American Horror Story
“The Coat Hanger”
December 12, 2012
Lady Therapist sees a new patient, “Mr. Morgan” or “Johnny,” if we’re being familiar. Lady Therapist specializes in treating compulsions: quitting smoking, losing weight, that sort of thing. However, Johnny has more of a challenge for her: ever since he was a small boy in foster care, he felt a strong impulse to skin dead cats. He eventually moved on to killing them, before moving on to other crimes. While in prison for robbery, Johnny learned that hurting animals is a predictor of psychopathy, which made him have all sorts of existential thoughts: who am I? why am I here? why am I a cat-skinner? And using the prison computers, he tracked down his biological parents. Lady Therapist is pretty sure this is quickly getting out of her depth, but Johnny insists that she has to help him! Because the impulse! It is even stronger now! Especially now that he’s living in his father’s house, he wants to not just hurt women, he wants to skin them like cats.
–CUT TO: Son of Bloody Face attempting to skin a squirming woman and flinging off his mask in frustration. Why won’t she quit moving? THIS IS DELICATE WORK.–
Johnny explains that he lacks the skills for this type of work. Does Lady Therapist think it’s too late? No! Lady Therapist thinks it’s never too late to turn oneself in! NO, DUMMY, Johnny wants to know if she thinks it’s too late for him to go to medical school. He just wants to live up to his father’s name: Sylar. For Johnny isn’t Johnny “Morgan” at all, he’s Dermott Mulroney SON OF BLOODY FACE. ACCKK!! say all three people who didn’t see this coming from a thousand miles away.
Sister Lucy Fur has some big news for Lana Winters, Human Incubator!: Gurrrl, you need to go register at DemonBabys”R”Us, because you pregnant! Lana Winters, What’s a Girl Gotta Do to Get a Break Around Here? protests that she can’t have a baby, and after taunting her about her so-called “rapist,” (because relevancy) Sister Lucy Fur assures her that when the time comes, the baby will sent to an orphanage, so no worries! And then Lana Winters, TOO MUCH! collapses, and can you blame her?
Meanwhile, downstairs, Sister Jude wakes up to find herself strapped down to the Lana Winters Memorial Torture Bed. Monsignor Timothy is in the room to explain that she’s injured herself, and needs to rest. He reminds her that she killed a man, and Sister Jude protests that it was self-defense! Bad Santa was going to kill her! But Monsignor dismisses this as paranoia, before slipping out of the room. FEEL BETTER. OK BAI.
We are then treated to something of a conspiracy flashback of alive!Bad Santa, Dr. Hoggett, Sister Lucy Fur and Monsignor Timothy each individually explaining to the authorities that Sister Jude lost her damn mind and killed Security Guard Mars before going after Bad Santa (who somehow survived his jugular being sliced open with a letter opener. It’s a Christmas miracle!). And with that, Sister Jude becomes Just Judy and the newest resident of Briarcliff.
In the kitchen, Lana Winters, Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures! swipes herself a coat hanger that was in the kitchen for some reason, and sneaks it into her cell where she straightens it out. You know, so as to stab at her ladyparts with.
Monsignor Timothy and Sister Lucy Fur pack up Judy’s things to be donated to charities that collect red undergarments, and Sister Lucy Fur is all, OH HAI, FATHER SEXYPANTS, I’LL BE UR LADY MACBETH NOW, K?
Just Judy fails about in the Lana Winters Memorial Torture Bed while a couple of her former underlings snide in her face about how she isn’t in charge anymore, and how they’d call Security Guard Mars in here to take care of her, EXCEPT WHOOPS, JUST JUDY KILLED HIM, SO. Monsignor Timothy enters and shoos the hens away, while tsking that he thought Just Judy was ready to have visitors, but ALAS, he sees that he was mistaken. Just Judy assures him that Nope! She’s totally fine! Send in my visitor, please and thank you! Except, HAHA, her visitor is Bad Santa who is here to forgive her. DO WHAT NOW? demands an indignant Just Judy.
