REVIEW: American Horror Story Season 12: Delicate Episode 4, “Vanishing Twin”

"Is it a boy sister?" "It is a monster."


“Vanishing Twin” begins with a flashback to Queen Mary of England in Hampton, 1555. Here, we first see the faces of the hooded women as they demand Mary’s baby as payment for her long, successful reign. Her sister Elizabeth is shocked and refuses to make a similar pact, prompting the women to curse her with infertility. In the present day, Anna accuses Dex of cheating on her with Sonia. Dexter clarifies that he told Anna about a meeting with Sonia, which her traumatized brain must have forgotten. Anna begins carrying around a dead raccoon, even swaddling it in the baby’s crib. Siobhan introduces Anna to Ashley and Ashleigh (Leslie Grossman and Billie Lourde), PR consultants who mysteriously resemble the spider cultists from the beginning. Anna begins losing hair and continues bleeding unexpectedly. She returns to the doctor, who diagnoses her with vanishing twin syndrome, explaining that she still has one baby alive and well after all. After a mostly good day, Anna devolves into hysterics after believing she saw Ivy in a parking lot. Siobhan and Hamish have been having an affair, but the two hold darker secrets. Dexter’s mother comes to stay with the couple. The Ashleys’ plan to rehab Anna’s image works brilliantly, playing on ideas of female body image and repression. Dexter’s mother plans to sue his father for “Satanic abuse” and causes trouble by constantly talking smack about Anna. Anna receives a note that says not to trust anyone. She falls and hits her head, eating ravenously when she awakens. This includes the “baby,” AKA the rotting roadkill (rotkill?) she has been hiding in the basement. 

AHS Vanishing Twin

Despite clocking in at a measly 38 minutes, “Vanishing Twin” is the most interesting episode yet. This episode finally delves into this mysterious group of spider-baby-making women, but not too much; there’s still plenty of intrigue. In the prologue in England, they remark that the baby has “waited thousands of years to be born,” giving big Apocalypse vibes; is the spider-baby the Antichrist? Are there multiple factions in the AHS universe trying to bring about the Antichrist in different ways? Can there be more than one Antichrist? This scene feels very AHS. The show has linked its main story back to history, real or fictional, numerous times. The witches in Coven originated in Salem, Death Valley involved the Eisenhowers, etc. I think this can come off as cheesy, but if the cultists are handled well enough, I thought this scene was harmless and set the tone for the episode well enough. 

AHS Vanishing Twin

I understand Anna is feeling flooded with emotions and people, but she is seriously awful to Nicolette. When the hapless house manager asks about the dead animal Anna lugs around, she snaps back, “Go home to your own baby Nicolette.” I know Nicolette works for Dex’s friend, not him and Anna, but I’d be seriously fed up having to watch the house and host crazy people. Also, where did the cat come from when Anna was playing with the “baby”? Why does Anna’s mouth keep bleeding? However, they balance Anna’s callousness with some people well by making Anna sympathetic in other situations. Dex’s mom is a nightmare, and I hate her already. Why does her name have to be Virginia? I know it’s an old lady name, but she is a terror. We Virginias do not accept her; she does not represent us. Anyway, she’s even bad to her son, not only Anna, whom she dislikes for reasons we don’t know. Nobody wants their mom around badmouthing their significant other all the time; it’s exhausting, it’s bad for your mental health, and it’s definitely bad for the relationship. Virginia even enlists Dexter’s help in suing his own father, which seems very manipulative. Why involve your son, who doesn’t even believe what you’re alleging? I think what she’s saying is probably true and almost certainly has to do with the spider pregnancy cult women. Maybe Dexter’s father, whom we have yet to meet, even chose Anna for this trauma, somehow. I honestly really feel for Dex at this point. He’s clearly questioning his wife’s sanity, and now his overbearing, narcissistic mother shows up wanting to tear his family apart at every seam. What is he supposed to do? I’ve gone back and forth on whether Dex is involved with the cult, cheating with Sonia, or both. But now I think he genuinely isn’t doing/hasn’t done anything wrong. Taking a phone call from Sonia and having a work dinner with her isn’t a crime. Given Anna’s memory lapses, it makes sense that she really didn’t remember this if he mentioned it before. Dex even tries to get intimate with Anna one night, and she’s the one who initially brushes him off. At the very least, he’s still into her and seems to care how she feels. I still have my theory that Anna has multiple personalities, but I guess she can’t possibly be Sonia since Dex admits to meeting with her without Anna, to Anna. They can’t be one person, but I still think Ivy, Preecher, and others may be Anna’s manifested trauma. 

AHS Vanishing Twin

This episode is GROSS. The pregnancy cravings were one thing; Anna ate the cliche pickles and ice cream as she crouched on the kitchen floor. It was gross how messy it was, and the filming was clearly intended to make it uncomfortable. This is like her feasting on Hamish’s gift basket in “When the Bough Breaks.” But eating the “baby” was another thing. This was absolutely revolting! AHS has always loved gross-out horror and humor, so that’s yet another series tradition kept well intact by Delicate

“Vanishing Twin” is my favorite episode of Delicate so far. With the introduction of the cultists as individuals, Dexter’s meddling mom, and Anna’s rapidly deteriorating mental health, the show is really ramping up, and I’m here for it. 

American Horror Story Season 12: Delicate Episode 4, "Vanishing Twin"

Plot - 8
Acting - 9
Progression - 8
Production Design - 8
Horror Elements - 8



"Vanishing Twin" is my favorite episode of Delicate so far. With the introduction of the cultists as individuals, Dexter's meddling mom, and Anna's rapidly deteriorating mental health, the show is really ramping up, and I'm here for it. 

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