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"Rockabye" is the second episode of "American Horror Story: Delicate". It premiered September 27, 2023 on FX.

It's awards season and Anna is primed to be a major player in contention. After a frightening encounter convinces her that she's being followed, she begins to question who she can trust.— FX Networks, official synopsis[1]


Plot[]

The police review the building security footage with Anna and Dex, showing no intruder. Dex's errand to pick up dog food for Oz, however, does appear. He recounts his story to them, but it did not include anything suspicious. The detective wonders why Oz didn't bark, and the other asks how she got the lipstick all over (and whether it may have been an influence of heavy medication). They leave without resolution.

The next morning, Anna heads to Siobhan's office (believing she may see her mystery stalker along the way). She's surprised by a celebration, as Anna has been nominated for a Gotham Award (a precursor for the Oscars). When Anna demures about posting the impromptu photo to Instagram, Siobhan pulls her aside. The publicist is angry that her staff is working hard to get Anna's name out, but that she doesn't seem grateful for the effort. Siobhan gives her client vials of (what she says is) Vitamin B-12 to keep her energy up, and insists that together they will give Anna the life of her dreams.

Anna vomits, feeling ill, at Siobhan's office. She calls the clinic and the receptionist, Cora, immediately recognizes Anna's voice and asks about her stalker. Anna, confused, asks how Cora knew about it, but the receptionist reminds her that Anna told her herself the day before when she called. Before Cora transfers Anna's call to Dr Hill, Anna asks about the woman she'd encountered — Ms Preecher. Cora describes her as a crazy old woman who drops off pamphlets about her cause: that IVF is murder. Anna wonders if Preecher is her stalker, but Cora says she doesn't think Preecher has the competence for that. Hill is reluctant to get on the phone, but tells her that the vomiting may be a good sign; he advises her to hold off on the pregnancy test for 14 days post-transfer to make sure the implantation took.

While cooking dinner, Anna notices a comment from Preecher on her recent Instagram post. Following it back, Anna finds that Preecher is a conspiracy theorist, and that she posted the picture of Anna at the clinic (including its name) to Instagram and Reddit. Dex surprises her and she accidentally cuts him. He wants her to take the pregnancy test, and she notes that it hasn't been two weeks yet. He points to the calendar nearby, which has several days crossed out without Anna's noticing. Their elation at a positive test result is cut short by a call from Sonia regarding a pop-up show Dex has been planning with her. At the clinic, Dr Hill shows them the ultrasound and the fetal heartbeat and insists that she avoid any kind of stress.

Siobhan visits, ecstatic at the news of the pregnancy, and brings gifts. One is the dress Madonna wore for the 1991 Oscars, which fits Anna perfectly. They go to the mirror in Anna's bedroom, and Anna notes that the message written in lipstick inexplicably refuses to be removed from the mirror. They sing and dance to Madonna's song from "Dick Tracy" in front of the mirror, which shatters for no apparent reason.

Anna, wearing the dress, is a hit at the Gotham Awards. She is upstaged by Babette Eno, another nominee for the same category. While Babette is a fan, she notes that she wasn't born yet when Madonna wore the dress. The press immediately insists on a picture of the "cross-generational" couple. At the awards dinner, Anna's "The Auteur" director starts by objectifying Anna's looks, and goes on to ask about her stalker. Anna, Dex, and Siobhan are incredulous that he knows about it, and he mentions that he heard about it when the Andy Cohen interview was pulled. Anna walks away in disgust and encounters a gushing fan in the restroom. Anna tries to apply concealer to a lesion developing on her face, and discovers that her skin is peeling in patches. The ebullient fan, still standing behind her, asks if she's alright as Anna turns to vomit in the stall. Appearing to want to help, the fan grabs Anna around the abdomen to hold her. Anna reacts violently, knocking the fan's head into the lavatory counter. The woman is unconscious on the floor and bleeding from the head. A production assistant calls from outside that Anna's category is about to be announced. She rushes to her seat in time to hear that she has won the award. She is flustered during her acceptance when she sees the fan in the audience slow-clapping, Preecher with a bloody mouth, and Dex kissing Sonia and Adeline. Shaken from these visions, she stumbles at the podium and begins coughing black blood onto the lectern as the crowd looks on in horror. She is revived by paramedics in the restroom, dehydrated and exhausted, though there is no evidence of the encounter with the fan.

Comforted later at home by Siobhan, Anna is nervous about how the incident will play in the media. Though her friend urges her not to, Anna looks at her phone to find news headlines like "Did Anna Victoria Alcott Vomit Away Her Oscar Chances?". Siobhan suggests a strategy that they downplay the incident and redirect anyone who asks about it. Nonetheless, Dex and Anna are swarmed by the paparazzi and flee to Talia's secondary house in the Hamptons. Dex's mother also owns a home nearby, and Dex insists that she will be kind to Anna. Talia Thompson introduces them to Kamal, who will provide them with security services while they stay. Anna is concerned about the physical exposure of the house, despite the additional security. Anna's suspicion of Talia's motives in helping them intensifies when she finds a photograph of Dex, Adeline, Talia, and Talia's spouse Theo hidden away in a cutlery drawer. Unable to sleep that night, Anna rises at the sound of voices chanting in the basement. Seeking the source, she encounters Kamal, who offers to go downstairs and look. They find nothing out of the ordinary.

Another day, Anna takes a pregnancy yoga session and she begins to feel painful cramps. Kamal takes her to the hospital when she begins bleeding through her pants. She encounters a nurse who introduces herself as Ivy, a recent transfer from Toronto. As Ivy examines Anna, Anna is sure she has seen her before despite Ivy's vehemence. Ivy performs an ultrasound examination, which becomes increasingly uncomfortable for Anna. Ivy leaves to get a doctor to discuss the results, and sets the bloody ultrasound probe back on its rack. Anna runs to the toilet, leaving a bloody trail. Anna is comforted by a vision of playing with her baby, but awakes to find she has had a miscarriage. Dex arrives, having had his phone off. The doctor tells the couple that they do not know the reason for the loss of her baby, a boy, and that she will need to have an ultrasound to confirm her health. She insists that Ivy already performed that examination, and the doctor responds that there is no Ivy — nor any nurse matching Anna's description of her — working at the hospital.

Quotes[]

Notes[]

  • Zachary Quinto made an uncredited cameo appearance as himself presenting at the Gotham Awards. This marked the first time an actor has appeared as both characters and themselves across the series.

Cultural References[]

Raised Questions[]

Gallery[]


Videos[]

References[]

  1. FX Networks (2023, September 6). "Rockabye". From Listings - AMERICAN HORROR STORY on FX. The Futon Critic. Archived from the original on 2024-07-06.
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