TVTV Recaps

AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM “Spilt Milk” Episode Recap

Read our episode recap of American Horror Story: Asylum. Skim, two percent, or whole?  What do you prefer, guys?

We open with modern-day Bloody Face smoking in his apartment (lots of smoking on this show).  There is a knock at the door, and a well-endowed African-American prostitute enters, calling herself “Pandora.”  We learn that she has recently had a baby, which is why Bloody Faced called her up.  He wants to suckle at her breasts (gross!).  After some creepy chit-chat about his Mommy issues, Pandora finally asks, “How bad do you want taste this?” to which Bloody Face replies, “I’d kill for it,” and starts to drink.  Ewww!

Back at 1960s Briarcliff, Thredson enters with a guard to speak with Kit.  Strangely Thredson seems concerned with caring for Kit’s baby, but Kit is (rightfully!) suspicious.  However, given Thredson’s own mommy issues, it appears Thredson actually believes all children have a right to be saved and be with their parents.

In the common room, “Our Day Will Come” by Ruby & the Romantics plays (presumably off the new jukebox) while Pepper fends off other patients and Grace gazes doe-eyed at her baby.  Kit enters with Thredson, happy to see Grace and his baby.  Grace tells Kit she plans to name the baby “Thomas” after her grandfather, and she and Kit share a nice moment before Thredson interrupts, asking about her milk production (eww again), and saying he has ways to help if necessary.  Pepper tries to warn Thredson away, but Thredson has a guard escort her to hydrotherapy.  Thredson then tells Kit and Grace to enjoy their “precious miracle” and leaves them alone.  Kit looks at Thomas and says he thinks it looks just like him, to which Grace agrees.  Grace lets Kit hold the baby, and he seems happy to be a father.  Of course, he can’t help but ask Grace about her alien abductors.

Grace says she only remembers pieces of her experience, “like shards of broken glass.”  In weird alien flashbacks, she tells us the whole story: upon being shot by Frank she saw a bright light, and believed she was dying and being taken to heaven.  Yet instead she felt searing pains, like being torn in half, and we see weird images of a fetus being shoved into Grace.  Kit finally asks the question that has really been on my mind, “How’d he grow so fast?”  Grace explains that “time works differently up there” and that it felt like she was with the aliens for 100 years.  However she reassures Kit that the aliens are kind, not cruel.  Kit asks about his wife Alma, and whether she is still alive (Grace seemed to say something to this effect earlier).  Grace apologizes, saying even the aliens sometimes make mistakes.  In a weird watery flashback, Grace sees Alma’s pregnant–but dead–body.  Kit is heartbroken, and Grace tries to comfort him.  She says that their new baby is special, and will change the way people think.  Kit breaks into tears, and says he hopes just to be a decent father to Thomas, since it’s what Alma would want.  Kit proposes marriage to Grace, and she says yes.  Hey, a happy moment on American Horror Story!

But it doesn’t last long.  Father Howard enters, introducing Sister Colette who works at a home for lost children.  Since Kit and Grace are patients in an asylum, they are not allowed to keep the baby and it is taken away despite Grace and Kit’s protests.  Thredson sees what is going on, and snidely tells Kit that he may have a way to help.

In the kitchen, Mother Claudia approaches Lana and tells her she will help her escape after hearing what Jude had to say.  Lana is wary at first (which makes sense, considering what happened the last time somebody offered to help her escape), but Mother Claudia gives Lana her own document file, and asks that Lana reveal to the world the horrors that go on inside Briarcliff.  Lana finally decides she can trust Claudia, and pulls out the tape of Thredson’s confession.  Before leaving, Lana runs back to a zonked out Jude and promises that she will come back for her once she is out, though it’s unclear if Jude understands.

Thredson tells Kit he wants the tape, but Kit is suspicious of the bad doctor.  Thredson explains that he plans to blame the Bloody Face murders on Dr. Arden (who burned up in the crematorium in case you forgot).  Of course, Kit has no idea where the tape is, but promises he will try to talk to Lana.  In split-screen, we see Lana exiting and overhearing their conversation.  She manages to sneak out of Briarcliff behind them undetected.  As she gets into the cab, Thredson realizes all to late what’s going on.  He watches in despair as Lana holds up the tape recording, and flips him the bird.

Given the show's propensity to use period music, I'm surprised we didn't get to hear "The Bird is the Word" at this point.
Given the show’s propensity to use period music, I’m surprised we didn’t get to hear “The Bird is the Word” by the Trashmen at this point.

