice-T would have done to that cop.
Clea DuVall’s guest starring role did not foreshadow her being a butt-fucked corpse. But whose name can do that, really?
I’m glad the song choices for this show weren’t filled with mommy themes, either incestuously loving or vengefully hateful. The whinier hard rock of the 1990s would not be a good subject for homage. Danzig will have to find another show.
I wonder how the events of this season would read as a true crime story. I wouldn’t want Lana to write it or anything. Maybe James Ellroy or a reanimated Truman Captoe.
“You don’t have to cry to be my baby.” But what am I to you if I’m just barfing the whole time? In the realm of awful memories I have of January 9, 2013, Dylan MilkDermott’s residue-covered lips runs a close second to his anticipatory, puckered lips awaiting a nipple. I need Dramamine from the motion sickness I get just from getting up and down to run to the toilet.
“You were right. I’m fixated. I’m stuck on that cold bitch.” Why would someone even write this monstrosity of a line for him to say?
Twice in this episode, I momentarily got baited into stupid thoughts. Once, when Mother Claudia said she wanted Briarcliff “pulled down and the earth salted,” I wondered if the season would end with it being destroyed, which is stupid since the series starts in its remains. The second time was when Lana sees the backdoor abortionist, and I briefly considered Sherlock McDermott having been mistaken, and that he was actually Kit’s kid all along, but of course that wasn’t the case. At least I think so. I feel shame and confusion on Wednesday nights.
The split-screen scene that culminated in Lana walking past Thredson to exit Briarcliff was altogether corny, smart, and infuriating, as Lana is the exact opposite of nonchalant. She was very chalant looking directly at the back of Thredson’s head as she slipped past.
I can’t tell if it’s just a thing of the times, but I like to think that Lana smokes during her pregnancy to purposefully harm her rape-produced child. That’s pretty dark, but it fits.
Joseph Fiennes’ only piece of subtle acting in this series is when he absently stops the person next to him from incessantly banging a checker down onto the board.
Why is it that a filthy, prayer-babbling Jessica Lange instilled in me the true terror of solitary confinement more than almost anything else I’ve ever seen? To be her and stuck with only herself with no end in sight. I got chills. Look at my arm. Look at it.
Great, so now tea kettle whistling is going to remind me of abortions.
English: “Lana murdered Dr. Thredson.”
Asylum speak: “The lezzie blew his head off.”
Lingering questions: Where is Santa Leigh in all this? Why did Howard fake Pepper’s death, or is Pepper really dead at some point in time? Does he have a purpose for doing this, or is he just being a token villain because everyone else is dead?
Bloody Face’s Death Scene: How did Thredson’s living room bar still have perfectly formed ice cubes waiting for him after a day of him working? Those cop lights were flashing through the windows for at least a minute and a half, so where were all the fucking cops? That Humphrey Bogart quote was godawfully out of place here. Why would Lana let him keep talking about death-raping her ex? Is it a euphemism to refer to necrophilia as “practice?” Can I get a fireplace like that?
Predictions for next week:
It will be revealed that both Dermon McDillmott and Monsignor Howard are not actual people, but are actually composed of hundreds of furry kittens, none of which have any acting abilities.
Lana invents the Morning-After Pill.
One of Arden’s mutants is still alive, and forms a group of heroic turtles who are adept at ninja fighting.
Lana tells someone the story about her getting in the cab to leave Briarcliff, only when she tells it, she says, “You like apples? I got your confession tape. How you like them apples?”
Monsignor Howard pins all the crimes of Briarcliff on a teenage O.J. Simpson.
Grace, Kit, and Alma start a home remodeling/decorating show for public broadcasting.
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