Becoming a mother is already challenging, besides worrying about budding stardom, a potentially shady husband, and weird women following your every move. Nothing feels like a storybook in Anna Alcott’s world. She cannot fully enjoy a possible award run after a runaway indie hit because, frankly, there is too much tugging at her sanity. The second episode of American Horror Story: Delicate, “Rockabye,” has more vibes, a foreboding setup, and camp. There are a couple of interesting developments and parallels, but the pace of the first two episodes is building to something. Results may vary.
Anna’s life is full of complications. The episode picks up with her finding the ultrasound picture ripped up in her living room with blood all over it. But again, everybody either seems to be gaslighting her or shady with her intentions. The dog didn’t bark, and Anna discovered she had lipstick all over her hands. Is it possible Anna did this as a symptom of her Progesterone treatments? Dexter’s quick cut-off of the officer’s question. It’s oblivious that something is up and even more to the fact he has something to do with it.
If things couldn’t be any more stressful, Anna has to get ready for a possible awards sweep as a probable stalker is watching her every move. Parts of this show have undeniable ties to Rosemary’s Baby, but at this time, it’s not ready to explicitly show its cards. Anna’s quick Google search on a username to Miss Preecher (apparently a major IVF hater) provides much information on what is at stake. Articles are saved about the legend of Queen Mary, a possible conspiracy of witches operating in Hollywood, and a class of “superhumans” being made. It could very well be this season is drawing from all of these influences (witches will always make me think of Coven).
Kim Kardashian’s Siobhan gets more time in “Rockabye,” and she fully commits to the bit of an overzealous, pop culture-referencing publicist who’s looking to elevate her client to new heights. Anna is looking for someone trustworthy to confide in, but I would exercise more caution when drinking a vial of B-12 someone has on their desk readily available. Madonna songs and Olivia Wilde references aside, there must be more to the girl-power-like motivations for why Siobhan wants her client to succeed. Why did the mirror break when they sang in front of it? They sounded pretty on-key to me.
One of the more intriguing parts of this episode is the small concept of ageism in Hollywood concerning Anna's brief interaction with the young actress on the red carpet. Sure, Anna has been in the game for a bit, but she’s still relatively young, even if the other actress is a generation removed. The “two generations collide” comment by the cameraman didn’t sit right with Anna. You can approach this in two ways – there’s the unfortunate ageist side to Hollywood and also because Anna is becoming a mother. Just as her star is shining the brightest, this thing she’s always wanted might take her away from that.
Another thing is the interaction with the crazed fan in the bathroom. With sudden stardom becomes an unfortunate expectation of invasion of privacy. The director flippantly mentions her stalker at the dinner table. Although it’s hinted that the fan is just a mirage, all the imagery shown during Anna’s acceptance speech speaks to what you lose when all the world’s eye turns to you. With those poignant moments of reality, “Rockabye” fully submerges itself into its’ more horror dealings.
Dr. Hill doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about during the ultrasound in a medical sense. It’s not by coincidence Sonia calls Dexter as soon as they get the news about the pregnancy. The photo of Dexter with Talia and Babette raises many more questions, considering we don’t know how his first wife died. Then there’s the scene with Ivy, who undoubtedly had a direct hand in Anna’s miscarriage.
These first two episodes have many moving pieces that continually add to the mystery, but so many that you wish it slowed down for a second to reason with the absurdity of what’s happening. It is of note Ivy and Anna shared the same lesion on their chin. I think Ivy and Ms. Preecher may be working together if they exist. Anna is under a lot of stress, and Dexter feels like he is growing resentful of playing second fiddle to her. That’s showbiz!