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"Opening Night" is the sixth episode of "American Horror Story: Delicate". It premiered April 3, 2024 on FX.

A glimpse into Anna's past reveals why she craves motherhood, while Dex's troubling family life is dragged into the spotlight.— FX Networks, official synopsis[1]


Plot[]

In 1988's White Plains, New York, a baby is born. The newborn's mother (Margaret Alcott) croons to quiet her, though her husband objects to the lyrics of "Rockabye Baby". When pressed, he declines to sing an alternative. Once the baby is asleep, the mother cuddles against her husband and remarks on her scent; he believes she forgot to shower. He is not connecting emotionally to the baby, and the mother is concerned about a persistent pain in her leg. The husband (Ned Alcott) tells her that she is OK, though she wakes him in the night rocking and writhing in pain. The family rushes to the hospital, where Margaret dies of a pulmonary embolism. Distraught, Ned tries to comfort the wailing newborn, Anna, and is unable to quiet her. A nurse enters, and manages to quiet the newborn by singing "Rockabye Baby"; inexplicably youthful, the nurse is Nicolette.

Present day Anna is awakened by Dex to the news of Babette's death. Siobhan video-calls, and her crisis management staff explains the situation: Babette was decapitated while fellating her driver. They have arranged for Anna to eulogize Babette, despite the doctor's orders not to fly. In Los Angeles, Siobhan provides Anna with a script and the news that she has been nominated for a Screen Actor's Guild Award. The mourners comment that Anna has their votes for the awards coming her way. Returning home to the Hamptons, Anna follows a black cat to the edge of the property, where lays another doll. The cat suddenly scratches her, and Anna takes the mangled doll to the basinet in the basement. She pays special attention to the newly installed security camera overhead.

Dex meets his father in a bar in Sag Harbor. The elder has recently bought a new home for his young wife Madison, and goads his son into calling his mother delusional. Dex's father tries to persuade Dex not to testify against him, and bond with him over the inconstancy of women in general.

Nicollete wakes Anna, wanting to show her yet another doll. This one arrived, naked, on Nicolette's doorstep (an hour west, in Rocky Point). Nicolette wonders if someone is trying to send a message with the dolls. The mysterious black cat enters, which Nicolette introduces to Anna as "Felix". Anna is inspired to mark on a map the locations where the dolls have been discovered, and notices that they form a large-scale pentacle. Nicolette has heated the pool to comfort Anna. Surprised by Nicolette's insight about the baby, the housekeeper mentions that her family has always had special insight about pregnancies. Floating in the water, Anna is suddenly struck by disturbing visions. Anna runs to Dex, interrupting him, and she recovers by trying to apologize for seeming disturbed. Dex responds with his own apology for how he has been treating her. Nicolette watches warily from afar. Anna does not reveal that the claw marks from her vision have indeed left piercings in her abdomen. Anna enters Kamal's office and wonders about why Talia was insistent about not having cameras in the basement.

Elsewhere, Hamish says he can't live with himself. He symbolically burns a copy of the "Auteur" script, unnerved to be taking credit for a work he never wrote. He tells Siobhan that he intends to do the "right thing", and she responds that there is no "right thing" to do.

Anna arrives at the gallery opening to meet with Talia, who tells her that Sonia's paintings are selling well. Talia is concerned about Anna, and Anna questions her about the red light in the basement. Anna confronts Talia about resenting her, but Talia responds that she insisted Dex give Anna a chance. Anna tells her hostess that she is grateful for the generosity, but knows Talia is lying to her. In the restroom, Anna can't seem to wash the blood fromher hands. She relives the incident where she seemed to kill a crazed fan, but the fan refuses to die in her vision. Anna emerges and finds Ivy on the other side of the door. Ivy claims to be a gallery intern, and Anna exits. She soon is found by Sonia, who guides her to a quiet space. Sonia kisses Anna on her wounds, and where she kisses the wounds heal. She also presents Anna with a gift of one of her paintings. Dex makes a speech, dedicated to Talia, Sonya, his mother, and Anna in turn. From the painting, Anna's "victim" confronts her, and other familiar women in the room surround Anna. Many of them (including Talia, Sonia, Ivy, and Nicolette) circle her, wearing the spiky green shoes. Anna is rescued from the overwhelming vision by Siobhan.

Anna is convinced that an unknown "they" are doing something to her baby, but Siobhan becomes more concerned when she notes that Anna is eating a bone. Anna expresses that she thinks she needs to retire from acting, as this is too much pressure. Siobhan slaps her across the face, demanding that she will not let Anna hurt herself by sacrificing her life in exchange for motherhood. The publicist insists that letting the naysayers win will help no-one. Siobhan casually responds to the news story overhead of Hamish's apparent suicide as "a bummer" but "good publicity for the movie". Anna finds a note exclaiming that she can't trust anyone, accompanied by a phone number. Dialing it immediately, Anna follows it to Mavis Preecher, who tells her that the venue isn't safe.

Dex leaves the event to find his mother, discovering her body bloody in the running bathtub. A note written in lipstick on the mirror reads "I tried to warn you".

Featured characters[]

Margaret Alcott[]

Margaret Alcott was the mother of Anna Victoria Alcott, but died due to further complications of child birth in Anna's birth year, 1988. She is a character in Delicate portrayed by Grace Gummer.

In 1988's White Plains, New York, Anna is born. Margaret croons to quiet her, though her husband, Ned objects to the lyrics of "Rockabye Baby". When pressed, he declines to sing an alternative. Once the baby is asleep, the mother cuddles against her husband and remarks on her scent; he believes she forgot to shower. He is not connecting emotionally to the baby, and the mother is concerned about a persistent pain in her leg. Ned tells her that she is fine, though she wakes him in the night rocking and writhing in pain. The family rushes to the hospital, where Margaret dies of a pulmonary embolism. It is due to growing up without a mother that Anna is so desperate for motherhood.

Quotes[]

  • Anna to most of the characters during the episode: "Get the fuck away from me!"

Notes[]

  • Denis O'Hare ("Dr. Andrew Hill") is credited but does not appear.
  • This episode marks the final appearance of both Virginia Harding and Hamish Moss (at least, in accordance to the mortal coil), due to both dying by the end of the episode.
  • Margaret Alcott is the third character portrayed by Grace Gummer. For a complete list of her characters, see Cast.

Gallery[]

Videos[]

References[]

  1. FX Networks (2024, March 5). "Opening Night". From Listings - AMERICAN HORROR STORY on FX. The Futon Critic. Archived from the original on 2024-07-06.
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