Since Season 1, “American Horror Story” has developed a reputation for making viewers say “What did I just watch?” And “Delicate,” the 12th season in FX’s horror anthology series, delivered on that promise for the start.
Not only is “Delicate” the first season not to be showrun by Ryan Murphy; it’s also the first season to be based off a book. Adapted from Danielle Valentine’s recent novel “Delicate Condition” and showrun by playwright Halley Feiffer (“I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard”), Season 12 follows Anna Victoria Alcott (Emma Roberts), an up-and-coming movie star who wants nothing more than to be a mother. But the further she goes down the path of motherhood, the more she suspects everyone around her is conspiring against her and her future child.
In addition to Roberts, this season stars “AHS” newcomers Kim Kardashian and Cara Delevingne in starring roles. Additionally, the season stars Matt Czuchry, Billie Lourd, Dennis O’Hare, Leslie Grossman, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Julie White and Dominic Burgess. Fan favorite Zachary Quinto also appears in a guest-starring role.
Here are some of the most shocking moments from the Season 12 premiere of “American Horror Story.”
Anna pulled a thread from her head
Before this season even started, FX filled promos and key art for “Delicate” with artistic images of pregnant stars and monstrous spiders. We just didn’t think that spider imagery would be so literal. In the first episode of the season, Anna examined her hair after undergoing an IBF procedure. As she pulled on one of her hairs, it keeps going, much like a spider’s thread would.
Later in the episode, Anna’s partner Dexter (Czuchry) pulled a spider out of her hair that looked an awful lot like a black widow. Even later, Anna admitted to Siobhan (Kim Kardashian) that her greatest fear is that “My eggs are so old and dusty that my baby will come out a spider.” The arachnid imagery continues.
Kim Kardashian was cursing more than you’d ever seen her
Going into this season, little was known about the type of character mega-influencer Kim Kardashian would be playing for her “AHS” debut. Now we know she’s starring as a foul-mouthed publicist who says things like “Suck my c–t” (c-l not c-u, by the way).
In short order, Kardashian’s Siobhan Corbyn joked that her client Anna is suffering from dementia, dissed The CW, said that Anna “violating” herself is “called being an actress” and dropped at least one f-bomb. But Episode 1 also revealed that Siobhan met Anna at a IBF support group. As jaded as this publicist may be, prepare for emotional layers. Whether those layers are ultimately good or bad for Anna remains to be seen.
“Gaslighting Anna” is the name of the game this season
Going into “Delicate,” educated fans already knew that this season revolved around people gaslighting the hopeful Anna about her dreams of motherhood. But nothing could prepare audiences for how creepy all that lying and misdirection would be. Over the course of one episode, a doll Anna signed is mysteriously moved from place to place and she witnessed a scheduled IBF appointment changing before her eyes.
Andy Cohen made a surprise cameo (and knocked Tom Sandoval)
Who would have guessed the main drama in “Delicate’s” first episode would revolve around Andy Cohen? Throughout the first half of the episode, Anna is forced to choose between going to an earlier IBF appointment, which may increase her chances of conception, and appearing on “Watch What Happens Live.”
Ultimately, Anna figured out a way to do both. But when she appeared across from Cohen, he pulled no punches. After Anna joked she killed someone to get the role in her buzzy indie horror movie, she said, “No one will miss him.”
“I know: Tom Sandoval,” Cohen fired back.
“No, but I f–d Tom Sandoval to get on this show,” Anna responded.
If you’re behind on your real-world drama, Sandoval is the “Vanderpump Rules” reality star at the center of the widely-discussed scandal between Ariana Madix and his months-long affair partner, Raquel Levis. The controversy even earned the catchy nickname “Scandoval.”
A nurse had a bloody makeout session with Anna
Out of all the trippy visuals in this first episode, this one may be the most disturbing. After learning the IBF procedure took, Anna agreed to another procedure from her doctor. Woozy, either from the drugs she was on or her generally deteriorating mind, Anna imagined that one of the nurses was the older lady (Julie White) who’d been following her. In the hallucination, the lady known as Preecher ripped out her own tongue and tried to make out with Anna, whose mouth had been sewn shut.
Even in an episode that ended with a threat in the mirror, the scene is one of the most disturbing moments in an unsettling premiere.
“American Horror Story: Delicate” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX, and streams the next day on Hulu.