Bad Santa is being strapped down to his bed by Sister Jude and Security Guard Mars, thanks to an incident involving a Sister (formerly) Chastity. Sister Jude had hoped that a little time in the general population and with that infernal French song in the common room would have had a civilizing effect on Bad Santa, but she thought wrong. Doesn’t everyone deserve God’s forgiveness? asks a cheeky Bad Santa. Only those who are truly repentant, responds Sister Jude. FINE. Bad Santa doesn’t need her stupid forgiveness ANYWAY.
… which brings us back to the present(past), where Monsignor Timothy is mawkishly crooning over Bad Santa’s and Just Judy’s true road to redemption, as Bad Santa places a gentle kiss on Just Judy’s forehead, UGH. NO. STAB HIM IN THE NECK AGAIN.
Meanwhile, Kitt is pretending to be hooked up to an IV, which seems like quite the plan until one of the nuns comes in to check on his drug levels and then what, Kitt?, when Lana Winters, WHAT ARE WE WAITING FOR, comes in to argue that they have to kill Dr. Sylar already. Kitt, however, isn’t having it. He’s on death row without Dr. Sylar’s confession: How about they use some of that truth serum stuff on him? Lana Winters, Quit Throwing Out Ridiculous Ideas dismisses this, but assures Kitt that she might have another idea …
… and she goes into the storage room armed with a cup of water and her pregnancy test. Hey, guess what, Dr. Sylar? YOU ARE THE FATHER! Dr. Sylar is Very Excited! until Lana Winters, Where’s Plan B When You Need It? explains that, no, she’s going to get rid of the baby. And since she’s stuck in an institution — a CATHOLIC one, no less — she’s going to have to be creative. Like, coat hanger creative, which she pulls out to show Dr. Sylar. HEY HEY HEY, SLOW DOWN THERE! argues Dr. Sylar. Kitt will take the fall for the murders, and he’ll change and stop being a lady-skinning monster and they can all be one happy psychopathic little family! To prove he can be honest, Dr. Sylar begins detailing all his murders, and what drew him to his victims, when HAHA, Kitt pops up in the adjacent room with the tape recorder that has been recording everything. OH SNAP. Dr. Sylar realizes that Lana Winters, Master Manipulator was lying about everything, including her pregnancy, presumably. Nope! That part was true, explains Lana Winters, but she took care of that bit of business with the coat hanger last night. And so, Lana Winters, Responsible to a Fault, is off to take care of her kitchen shift, where she’s going to collect the knife that she will slit Dr. Sylar’s throat with later. TA-TA!
Dr. Hoggett, having had his own ALF experience, heads to the tunnels to investigate the scene. Grace’s dead corps is still missing, but lookee here! Are these claw marks in the sand? Yes! (Question: Sand? Why is there sand in the tunnels?)
Dr. Hoggett then finds Kitt in the hydrotherapy room, hiding the Dr. Sylar tapes under a tub. Dr. Hoggett has much to discuss with Mr. Kitt, après vous! The two retire to Dr. Hoggett’s office, where Dr. Hoggett offers Kitt a smoke and a glass of brown, and Kitt is immediately suspicious. What the what? Dr. Hoggett explains that he’s just trying to be friendly, because he’s seen what Kitt’s seen. Dr. Hoggett reveals a plaster mold of the alien footprint, and explains that “They” took Grace’s corps when he was trying to dispose of it. Dr. Hoggett then asks Kitt if he happened to have sex with his wife before she was taken, and points out that Kitt also had sex with Grace before she died. So it would seem to Dr. Hoggett that the Alfs are doing some sort of eugenics experiment upon him. Dr. Hoggett’s hypothesis is that the Alfs will do everything they can to protect their specimen. And so, if Dr. Hoggett were to, say, I don’t know, bring Kitt to the verge of death, the Alfs will come back from Melmac to revive him. It’s worth a shot, right? And Kitt’s like, hey, sure, why not.
