American Horror Story Review: "Spilt Milk" (Episode 2.11)
Can a totally wacked-out, disturbed series become even more crazy?
American Horror Story: Asylum proved there is no low it won’t sink to in “Spilt Milk.” The episode took the show’s season-long obsession with breast-feeding to a disturbing and grotesque level. Modern-day Bloody Face hires a prostitute (Jill Marie Jones, Girlfriend) who has just given birth. She’s denied her baby breast milk so Bloody Face can feast on her breasts. (You thought last season when Dylan McDermott had to masturbate and cry was bad? That’s nothing compared to watching McDermott breastfeed.) American Horror Story is really making me wonder what happened to the show’s writers when they were children. Are they traumatized because they were fed formula? But the show isn’t making any larger point here about what happens to children who aren’t nurtured. The modern-day Bloody Face scenes were the epitome of shock value for shock value’s sake.
Last week I worried that AHS only had one villain left in Dr. Oliver Thredson. This week, Lana, who was able to escape with the help of the Mother Superior, kills Oliver in his own home. I’m okay with Oliver dying (even better to die at Lana’s hands) because he became the show’s most boring character after his big reveal. But with the trifecta of villains all dead, the series is left with its worst storyline—alien babies.
Lana goes to have an abortion but is unable to go through with the procedure. “Stop. I can’t. No more death. No more,” she exclaims. The way I see it there are now three potential babies in play to be modern-day Bloody Face: Lana’s baby, Grace’s baby and the baby of the not-quite-dead-yet Alma. Lana’s baby is now looking like a much-too-obvious choice. I’m leaning toward Kit and Grace’s baby being the modern day Bloody Face. “You’re special Kit. Our baby is special. People will listen to him. He’s going to change the way people think,” Grace tells him. But should we read something into the fact that modern-day Bloody Face chose an African-American prostitute as the substitute for his mother? Do I even care who grew up to be the modern-day Bloody Face? Not really.
Lana wants to save Sister Jude and implores the police to remove Jude from Briarcliff. Given the fact that Lana exposed Briarcliff in a big, splashy newspaper article, it’s strange that the place hasn’t been shut down yet, don’t you think? It’s one of several inconsistencies in the storytelling. Lana is hounded by the press, yet the doctor doesn’t recognize who she is?
Since the series often wallows in its misogyny (Did we really need to see Thredson raping Wendy’s corpse?), I appreciate that Lana continues to be a strong character. When one of the detectives calls her a “tough cookie,” she responds “I am tough, but I’m no cookie.” I wish that somehow Lana could be spirited away to her own spin-off series. (Really, she and Jude could be in some sort of ’60s sitcom, couldn’t they?)
Lana storms into Briarcliff demanding to see Sister Jude. The Monsignor, who is back to being rather evil, tells Lana that Sister Jude hung herself and that he had her body cremated. We all pretty much know that’s not true since she’s far too an important character to die off-screen. Sure enough, Jude is alive, but not exactly well, living in solitary confinement.
There are only two more episodes left, and it seems like the thrust of the final two episodes will be for Lana to free Sister Jude and for Briarcliff finally to be shut down. But I’m concerned that much of the remaining time also will be spent on Kit, Grace, Alma and the potentially alien babies. More than ever, “Spilt Milk” really felt like the show was spinning its wheels and biding time until it can get to its conclusion.