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"Vanishing Twin" is the fourth episode of "American Horror Story: Delicate". It premiered October 11, 2023 on FX.

With help from Siobhan, a major announcement helps restore Anna's public image. Behind closed doors however, something powerful seems to be taking over.— FX Networks, official synopsis[1]


Plot[]

In Hampton Court, England (1555), Queen Mary I (aka Mary Tudor and "Bloody Mary") delivers her own baby after throwing everyone else out of the room. Her sister Elizabeth enters the filthy and excessively bloody birthing suite, seemingly alone with the new mother. Mary insists that the baby, expected to be the heir to the throne, is a monster. Two women garbed in black materialize and tell the queen it is time to part with the baby and that he has waited six thousand years to be born. Elizabeth is incredulous that Mary would promise her child to these witches in exchange for a fruitful kingdom, and when she protests their assertion that Elizabeth will herself (during her reign) they curse her with a barren womb. As Elizabeth doubles over in pain, the witches vanish with the newborn (who has talons). Mary demands that her sister leave and Elizabeth crawls away.

In the present, Anna examines the rotting raccoon off the patio as Dex calls for her. She asks him why he lied about where he was and he replies that he didn't; he reminds her that he told her about Sonia's pop-up show at the local gallery. She mentions that Ms. Preecher is in town and that she suspects the older woman is the one altering her calendar. Dex repeats that Cora warned them both about Preecher. Anna is confused how he would know about that conversation, but Dex tells her that Cora told them both when checking out at the last appointment. They will return to the clinic for a check-up after her meeting the next day with Siobhan. After Dex leaves, Anna gathers up the raccoon and carries it into the house. Nicolette asks about it, noting the odd action regarding a dead animal; Anna claims the raccoon (which was clearly decomposing) may not be dead, and that she will attempt to nurse it back to health. When Nicolette protests further, Anna sends her home. Anna enters the basement and lays the bloody corpse in a bassinet as if it were a baby. A black cat watches from a shelf. As she leaves the basement, she thinks she hears chanting. In their bedroom, Dex initiates romance, but Anna is reluctant. They both want a return to normalcy, and resign themselves for the night that it is not to be.

The next day, the pair head to the city. Before leaving, Anna catches a fleeting glimpse of a witch. At Siobhan's office, Anna meets with Ashley and Ashleigh, crisis experts who will assist in her image rehabilitation in anticipation of the Golden Globes. They plan to revitalize her brand appeal rating with a social media clip with a feminist anthem. Anna is reluctant to participate in social media, but they leave her few options.

Returning to their Brooklyn Heights apartment, the couple is happy to be home. Anna is wary of the new security sensor installed on the ceiling, though Kamal insists it is not a camera. They are surprised to see Dex's mother, Virginia, staying at the apartment. Virginia offers to help in any way, then asks for a private conversation with Dex; she wants him to testify on her behalf in a civil suit against his father. Meanwhile, Anna discovers her hair is falling out in clumps. She regards the already fractured and stained mirror and destroys the glass in a rage.

During her miscarriage follow-up, Dr Hill is astonished to find a fetal heartbeat. Dex is elated but confused. Hill explains that Anna must have experienced "vanishing twin" syndrome, where she was pregnant with twins but only one was detected and accounted for; the miscarriage, he reasons, must have only been one twin. Before twelve weeks, detecting multiple fetuses in a pregnancy is difficult. The couple leaves full of joy. Once in the parking garage, Anna sees the oddly dressed woman from weeks before standing at a distance; the woman removes her sunglasses to reveal she is Ivy, the sonogram nurse. Ivy leaves quickly, before Anna can point her out to Kamal and Dex.

The next day, Hamish and Siobhan have sex in his apartment. Their affair has been going on for some time, but while Hamish claims to love her, Siobhan considers the sex purely transactional. She insults him — in particular a recent interview regarding "The Auteur". The businesswoman is adamant that no one know that Anna's character is based on and inspired by Siobhan herself.

Anna's video reel is complete: a black-and-white filmed artful declaration of her bodily autonomy is climbing the trending charts. In it, Anna reveals that she got sick at the awards lectern because she is pregnant. Ashley and Ashleigh, screening the clip for themselves, revel in their genius "forever" vision.

Dex has lunch with Virginia, who is annoyed that women like Anna want to get pregnant. She explains that in her era, married women having abortions was illegal butchery. Dex tells her that Anna misses the maternal bond, never having gotten the opportunity as her mother died when Anna was young. Dex wants a family, but Victoria ignores his desires. He urges her to get to the point of what she wants. Virginia has been working with a therapist who specializes in recovery from satanic ritual abuse, a therapeutic specialization of which Dex has a dim view. Virginia insists, despite Dex's recollections, that his father drugged and forced her into hideous activities.

Nicolette welcomes Anna back, congratulating her on her Reel and her pregnancy. The house manager feels like pregnancy brings with it a feeling of sisterhood. Anna reads the card from a bouquet of delivered roses, bearing the message "You can't trust any of them". That night, Anna wakes to a scraping metallic noise. Ice cream and pickles call to her from the refrigerator. She examines again the picture of Dex and Talia, though she sees Sonia's face replace Adeline's. As Anna gorges on pickles and ice cream, she hears chants from the secret door in the basement (now locked). She hits her head trying to force it open and awakes the next morning still in the basement. The raccoon is still decaying in the bassinet, and she feels an urge to eat it. She is interrupted by notifications that she has been nominated for the Golden Globe. She celebrates by leaning down and biting chunks from the rotting flesh.

Quotes[]

Notes[]

Cultural References[]

Raised Questions[]

Gallery[]


Videos[]

References[]

  1. FX Networks (2023, September 18). "Vanishing Twin". From Listings - AMERICAN HORROR STORY on FX. The Futon Critic. Archived from the original on 2024-07-06.
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