Ten Shamelessly Twisted Things We Learned From American Horror Story Asylum Episode 9, “The Coat Hanger” (SPOILERS)

Well, hot damn!

OK, let’s get the following suspicions we had that were confirmed out of the way briefly before we get our serious learn on here . 1. Yes, there is a connection between the aliens showing up and Kit having sex. So far they’ve taken Alma and Grace, and Kit got the tracking device. 2. Lana’s pregnant, alright, and.  3. Dylan McDermott is the son of Bloody Face, Oliver Thredson, and that was him killing pretty much the entire cast of the wrap-around story so far. Which leads us to…

1.  We learned Johnny Thredson’s back-story (which is a lot like many of us predicted …so far). This is coming from Bloody Face Jr. (who will be referred to as “BFJr” when we’re pressed for time), and sociopaths have been known to be pretty good liars (and Ryan Murphy has, too, though only when it’s to throw fans off a scent, not because he’s a sociopath). Here’s what we learned about his back story, broken down, from the cold open… he says, “I wanna stop. I really do..”

  • BF Jr. has had ‘impulses’ ever since he was a kid. The way he described what the impulses and how amazing they made him feel when he acted on them, the therapist thought (before he got to the part about skinning a cat) he was talking about compulsive masturbation. I’m no prude, but that’s just sick.
  • He started out by skinning a dead cat. Then he realized killing them felt even better.*
  • He grew up in foster care. His foster family kicked them out “when they saw the evidence”.
  • He got bounced from foster care house to house, until he figured out how to do it without getting caught. He said he hadn’t “harmed” any animals since he was a teenager.
  • Then he went to prison for armed robbery, where he learned killing small animals is a precursor to psychopathy. That got him thinking what made him the way he was, and who were his real parents?
  • Johnny found out who his real parents where when he started looking it upon the internet that they had “in the joint”.
  • After he found out who he was, those impulses got stronger and harder to control, especially certain thoughts. First they told him to retrace his roots.
  • Now he’s back in the house where his father lived  (not sure how he afforded such an awesome mid-century modern house, I’m pretty sure he’s living there in, let’s say, a non-traditional way, such as killing the owners and occupants and disposing of their bodies)
  • The thoughts and impulses started telling him to hurt women. Not just hurt them, skin them. Like the cats.
  • He got frustrated because he ‘made a mess’ when he tried it (as we see a flashback of him trying to skin Theresa in broken-down Briarcliff, and getting pissed because she was screaming, and yelling at her to shut up and stop moving-“This is delicate work!”). He knew he botched the job because he didn’t have the same medical training and skills as his father.
  • He wants to stop skinning/killing until he can get into medical school (“If it’s not too late”). He wants to learn to do it as well as his father did. And only then he reveals to the now-terrified therapist that his father was …Bloody Face.

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2.  We learned that Sister Mary Demon is dee-lighted  to share the news with Lana that she’s pregnant, and that she is NOT getting rid of the kid via a “Drano Margarita” (you don’t want details). Sister Mary Demon tells Lana she WILL have this baby. “This is an insane asylum. People hump like bunnies here, you’re hardly our first unwed mother. Of course, the babies are  born a little…cuckoo”. Later, when she tells Lana the coat-hanger abortion (gah!) was unsuccessful, Sister Mary Eunice simply glows with nasty glee.

I don’t trust anyone… or anything.

 

 

3. Lana Winters has wised up, and turns out to be a very good actress when she needs to be. She tells Sister Mary she must have hallucinated the rape, and when she politely informs Sister Mary Demon that she can’t have this baby, threatening to put her in restraints for nine months if that’s what it took, she played along. Lana has also figured out that Sister Mary Demon is an evil bitch (“You’re worse than Sister Jude… you’re a sadist”), but I don’t think she has any idea—yet— she’s actually demonically possessed. Unfortunately, Sister Mary fucks with her anyway by the end of the episode (more on that later)… but Lana makes VERY effective use of her time until then.

