'American Horror Story: Asylum' Recap: 'Dark Cousin'
In the beginning of the episode we see a very sick Grace, who is burning up with a fever. The nurse lifts up Grace’s sheets only to find Grace bleeding out, while one of the nurses calls Dr. Arden “a butcher.” Grace sees the Angel of Death appear in the room, who punches her in the chest, bringing her back to life. When Grace slips back into consciousness she mutters “You should have let me go,” directed to the Angel of Death, who is no longer there.
Sister Mary walks in on Arden in his office, telling him that Grace almost died this morning because of him. Arden denies any wrongdoing, but Mary knows he botched her surgery. Arden finds Mary’s tone to be inappropriate and demands to be spoken to with respect. When she comes back at him, she asks him: “You really think you’re in charge?” After he slaps her in the face once, she dares him to hit her again. During his second attempt to hit her, Arden is pulled across the room by a strange force.
We stumble across a man named Miles working downstairs along with the other nuns, struggling with voices in his head. When the voices get to be too much for him, he screams out “Shut up,” which looks to be directed towards a nun who’s singing, but it’s not. After he apologizes, he asks the nun if he can examine the electric slicer, telling her he’s just trying to fix it, since he’s good with machines. As she walks away, Miles places his hand in the slicer. Sister Mary rushes down to the scene to find “Aramaic” writing on the wall near the scene. She storms over to Miles, demanding him to tell her if he knows the name that’s on the wall. When he denies knowing anything, she continues to ask if he “summoned her.”
Miles is placed in a psychiatric hold overnight in Briarcliff. He tells Frank he “doesn’t want to be in this world.” Once everybody vacates for the area for the night, the Angel of Death appears over his bed, telling him that he summoned her here. Miles responds by ripping the bandages off his arms, revealing fresh wounds that continue to bleed out. The Angel of Death asks Miles if she should “kiss him and make this all go away.” When he says yes, the bleeding escalates. Sister Mary eventually enters the room to find Miles dead as the Angel of Death hovers over him. Mary tells the Angel of Death she did what she had to do, so now it’s time to leave. The Angel of Death continues to call Mary a “cousin” of hers. Mary has what seems to be a bipolar episode, demonstrating that something is in her body. One minute she’s sobbing, asking for someone to get her out of this place, but the next minute she screams at herself to shut up.
Dr. Arden goes to check on Grace, informing her she’s very ill and there’s an infection running through her body. He says that at this stage it’d be “better if he let her die, but he won’t go down for this.” He insists that Grace will live, to “set the record straight” about him, which is so far from the truth. But then again, this is Arden we’re dealing with.
Back at Dr. Thredson’s house, we see that he’s having sex with Lana, who at this point is so far gone. (Can you say Oedipus, Dr. Thredson?) This display of sexual violence, deemed Oedipus in nature, was hard to watch. As Lana lies there numb and motionless, the Angel of Death appears in front of her. Lana: “You heard me call?” Lana says she doesn’t think she can do this anymore and she’s no longer afraid of dying. As the Angel of Death’s wings appear, convincing Lana to “let go,” she has second thoughts and says no. Right as Lana is in the prime of her conversation with the Angel of Death, Thredson walks downstairs, asking Lana “Are you decent?” (Yes, after sexually abusing and torturing his patient, he has the nerve to ask if she’s decent.) Either way, Thredson appears to have a different attitude, demanding that him and Lana have a talk. (Does she even have a choice?) He apologizes for his actions earlier, explaining to Lana that he doesn’t want to hurt her, but he’s tormented. He gives her a choice: he can either cut her throat or strangle her. After giving Lana her options, he jumps on top of her and the two begin fighting. Thredson, wielding a needle, tells Lana he’ll put her out for this so she won’t feel a thing. (How nice of him.) She hits him over the head with a picture frame – the same frame with Wendy’s picture in it – chokes him with the chains she’s wrapped in, grabs his keys and unlocks the chains on her ankles. As she makes her escape, he follows her, until she pushes him down the stairs.
Lana emerges out of the house victorious, convinced she’s finally made her escape. She makes her way to a main road. When she sees bright lights, she’s met by a car, which grazes her body. She hops in the car and asks the man to take her away. Lana apologizes, saying “she had to get away from him.” The man in the car has no sympathy for her actions – “Women are always the victims.” The man insinuates that Lana was the reason this happened. When she asks him to take her to the police, he shouts back at her: “That’s what you b-----s do, you leave.” The man begins to detail his own failed relationship, telling Lana his wife cheated on him in their own house after ten years of marriage. He lashes out with another misogynistic comment: “You brought this on yourself.” The Angel of Death appears in the backseat, causing Lana to panic, thinking she’s out of time. The man pulls out a gun, shoots himself in the back of the neck, causing the car to crash on the side of the road. Lana awakens in Briarcliff, with Sister Mary hovering over her.