|Season 2, Episode 9|
|Air date||December 12, 2012|
|Written by||Jennifer Salt|
|Directed by||Jeremy Podeswa|
"The Name Game"
The Coat Hanger is the ninth episode of the second season of American Horror Story. It was broadcast on December 12, 2012.
The monsignor takes an unlikely convert under his wing. Lana secures a new piece of evidence that can exonerate Kit. Dr. Arden witnesses a miraculous return.
Johnny Morgan visits hypnotherapist Dr. Gardener in hopes of curbing his compulsive behavior. He tells her of a childhood spent skinning and killing cats, a predictor of psychopathy. As her discomfort grows he states his desire move on to skinning women and admits his first clumsy attempt with Teresa before revealing his true lineage as the son of Bloody Face. Later, the next patient arrives to find the doctor dead and a bloody-faced Johnny.
Lana Winters is escorted to the office of Sr. Mary Eunice and is told that she is pregnant. She repeals her claim of rape against Dr. Thredson, saying that it must have been a delusion brought on by her concussion.
While Sr. Jude lies drugged and restrained in a cell an in-house trial is held regarding her sanity. Mnsgr. Howard and the Mother Superior speak truthfully of her seeming decline and Sr. Mary Eunice, Dr. Arden and Leigh Emerson give false testimony, framing her for the murder of Frank McCann. During the hearing, Leigh impresses both the judge and the monsignor with his seeming penitence. When Sr. Jude awakens the monsignor informs her that she has been found guilty of Frank's murder. She will spend the rest of her life as an inmate of Briarcliff, stripped of her position in the church; she is now merely Judy Martin again.
The Monsignor finds Mary Eunice packing Judy's belongings. She reveals her knowledge of Mnsgr. Howard's aspirations to the title of pope and states her desire to follow him to Rome.
Judy is tormented by two former subordinate nuns until the monsignor intervenes with Leigh in tow. He tells the defrocked nun that he forgives her.
Lana visits Kit Walker in the infirmary and states her desire to kill Oliver Thredson. He reminds her of his need to get Thredson's confession and clear his name. Lana goes to the still bound Thredson and tells him of her pregnancy and her intention to abort with a coat hanger. He begs her not to do it and promises to change. She gets him to speak of the murders of Donna Burton, Alison Rydell and Wendy Peyser as Kit records their conversation from hiding. After they reveal the ruse she tells Thredson that she's already gone through with the abortion.
As Kit hides the recording in the hydrotherapy room he is discovered by Dr. Arden who asks that he come to his office. There he admits belief in Kit's story of aliens. He shows Kit a casting of a three-toed footprint he found while investigating Grace's disappearance in the death chute and states his suspicion that aliens are targeting women he has impregnated. He plans, with or without his permission, to bring Kit to the brink of death in hopes that the beings will interfere. Willing to do anything to see Alma again, Kit agrees.
Carl thwarts Lana's attempt to secrete a knife from the kitchen. She resigns herself to improvising with the same hanger she used on her unborn child and goes to the room she has Thredson held. She discovers that he has escaped and while searching for him finds Sr. Mary instead. The possessed nun places her hand on Lana's belly and reveals that her child, a boy, still lives. As Lana smokes in the common room Judy enters and sits with her. Having grown to accept her renewed status as a civilian, she takes one of Lana's cigarettes, breaking her abstinence. She apologizes for her past crimes against Lana and promises to get her out; Lana, having lost her sense of trust and remembering similar promises made by Dr. Thredson, doesn't believe her. In a gesture intended to demonstrate her conviction to change, Judy smashes the "Dominique" record. In reply, Lana mutters "Hot damn", perhaps sarcastically.
In his laboratory, Dr. Arden injects Kit's heart with potassium chloride, promising to revive him within the 2-4-minute window given following his 'death'. The resultant slowing down of Kit's heart to a full stop is accompanied by the sights and sounds that have previously announced extraterrestrial arrival. Arden follows the light to a room where a very lucent Pepper looks after a naked, alive and very pregnant Grace. Pepper tells Arden that the baby has reached full term and that Grace will need a room. Meanwhile, lights and noise still surround Kit's prone body as Arden is distracted from reviving him.
Mnsgr. Howard baptizes Leigh in the chapel who thanks him before pushing the priests head beneath the water. A janitor later discovers the monsignor hanging from the chapel's crucifix. Shachath arrives to offer release.
Guest Stars Edit
- Ian McShane as Leigh Emerson
- Frances Conroy as Shachath
- Fredric Lehne as Frank McCann
- Barbara Tarbuck as Mother Superior
- Mark Engelhardt as Carl
- Naomi Grossman as Pepper
- Jim Hoffmaster as Janitor
- Dylan McDermott as Johnny Morgan
- Jenna Dewan Tatum as Teresa
- Lizzie Brochere as Grace
- Leigh Emerson: "I like it tight. Just ask Sr. Chastity."
Sr. Jude: "I'll deal with Sr. Chastity."
Leigh Emerson: "You might start by picking a new name for her."
- Despite appearing in the episode, Dylan McDermott (Johnny Morgan) and Jenna Dewan Tatum (Teresa) are not credited as guest stars.
- In one or two ways, this episode recalls Welcome to Briarcliff - Judy's incarceration, followed by her loud protests to Msr. Howard, mirrors Lana's own imprisonment in Briarcliff. Additionally, Judy smashing the record in front of Lana calls back to Grace preventing Lana from turning it off and explaining Sr. Jude's stringent rule about keeping it on.
Raised Questions Edit
- With Judy's help, will Lana escape?
- Will Msr. Howard live or die?
- Will Kit live or die?
- What modifications did the extraterrestrials make to Grace's body, and Pepper's mind?
- Where will Leigh Emerson strike next?
- Where will Thredson strike next?
- Will the 2012 Bloody Face become 'worthy' of his father's mantle?
- What is Sr. Mary Eunice/The Demon's interest in Lana's child?