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American Horror Story: Season 12 Episode One Review

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Stony Brook chapter.

This past Wednesday, September 20th, Season 12 of American Horror Story titled “Delicate” dropped the first episode- “Multiply Thy Pain.” As we head into the cold and spooky season, this is the show to watch to get in the spirit. 

Delicate will be following Anna Victoria Alcott, played by Emma Roberts. The NYC-based actress is trying to juggle her buzzing new film while going through IVF with her partner Dexter Harding, played by Matt Czuchry. 

This season will be based on the thriller novel Delicate Condition written by Danielle Vega (aka Danielle Rollins, Danielle Valentine). Warning, I am going to be talking about most of the episode minus some scenes, so major spoilers ahead!

Episode one opens up with Anna being quite unsettled in bed and wakes after realizing the person lying beside her in bed is an intruder. She chases them out and grabs her phone to call the police, but glances at her hands which are covered in blood, that trails throughout the floor to her stomach. 

We jump back a week prior to this and find Alcott running to the clinic to meet with Harding for another procedure. After receiving another round of treatment, Dex leaves to secure their ride home. 

When Anna gets up to try to walk out on her own, an older woman named Ms. Io Preecher makes her first appearance of many throughout the episode. Ivy, played by Cara Delevingne, is another unknown character standing outside the clinic.

After her procedure, Anna begins to experience weird incidents where someone moves her medication out of the fridge and hacked into her calendar on her phone, along with a doll version of herself being placed in her bag.

All while this is going on, Dr. Andrew Hill, played by the AHS fan-favorite Denis O’Hare, explains that her symptoms are completely normal. Dex and her close friend/publicist Siobhan Corbyn, played by Kim Kardashian, also play off Anna’s weird incidents as minor mistakes.

Already there seems to be so much going on in the first episode, and this isn’t even the full storyline. We also learn that Dex’s original marriage ended due to his wife Adeline passing away. It also appears that Siobhan may have had some issues with having a child as well since she met Anna through an IVF support group.

Moving along into the episode, Anna gets offered an interview spot with talk show host Andy Cohen. However, later on, it conflicts with the transfer of her valuable embryos, to which they agree to make it the day after her interview. This is when she notices someone is messing with her calendar and ends up making the appointment earlier in the day. 

After catching a glimpse of Ms. Preecher during her interview segment, she rushes home trying to look for Dex, but forgets he has an art opening. Again there, she sees Ivy in the midst of the paparazzi and proceeds inside.

Still frazzled by her multiple sightings of these two women, Dex ushers Anna to just head home and get some rest. Waking up the next morning, she and Dex go to the embryo transfer. 

While she begins to relax, she looks up and sees Preecher standing over her. A weird interaction happens between Preecher and Anna, one that I won’t get into extreme detail about, and it cuts to Anna lying in the hospital bed, clenching the embryo picture in her hand. 

Wrapping up the ending, we’ve come back full circle to the beginning of the episode. The first scene plays over again, meaning this was sometime after the embryo transfer. 

The red on Anna’s hands is actually red lipstick, one that she was wearing at the art opening after a friend gave it to her earlier in the episode. Anna had never worn red lipstick prior and was hesitant at first, but decided to wear it that night. 

Looking down at the reminisce, the phone flashes with a calendar change- a message reading “Look in the Mirror :)”. Walking over, the message is written in red lipstick- Don’t do it, Anna. 

It looks like someone, possibly Preecher and Ivy, doesn’t want Anna to go through with IVF. Also, when I was watching the episode, the clinic itself seemed a bit off, since they knew who Preecher was and told her she wasn’t allowed to be there.

Compared to the other American Horror Story seasons, this hasn’t made me fall in love with the plot yet. However, there is still the sense of mystery, eeriness, and sure to still give you a fright.

Regarding the acting, the entire cast is bringing their A-game this season. Although I was a bit surprised with Kim Kardashian joining the cast, I think so far she is making a great addition to the group. 

For the setting and designs, they’ve paid attention to detail and I’ve noticed they have gone for a very sleek design of the rooms and outfits. The simplicity in the background allows for more attention to be towards the story, and I anticipate this to be an interesting season. 

One more final thought, there seems to be some type of imagery or importance to spiders in this season. There are multiple scenes where Anna has found a spider web connected to her and a small spider crawling on her. Spiders tend to take motherhood very seriously, guarding their young for the majority of their youth. Seems a spider’s motherhood could be foreshadowing how Anna feels for her unborn child.

Let’s see how the adaptation of Delicate Condition transfers into the new season through the minds of Ryan Murphy and Halley Feiffer.

Melanie Karniewich

Stony Brook '25

Melanie Karniewich is the Vice President of Her Campus Stony Brook and a junior Journalism major with a minor in Film and Screen Studies at Stony Brook University. You can always find her reading rom-com novels, watching mystery movies, and of course writing.