TV Review: American Horror Story 2.11, “Spilt Milk”

Rating: Where do we go from here? After last episode doing away with Sister Mary and Dr. Arden, I’d have...

Alex Trivilino

Contributor

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Where do we go from here? After last episode doing away with Sister Mary and Dr. Arden, I’d have believed this week to be the season finale. Add the momentum of the start of this week, what with Lana finally being released, going public, and killing Thredson, and I’d have maybe bought the idea that there’s still another hour left. After all, many shows (including this one) like to pump the penultimate episode with lots of excitement, and let the finale soak in all of the craziness that had led to it. But here, we have two more episodes left, which frankly is just baffling. This season got off to an electrifying start, and while I’ve still enjoyed the past few, there’s no denying the pace has really hit some sags.

I’d hoped that the inclusion of Bloodyface Jr. would help expedite things, but all that his scenes really were just featured a disturbing amount of breast milk talk. Honestly, such in-depth exploration of his psychosis could be interesting, were it not trying to be provocative for the sake of shock factor. Ultimately, I think Bloodyface’s fixation on mother figures still reads as lazy, bringing nothing new to the table. While Little Boy Bloody’s mommy issues tie in synthetically due to Lana’s plotline, the original Bloody’s mother backstory really feels as though Ryan Murphy threw a dart at typical serial killer tropes, shrugged his shoulders, and went with it.

That’s not to say that the story couldn’t succeed with a mother-driven obsession. Dr. Thredson is a doctor after all, and just as easily could be more determined to kill for medicinal or psychiatric purposes. But this runner could easily feel just as clunky as the mother issues one does. Ultimately, the end result would still likely function in an opportunity to take horror and shock factor a bit too far. Did anyone need to see Dylan McDermott breastfeed from a prostitute? Nor should that prostitute ever need to continue talking about her large breasts, and how dry or not they’re getting. Blech. Normally I’d complain about wasted screen time, but if anything, there’s anything but a lack of screen time coming up.

Still though, I can’t help but feel like a good amount of time will be devoted to the present-day story in the next two weeks, and it’d be better to learn more about Bloodyface Jr. in different ways than we already have. In his two scenes thus far, Bloody Jr. has spoken to a psychologist and a prostitute, each serving essentially the same function for him and for the audience becoming informed on his mental state. We can infer that he’s crazy; his father has certainly spent enough time telling us week after week. So it’s high time he gets something to do that will benefit the overarching story (and I’m still curious to see if and how it ties into last season’s present-day story).

With Mary, Arden, and Thredson gone, the church has quickly shifted from saving grace to antagonistic obstacle. While I appreciate the shift in the story so far (see: Lana’s move back into society as a successful transition, all ideas requiring another excuse to go back into Briarcliff aside), this move has really made the church figureheads into plot points to accomplish whatever the story requires of them: heroes, escape routes, villains, what have you. They certainly fit into the idea of larger institutions that have corruption under their well-intending surfaces — and then corruption within the corruption! — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t forced.

And finally we have Kit and Grace, ready to make a fresh start together, when Kit’s old girlfriend appears, seemingly alive and with a child! I am interested to see what the aliens’ master plan is with all of these children, and hoping that if there is a large-scale story that builds throughout the seasons of American Horror Story, this could be a great way to tie strands together. The problem with the return of the original girlfriend is while we know that Kit has spent quite some time caring about her, I don’t. I like Grace. And I imagine that many other people, after spending a whole season with Grace and watching her take a bullet for him among other things, won’t want to seem too attached to a girl with Kit that isn’t Grace. So though his strain is understandable, I do hope that this new arrival will be more focused on mythology questions, rather than a last-minute monkey wrench thrown into the story. Because if there’s anything this show doesn’t need, it’s more drama.

Crazy Horror Conspiracy of the Week: Two alien babies, one married couple from last season. That’s right! All the marital struggles between the Harmons are derived from being half-siblings (because this show is one that could use a bit of incest pumped into its veins), and you know, alien stuff.