AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM Episode Recap: “Spilt Milk”

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With only two episodes left after tonight, it’s nice to see American Horror Story: Asylum wrapping up the myriad plotlines in favor of bringing the major arcs to a satisfying conclusion.  We’ve already said goodbye to a few of the main players but more and more characters just keep popping up.  Also returning for this episode is my favorite stand-out director of the series, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.

American Horror Story: Asylum stars Jessica Lange, Zachary Quinto, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson and Lily Rabe, along with newcomers Adam Levine, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, James Cromwell, Joseph Fiennes, Chloe Sevigny, Lizzie Brochere and Clea Duvall.  Hit the jump for the recap and review of tonight’s episode,”Spilt Milk.”

dylan-mcdermott-american-horror-story-asylum[You have entered spoiler territory.  Turn back now or commit yourself to the insanity.]

Last week, we waved goodbye to the dearly departed Dr. Arden and the Devil-possessed Sister Mary Eunice.  Cromwell and Rabe turned in some of the best performances this season, especially considering the lengths they were asked to go.  But tonight’s episode belongs to Paulson, whose arc is just about at an end.  Before we get into the characters, I want to make a special mention of Gomez-Rejon again.  From the outset of this episode, I knew that there was something pleasant and familiar about the way it was shot: the dramatic angles, the atmospheric use of lighting and shadow, the lens selection for certain sequences…it all pointed to Gomez-Rejon.  Fans of the director will remember me calling out his aesthetic choices in a previous recap and I’m happy to see him back to work on this episode.  As a side note, he’ll also direct the season’s last episode, “Madness Ends.”  Now onto the characters!

“Spilt Milk” had what is easily the most uncomfortable opening of the season so far, though the title is explained pretty quickly.  We get a bit more backstory on Dylan McDermott’s character Johnny Morgan here as he nurses on a prostitute with ample assets before going into a “Mommy issue” fueled rage.  There’s a great flashback/forward sequence that occurs between these two and Lana and Thredson, who have a stand-off in Thredson’s apartment.  The ties between Thredson, Lana, their baby and Johnny Morgan are being strengthened in each successive episode.

Let’s wrap up Lana and Thredson while we’re at it because the show has certainly tied up the majority of their storylines.  After being rescued from Briarcliff thanks to the intervention of Jude (and some quick thinking by Kit), Lana turns in evidence against Thredson/Bloody Face but decides to break into his home and wait within until the police arrive (…okay).  Obviously this doesn’t end well…for Thredson, who now has a particularly bloody face of his own.  However, his lineage lives on because Lana cannot allow herself to be surrounded by any more death (thus forgoing the abortion) and also cannot abandon the child, who is conveniently allergic to the infant formula at the hospital.  Lana’s only other purpose, after putting Wendy’s ashes to rest (what an awful way for Duvall to make a guest appearance – a necrophilia scene, really?), was to attempt to liberate Jude from the nuthouse.  Too bad that the Monsignor tells Lana and her court-appointed lawmen that Jude hung herself (lies!).

A quick note on Jude since she’s only in this episode for a few blinks.  It seems she’s been able to shake off the electroshock effects long enough to come to her senses about the medication she’s being forced to take.  Lange turned in a great scene as she stands up to the Monsignor before she’s hauled off to solitary.  Jude is really the only major character left to get a chance to complete her arc, as the others are either done or nearing the finish line.

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Speaking of finish lines, what a (mostly) happy episode for Kit and Grace!  Sure, Kit was innocent all along and the evidence of Thredson as Bloody Face proved that, but baby Thomas was hauled off to the children’s home and Grace was still in the asylum for being an ax murderer.  Some quick thinking on Kit’s part managed to get Thomas back while also getting himself and Grace out of Briarcliff; don’t underestimate good old fashioned blackmail, kids!  While the newly engaged Kit and Grace made their way to Kit’s old home with the baby in tow, a big surprise awaited them.  Well, technically two surprises, because Alma (who Kit had presumed dead due to Grace’s story about her abduction) and their baby were seated comfortably in the dining room.  If three’s company and four’s a crowd, what’s five? It’s either a Mormon household or an episode of Maury.  Can’t wait to see where this one ends up.

