TV Recap: 'American Horror Story: Asylum' Episode 209 - 'The Coat Hanger'



American Horror Story: Asylum Episode 209
“The Coat Hanger”
Written By: Jennifer Salt
Directed By: Jeremy Podeswa
Original Airdate: 12 December 2012

In This Episode...

This will come as a surprise to no one, but Lana is pregnant with Thredson’s demon spawn. Sister Mary Eunice “assures” Lana that they are well-equipped to deal with her “little miracle.” Lana, naturally, wants it aborted - not likely to happen in a Catholic mental asylum. So Lana does the next logical thing: she steals a wire coat hanger from a rack of dry cleaning and aborts it herself. Lana still has a bloodlust for Thredson, and she goes to Kit (who has been draining his sedative IV drip into the bedpan when no one is looking) to help her. He refuses to kill Thredson until they get him on tape confessing to the murders.

Lana has an idea. She goes to Thredson and shows him the lab report stating she is pregnant. Being the good little sociopath that he is, Thredson is jubilant and promises all sorts of changes in the hopes of raising the baby. He grew up in an orphanage and doesn’t want the same fate to befall his spawn. She doesn’t believe him and threatens to abort the pregnancy - she even produces the coat hanger and removes her panties. Thredson allocutes to three of the murders and Kit reveals that he has been hiding and recording the entire conversation, and that she aborted last night: “It really wasn’t that bad.” Kit and Lana scurry back to where they are supposed to be, but after her bakery shift, Lana tries to steal a kitchen knife. One of the orderlies catches her and makes her turn it over. Surprisingly, no punishment comes to her. She goes quietly back to her room, and as soon as she is alone, she removes the coat hanger, bends it around a bit, and practices on her pillow. Plenty deadly. She sneaks out of her room with ease and heads down to where Thredson was being held - only Thredson isn’t there. His binds have been cut and left on the floor. Lana is terrified. Sister Mary Eunice catches her creeping in the halls, and Lana accuses her of releasing Thredson. Sister Mary Eunice responds by taking Lana’s coat hanger and assuring her that her fetus is still alive - and is a boy.

Sister Jude is now just Judy. She has been stripped of her nunly duties and committed to Briarcliff for life. Everyone from the Monsignor to Dr. Arden to Sister Mary Eunice to Lee Emerson testified to a judge that Sister Jude had gone off the deep end, that she was taking on the delusions of the inmates, and that she had killed Frank. The Monsignor brings Lee to visit Jude. He has been cleaned up, his neck wound bandaged, and shuffles in full chains. He apologizes to Jude for attacking her and forgives her for the cruel treatment she bestowed upon him. With a gentle kiss on the forehead, Lee shuffles off. The Monsignor finds him later in the chapel, praying. He insists he is a changed man, that he wants to be saved. The Monsignor, who dreams of being pope one day, thinks that Lee could be the miracle he needs. Believing Lee to be saved, he baptizes Lee. The private ceremony is scarcely over when Lee - no longer shackled - grabs the Monsignor and forces him face-down into the baptismal pool. Later on, the janitor finds the Monsignor in the chapel, still alive and crucified above the altar. He runs for help and Death strolls in to offer her services. Meanwhile, Jude is a changed woman. She goes into the common room and sits with Lana, offering sincere apologies and admitting she did horrible things. Lana is wary until Jude goes to the record player, breaks her beloved French recording into pieces, and calmly sits down again.

Dr. Arden has gone back to the tunnels and discovers strange, two-toed footprints in the dirt. He takes a cast and brings it back to Kit, telling him he believes him. Arden theorizes that there is something special about Kit to the aliens. Both Grace and Alma were abducted after Kit had sex with them. Arden supposes that they are using him for some sort of eugenics experiment, and believes the aliens will do whatever it takes to protect their lab monkey. He wants to “kill” Kit (inject him with potassium chloride, from which he can be revived within two minutes) to see if it lures the aliens back. Desperate for the chance to see his wife one more time, Kit agrees. Arden injects him, Kit seizes, then goes quiet. Moments later the bright lights flash through the hallways, and Arden goes to investigate. He finds Pepper, caring for a very alive, very pregnant Grace.

Dig It or Bury It?

I am quite impressed with the alien storyline. When I first heard about it, I laughed it off. When it was first introduced in the show, I kind of dismissed it as a passing fancy. But as they have delved deeper into the alien subplot, I have been surprised at how not-hokey it comes across. It certainly could get hokey at any second, but at this point in time, I do not immediately want to laugh when aliens are mentioned. Maybe it is because it is a show about insanity. Maybe it is because there is so much other weird stuff that aliens seem a very normal part of this world. 

Bloody Face

We open in the present, but instead of those obnoxious newlyweds, we find John Morgan meeting with a therapist. She advertises in the Pennysaver (so you know she good) that she specializes in compulsive disorders. She initially thinks his compulsion is masturbation, but it is skinning cats. Dead ones at first, then moving on to killing living cats. His foster family kicked him out and he learned to hide it better. But the voices and the compulsions grew and John was having a hard time ignoring them. It got even worse after he discovered his father was Bloody Face.

At the episode’s end, Dr. Gardener’s next appointment comes in and finds the office a mess. Dr. Gardener is dead, and John (Thredson, we now know, not Morgan) is standing behind the woman, covered in blood.


Even Briarcliff gets a holiday reprieve. The show returns in January with Jude slipping deeper and deeper into the crazy.