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American Horror Story: Asylum Watch: Episode 9 - The Coat Hanger
”Calm down, Mommy, or it’s going to be a very long nine months.”
A mere winter break isn’t stopping American Horror Storyfrom guaranteeing your holidays are tainted by a million different storyline threads dangling around your mistletoe. Can we momentarily consider this show put its Christmas episode the week before the last episode shown before Christmas. AHS says, “Fuck your calendar. I’m still on that Viking shit.” Let’s get elementary this week, shall we? I present the ABCs of this week’s American Horror Story.
”A” is for Arden’s Aliens and Almost Dying
The side of me that doesn’t care about drama and things crafted from pure inspiration and depth, well that part of me likes this plotline a lot, because I can’t quite make bulbous green heads or tails of it. It’s like a paper mache. The surface is familiar, and while the inside is hopefully filled with various chocolates, it’s probably another brown melty substance entirely.
Concerning Arden’s nice guy routine with Kit where they agree to try and bring back the aliens who may or may not be protecting Kit and resurrecting the women he’s recently had sex with and possibly impregnated, it should have happened before he fooled Jude with the same schtick. Though it’s not as if he’s actually a nice guy now; he still stabs a lethal injection into Kit’s chest, but he’s doing it with scotch prologues now. Ignoring his own “two minutes to resuscitate Kit” rule that he probably wouldn’t have followed anyway, he chases the bright light through the asylum’s halls like a sociopathic Fox Mulder.
He is shocked to open a door to find Pepper the Pinhead sitting with Grace the non-corpse. Seriously? Not only is Grace very much alive, she’s naked and nearly at full term in her pregnancy! Arden and Kit referred to them doing the sex and that the aliens may actually be invested in his sperm, but either time passes way more quickly in that spaceship, or they’ve built a Gestation Quickener out of hamster parts. I guess if they can resurrect shit, they can do anything. Except cover their footprints up.
”B” is for Botched Abortions and Bloody Face’s Kiddo
You think there’s only room for one fucked up pregnancy? I know Lana isn’t fully aware of Mary Eunice’s personality issues, but how do you think it would feel to have a demon tell you that you’re pregnant for the skin-wearing serial killer that raped you? Almost worse than the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday, right? Lana doesn’t feel the need to heed Mary Eunice’s wishes that the child be born and live long enough to ship it off to a Home for Lost Children. I’ll put it out there that I would love for next season to take place at the Home for Lost Children. Now our assumptions of Lana being Bloody Face’s mother, sparked by the cold open and common sense, are strengthened.
I could easily talk for ages about the cold open, featuring Dr. Ben Harmon Morgan Thredson waxing on to a psychiatrist about the learning curve involved with skinning cats. He does so wearing a flannel-ish shirt with the top buttons undone around his hairy chest and sleeves cut too far up his hairy arms, all which covers another smaller shirt beneath this. Instead of a V-neck, this was like a watermelon neck, seemingly hanging past his nipples. Ladies and gentlemen, the offspring of Bloody Face and an as yet undetermined woman: DYLAN MCDERMOTT! One mistaken masturbation assumption and dead animal conversation later, and he makes his reveal. We later return this office so that a woman can find the shrink’s skinned face, and McDermott’s Face is there as well. R.I.P. Woman, you should have been in a better scene. Using family to link this story to the past is clever, but there better be some logic behind this present-day conclusion, and not just have it be a “killers breed killers” elbow in the ribs that fizzles out to nothing.
Back at Briarcliff, we stared in horror at the skittishly-edited abortion that Lana gives herself using the titular wire hanger. You know, that scene that took place two minutes before the Victoria’s Secret ad came on and made women feel sexy and possibly made them want to show off their private parts that weren’t leaking strings of blood. Crafty Lana, with Kit’s assistance, uses the threat of an abortion against the tied-up Thredson, who so desperately wants to be a daddy all of a sudden when she tells him she’s pregnant. Do men with mommy issues/fetishes really have the urge to become fathers?
She coaxes him to explain why he chose the women he killed, and he wistfully talks about peach fuzz until he hears Kit replaying the confession over a tape recorder. “Hey…bitch!” is as good a reaction as any. At least he didn’t continue beating us over the head with his psychopath talk. I admit it gave me the slightest chill when Lana got in his face and told him she’d already used the coat hanger on herself, saying, “It really wasn’t that bad actually. I always wanted to know what it was like inside the mind of a killer. Now I know.” Eesh. I don’t like Lana that much, but I do enjoy her as a real character more than these other chuckleheads. Kit hides the confession tape beneath a bathtub, but is interrupted by Arden before their near death date. He gives only a brief glance, but I think Arden will have it in the future.
Later, after Lana determines that two ends of a coat hanger will stab a person as easily as it did a pillow, she’s shocked to find Thredson has escaped. The sights and sounds become fueled by paranoia until Lana runs into Mary Eunice, who casually bursts Lana’s bubble by telling Lana that her own bubble is still unburst, and that it’s a boy. She does this by telepathically hearing a heartbeat, which makes me wonder if anyone on this show knows how pregnancies work. But I guess Demon Telepathy sidesteps gestative boundaries. Though this scene is not shocking, it’s nice to hear Mary Eunice give the news like that.
”C” is for Contrition and Crucifixion
Straps! Finally! A very emotional Jude, now just regular Miss Judy Martin, is strapped to a bed, hearing Monsignor Howard rattle off everyone (Arden, Mary Eunice, Leigh, Mother Superior) that damned her character by accusing her of killing Frank the guard before attacking an innocent Santa Leigh. I started to feel sympathetic for her until I checked the DVR to make sure what show I was watching. Howard is particularly smitten with Santa Leigh’s admissions to letting faith into his heart, justifying his murders by saying at least there are 18 more people in heaven now. Jude is too overly emotional to appear sane, but she calms right down once Howard allows Santa Leigh into the room, telling her she’ll “find it more medicinal than any pill.” He forgives her, kissing her forehead, and a quick flashback to their switched positions reminds us that Jude is capable of terrible things herself.
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