Screen shot 2012-12-13 at 2.55.29 AM

4. We learned Lana really, really  wants to kill Bloody Face. Like, immediately. This is, I think, the second time Kit has had to talk her out of it and remind her if she kills him now,  not only will Kit take the fall, but Dr, Thredson will never take the blame. Though I think if Kit wasn’t involved, odds are even she would have killed him as slowly as possible without getting busted,  then gotten rid of his body effectively,  probably chopping him into 400 pieces, just for sheer payback. Luckily, she now has leverage on him, can get some payback by making him suffer WHILE getting evidence she and Kit need to prove he’s the real Bloody Face, then kill him (that last part doesn’t work out… yet. “I need Thredson to talk”. Lana gets an idea… a great  one.

 

And I know something else… it’s a boy.

 

 

5. We learned how to really hit Bloody Face where it hurts. Go find him where you tied him up in some deep dark catacomb of the basement (where apparently only giving him enough the minimum amount of food and water to keep him alive) prove he got you pregnant, then threaten to get rid of the baby. First let him think you’ll have it, then give the baby away and brought up in foster care, LIKE HIM.

After some begging, she tells him she’s  getting rid of it, and since she’s stuck here, “I’m gonna have to get creative”, and pulls out a sharp, thick wire coat hanger, and takes her panties off.  “This is a mercy killing, Oliver. No child should ever have to grow up knowing his Daddy was Bloody Face.” (check). Oliver gets very desperate and apologetic, very suddenly. “You owe me this, It’s my child too, please.” In a clever twist, she tells him he’s a sociopath (check) and can never be honest with anybody (check). When he says he’ll prove it, she asks him why he killed each of the women, adding up to a very honest confession. Then she reveals Kit’s been out of sight with the suitcase-sized reel-to-reel recorder –the same one he got Kit’s “confession” on, ha-HAH — the whole time!  Oliver goes back into misogynistic blurt-mode again, calls her a bitch, and that he knows it was all an act. Not so. In perhaps the cruelest act she can think of to hurt him (which you’ll get NO complaints from us about), she tells him she was pregnant all right, but she already used the coat-hanger on his “beloved baby …last night” (we see the wince-inducing flashback).  “It started as a trickle…and within an hour, it was just a bloody mess.”

After they do knife count, I’m gonna pocket one. Then I’m going to come back tonight and slit your throat nice and easy. I always wanted to know what it was like inside the mind of a killer. Now I know.

 

6. Ryan Murphy, and Lily Rabe, have mentioned before that Sister Mary Demon actually has a plan and a goal . Tonight we found out what it was. She tells Timothy that she agrees with what Sister Jude told her- he should  be the pope. Not only that,  she wants to save souls with him, and serve him… alongside him… all the way to the Vatican in Rome. Oh, shit.

I don’t mind telling you …I’m pretty scared.

 

7. Speaking of Father Timothy, we found out how shitty what he is capable of.  Either Dr. Nazi must have some serious additional dirt on him, or nothing will get in the way of his ambition to eventually become Pope, or some combination of the two. The Monsignor took away everything sister Jude had left—her freedom, her safety, and her title as a nun. They even gave all her possessions, including her clothes, to the poor.  “Now you’re just plain Judy Martin”. (We’re going to have to get used to calling her that). Worse,  he knew what he was doing to her was about the cruelest fate possible. Worst of all, he knew it was a cover-up and she was innocent. Thus, we patiently, hopefully waited through the episode for Leigh to turn on him violently.  We’re sure we don’t need to explain why wretched Sister Jude earned that “Goddamned cigarette” from Lana, if you’ve seen the episode.  He appears to try to feel better about himself by “save” Leigh Emerson’s “soul.” Yep, the convicted, confessed killer of nineteen people (20 if the guy whose face he bit a big chunk off of died). Oh hey, here’s something Timothy  learned the hard way, up next…

Lana:  My God, what did they do to you?
Jude: Nothing I didn’t do to you.

