American Horror Story: “Dark Cousin”


Grade: A+

Airdate: 11/28/12

After the last couple of American Horror Story episodes, I started to think that I might like American Horror Story too much and would never be able to give it anything less than an A+. I don’t think that anymore. I kept saying that every episode was better than the last, but I’m not sure if the show can beat out this episode. I don’t want to say the season has hit its peak but I don’t think I’m going to like another episode as much as I liked this one.

There are two reasons why I liked this episode so much: 1) The Dark Angel and 2) the fear of every single female character’s death. Grace (Lizzie Brochere) is the first character to encounter the Dark Angel, played by Frances Conroy aka Moira from last season. Costume, dialogue, casting everything about the Dark Angel was prefect. Grace was never sterilized by Dr. Arden (James Cromwell) but the aliens did something to her and two nuns find her almost dead in her bed in the infirmary. Grace tells the Dark Angel she is ready to die and awesome black wings emerge from her back and she leans in to kiss Grace, but the nuns wake her up and she tells them they should have let her die.

Demonized Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) then goes to Dr. Arden and accuses from of almost killing Grace by messing up the sterilization. Arden tells her has no idea what she is talking about and they get into a little argument  Right when I was starting to think, “come on, why can’t everybody tell that something is clearly wrong with Sister Mary Eunice,” she throws Arden across the room without touching him. Hopefully Arden realizes something is wrong.

Down in the kitchen a schizophrenic cook named Miles summons the Dark Angel by cutting his wrist on a meat slicer and writing her name in blood on the wall. Demonized Sister Mary sees this and gets rather angry. That night Miles is in his bed at Braircliff and tells the Dark Angel he is ready to die. She kisses him and he bleeds out. That is when demonized Sister Mary comes in. The Dark Angel sees that she is more than just a nun and is really her fellow fallen angel and cousin, Satan. Demonized Sister Mary tells her to leave but she says she can’t because Sister Mary called her. The regular Sister Mary, easily recognized by the crying face from the first episode, is able to break through for a moment to tell the Dark Angel to release her. But, demonized Sister Mary takes back over and the Dark Angel tells her they will meet again and leaves.

Elsewhere in Briarcliff, Arden has Grace in his lab. She can barely move but he tells her he is going to cure her simply because he doesn’t want to be accused of causing her death. Thank you? Well, not the nicest reason but whatever he did cure her.

Kit (Evan Peters) is still dealing with the ramifications of “confessing” to Thredson (Zachary Quinto). Kit is in his lawyer’s office and tells him that they need to talk to Grace because she knows Alma isn’t dead and he didn’t do it. The lawyer basically points out that Grace is an insane, ax murderer and is too sick to come to the hearing anyway. He says the only way Kit could avoid the electric chair is to start “acting up” and maybe get recommitted to Braircliff. He takes that to heart, beats the guy with a hole punch and runs.

The Dark Angel has her visit with Lana (Sarah Paulson) next. We rejoin Lana and Thredson while he is having sex with her. The scene was done very well. At first there was no sound, except for the noise the bed was making and a dull buzzing. That paired with Lana almost staring straight into the camera with dead eyes was perfect. Thredson leaves and the Dark Angel sits next to Lana on the bed. She at first tells her she is ready to die, but pushes her away at the last second saying she is not ready yet.

Thredson then comes down and tells Lana it isn’t working between them so he is going to give her a choice: he can cut her throat or strangle her. Lana starts to freak out and he decides sedating her first is best. Lana fights him and smashes one of the pictures of Wendy on his head. She is just barely able to escape and runs to the nearest road and gets into the first car she finds. The guy driving reluctantly starts to drive away and instantly raises a red flag from Lana as he goes on about how he hates women and his wife just cheated on him. The Dark Angel appears in the backseat. Lana tells her again that she isn’t ready. The Dark Angel looks at the drive and he shots himself in the head. The car crashes and Lana wakes up back in Braircliff.

There was a weird editing choice when we rejoin Sister Jude’s (Jessica Lange) story line. Most of the scene of her finding the dead Nazi Hunter is replayed. She tries to call the police, but the Dark Angel takes the Nazi Hunter before she can. Demonized Sister Mary has done a bunch of stuff to mess with Sister Jude, including calling her and telling her she has been set up because the Nazi Hunter’s papers will say that he was investigating Sister Jude’s hit-and-run. During that conversation, Sister Jude realizes that Sister Mary is demonized Sister Mary.

In addition to framing her and leaving her a bottle of booze, demonized Sister Mary also left a razor for Sister Jude, which she takes out in the bathroom of the diner she is in. She slices her wrist, falls to the ground and then we see her lying in a pool of her blood on the floor. Just as I was staring open mouthed at the screen thinking, “did they just kill off Jessica Lange?” we find out it was just a fantasy. Sister Jude walks out into the diner and finds the Dark Angel waiting for her. It’s made clear that Sister Jude has had many meetings with the Dark Angel and she hasn’t taken her yet because God has a plan for her. Sister Jude tells her she is ready but there is one last thing she has to do.

She goes to meet the parents off the little girl, Missy, she killed in 1949 and seemed like she was going to confess until adult Missy walked in the door. She wasn’t killed in the accident, her mother told Sister Jude that she only suffered a few broken bones. Sister Jude already seemed to be having a life crisis, faith crisis or just one big crisis in general and the reason she become a nun not being true didn’t seem to help.

Back at Braircliff, Grace is completely cured and working alone in the bakery. Kit runs through the tunnel with a few of the creatures on his trail. He finds Grace and tells her he is rescuing her. But, they run into a nun and get attack by one of the creatures. Kit kills it but then Frank finds them and points his gun at him. Grace jumps in front of the bullet and Kit screams for her as the Dark Angel appears and asks her if she is ready now. Grace says yes, the Dark Angel kisses her and she dies.

Everything about this episode was amazing. A+.


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