There comes a point in each season of American Horror Story where the story transcends its stern idiosyncrasy and is accepted into the grander Murphy-Falchuk universe. When the Bough Breaks seems to be that very rite of passage, hinting at the rousing possibility that Delicate isn’t as disconnected as we thought. Since convalescence after an emotionally and physically draining experience isn’t a concept that fits into the cruel frame of any American Horror Story narrative, Anna’s got no respite from the brutal all-around agony she’s been going through. Let’s see what trouble the grieving actress has gotten into this week.
Get A Hobby, Miss Preecher!
It’s an awful day for Anna. And her pseudo-supportive husband’s wildly tone-deaf suggestion about bringing the cops into the mix once again just isn’t cutting it. Anna’s right, though. If they were dismissive enough the last time her house was broken into, it’d be foolish to even expect them to take her complaints about the creepy nurse seriously. I might just drown myself in guilt for not taking Anna’s side, but I’m with Dex on this one. Hasn’t she had enough considering her traumatic experience with IVF, even without a side order of haunting? Give yourself a break, Anna! Don’t just get out of your car in a rage and walk into the woods! And what kind of husband is Dex that he lets his traumatized wife walk into the strange woods all alone? At least our good ol’ Miss Preecher is there to keep her company by the fire. But a chance meeting involving the creepy Miss Preecher sitting on a freakishly high branch of a tree and scaring the bejeesus out of her with her screech was not what Anna had in mind. Lead with a “hello” next time, Preecher. The silver lining is that the woman has given her conspiracy theories and her staunch hate campaign against Anna some rest. No more Annihilate Anna. For now, at least.
Is Anna Being Stalked Again?
What does a house manager do? Manage the house, of course. But the keeper of Talia’s glass palace, Nicolette, seems to have a lot more responsibility than that. For starters, she’s got to freak out our poor Anna by blasting Rockabye first thing in the morning. And the next task on her list is kicking Anna when she’s down with a video of her sweet little infant. You’d think it stops there, but no. She’s the first person to offer Anna some mysterious, unsolicited medication. At least Anna doesn’t take it this time. Somebody give Nicolette a raise, please! But Anna’s got bigger things to worry about. If being painfully poked and prodded by the freaky nurse wasn’t bad enough, the stubborn rash on Anna’s face now matches the mole that the nurse had. The disturbing fact that she’s losing time gets absolutely irrefutable for her as Siobhan seems to arrive at her place in the blink of an eye. Nothing a walk by the beach can’t fix. But when do things ever really work out in Anna’s favor? The happy news of Vogue’s front cover being booked for her pretty face soon loses its effect on Anna when she’s once again met with a Summer Day doll—this time with pins inserted into its stomach. That’s as bad an omen as they come. Chugging a bottle of wine could’ve provided the poor woman with some relief if the seemingly haunted bassinet in the basement hadn’t started playing Rockabye.
Is Anna Pregnant Again?
Let’s get one thing out of the way. As someone who’s been religiously following American Horror Story’ wildly unpredictable world for more than a decade, I’m well beyond expecting its narrative to abide by any rules whatsoever. It’s quite a treat to see how confidently Halley Feiffer has adapted to this distinctively bold style of storytelling that doesn’t bother with how things work in the real world. Someone in Anna’s position, haunted, stalked, and hurt, would run faster than the wind if she found herself facing a little door in a gloomy basement, especially with eerie chanting coming from the other side. But as the cursed heroine of Delicate, Anna’s bound to crawl through the narrow passage that leads to a nightmarish room. Infants preserved in jars. That’s just another regular day in the American Horror Story world. But wait. I’m not sure if Talia’s aware that her basement moonlights as a sanctuary for the worshippers of the devil.
As the Latin incantations scribbled on the walls echo with the ghostly whispers, the two women in black inject Anna with something suspicious. I may be going out on a limb here with this theory, but it’d cost you nothing to bear with me. What if the women in the raddest goth outfits I’ve ever seen are using Anna to bring forth the one they serve? What if Anna’s about to go through what Vivien Harmon went through in Murder House and give birth to the Antichrist? Are we looking at the possible comeback of American Horror Story’s most formidable antagonist, Michael Langdon? But let’s leave it up to Anna to name her demonic child. For now, she first has to convince her husband, who’s chosen the most convenient time to play the victim, that she’s, in fact, still pregnant somehow. This time, the supermarket employee reassuring her of a lively little thing kicking in her womb also reassures us that it’s not all in Anna’s head.
Chances are, Dex isn’t the least bit bothered about what his poor wife is going through and would rather spend time with her Adeline-lookalike artist friend Sonia. The smartest thing our battered and hurt heroine has done so far is use her haunted or hacked calendar to leave messages for whoever’s looking out for her. What’s that? She’s still pregnant? Tell us something we don’t already know. But that doesn’t mean that the ending doesn’t leave us with more than one jarring new development. So far, we’ve been wondering if being stalked was something that Anna’s medications made her hallucinate. We’ve also been in the dark about Miss Preecher’s ulterior intentions with Anna. Considering that even Kamal sees the spooky old woman banging on her car door, Anna’s torment is finally recognized by someone other than herself. Miss Preecher has been real all along. And even though we’re still uncertain as to how she climbed the tree with those knees, as of now, there’s no reason for us to think that she’d want to hurt Anna. The same can’t be said about Nicolette, though. What’s her part in the labyrinthine case of haunting that Anna’s gotten lost in? Let’s hope the next episode brings us a little closer to understanding the bizarre circumstances of Anna’s failed miscarriage.