Spilt Milk (American Horror Story)
|American Horror Story episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Alfonso Gomez-Rejon|
|Written by||Brad Falchuk|
|Featured music||Incidental music by Philip Glass from Candyman
"Our Day Will Come" by Ruby & the Romantics
"Love Potion No. 9" by The Searchers
|Original air date||January 9, 2013|
"Spilt Milk" is the eleventh episode of the second season of the FX anthology television series American Horror Story. The episode, written by series co-creator Brad Falchuk and directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, aired on January 9, 2013. This episode is rated TV-MA (LSV).
In the episode, Lana (Sarah Paulson) is able to escape the asylum and expose its mistreatments, including those from Dr. Thredson (Zachary Quinto). Kit (Evan Peters) and Grace (Lizzie Brocheré) are allowed to leave the asylum but get a surprise at home. Judy (Jessica Lange) promises Monsignor Howard (Joseph Fiennes) that his and his asylum's downfall are soon to come.
Dr. Thredson gets Kit out of his cell to take him to visit Grace and child in the dayroom. Pepper (Naomi Grossman) wants to protect her but Thredson clears the dayroom so the three can be alone. Kit asks Grace what she remembers of her alien abduction and she recalls the painful process of the baby being put inside her. The baby had grown quickly inside of her as time runs differently for the aliens. Kit believes Alma is dead and he proposes to Grace. Monsignor Howard arrives with a group of people from St. Ursula's Home for Lost Children to take the baby from them.
Mother Superior Claudia (Barbara Tarbuck) gives Lana her personal file in hopes to expose the asylum's mistreatments. Mother Superior wishes the place was destroyed. She tells Lana a change of clothes is in the next room and a taxi is outside. Lana tells Judy that she will come back for her. Out in the lobby, Thredson tells Kit he can help get his baby back, but he must convince Lana to give him the recorded confession. Thredson will tell the police Dr. Arden was the serial killer. As they talk, Lana passes behind them in a long coat and head scarf. Kit sees her and distracts Thredson, allowing her to leave the asylum. She gets into a taxi and shows the tape to Thredson, who comes out to the asylum porch.
He later comes home to find an armed Lana waiting for him. She tells him the police have the tape. He is relieved at the news. He could not handle the emotional drain of keeping his killer side hidden. She insists on knowing what he did with Wendy (Clea Duvall). He talks about having sex with her corpse and then cutting it up to scatter it in different places. As the police pull up outside, they discuss him going to trial, but he taunts her by saying his insanity defense will prevent the death penalty, adding that she would have been his last victim. He stands near a drawer, which has a gun inside, and moves to use it on her. She acts quickly and shoots him in the neck, saying prison is too good for him.
Lana and her friends visit a crypt for Wendy, though her remains were never found officially. The friends ask Lana's plans and she wants to move to New York, thinking everything is her fault because of her pursuit of Briarcliff's story. Friend Barb (Jennifer Holloway) tells Lana to contact a woman who will help her with her "little problem." Reporters want an interview with Lana, but she mockingly tells them to read her book.
At the asylum, Judy refuses to take her medication and knocks the tray with the rest of it to the floor. In his office, the monsignor reads the published reports about the asylum and is told about Judy's disruption. She tells him his downfall perfectly came from a possessed nun in his employ. Her prior admiration of him and his quest to be cardinal is now far from her mind.
Kit is being released as Lana has killed the actual Bloody Face and the story has been published. Before he goes, he blackmails the monsignor into returning the baby and allowing Grace to leave the asylum, as Dr. Arden had declared her dead when Frank shot her. Kit warns that he would expose the asylum's secrets if those results don't occur. He then takes Grace and the baby home where he is shocked to find Alma there with her own baby.
Lana visits a woman (Gwynyth Walsh) to have an abortion performed. Before the woman even begins, Lana thinks back on all that she has witnessed and stops the procedure, suffering from PTSD. A few months later, Lana takes detectives to retrieve Judy, but the monsignor tells them that Judy has committed suicide and her remains have been cremated. However, a plate of food is delivered to Judy in a basement cell.
Lana gives birth, and despite not wanting anything to do with the baby, she decides to let it nurse on her when it refuses to take formula.
Johnny (Dylan McDermott) sits in Dr. Thredson's apartment waiting on a call girl named Pandora (Jill Marie Jones). She had given birth three weeks ago, is lactating, and has "saved up" for him. He proceeds to suckle her breast. She jokes with him that he has "mommy issues" and he talks about his mother not loving him, only herself. This makes him angry and Pandora tries to calm him down but he attacks her.
In a January 2013 interview with Entertainment Weekly, series creator Ryan Murphy spoke about Alfonso Gomez-Rejon's direction of the episode: "Alfonso also worked a lot with Martin Scorsese so I think it also felt very Departed to me. I loved it. I thought all the choices were so fresh and so original. I loved the progressions of the characters. I really loved and I think the audience will love seeing Lana be that Hitchcock heroine. I thought the production design was brilliant. It was an episode of happy mistakes because so many things that we wrote and so many locations we wanted weren’t available. Like that mausoleum was a happy accident. It wasn’t at all what was written but it was available."
Murphy also commented on the content contained within the episode getting passed by FX's censors: "I have a really good relationship with our people. I find the amazing thing about cable television is you can do any amount of violence you want but you will have hour-long discussions about the shading of nipples. I had it on Nip/Tuck and I had it again on this one where it will be microscopic deep-threaded, analyses of 'I see a shade there. Block that.' The only time I've ever been able to get a nipple on television was when we did Nip/Tuck where the guy got breast implants. At the end of the day, that network trusts its showrunners. There are certain things as a writer and showrunner that I wouldn't show and John Landgraf and I are on the same page about that."
The distinctive piano music melody that plays when Lana Winters is leaving Briarcliff while avoiding Dr. Thredson is one of the main musical themes from the soundtrack of the Clive Barker movie Candyman, and was composed for that film by noted composer Philip Glass.
"Spilt Milk" was watched by 2.51 million viewers and received an adult 18-49 rating of 1.5, higher than the previously aired episode.
Todd Van Der Werff of The A.V. Club thought the episode "has a lot of stuff going on, but not really much in the way of action or forward plot momentum. It's almost as if the series got to its denouement two episodes early, and now, it's not sure what to do next." He added: "It's still a really odd episode, particularly from Brad Falchuk, who's usually pretty good about bringing things to a crescendo. Instead, "Spilt Milk" moves in odd and jagged ways." Geoff Berkshire of Zap2it stated: "It's great to see the show kicking into first gear and delivering an hour as stylish, thrilling and surprising as "Spilt Milk". Director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and writer Brad Falchuk really outdid themselves with this one."
- Stack, Tim (January 10, 2013). "'American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy on Dylan McDermott's shocking opening scene and even more clues to season 3 -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (January 10, 2013). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Moonshiners' & 'Amish Mafia' Win Night + 'American Horror Story', 'Duck Dynasty' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved January 11, 2013.
- Van Der Werff, Todd (January 10, 2013). "Spilt Milk". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
- Berkshire, Geoff (January 10, 2013). "'American Horror Story: Asylum' episode 11 'Spilt Milk' recap: Did they really kill ... ?". Zap2it. Retrieved January 10, 2013.
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