As for where this season is going to end up, I have some speculations.  I think we all know more or less how Lana’s baby and Johnny are going to be connected, though I’m less certain about the fates of Kit, Grace, Alma and even Jude.  Even less certain is just what the creators of the show have in store for next season.  You guys made some great guesses in the comments last week about what the theme and location of season three might bring: some thought perhaps the Vatican, others think we’re headed to Congress (or at least Washington, D.C.) and still more think we’ll be seeing some witches, possibly in Salem.  The only thing that stood out to me in this particular episode was the song “Love Potion No. 9,” which could lend itself to witchcraft.  Although, others have reported that the clue is more of a visual one, so if that’s the case, I missed it.  Feel free to continue your speculations below!

Rating: 7/10 Bottles of Formula (I was going to go with “Triple Ds,” but an odd number would just make that too weird…even for this show.)

Quotes and Miscellanea:

  • “You won’t be lookin’ at my face once these DDDs come out to play.” – Andora
  • “They’re so juicy right now, they’re ready to burst.” – Andora
  • “Breast-feeding is so important to early development.” – Johnny
  • “They’re not like us, Kit.  They’re not cruel.” – Grace
  • “You want this place shut down.” – Lana  “I want it pulled down and the earth salted.” – Claudia
  • “I am the one.  I am the one who’s going to put your ass in the electric chair.” – Lana to Thredson
  • “I’d either say you had a mommy fixation or a calcium deficiency.” – Andora
  • “I’m clearly insane!” – Thredson
  • “Prison’s too good for you.” – Lana to Thredson
  • “You’re one tough cookie, you know that?” – Officer to Lana  “I am tough, but I’m no cookie.” – Lana

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  • Albert

    Great episode! Although it was a little weak to make Lana go to see Thredson at his house, that just did not make sense to me but I guess it was at some point necessary to finish that storyline.

    And I still believe next season will be related to witches.

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  • Jim

    To the ones saying that next season could be set at the Vatican… Um, AMERICAN Horror Story?

  • Matt

    Johnny (“Dylan McDermott”) is NOT the son of Lana and Leather face Theory:

    I think the fact that we witnessed Lana give into letting her child breast feed may be a hint to the fact that her child may not be the new leather face. Grace also said that Kits true lover (Alma pictured at the end of the episode) didn’t survive when she was recollecting her experiences (probably because she wants Kit for herself). So my prediction is that Grace gets jealous and kills Kits true wife for real and hides the body because shes already supposed to be dead (possibly the baby as well). Kit then gets upset and refuses to love grace so grace refuses to love her baby. Grace then sabotages kit and makes the public once again think that Kit was the true Bloody face( seeing that there are now 2 separate recordings of people claiming to be bloody face it is easy to use another plot twist) and the unloved child witnesses it and that is why he hates his mother and has such a tortured demeanor.

    TL;DR Johnny is not the son of Lana but the son of Grace who Kit spurns by choosing Alma over Grace….

    • Kat

      I agree that modern day BloodyFace (Dylan McDermott’s character is not the son of Lana and Thredson). I think the fact that he ordered the prostitute online and saw her picture had more to do with the fact that he wanted a black woman. His mother was black too and he wasn’t breastfed. Only a theory but too convenient for him to be the true son of BloodyFace.

      • Frankie

        Or, Grace killed Alma’s baby. Kit then killed Grace… or the other way around — and it was a murder-suicide. Alma might have tried to raise Grace’s baby, but put him up for adoption.

    • Anonymous

      If its kit and Alma’s kid why is he in thread sons apt then?

  • Jeremy

    Dr. Thredson’s death this week was one of the most satisfying this season. I’m so glad Lana will have a happy ending; the writers have done a great job making audiences root for her. My coworker at DISH was really grossed out however by Dylan McDermott’s scenes this week, and I agree it was too much. I’ve been watch and recording the season to my DISH Hopper; I had to skip past all Dylan’s scenes because they were just too weird. My Hopper can record over 400 hours of programming in HD and works on four TVs simultaneously. Everyone at home can watch or record their favorite shows at the same time without fighting.

    • Sheighlah

      That was a really weird post. Waynes World product promotion anyone?

  • Anonymous

    It’s kit and Alma’s kid.

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  • Aiden

    “There are pieces of her scattered from Plymouth to Springfield.” Said as he is putting his hand over the fire. Humans (witches) being burned at the stake, and naming Plymouth, making reference to the pilgrims/time period of the witch trials?

    I think that it’s clear that next season will be witches.

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