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."

And so Thredson answered Lana’s conspicuous questions about the women he skinned and murdered. Donna Burton. Why her? “Her skin… was fuzzy, like a peach. And I wanted to feel it.” And so you skinned her alive? “Yes.” Allison Rydell? “She was a secretary, at my dentist’s office. I always liked her. I put her to sleep first but she kept talking to me. I was so confused.” And what about Lana’s true love? What about Wendy? Here, Thredson decided to give an answer that implied guilt, but seemed more about hurting Lana. “She never loved you,” said Thredson, eyes glinting cruel. “She locked you away.” Lana’s eyes flashed with pain. But the smirk on Thredson’s face suddenly faded when he heard his confessions played back to him and saw Kit Walker hiding behind towers of boxes with the tape recorder. Thredson fumed. Tricked! Betrayed! Beaten at his own unfair game! Lana couldn’t care less. She hurt him back for the Lana crack by giving him (and us) the play-by-play of her abortion, from the first trickle of a blood to the spill of mess. Then she got in his face and told him she’d be back later with a knife to slit his throat, nice and easy. “I always wanted to know what it was like inside the mind of a killer,” she spat. “Now I know.”

Lana felt triumphant. Then came the complications. She tried to swipe a knife from the kitchen so she could slice Oliver Thredson’s neck, but an orderly busted her. She went back to her cell and modified the coat hanger into a shiv. She went to the supply closet to pulp Thredson into a sloppy joe – but Bloody Face was gone. He had slipped his bonds and escaped. Lana panicked. She went hunting for him – although we worried that he was hunting her – and instead bumped into Sister Mary. The nasty nun disarmed Lana, then blew her away with a newsflash: The abortion didn't take. “Praise God, your attempt at murdering this child was unsuccessful,” she said.

Lana: Dumbstruck. “You couldn’t possibly know that.”

Sister Mary leaned in close. “Oh, but I do. And I know something else,” she said. “It’s a boy.”

Choke Me In My Shallow Baptismal Water Before I Get Too Deep. Last week, a hypocrite nun defeated a corrupt Kris Kringle, and the true meaning of Christmas was affirmed. Maybe. This week, Santa got his revenge, and he did it by beating the Christians with their own game. That’s right: Lee Emerson survived his skirmish with Sister Jude, and to the surprise of everyone at Briarcliff, he seemed born again in the wake of his near death experience. No one considered he could be faking his redemption. No one stopped to consider – or wanted to consider – that the appearance of goodness is one of the easiest cons to pull, least of all Monsignor Timothy.

Fittingly, Lee launched his scam during a private grand jury hearing into Sister Jude’s recent behavior, an inquiry full of lies and deceit. Since the events of last episode, Judy had been incarcerated at Briarcliff for stabbing Lee in the neck… and for slashing Frank McCann. Yep: She’d been framed for his murder. Locked up and fastened to a bed under the pretense of injuries sustained during her fight with Lee that required her to be immobilized, Sister Jude awaited word of her fate. One by one by one, The Asylum’s power players – Monsignor Timothy, Dr. Arthur Arden, and Sister Mary, an axis of evil desperate to secure their positions and their shameful secrets – sat before a Church official and portrayed Judy Martin as a lost soul who had gone mad from (get this) paranoid conspiracy theories. (Except she was right!) They were counting on Lee’s testimony of abuse suffered at Sister Jude’s hands to be the coup de grace.

NEXT: We’ll crucify the insincere tonight! /We'll make things right, we’ll feel it all tonight!

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