TV Review: American Horror Story 2.9, "The Coat Hanger"


rating: 4

It turns out that Murder Santa wasn't just a crazy person of the week! In fact, Murder Santa has a pretty intense surprise for many people at Briarcliff. After orchestrating a crazed scheme with Sister Mary, Sister Jude has been accused of killing the guard that Mary sliced open, bringing her into the asylum under Mary's care. For starting out in such a vicious role, Jude has slowly crumbled each week into a more sympathetic character in a sympathetic role. It would obviously be easy to feel sympathy for anyone fallen into such a treacherous scenario, but given all of the vile people Jude has been pitted against, her newfound role as a victim is easy to envision, particularly when she may as well have been a victim from the very start. Murder Santa's second role for a longterm game was fleeing after plunging Monsignor's head under holy water and stringing him up on a crucifix for dead. It's a bit overly-theatrical if he just wanted to kill the man, but appropriate for the show. It also makes for a much more haunting moment than ANYTHING on Dexter's six season misstep into faith. Monsignor's fate is a bit up for grabs, as is Murder Santa's. Santa's escape means he may disappear from the show completely, which could make him more of a plot device (though one immensely enjoyable to watch), but adding a large amount of screen time to the man may distract the final four episodes from the focus they deserve. Either way, it's a potentially awkward problem in an already over-stuffed season, so I don't think introducing new long-term characters this late in the game would be the best possible move the show can make. And yet another long-term character has been introduced: Bloodyface Jr. Though we had technically met him earlier on in the season, this was the first time his flesh and blood was obscured for an actual face, and that face is Dylan McDermott. I'm a little puzzled as to what sort of emotion the intent of his reveal was supposed to evoke. Given that we've spent only a few moments in the present, we had to know that anything in the present had to involve Bloodyface, so was the bigger surprise supposed to be that it was ol' Ben Harmon? Regardless, those flashforwards from the early episodes this year are starting to take shape, but as far as their significance beyond showing the extent of the season's history? We'll have to see if how it plays out was worth the trip into the present. It's appropriate, of course, that in the episode where we see Bloody Jr., we spend a bit of time with pregnant Lana trying to abort him from her with the episode's titular coat hanger. I had feared that the name of this hour involved something such as an abortion scene, and sure enough, we got one. It may not have been pleasant to watch, but it certainly continued to prove just the extent of Lana's desperation. Sadder still was that it was all for naught: the baby lives, and we know he likes to kill. I'm hoping that we'll soon get a bit of context regarding what happens with Lana and her son in his earlier years, and frankly, I'd rather find that out from grown-up Bloodyface Jr. sooner to give Lana's remaining hours on the show a sick informed reading that may only make the next few weeks all the more ominous. Whatever it is, I can't imagine her getting out of this happily. Finally, we get a perplexing bit of an experiment from Arden that makes more sense when thought about in terms of advancing the plot. Kit is going to be 'killed' so Arden can call the aliens back (remember, we had previously seen them come when Grace's body was taken in on the mine cart). Arden leveled with Kit and explained his ideas, which is an interesting turn for the doctor. I'm curious to see if he continues this sort of a streak. Either way, Kit agrees, and when the aliens come, Grace is back. And pregnant. LOST. Crazy Horror Conspiracy of the Week: Bloodyface Jr.'s next therapist is Ben Harmon, and then things get really weird.

Alex is currently studying screenwriting at Emerson College in Los Angeles, and is a fan of all things television, photography, and ice cream. Bonus points if it includes all three.