 

8. If a psychotic killer, and possibly rapist,  who you saw bite a guard’s face off a year ago and knock a guard off a ladder and smash the sharp tree-topping ornament in his face recently, does a complete 180 and proclaims piously that he wants to be forgiven by God and make up for all the damage he caused… well, maybe wait, I don’t know, at least a week or so, before trusting him enough to unlock his shackles and leg irons, be alone with him in a chapel, and perform a baptism in a basin about the size of a hot-tub. Otherwise, you may wake up (after being drowned into unconsciousness) nailed to a cross and wishing you were dead so strongly that the actual Angel of Death hears you …and comes calling.

This is going to hurt.

 

9. Now that Dr. Nazi has seen it and has scientific evidence (he saw it and  has the claw print he made), he believes Kit about the aliens. “They’re experimenting. Probably refining  some form of eugenics,” he tells Kit after questioning him (not via torture, but in his office over a “friendly” bottle of fine scotch and a smoke) about having sex with Alma—and Grace— before she was taken. Ryan Murphy teased this info as a hint about what the aliens wanted in the first place, and their interest/connection with Kit;  now he’s confirmed it: Eugenics. But of course, being a “man of science”, he wants to attempt to bring the aliens back-by almost  killing him. This is where the completely batshit things that happen in the episode as Ken Tucker teased before it aired really kick into high gear.

YIPES!!!

This was in the official preview for “The Coat Hanger”, yet nowhere to be found in the episode. We included it because it was so disturbing (it better show up at some point in the next four episodes). See “Stray Thoughts” for more on this.

10. When Kit’s heart stops (so, we suppose a main character did technically die in the episode, though he’ll probably be brought back…we hope), the aliens start putting on their show—the usually ear-splitting noises and flashing, then almost blinding lights. Stunned, Dr. Nazi wan towards the source of a light, and enters a cell/room only to discover PEPPER returned (the aliens took her too, Murphy confirmed, and she came back ”different”),  SPEAKING NORMALLY AND CALMLY,  informing Dr. Nazi that  “The baby’s full term, it won’t be long.” What… the… ffffuu–  Dr. Nazi seems to barely notice Pepper (still a pinhead, but she doesn’t act like one, just looks like one), he’s too busy being blown away by the sight of a now-returned Grace- nude, glowing with life, and very, very pregnant.

Screen shot 2012-12-19 at 5.41.54 AM

Judy: Yeah, things are gonna change around here. (gets up and destroys “Dominique” record with her bare hands)
Lana:  (impressed)  Well… hot damn.

*Now, see THIS is when the therapist should have kept a poker face but quietly excused herself for “just one second”, then as soon as she was out of Johnny’s eyesight, sprinted out of the building and down the street to safety. Don’t wait until he starts talking about how hard it is to skin a woman alive before you start to panic.

Stray Thoughts:

 

