"The Coat Hanger"
Creators: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk
Producers: 20th Century Fox
Starring: Jessica Lange, James Cromwell, Joseph Fiennes, Sara Paulson, Evan Peters, Lily Rabe, Zachary Quinto; ft. Ian McShane, Dylan McDermott
TV Rating: MA SLV
Genre: television, horror, drama, insane asylum, serial killer, aliens
Scare score: B-
Plot overview: Around present day, a troubled man named Johnny (McDermott) reveals to a therapist (Brooke Smith) that he has murderous impulses, which happen to run in the family. Back in 1964, Lana (Paulson) learns that she is pregnant and uses this information to trick the restrained Dr. Thredson (Quinto) into confessing that he is Bloody Face. Dr. Arden (Cromwell) begins to believe that extraterrestrials might be involved in Kit's (Peters) case, and he concocts a dangerous plan to have them show up again. Sister Jude (Lange) has been admitted to Briarcliff as a patient, and must begin working on her redemption. Lastly, Monsignor Howard (Fiennes) reaches out to help straighten the path of patient Leigh (McShane), but the baptism doesn't quite go as planned.
Lots to talk about. First off, I found this episode to be pretty fulfilling. I mean there was nothing new or bold about it, and in fact it had some of that old familiar American Horror Story: Season One feel to it, but I like that we were finally caught up in various subplots. It wasn't really too scary, and I acknowledge that my scare score seems a bit high. Nonetheless, I felt that the episode was fulfilling.
Not that it's a shocker to anybody, but ex-Sister Jude has joined the loonies and is now a patient in the very institution she once ran with an iron fist and wooden switch. I didn't think I would like this turning of the tables, but now Lange can really show off how bada** she is and how much trouble she might now cause the administration that has turned against her. Unfortunately, given our knowledge of this series, while it's nice to think she might beat the system and help Lana... chances are slim. Especially since Sister Mary Eunice (Rabe) is, uh, Lucifer?
Lana came so far tonight. Is it sad that in today's world, as soon as I heard that the name of the episode was "The Coat Hanger" I knew exactly what was going to happen? Gross stuff; classic AMH playing with day to day horror along with aliens and the like. Lana said it best when she called her unwanted pregnancy the biggest cosmic joke of all. While we would like to think she is ultimately going to escape, both Thredson's disappearance from bondage and the fact that we see baby Johnny Thredson all grow up makes me think the absolute worst.
I'm still warming up to the whole aliens bit, and this episode certainly helped. They're so mysterious! Bravo Arden for wanting to embrace this theory and see why Kit is so interesting for this species from outer space. The drugs and needles to the heart bit was reminiscent of Pulp Fiction, and I'm sure when the next episode picks up it will be another rush for time to see if Kit gets the drugs and pressure to the heart that he needs to be revived!
Two things I was a little iffy about. First: Grace? Like, you died lady. And for what I think is less than a week, or certainly less than a month, that's a big belly! *Aliens* Looking forward to learning more about what this third kind will be like! Second thing: I'm happy Monsignor is getting killed off. I wanted it the whole episode. But the crucifixion was more than a little cliché. Oh well, happy to see Frances Conroy show her face again and happy to see him go!
Final critique: Great midseason finale which simultaneously answered many questions and left us with more questions to be answered! Our shot into present day Bloody Face seems to wind up several of the 1964 subplot, but who knows how the show will resolve itself. Everyone will probably getting up abducted. Biggest question now is if evil (Sister Mary Eunice) will be overcome by good.