“American Horror Story: Asylum” returned on Dec. 12 with the very grisly and dark game-changing episode, “The Coat Hanger.”
Several key characters have taken a turn in a very grim direction: Dr. Arden (James Cromwell) has “temporarily” killed Kit (Evan Peters), Lana (Sarah Paulson) is carrying Thredson’s (Zachary Quinto) child and devil Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) has set him free, Jude (Jessica Lange) is being framed for murder and is remanded to live out the rest of her days at Briarcliff and Monsignor Howard is hanging crucified by psycho Santa Leigh Emerson.
The episode marks the winter finale of this dark and twisted AHS season two tale. When we return on Jan. 2, we are waiting for some of these questions to be answered:
If Monsignor Howard survives his current state, will he do anything to help Jude or Lana? Where is Thredson and what is is his next move? Will Lana ultimately take him down? Is Kit going to come back from the lethal injection or is he gone for good? Who is going to die next?
Here are some even bolder questions to consider: Is it possible that Kit is an alien or some sort of product of alien human cross-breeding? And, if an earlier theory pans out that Kit and Thredson are brothers, does this mean that Kit and Thredson are some sort of fraternal alien twins?
This could explain the alien’s interest in Kit and his seed. If they are conducting experiments in eugenics and trying to generate a superior race – well, they have to have their hand in it somehow. Maybe it started with Kit and Thredson – good twin (Kit) versus bad twin (Thredson) and the seed that they have now spawned.
In a Dec. 13 “EW” exclusive AHS co-creator Ryan Murphy revealed a few tidbits about the aliens and multiple deaths in the next episode, titled “Name Change.”
Murphy specifically says:
“The funny thing about coming back in episode 10 of 13, half the cast dies in episode 10. So when the script came out, everyone was like, “What?! I die now?” So I had to make a lot of calls. Episode 10 is very good, dramatic…all the cliff hangers are answered and there’s some really juicy stuff because half the cast dies.”
Let’s talk about that first. Kit could likely stay dead, permanently. The Monsignor could do himself in. Beyond that, it’s sketchy guessing fatalities.
Something that needs to be considered is that Johnny attributes his penchant for killing to heredity, because he’s a “Thredson” and he knows how his father killed his victims. So, this means that Thredson is eventually exposed somehow for his crimes.
But is it possible, at all, that Johnny is making a mistake about his biological parents? Will there be a twist that he’s just delusional and has “believed” himself into being this monster’s son?
The only reason this comes to mind is that it seems so improbable that Lana didn’t succeed in with her coat hanger abortion. That said, Thredson could still be his father, but someone else is his mother. Or, as previously suggested, neither one of them are his parents.
Murphy addressed the topic of Lana’s “seemingly failed” abortion attempt, based on Mary Eunice’s conversation with Lana in the same “EW” interview, saying:
“That’s answered in a future episode. I think the devil knows everything but also likes to f— with you. One of the interesting things of the show this year is it’s very interested in social issues. Again, the melding of science and religion and at that time in the country abortion was illegal. The Drano margarita is a real thing that women actually took. The coat hanger abortion many women did it that way and many women died and some of the attempts were not successful. So it’s something we answer in upcoming episodes.”
Either way, Dylan McDermott plays an amazingly gritty and creepy, deranged killer. He’s 360 degrees from AHS season one, Ben Harmon. The mere sight of him kind of makes our skin crawl (no pun intended!)
As for the aliens, Murphy discusses them in the context of his research on people who claim to have been abducted and refers to Graces shocking return and pregnancy. He confirms we will see Grace giving birth.
He also says:
“Well, that’s in episode 10. No, I’ll just say it right now that it’s not an alien baby. I think that’s too Alien. What I was interested in was the idea of eugenics. That’s another crazy f—ing thing when you research these people who were abducted in the ’50s and ’60s. Some of the women who say they were pregnant claim that they came back and their pregnancy had been moved along a couple months as if they were in some weird time continuum.”
An interesting thing to note is that we return on Jan. 2 and episode 10 to a time jump to 1964– wow – a whole year! Murphy confirms all the cliffhanger questions are answered, many characters die and there are many surprises.
Kit and Thredson being brothers and possible aliens would certainly be surprising! It also seems really feasible that Mary Eunice is not going to survive her demon possession. It seems like she’ll do something so evil, it will precipitate Jude, Lana or someone else killing her – if they can stand up to it and survive.
Plus, Arden doesn’t seem likely to survive – his quest to sustain life in unnatural ways makes his death too ironic to resist. One theory: Shelley, Pepper and the Raspers come back and destroy him for everything he did to them. We can’t forget Pepper is seeking revenge and maybe she was one of his experiments that turned in a different direction – grotesque and malformed looks, but maintaining some semblance of “human” distinction beyond what the Raspers have.
Overall, the episodes have been getting much darker as we go, and “The Coat Hanger” marks another series standout. It should also be noted that the cinematography in this installment is brilliant, particularly during the “dreamlike” sequence with Leigh and the Monsignor, with all those flash forwards and then Leigh’s drowning attempt.
Ian McShane just owns this psychotic role. Leigh Emerson frightens us to the core and the sight of a crucified Monsignor Howard is something we cannot easily forget. Leigh’s “redemption” sequence is so riveting and intense. We know the monster still lurks beneath the surface and still, we are shocked by his horrendous acts.
Jessica Lange earns every bit of her SAG and Golden Globe nominations in this episode, as the tables turn on Jude and she is hopelessly trapped in a terror mocking her own misdeeds. Simply put: Lange is absolutely brilliant.
And, Sarah Paulson continues to stun and amaze us during Lana’s abortion, her steely confrontation with Thredson and her utter despair in her botched attempt to kill him.
“The Coat Hanger” really pushes the boundaries and goes places unseen before on network television. This speaks to Ryan Murphy and the entire cast and crew’s genius in delivering something so bold and new that we’re equally repulsed and riveted, in an ultimate fight of good versus evil and sanity versus insanity, beyond anything we’ve ever seen.
One final question: Is it possible that some major sequences we’ve seen in any of this could be delusional images or dreams in the mind of a mad person? In other words, are we going to learn that some of this is a twisted delusional fantasy that isn’t even real?
It’s hard not to think of this when we remember Ryan Murphy, early on, talking about someone who is engulfed in madness would have a twisted, nearly hallucinogenic kind of reality.
What do you think? Please hit the comments below!
“American Horror Story” airs Wednesdays at 10 PM EST on FX.
Correction entered at 4:39 PM ET on Dec. 14: Previously noted a three year jump in time in episode 10. The series is set in 1964, it will be a one year jump to 1965.