That evening, Thredson returns to his apartment, terrified.  Lana is there stopping him in his tracks, holding a gun, and also wearing a nice blue dress (apparently she had time to get changed before assaulting Dr. Thredson).  She tells Thredson she’s given the recording to the police (which, honestly, was not a smart move in my opinion…do you want to give Thredson a reason to be able to kill you?!).  As delicate piano music plays on the soundtrack, Thredson decides he will pour himself a drink.  Lana starts to object, but Thredson replies, “I won’t let you take away my last chance to have a martini.”  As he stirs his drink, he offers one to Lana.  We also see that he has a gun hidden in a nearby drawer.

We wipe to modern day Bloody Face suckling milk from Pandora.  Interestingly, we see that his apartment is the same one as his father.  As he finishes, Pandora tells him, “You’d be surprised how many men have mommy issues.”  At first Bloody Face (or “Johnny” as she calls him) denies it, but finally admits she is right, saying how his mother never loved him.  We then wipe back to Lana and Thredson.  Lana wants to know about Wendy’s body, saying she deserved a proper burial.  Thredson leans over to a switch, and for a moment it seems like he might have another trap door, but it’s just to light the fireplace.  Thredson admits that Lana is the first body he left intact, and that he “practiced” on Wendy, finally entering her body from behind multiple times (I feel gross even typing that…yuck!). “Wendy allowed us to create this life growing inside of you,” he sneers at Lana (is he trying to get shot?).  Only then did he cut up and burn her body.  As the camera moves to the fireplace (presumably holding some of Wendy’s ashes), we move back to modern era Bloody Face.  “Johnny” starts to freak out, telling Pandora how angry his mother makes him.  She tries to calm him down, but his rage builds, and he attacks her.  As the camera goes to the mirror, we again move back to Thredson and Lana.  Thredson goes for a refill on his martini, when police lights and sirens appear from outside.  Lana tries to gloat over the fact that Thredson will go to the electric chair, but Thredson knows he’ll be institutionalized instead…he’s clearly crazy!  Thredson then goes for his gun, but Lana blasts him with a gunshot, and he falls down dead.  “Prison’s too good for you,” she whispers.  Bye bye, Oliver Thredson!

In a crypt, Lana lays down flowers for Wendy (or at least some of the ashes from the fireplace).  A couple friends are with her, and Lana says how she plans to move to New York to escape all the tragedy.  Lana says how the entire experience was her fault, since she would do anything to get the story on Bloody Face.  One of the friends objects, saying it’s “that nun” (Sister Jude).  Lana doesn’t say anything, but she probably has misgivings about this, since Jude has clearly changed for the better and is a far more tragic figure herself now.  The other friend asks whether Lana has the address of a doctor who will be able to help with her situation, and Lana affirms that she does.  The tranquility is interrupted by flashbulbs from a gang of reporters, whom one of the friends calls “vultures.”  Lana concurs, even though she is a reporter herself.  Lana tells her friends to exit through the back, and we learn that they are lesbians as well (so Lana is a martyr for them I guess?  I’m not sure).  As Lana exits the crypt, she is swarmed by reporters asking her questions, but all she tells them is, “All I can say is ‘read my book.’”

"My book about Briarcliff, soon to be a hit TV show on FX!"
“My book about Briarcliff, soon to be developed into a hit TV show on FX!”

Back inside the Braircliff common room music from the jukebox plays as Jude stands in line to get her pills.  She finally snaps, throwing other patients’ pills across the room, the guilt getting the better of her as she knows the medication is bad for everyone.

In his office, Father Howard read the newspaper with information about Lana and Dr. Thredson, and pictures of himself as well and his involvement in hiring “Bloody Face.”  He is interrupted by a knock on the door as an orderly tells him about the disturbance with Jude.

Howard enters the common room, where Jude is rocking out to “Love Potion #9” by The Searchers.  Howard tells Jude it’s a good thing they were friends or she would be sent to solitary.  Jude ignores him, saying the devil got one thing right in that the jukebox was a nice addition to the place.  Howard promptly unplugs it, at which point Jude starts to get really nasty.  She asks Howard if he recognizes the irony in relinquishing his virginity not to a loving woman, but to the devil.  As Howard backs off, Jude asks of he plans to renounce, and says she once believed in his ambitions for Rome.  Howard says he still believes in himself (which, considering all the evidence now mounting against him and Briarcliff, seems pretty delusional).  Jude grows more and more frenzied, shrieking, “Can you imagine the disillusionment, the shame, and the disgust I feel now that I see through you and your stupid, pitiful, naked ambition!”  She may sound like a crazy person, but she’s pegged Father Howard for exactly who he is, and he doesn’t like it one bit.  “I am more blessed as a madwoman than I ever was as the head of Briarcliff,” she declares.  Howard decides he will send her to solitary after all, and as Jude is led away she shouts forebodingly, “You will not prevail Timothy, my God will never allow it!”

