American Horror Story: Spilt Milk

Posted on January 10, 2013

Okay, now what?

With two more hours of storytelling left to go, we’re puzzled as to what’s left to talk about. Sure, Jude’s fate is still up in the air, as is Kit’s, but with Mary Eunice, Arden, and Thredson all dead, the story has seriously lost its steam. There are no antagonists left so we’re stuck with a bunch of very damaged protagonists wandering around the scenes in a daze. We can’t imagine the story’s going to merely fizzle out, but we have virtually no idea what’s about to happen. Of course, as we always say, that can only speak well of the show.

One good thing about clearing the board of all the bad guys is that it somehow wound up ratcheting up the tension. We held our breath constantly throughout this episode, waiting for something really, really bad to happen. Lana walking out the door of Briarcliff, Lana facing off against Thredson, Lana terminating her pregnancy; each of those scenes was shot as if something truly horrible was about to happen and in each case, nothing really did. Still we got that awesome “FUCK YEAH” moment when she got in the cab, showed Thredson the tape, and with a stone face, gave him a well-deserved finger.

This review seems even more disjointed than usual and the irony of it is, this episode was probably the least disjointed, most straightforward of the season. It’s the implications that have us befuddled rather than the episode itself. With the devil, the mutant zombies, the Nazi torturer and the serial killer all dispensed from the story we have only the aliens to consider (oh, how we loved writing that), and they’ve been almost completely absent from the story before now; a sideshow rather than a player. Obviously, they’re going to play into whatever the final fate of Kit and Grace is, but we fail to see how they relate to Jude and Lana. One thing’s for sure: we’re more convinced than ever that Bloody Face, Jr. is not Lana and Thredson’s baby, but Kit and Grace’s. All that mama’s milk stuff tied in way too neatly and we couldn’t shake the feeling that the audience is being fed a bunch of red herrings.

Because think about it: Say BF, Jr. really is Lana’s baby. What story is left to tell, then? On the other hand, if he is Grace’s baby, then a whole slew of questions open up, not the least of which is why aliens created a serial killer.

Again, we just love the sentences we’re forced to write in discussing this show.

But we remember tossing out a bunch of theories last season only to have Murphy and Co. undermine them by giving the most obvious answers to any questions they posed, so we suppose we shouldn’t stand too firmly on our opinions. We’re on shaky ground, which we suppose is entirely the point with the show. It’s less of a horror story this year and more of a simply disturbing one. But “American Simply Disturbing Story” would make a really dumb name for a show.

Honestly, reading over this review, you’d think we were drunk when we wrote it. Still, a decent hour of television, even if it left us more confused than ever. Most of the time, when a TV season reaches its conclusion, there’s a lot that needs to be tied up in the story. This time, the major question facing the audience is, What story is left to tell?

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  • Annabelle Archer

    So, I don’t watch this show, but I pretty much read every post here, regardless of content.  This whole thing cracked me up.  It was fantastically confusing and weird and I think it’s wonderful that there’s even a show on TV that would be a source of such strangeness as a recap like this. 

    • Qitkat

      Same here, dropped it after one episode, but now reading here that it has included the devil, mutant zombies, Nazi torture, serial killing AND aliens, I’m just as glad I passed. I’m all for the weird and strange and confusing, it just seems Murphy and Co. have no sense of balance or nuance, and that their favorite meal of the day is red herring.
      If anyone here is interested in a very well done murder mystery, try to find Bron/Broen (The Bridge), an engrossing Swedish—Danish collaboration told in 10 tight episodes for television. 

  • AuntieAnonny

    I spent the hour after last night’s episode arguing with myself over what could possibly be going on, and then I watched the replay and my brain shut down completely. I love how they do that, 90% of the season is over and you’re still BEGGING for a bone. That episode was so intense, who knew breastfeeding your new born child could be so gutting?

  • Sobaika

    The scene of Lana escaping the asylum was so well-done. It was tense and almost dreamlike, I kept thinking it was a fantasy sequence or that Quinto would grab her at the very last second. The middle finger was so fabulous and a well-earned Fuck You to him.

    • I was saying “Please, Kit, let her go!” then when he started maneuvering Thredson so she could slink past him, I was all “YAY!”  He could have sold her out to save his kid.  Kit’s such a good guy, I fear for his future.  This is AHS, after all.

      • Don Hackett

        but are we sure he’s a godd guy?  i keep expecting a turn of events that reveals he’s been a bad guy all along.  i don’t know how that would come down, but after all, as you note, this is AHS.

        posted by sleah in norcal

  • notterriblybitter

    Did I miss something? Now the Monsignor’s a bad guy? Last week, he was a broken shell of a human being begging Jude for forgiveness and now he’s trying to cover up all the wrongdoings at Briarcliff and silence her. Was this ever explained? It felt a little bit like they realized that they’d killed off all the bad guys too soon and had to improvise. Problem is, he’s a completely implausible bad guy; he’s spineless but not evil. I hope we’re not going to find out that the Angel of Death did not in fact take the demon with her and the Monsignor is now possessed. That would be so hackneyed. 

    • Louise Bryan

      The Monsignor remains a spineless user.  He knew about Arden, but hushed that up.  He did nothing when he found out about Arden’s experiments.  He killed off Shelley, rather than allow her to recover enough to tell anyone what was going on.  Now, he has effectively immured Jude and lied to Lana to prevent Jude from speaking out about Briarcliff.  He got the Diocese or her order to send the Mother Superior away, out of reach.  The only “good” things he did were for his own protection or ego stroking.  A priestly monument to CYA.

