American Horror Story recap: Change You Can't Believe In

The monsters of The Asylum try to redeem themselves (or pretend to) in an episode filled with cliffhangers and one nasty coat hanger 
Ep. 09 | Aired Dec 12, 2012

WE ARE NEVER EVER EVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER! Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) discovers one more sour reason to really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really hate Dr. Oliver Thredson in "The Coat Hanger."

So Johnny killed her. And then the woman who found her. And so on, and so, and so on… and in this way, the legacy of a botched revolution endures. It was nice to meet you, Mr. Rogers. We look forward to returning to your not-so beautiful neighborhood in a future episode. But for now, we must hop the trolley to your spawning ground (or somewhere nearby), a land of make-believe and ready-make, and to fateful moment in the early days of your existence, a kinda-sorta miraculous event we shall call…

The Unabortable Conception.The Coat Hanger” wanted us to believe that Johnny Rogers was born to Lana Winters, and was seeded when Oliver Thredson raped her a few episodes ago. I see no reason at present to doubt this, although I am totally open to a twist in coming episodes. I would prefer a twist: This would be the second time in two season that AHS has played this card. See: The Rubber Man rape of Vivien Harmon, who subsequently pushed out Ghost Tate’s Anti-Christ child. Not sure I want AHS repeating this motif. Not unless they can make it awesome.

Lana Winters got the “bad news” of the pregnancy from Sister Mary, who razzed her with the “good news” that at least she had conquered her “sexual perversion,” and teased her further by telling her a story about Aunt Celeste and her “Drano Margaritas” cures for unwanted knock-ups. (“It’s what she gave my slutty cousin Molly when she got preggers by Billy Porter.”) But such remedies weren’t in keeping with Briarcliff policy, which left no room for a woman to choose: Lana would be forced to bring the life to term. Afterward, the baby – likely to be born “cuckoo,” the Sister warned – would be relocated to Sister Ursula’s Home For Lost Children.

“You're worse than Sister Jude. You’re a sadist,” Lana told Sister Mary, who did indeed shows signs of going a little power mad in this episode. (Whatever you do: Don't sass her. And knock before entering, whydon’tcha!) “Calm down, Mommy, or it’s going to be a very long nine months,” said Sister Mary. “We don't want to have to restrain you. Do we?” Nine months bolted to a mattress? In a society without choice? Is there really a difference?

There was no way in tarnation that Lana was going to let some Bloody Face-fertilized ovum have its way with her. And so Lana decided to correct this mistake herself, by any means necessary. She acquired a coat hanger and self-administered an abortion in the dark of her cell. The stylized fuzz-out didn't do much to alleviate the painfulness of that image. Ugh. (I don’t know much about this kind of thing, so I don’t know how realistic it was for Lana to be so spritely and altogether physically functional after doing what she did to herself. “It wasn’t that bad,” she told Thredson. I'll take her word for it.)

Lana wasn't done putting an end to unwanted life. She wanted to terminate Oliver Thredson, too. Kit Walker argued otherwise. He needed the monster that framed him for the Bloody Face murders to clear his name in court. They compromised and conspired. Lana would go to Thredson. She would get him talking about the murders while Kit hid in the shadows, recording the confessions with Dr. Thredson’s briefcase tape recorder. It was a nifty plan – and it worked. Lana loosed Thredson’s tongue by telling him that she was carrying his child (oh, how happy Oliver was to know his substitute mommy was going to make him a daddy!), and by also telling him – and showing him – that she intended to  the pregnancy, right there, right then, on the spot, with her coat hanger. Thredson freaked. He begged her to keep the baby. He promised to change and become a good man and great father to the child. Lana scoffed. You? A born again stand-up guy? “You’re a sociopath,” she hissed. “You can’t be honest with anybody.” Thredson: Yes I can! Lana: No you can't. Thredson: Yes I can! Lana: No you can’t. Thredson: Yes I can! Lana: No you can’t. Thredson: Yes I can! Lana: No you can't. Thredson: Yes I can! Lana: No you can’t. Thredson: Yes I can! Lana: No you can’t. Thredson: Yes I can! Lana: No you can't. Thredson: Yes I can! Lana: No you can’t. Thredson: Yes I can! Lana: No you can’t. Thredson: Yes I can! Lana: No you can't. Thredson: Yes I can! Lana: No you can’t. Thredson: Yes I can! Lana: PROVE IT.

 NEXT: Entrapment!

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