Someone should tell the writers of American Horror Story that they have two episodes left, because they must be confused about where they are. “Spilt Milk” spends the duration of its time tearing almost everything down, in a season finale-esque approach. Characters are freed from the asylum and the last vestige of a formal antagonist is blasted away, but none of the action feels particularly climatic. For a show that normally keeps the pulse rate up, this episode dragged its feet from start to finish, jump cutting endlessly into the nearer future, moving toward an end point with neither the urgency nor crescendo that we’ve come to expect. Everything just plods along and though Alfonso Gomez-Rejon stylishly directs, the episode never achieves the sense of resolution that it aims for. Even old tricks don’t play like they used to. Lana’s quotable tough-talk and one-liners have finally gone stale and the present day storyline goes from intriguing to downright laughable. With all of the villains expiring before the end-date (yes that means Threadson too, R.I.P. you crazy bastard), the Monsignor is offered up to fill the void, going from wounded victim and slightly misguided to a full blown baddie, but how can the Father possibly live up to all the other over-the-top fiends we’ve seen this season? This reviewer still holds that maybe the deaths of Arden and Sister Mary Eunice were a tad premature, because without those two around to camp up the material, the wind just seems to have gone out of the sails on American Horror Story. For an episode so full of answers and slight victories for the protagonists, how can it all feel so hollow and unsatisfying?
Let’s spend a minute in the present storyline, shall we? We open this episode of American Horror Story with Johnny Threadson, the son of Bloody Face, toking on a pipe when he hears a knock at the door. It seems that the twisted son of evil has ordered himself up a prostitute, but not just for the usual reasons. No, it seems that this working girl has recently given birth and is lactating. Johnny has requested she come and share some of the spoils. The whole thing is just as uncomfortable as we’ve made it sound, with the prostitute sprouting off lines like, “I’ve got a rockin’ body and a titty full of milk,” and Dylan McDermott overacting his Mommy issues at hilarious levels. Eventually, Johnny snaps and attacks the prostitute and her fate is left up to our imagination, but honestly we’d like not to think about it at all and pretend this little detour into breast-feeding eroticism never happened.
In other news, Kit and Grace are just delighted to have their baby and be reunited. The joy lasts all of about two minutes before the Monsignor arrives to snatch the baby away and send it off to St. Ursula’s for adoption. In comes the serpent Threadson to try and make a deal with Kit. Threadson tells Kit that he will not only help the couple reclaim their child but he will also help them gain their freedom, only if Kit gives Threadson the tape containing his confession to the Bloody Face murders.
However, there is a slight hitch in Threadson’s little plan. Lana holds the tape and is already walking out the door with it while Threadson barters with Kit. Mother Claudia, after being alerted by Jude, comes to Lana to help her escape. She gives Lana her case file and sets her up with a taxi to wherever she’d like to go and as easy as can be, Lana takes the tape and walks right out the door.
Threadson comes home to find Lana awaiting him with a gun and news that she gave the police the tapes. The two share threats and barbs, with Threadson revealing the unsettling bout of necrophilia he had with Wendy, Lana’s lover. With red and blue lights flashing, the two talk until Threadson reaches for a gun and Lana fires, splattering blood all across the walls of Threadson’s lavish 60’s apartment.
With all the information out, Lana starts being hounded by the Press. She pens a book revealig the horrors at Briar Cliff, but it does nothing to close the institution. Her actions do help Kit though and after he is freed, he barters with the Monsignor for the release of Grace and the claiming of their child. Kit tells the Father that he wont share his experiences with police or journalists if the Monsignor lets them go, telling him that it will be easy to let Grace escape since Arden already filled out Grace’s death certificate before his own demise. Kit gets his wish and he and his new family return to his old home to find not only a mess, but also Kit’s wife Alma, cradling another child.
Lana sees an abortion specialist, but doesn’t go through with the procedure, not being able to bear any more death. She’s angered that the police haven’t looked into several of her claims and goes to them that Jude, an inmate at Briar Cliff, can verify everything. They get a Court Order to visit the asylum and present the Court Order to the Monsignor. He alerts them that Jude has tragically passed, having hanged herself. We know by the Monsignor’s slippery nature that this isn’t true, after witnessing a scene of Jude chastising the Monsignor for the loss of his virtue and his “naked ambition.” Suspicions are confirmed by the end of the episode, when Jude is seen locked up in an especially cruel solitary confinement.
The plight of Jude, the connection to the present storyline and the revelation of just what is up with the aliens is all that is left to be unearthed, but at this point, all the storylines we actually were invested in are seemingly caput. Hopefully the writers of American Horror Story can conjure up some good endings and thrills to make these final two episodes worth the journey.
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