American Horror Story recap: Deliverance

An angelic femme fatale brings the promise of eternal peace to the suffering souls of The Asylum in 'Dark Cousin'
Ep. 07 | Aired Nov 28, 2012

GETTING BUGGY Sister Mary (Lily Rabe) and Frank (Fredric Lehne) try to make sense of current events in "Dark Cousin."

Michael Becker/FX

Lana scampered out the door and scrambled down an embankment and sprinted down the highway when SKKKKRRRREEECH! a car skidded to a stop right in front of her. Lana didn’t even ask. She jumped into the passenger’s seat, hoping, maybe even assuming, that the driver would be all too willing to play the role of Good Samaritan.


A Good Man In Hard To Find. His name was Toby, and as it happened, Lana caught him during a proverbial dark night of the soul. He was no friend to womankind. Not tonight. He had caught his wife in bed with another man, and as he saw it, her infidelity somehow, someway indicted her entire gender. So the blooming misogynist rolled his eyes at Lana’s tale of male abuse. “Of course it wasn’t your fault! Women are always the victims.” When Lana asked to be taken to the police station, Toby got indignant. “Oh, is that how it works? You get into my car and you tell me what to do?” When Lana asked him stop and let her out, Toby got ridiculous. “That's right, that’s what you b----es do, you get out, you leave, you abandon ship at the smallest sign of a storm.” No, Toby wasn’t going to stop. He sped up, and then he pulled out a gun. At that moment, Shachath materialized. Lana: Seriously? We thought she was a goner as Tony told her that she had “brought this on herself.” But the bullet he wanted to fire was not for her. He put the barrel in his mouth and pulled the trigger…

And when Lana awoke, she found herself strapped yet again to yet another bed. This time, her jailer was Sister Mary. “You're back in Briarcliff. Where you belong.” Nooooooooo! Lana told Briarcliff’s new first lady about her ordeal, about how Kit Walker was innocent, about how Oliver Thredson was Bloody Face. It was hard to read Sister Mary’s poker face. The demon knew that Lana was telling the truth; in a brief flash to the exorcism of Jed Potter, we saw the entity tell Thredson, sarcastically, “I love your work, Bloody Face.” I was intrigued – and confused – by what Satanically-enhanced Sister Mary knows and doesn’t know. What exactly is the nature of the relationship between the nun and the dark passenger in her head? Does the show know? Sister Mary seemed sincere when she told Lana that she believed her claims about Thredson. But then she put her to bed with a cup of drugs. We were left to wonder if Sister Mary considers Thredson enough of a threat to take action against him, or if The Devil really is a big Bloody Face fangirl, and is perfectly content to keep him out there, slicing and suckling. TBD.

The Life You Save Could Be Your Own. Judy Martin finally hit rock bottom, and what she found there wasn’t what she was expecting. Her road to revelation began in Sam Goodman’s motel room. If the Nazi hunter’s gouged and expiring body wasn’t shock enough, there was that Framingham Herald newspaper article about missing Missy Stone cut and taped to the TV – shaped to resemble a cross, no less -- as well as a message written in blood. "MURDERER." Judy caught sight of it as she was calling the police – and as she spotted Shachath bending over Sam’s body. It was all catching up to her. The lie. The guilt. The despair. A big bottle of whisky on Sam’s desk beckoned as Judy began to freak and crumple, and she remembered…

1949. Just days after the hit and run. Trampy Judy was holed up in her apartment, sad and soused and scared. She received a visitor: A member of the jazz-blues band for whom she sang. He was dropping by to tell Judy that as much as he and the guys cared about her, they had to cut her loose. She had missed a gig the night before at The White Rose. That was unacceptable. Besides, Judy had been slipping for a long time. When she heard that the band had replaced her with another member's cousin, someone who wasn’t all that great but could at least sing on key, Judy blew up and began raging about a conspiracy. He absorbed her outburst with an empathetic smile, but held firm. “I’m sorry,” he said, and moved to leave. Judy changed tactics by trying to come onto him. “I always wondered what it would be like to be with a colored man,” she desperately vamped, her breath puke-reeky. He pushed her away. He gave her some money, as well as a policeman’s card. A detective wanted to talk to her about certain missing girl…

Judy packed her suitcase and hit the road. As she barreled down that lost highway, Judy’s conscience badgered her. It flashed her with the bad faith character she’d become to survive in the world, The Scarlet Woman. It pounded her with SCREECH! SLAM! SPLAT! These reflections, these memories, as maddening as schizoid voices. As she drove, she reached for her version of Miles’ slicer, for her version Toby’s gun: A big ol’ bottle of booze. She drank deep. She faded to black… and the next thing she knew, she was waking up in the parking lot of a Catholic church, a statue of Jesus towering before her, beckoning. She saw the nuns in their habits, and in their black, billowing cloaks, she saw a place for her to hide. She would escape her bloody past, she would bury her guilt, by becoming someone else. And with that, Sister Jude was born.

NEXT: Judy sings, “Losing My Religion.” You know, subtextually.

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