This week marks the return of season one’s star Dylan McDermott! He’s in a familiar setting from season one, too; he’s in a therapist’s office, but he’s playing the patient (in season one, he played the therapist). He’s speaking with a female therapist and telling her about his “problem”, which the therapist assumes is “touching himself” (a line I take to be an “in-joke” referencing McDermott’s masturbation scene in season one). McDermott, whose name we’ve learned is Morgan, says his problem was that he used to skin dead cats when he was a child. Then he progressed to killing the cats. Now, he’s moved even further to killing women; this is a revelation the female therapist is understandably troubled by. Guess what, though? That’s not the last revelation he has to offer; his name isn’t Morgan, after all… it’s Thredson! He’s Bloody Face’s son! Intensity level over 9000!
Zoom! All the way back to 1964, we go!
Lana speaks with Sister Demon, who seems to believe Lana has been “cured” of her “sexual perversion” (homosexuality). Why? Well, because “the rabbit died”, which means Lana is pregnant. (Early pregnancy tests involved injecting a suspected pregnant woman’s urine into a rabbit.) The presumption is that the baby is Dr. Thredson’s (which would mean it’s Dylan McDermott), but I’m not so sure; nothing about this show is what it seems, so I’m going to be skeptical about this baby being McDermott. Also, take a look at the title of this episode. Mmhmm, another throwback to antiquated “medical procedures”…
Meanwhile, you’ll recall in last week’s “Unholy Night” Christmas episode, Sister Jude was attacked by Ian McShane’s character, and she ended up stabbing him in the neck–presumably killing him. Well, it turns out that he didn’t die. Not only did he not die, but he’s perfectly fine, save for a small-bandaged neck wound. This is bad news for Sister Jude because it means he’s able to “testify” that she not only attacked him but also attacked and killed the guard whom we all know was actually murdered by Sister Demon. Dr. Arden is also around to tell whomever is “judging” these testimonials that Sister Jude also accused him of being a Nazi (which he is). What they’re trying to do is convince everyone that Sister Jude has begun taking on the the delusions of patients. They’re successful, even with Monsignor Timothy, who seems to not be in on this scheme. I’m so glad we get another episode with a heavy dose of Ian McShane. Monsignor Timothy brings McShane to Sister Jude’s bedside to “forgive her”, and we get another flashback to 1963, when Sister Jude was mouthing back-and-forth with McShane; great scene.
Back on the pregnancy front, Lana goes to Thredson–whom she and Kit have held captive in a blanket/mattress fort, remember?–and tells him she’s carrying his hellspawn. Then she whips out the coat hanger! She’s about to “use” it, before Thredson starts talking about his crimes; he tells her why he killed the women he killed. He’s really stupid because Lana is obviously recording this conversation; well, Kit was, from outside the room. Now Kit has Thredson confessing to the crimes Kit is accused of committing. Kit goes to hide the tape, while Lana stays to tell Thredson that she actually already used the coat hanger to terminate her pregnancy. Okay, this is horrible enough to imagine, but they actually show her doing it! It’s not as graphic as it could have been, but it’s graphic enough to make you hope nobody ever has to do that again (if, for some reason, you didn’t already hope that).
Just as he finishes hiding the tape, Kit runs into Dr. Arden. They go back to Arden’s office, and the doctor lets Kit know about his encounter with the aliens. You remember how Dr. Arden was disposing of Grace’s body and the aliens took her? Well, that’s what Arden is telling Kit about. Dr. Arden has a theory about the aliens; he thinks they’re taking the women Kit has sex with for experiments that result from an interest in eugenics (of course, Nazi aliens!) Because of this theory, Arden thinks, if Kit was on the brink of death, the aliens would come save him to preserve their test subject. Dr. Arden wants to “almost” kill Kit, and Kit is actually okay with this.
Now we revisit Ian McShane, who has “repented”, and he is being a perfectly good little boy, praying in the asylum’s church. Monsignor Timothy finds McShane there, and he is pleased. Ian McShane is very happy with himself, and Monsignor Timothy wants him to be even happier; that’s why he agrees to baptize McShane. Of course this makes sense! Just jump into a pool of water with a murderer! What could possibly go wrong? The monsignor dips McShane under the water, and everything is fine. See? Nothing to worry about… wait! McShane grabs Monsignor Timothy and holds his head under water! Is this the death of Monsignor Timothy? I’m not going to say it is because they don’t show him die. Maybe McShane wants to “almost” kill him. We’ll see.
Away from this, Lana has decided that she will now kill Dr. Thredson. She’s finished with having him just sleepover in the broom closet, so she goes to the kitchen to grab a knife, but a male nurse stops her, so she heads back to her room and grabs the titular coat hanger and heads for that dusty broom closet that “nobody ever even goes into”. What’s this? Apparently someone did go into that broom closet, because Thredson is gone! Lana goes in search of him but only finds Sister Demon. Sister Demon notices the coat hanger and fears the worst, but she places her hand on Lana’s stomach and informs her that the baby is still alive, and it’s a boy–being able to do these things must be another handy demon trick. In case you’re keeping score, that’s Lana “almost” killing Thredson and Lana “almost” killing the baby. There’s a shitload of “almost” killing going on.
We’re whooshed back to present time, just long enough to see a patient discover the aforementioned female therapist to have had her skin pulled from her body… then she turns around to be met with Dylan McDermott covered in blood! Bloody Face Jr. is real!
Back to 1964.
Sister Jude (or I guess she’ll probably go back to her actual name of Judy Martin, now), attempts to endear herself to Lana. They’ll probably become good friends, now that Judy knows what it’s like to be fucked over, but Lana is certainly reluctant to accept this new-found friendship.
As for Dr. Arden’s “experiment” with Kit? Well, Kit lays down on the doctor’s death table, and Arden proceeds to stab him in the heart with a syringe of potassium chloride–after the woman who kept her earrings inside herself, last week, this makes two scenes that are reminiscent of Pulp Fiction, in as many weeks; interesting–then the expected flashing lights start up. Something unexpected happens, though: Dr. Arden walks into an adjacent room and discovers that Grace has been returned. She’s alive, which means she was “almost” killed, too. It’s the episode of near-death experiences! She’s not only alive, but she’s pregnant! I knew those aliens impregnated her! (or maybe Kit impregnated her before she died, which is why the aliens saved her? Whichever one it is, she’s back and pregnant). She’s also full-term, which means they either sped up her gestation or it’s some quick-growing alien baby. If that’s the way they go, I’ve got money on it being handled way better than a certain recent alien movie…
We do get a payoff on the Ian McShane/Monsignor Timothy bubble bath attack from earlier: McShane has crucified the monsignor. While Timothy hangs from the cross, the dark angel comes calling for him; he’s the character that did not “almost” die. He’s dead.
And that does it for the midseason finale! I can’t wait for the conclusion of the season. American Horror Story: Asylum returns on January 2nd.