  • I guess we could discuss the themes of forgiveness in the episode; who deserves it and who doesn’t, and how being told by someone they’ve forgiven you is not always positive.  Instead, we’d rather talk about the juicier stuff, and leave it at this:  Telling someone that their sins have been forgiven does not always end well for you, either (see Father Timothy). I think the only type of forgiveness that was positive and from the heart (and very satisfying for us to watch) occurred during the scene in the day room with Sister Jude  Judy Martin and Lana Winters. Lana is sitting there looking the most bitter we’ve ever seen her, Sist Judy enters to the strains of Dominique, looking self-conscious at the her former co-worker’s stares and smirks but trying to maintain her dignity. She starts by sitting down at the table with Lana and says she doesn’t expect her to forgive her, but honestly tells her that what she did to her was wrong—and agrees when Lana adds it was criminal.  When Lana admits that she doesn’t trust anyone, or anything, Sister Jude gets up and yanks the needle off the “Dominique” record- VVVVOOOOP!  and many of the inmates react with applause and even some cheers (so did we).
  • Did anyone else think that Jude was going to keep a sharp vinyl shard and stab or slice someone who had it coming, like within the next minute or so of the scene, instead of returning to the table with Lana (or at least slip a shard into her pocket)? Well, she might have it stashed away. It could show up later…
  • Ian McShane, we’re glad you were back, and we’re sorry to see you escape  (though at least now that the holidays are over, maybe McShane’s character won’t murder or rape anyone else). Hey, maybe he decided to exit via the woods, with the hungry Raspers. You think YOU can bite a face off, Leigh Emerson?? Think you might have met your match, there. Murphy has said that we’ll find out —probably on the finale— what happened to him, or where he went, just for closure. I don’t think McShane will get any more screen time. Sister Jude oops, Jude,  dammit— was terrified to see him approaching her bedside, but kept eye contact and did a fairly good job of not showing her fear, though she couldn’t hide her disgust.
  • There were lots of great lines in the episode, and McShane got one of the funniest. He’s being strapped down in an isolation room for some sort of sexual misconduct (that I hope was consensual, but he’s not exactly Don Draper and if a nun was going to say the hell with it and sleep with a patient, there’s a few slightly more appealing choices—not many, but still)  and Sister Jude, hate in her eyes, says to make it tight. “Oh yeah, I like ‘em tight! Just ask Sister Chastity.” Jude snaps that she will deal with Sister Chastity herself and Leigh replies, “You might wanna start by giving her a new name!” She slaps his face, but you can tell he thought it was worth it.
  • We’re really  concerned that the only evidence (and the only copy) of Dr. Thredson/Bloody Face’s confession is hidden away in the hydrotherapy room. We just hope to God that both Kit and Lana were in on the hiding place. Then again, if Sister Mary Demon has her way, they’re probably both fucked on many levels.
  • We were positive–from the moment the still photos were released– that the cigarette Dr. Nazi gave to Kit was going to be laced with Sativa (so he’d hallucinate and Dr. Nazi would work it into some evil plan)- because his little greenhouse isn’t just a hobby. You can’t just go into store and buy Belladonna /Deadly Nightshade, either, even back in the 60s. If you have no idea what Sativa is, you can read about it here (and on a ton of other BLTC type websites out there, probably).
  • Is Sister Mary forcing Lana to have her baby because she knows what a monster the baby is going to become, or just out of sheer spite because she knows how evil it is to make a gay woman who was raped by a serial killer (who also killed her lover) and got pregnant from the rape have to live with it in her body for nine months and then go through childbirth to have it? We’re guessing a bit of both.
  • I don’t know how much time was supposed to have passed, I’m assuming a few days or so, but Leigh sure healed quickly after Sister Jude jammed that sharp metal letter opener into his neck. He appeared none the worse for wear, other than a gauze bandage wrapped around his neck. Maybe Dr. Hans Gruper, who proved he can actually save a life if he really applies himself, gave him some stitches and antibiotics— after all, Dr. Nazi was in on the “frame-up” of Sister Jude.
  • Anyone else notice there were shots in the preview that were not in the actual episode?  That includes the one above, the one of Sister Mary Demon with someone (I think it was Lana) miming a sarcastic Oh, boo-hoo!   directed at them, and we didn’t see THIS disturbing one either. And we really, REALLY looked for it, too:
Not in "The Coat Hanger", but in the preview for it. Where would it even go?

Not in “The Coat Hanger”, but in the preview for it. All we know is it BETTER damn well show up later! We already got screwed with all the AHS S1 DVD/Blu-ray; Murphy describes all kind of cool shit on the commentary, then says, “we had to cut it out, but I’m sure it’ll be a special feature on the deleted scenes/out-takes on this DVD, you can watch it there.” NO we fuckin’ CAN’T! Because there’s no deleted/extended scenes, or even out-takes in the special features on the whole set! At the very least, tell us where the above was supposed to go. Cross your fingers with us that this and the one above comes up later in the next four episodes…

  • We can’t fucking wait for the last four episodes (starting January 2nd, 2013), and  really  can’t wait to see  the two toughest cookies in the joint: Judy Martin and Lana Winters- team up. Of all the (human) women in there, they’re the ones whose good side I’d try to stay on (or join up with). This should be very, very good.

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