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"The Coat Hanger" is the ninth episode of Asylum. It premiered 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.[1]



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 that he wishes to progress to skinning women and confesses his first clumsy attempt with Teresa. With that, Dr. Gardener learns 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 Sister Mary Eunice, where she is told that she is pregnant. Lana recants her claim of rape against Dr. Thredson and says that it must have been a delusion brought on by her concussion.

Sister Jude awakens, drugged and restrained in a bed at Briarcliff, an in-house trial is held regarding her sanity. Monsignor Howard and Mother Claudia speak truthfully of her seeming decline but 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 a patient of Briarcliff, stripped of her position in the church; she is now merely Judy Martin again.

The Monsignor finds Sr. 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. Leigh 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 he believes 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 Kit 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 steal 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 where 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 new status as a patient, 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 the extraterrestrial arrival. Arden follows the light to a room where a very lucid 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. He thanks the Monsignor before pushing violently shoving the priest's head beneath the water. A janitor later discovers the Monsignor crucified on the chapel's crucifix. Shachath arrives to offer him release.

Featured Characters[]


  • Leigh Emerson
    I like it tight. Just ask Sr. Chastity.
    Sister Jude
    I'll deal with Sr. Chastity.
    You might start by picking a new name for her.
  • Sister Jude: "So you'll spend the next couple days here, reflecting on your behavior."
  • Lana Winters: "It started as a trickle, but within an hour, it was a bloody mess."


  • Dylan McDermott ("Johnny Morgan") and Jenna Dewan Tatum ("Teresa") are listed as co-starring in the end credits instead of at the beginning to keep the suspense.
  • This episode recalls "Welcome to Briarcliff" ― Judy's incarceration, followed by her loud protests to Timothy 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.

Cultural References[]

  • When Sister Mary Eunice says, "The bad news, the rabbit died," she is referring to an early form of pregnancy test known as the "rabbit test" or the Aschheim-Zondek test. Developed in 1927, the test, originally performed on mice, involved injecting a woman's urine into a mouse or rabbit and later observing the changes in the animal's reproductive organs during its autopsy. While all animals in this testing would need to be killed in order for the examination to take place, the misconception that the animal would only die when injected with a pregnant woman's urine led to the usage to the phrase "the rabbit died" as a euphemism for a positive pregnancy test.
  • The coat hanger of the title refers to a home-made abortion tool.

Raised Questions[]