In the kitchen, Lana Winters, Reporter, Not a Thief! gets herself caught by an orderly trying to pilfer a knife. So since that didn’t work, she heads back to her cell, pulls out her bloodied coat hanger and tests the sharpness of its point. Yep! That’ll stab a psychopath nicely! Lana Winters, Let’s Do This Thing! heads to the storage room to take care of business, only to find it empty, and Dr. Sylar’s restraints in a neat little pile. EEP! Lana Winters, You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me, runs down the hallway, only to bump into Sister Lucy Fur, whom she realizes released Dr. Sylar. Sister Lucy Fur takes the coat hanger from her hands, and Lana Winters, Too Bad, So Sad! informs her that the deed is already done. O RLY? U SHUR? says Sister Lucy Fur, before placing a hand on Lana Winters, Reluctant Momma’s belly and whispering to her that it’s a murderbaby boy. Congratulations!
Monsignor Timothy finds Bad Santa praying in the chapel, and the two marvel over Bad Santa’s efforts to rehabilitate himself. If Monsignor Timothy could save someone like Bad Santa, what couldn’t he do, right? And so, sometime later (that day? that week? who knows), Monsignor Timothy unshackles Bad Santa and baptizes him, only to have Bad Santa turn around and drown Monsignor Timothy in Chekov’s Baptismal Font.
Just Judy earns herself a little common room time, where she finds Lana Winters, OH GREAT, YOU NOW! to whom she apologizes for you know, the whole false imprisonment, the electroshock therapy, the exposing her to a serial killer, all that. But! Just Judy is going to make it up her by getting Lana Winters, Skeptical! out of Briarcliff. Lana Winters, Been There, Done That! is NOT HAVING IT, seeing as the last time someone promised to help her get out, he skinned her girlfriend, trapped her in a murder basement and raped and suckled on her. So, you know, not the best track record with folks promising to “help” her. Just Judy understands, but she also promises to earn Lana Winters, When Is Enough Enough!’s trust, and for starters, she’s going to snap that irritating French record in half, because she is the HBIC.
Dr. Hoggett explains to a shirtless Kitt that he’s going to inject him with some potassium chloride and he’ll be dead within a couple of minutes. But it’s cool, because all he has to do is give him a shot of adrenaline and he’ll come right back to life, so no biggie. Kitt’s all, Cool, let’s do this. With a warning that “This is going to hurt,” Dr. Hoggett stabs Kitt in the heart with a bunch of poison, which seems to kill Kitt in no time. Right on cue, the lights start buzzing and flickering, and a loud humming and bright light fills the operating room. Dr. Hoggett follows the source of the lights and buzzing to the solitary confinement cell where he finds a suddenly very verbose Pepper (!!) and a very naked and quite pregnant Grace huddled in the corner. Pepper calmly explains that Grace is full-term and needs a room, and that Pepper (or whomever Pepper has been taken over by) will look after her, and with that, Grace places Dr. Hoggett’s hand on her swollen belly.
Meanwhile, in the chapel, a janitor discovers Monsignor Timothy nailed to the cross in quite the horrific and sacrilegious display that must have taken some real effort on Bad Santa’s part. As the janitor goes squealing out of the room, it becomes clear that Monsignor Timothy is still, barely, alive. And just then our friend the Angel of Death wanders into the chapel. She’s just here to help.
A woman enters Lady Therapist’s office burbling about snacks or something, and becomes alarmed when she notices that 1. Lady Therapist’s office looks ransacked and 2. Lady Therapist, who is clearly in her chair, is not responding. And so, Patient turns Lady Therapist towards her to find Lady Therapist very covered in blood and very very dead. EEEEK! And that’s when Patient runs directly into Bloody Face, Jr. because of course she does.
American Horror Story airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. on FX.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.