      • notterriblybitter

        He didn’t seem Machiavellian to me until this week. He was always self-serving but he seemed so passive and was never in control of anything. He’d just wring his hands and wait for someone to tell him what to do.  He may have grown a pair since taking charge of Briarcliff but he’s still no match for Jude. 

    • JosephLamour

      Maybe he’s the one the devil went into.

      • roadtrip1000

        He seems too weak.

    • Don Hackett

      i do keep expecting the devil to show up inside someone, although i don’t think it’s the monsignor.  how could the angel of death take him, the devil cannot die.     

       posted by:    sleah in norcal, using my husbands computer

  • MissMariRose

    I’m most curious about what will happen to the priest. He’s been both victim and villain at various points in the story so it seems to me that his story will be the most compelling. Or perhaps the most frustrating. 

  • Last night’s episode was one of the most beautifully shot episodes I’ve seen on tv. Gorgeous!

    • TonyGo

       I agree.  The last few moments, with Lana in the hospital bed, crucifix, florescent light and and hand upstretched killed me.  Talk about your heartbreaking and disturbing Madonna and Child imagery….yikes.

  • I thought this was one of the tighter episodes of the season.  It takes a lot of nerve to kill off all of your baddies before the season ends. I’m thinking the real Big Bad of the season is Briarcliff itself and the Patriarchal Church that protected its existence with Monsignor Timothy now serving as the personification of the banality of that particular type of evil.  The whole season has had some not-so-subtle hints that the story is an allegory of the real scandals that have plagued the Catholic Church.

    I still think modern Bloody Face is Lana and Threadson’s kid.  Will Lana really get her happy ending with her little psycho boy on the loose and full of mommy rage?

    Not sure where the Alien Sister Wives plot line is going, but I haven’t forgotten that Grace is an axe murderer.  So again, not sold on a happily ever after resolution for them either.

    Oh, one last thing – let’s just give every award to Jessica Lange, okay?  Give her an Oscar too – who cares if it’s not a movie?  Even when she only has a few minutes of screen time she steals the show!

  • BradCav

    Am I the only one who noticed that Bloody Face Jr. was entertaining his lady friend at Thredson’s house?

    • SassieCassy

      creepy. that was shot all weird too when it zoomed into the mirror/painting and kept flashing back and forth.

    • Nope. I definitely think BF Jr. is Lana’s. Especially since we know that she exposed Thredson as BF, and BF Jr. knows his dad was BF.

  • Jennifer Coleman

    I liked the episode, but it has got to be the most f’ed up penultimate episode of a season ever. I feel like the structure of the season is best reflected in Sister Jude’s mental state: batshit, repentant, catatonic and now strangely lucid.

    • Perfect Liar

       It wasn’t the penultimate episode… next week is.

      • Jennifer Coleman

        Yeah, I just found that out – what the heck is this show going to do for 2 more episodes???? Maybe a Sister Jude will get zapped again and have a longer mental musical.

  • Yeah, it seems clear that the final two eps will deal with BF, Jr’s upbringing and eventual transformation into the lovable breast milk happy man he is today. Which…we’re not sure we truly want/need to see (we tackle some other remaining storylines in our review).

    Aside from a few unresolved issues, though, it definitely felt like a season finale. Perhaps they should have left it at 11 episodes this season?

  • Harry Mikula

    Dude I think you are right and I think BF jr. is Grace’s kid. Grace is actually a murderer and I think that Kit will have to side and Grace will go insane and murder Ahma, Kit, and their child. BF jr. said “my mother hated my father, what she did to him” this could be about that???? iunno, just a theory….

  • Just by reading your reviews I can tell I made the right decision to avoid a second season of this show.  I bailed on the first one when I figured out everyone was going to be dead.  Yawn.

    • xmixiex

      ooo, you’re so above

  • …but Lana revealed, very publicly, that Thredson was Bloody Face. There is no longer any quibble as to that fact. If Dylan McDermott says he’s BF’s son, then he’s Thredson’s son.

    Also: you’ve even said yourselves that this show doesn’t really make much of keeping big secrets, well, secret: last season, they let us know who was in the gimp suit pretty early, along with a bunch of other things. So, I won’t be surprised at all if they continue to NOT surprise us in that way.

  • Leah Burns

    And the prostitute was Alma’s baby! Considering this show, that’s half-possible.

  • In an interview I read, Ryan McDermott was talking about how when he cast Dylan, he was excited because he looked like he could be Sarah and Zachary’s son IRL. He could be throwing us WAY off the scent with that, but then why say anything at all? I’m willing to bet it’s as straightforward as it seems, especially looking at the previews for next week.

  • PrunellaV

    Whatever happens, this is the show that made me finally able to appreciate Dylan McDermott. 

  • Markatha

    I’m still really enjoying this wild ride. 
    Can’t imagine what could be next. 
    LOVE the acting on the show.  And it’s filmed beautifully.
    Jessica Lange is mesmerizing.

  • Inspector_Gidget

    I’m dreading an “Omen” type story.  When Grace was telling Kit that their son was special, that “people will listen to him,” I immediately figured he’s going to become President or something.  

  • innocent_outlaw

    Did anyone else notice that when Lana started breastfeeding her child she looked up at the wall and ass the camera tilted up you could see her view of the cross that hung above her momentarily. It was upside down. An upside down cross. Antichrist much? Maybe a clue for next season? I’ve heard they’ve been dropping small hints.

  • GTrain

    i’m glad Lana escaped but I sure would have made sure the cab was moving before flipping off a serial killer.