Meanwhile a guard sits with Kit as he signs his release papers.  Kit learns about Thredson’s death, which means he can leave from Briarcliff a free man (the reporters trying to sneak into Briarcliff doesn’t help PR matters either).  Thinking about Grace and his son, Kit demands to meet with Father Howard, since he is now declared sane and the baby might be allowed to be his.

Kit next meets with Father Howard in his office in order to get Thomas back, threatening to blackmail the Monsignor and talk to the reporters.  Howard doesn’t like the idea of letting an axe murderer (Grace) out of Briarcliff, but Kit says that since Grace is declared “dead,” the body can be released to him and nobody will be any the wiser.

In a brightly lit, sunny scene, Kit and Grace (with Thomas!) approach his home.  “Don’t expect a castle,” he tells her.  Grace grins and replies, “Open the goddamn door.”  Kit’s house is a wreck since the abduction since he never had a chance to clean up, and Kit is at first a bit embarrassed.  Yet Grace reassures him saying, “It’s a great house, and it’s not Briarcliff.”  Yet their moment of piece fades when a strange squeaking noise comes from the back room.  Kit pulls out a baseball bat and goes to investigate, only to find…his wife Alma is still alive, with a baby!!!

So many babies!
So many babies!!!

Lana meets in the private home of a woman doctor to abort her child, telling her whole story about Thredson.  The doctor takes pity on Lana, and asks her to lie down on the bed to perform the operation (these sorts of operations need to be done in secret in the 1960s).  As Lana prepares for the operation, she can’t help but notice all of the creepy doctor tools beside her, which are eerily similar to the ones kept in Bloody Face’s lair.  Lana sees flashes of all the horror and death she has faced during her ordeal, and right as the doctor is about to begin the procedure, Lana stops her.  “No more death,” she sobs.

Next Lana smokes (while pregnant!) and meets with a couple cops who are reading over her manuscript.  Lana tells them how she wants to get back into Briarcliff to get Jude out, but is having difficulty and would like a court order (we learn that Mother Claudia has been transferred, so she is of no help).  The cops notice that Lana is pregnant, and one of them asks if Bloody Face is the father.  “This baby has no father,” she replies.  “You’re one tough cookie, you know that,” the cops tell her.  “I am tough,” she says, “But I’m no cookie.”

I'm not ENTIRELY sure what Lana means by not being a cookie, but cookies do go well with milk, and that IS the name of the episode.  So there's that!
I’m not ENTIRELY sure what Lana means by not being a cookie, but cookies do go well with milk, and “spilt milk” IS the name of the episode. So there’s that!

Lana gets her court order, and comes into Briarcliff to speak with Father Howard.  It seems as if Howard is totally screwed, but Howard tells Lana that Sister Jude has died.  Lana doesn’t believe him, but in flashback we see Howard entering Jude’s room and finding that she has hung herself with her bedsheets.  He shows Jude’s death certificate to Lana, and tells her that Jude was cremated because she died outside of a state of grace.  Lana is furious, and says that if anything Howard murdered her.

Lana and the cops leave empty-handed, but as the camera tracks through the twisted halls of Brarcliff, we see that Father Howard’s story was a lie.  Poor Judy Martin sits alone in solitary, alive.

In the final scene, Lana has just delivered her baby, but doesn’t want to see it.  The nurse doesn’t know what to do with the crying child, since he won’t even drink formula.  Lana finally gives in and lets the baby suckle at her breast (lots of suckling this episode), and the baby calms down.  Lana leans back, defeated, and notices a cross above her bed.  But from her perspective, the cross is upside-down.  This show is rarely subtle with its symbolism!

What an interesting episode!  After last week, it seemed the only two “evils” left were Dr. Thredson and the aliens, but this week we learned that the aliens (theoretically) were doing good, and Oliver Thredson got a hole blasted in the back of his head by Lana.  And yet there are still two episodes to go!  Father Howard has risen to the real antagonist now, blinded by the real-life horrors of his own stupidity and ambition.  And Kit now is faced with the difficult decision of what to do now that Alma and Grace are both alive, and both carrying his (alien) child.  And how does this all wrap up into future Bloody Face?  Is there a slim chance he is not actually the son of Thredson and Lana to begin with, and could he be an alien baby?  We’re almost done, it will be fun to find out how it all wraps up!

Read last week’s recap here!

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The Author

Daniel Johnson

Daniel Johnson

Daniel Johnson grew up in Santa Barbara, CA. Son of an archaeologist, he spent his childhood years developing a fondness of nature and the outdoors, which was rivaled only for his love of filmmaking and storytelling.
In 2008 he graduated from the University of Southern California's film program, and currently makes a living as an editor in addition to working on his own creative projects.
He has a weakness for redheads, seafood pasta, and dinosaurs.