‘American Horror Story: Delicate’ Episode 3 Recap & Ending Explained: Who Are The Strange Figures?


With the release of its third episode, FX’s American Horror Story: Delicate genuinely turns creepy and strange, at least much more than the previous two episodes. At the end of episode two, Anna had lost her baby mysteriously right after a nurse named Ivy, who looked incredibly like her stalker, had performed an ultrasound test on her. When she told the doctors about it, though, they claimed that nobody named Ivy, or of her description, ever worked at the clinic. While this led to the doctors and even the husband, Dexter, believing that Anna was simply hallucinating because of the drugs, American Horror Story: Delicate episode 3 now seems to present a hint that this is actually not the case.

Spoiler Alert

Why Is Anna Upset With Dexter?

American Horror Story: Delicate Episode 3 begins with the same dream that Anna had at the end of episode 2, in which she is standing in a lush green meadow playing with her baby boy. But as the woman playfully throws the baby up into the air, it disappears, and Anna is suddenly all alone. This resembles her situation at the moment, for the baby growing inside her body has mysteriously been taken away from her, either by fate or by someone sinister. As Anna and Dexter return from the clinic, driven by the security agent Kamal, it is revealed that the husband believes that Anna has just had a miscarriage. It is clear that he does not believe his wife’s story about the mysterious nurse, and soon, there is some more disagreement between the two. Anna wants to immediately try to get pregnant again, but Dexter is of the opinion that they should wait until the problem with the stalker and the police investigation are over. He is sure that if there was really any nurse who did something wrong with his wife, then she would be found by the police. However, Anna is very sure that something strange was going on with the nurse as well, just like with the stalker at her home, and that the police will not find anything.

Because of the disagreement with regards to trying for a baby again, Anna decides to get out of the car in the middle of their journey and wants to take a walk through the forested area. Dexter returns to his friend Talia’s house, which has become the couple’s home away from the eyes of the media for the time being. Anna enters the forest on foot and walks for what seems to only be a few minutes when she spots a campfire in the middle of the forest. The skies have turned grey and darker now, and upon hearing someone sing the rock-a-bye-baby rhyme, she looks up at a tree to see Ms. Preecher perched on a branch and looking down at her. The woman claims that she has been looking for Anna, and this is enough for the protagonist to run back home in a frightened manner. When she finally arrives home, though, which is only some distance from the forest, it is completely dark outside. Dexter is extremely relieved after seeing her, for Anna had apparently been missing for a very long time. The outside growing dark also does prove that many hours have passed, and this means that the woman has once again missed out on the passage of time like before.

Dexter still believes that this is because of the heavy sedatives and other medicines that Anna had been given, and he is even more sure of this when she tells him about seeing Ms. Preecher. The couple, accompanied by Kamal, immediately rush to the spot in the forest, but there is no sign of any campfire having been there. The tree beside it also has only an owl sitting and hooting, and Dexter feels that she must have mistaken the bird for a human being somehow. Returning home, Anna goes through both social media and the internet to find the profile with Ms. Preecher’s name, but is unable to find it anywhere. Either this means that the accounts have been deleted or that Anna somehow only hallucinated all the hatred against her on the internet.

The next morning, the woman gets introduced to Nicolette, the house manager of the place, who comes in for her work but does not really reveal what her work exactly is. Nicolette is a mother to an eight-month-old baby, and she and Anna talk about motherhood for a bit. Anna is then shown a big hamper containing fruits, a bottle of wine, and some other items that had been sent by Hamish, the director of her last film. However, this is highly suspicious to Anna, for nobody was supposed to know about the address of their current residence. Anna angrily goes to Dexter to find out whether he or Talia might have given the director their address, but he suspects that only Siobhan could have done it. Siobhan obviously denies this, and Anna is also confident of this, as the best friend-cum-agent also comes to their house to visit her. However, there is a strange occurrence in this instance as well, for Anna once again loses track of about two hours in the middle.

Who Are The Strange Figures?

Anna tells Siobhan about how she has been losing track of time and also about the strange red mark on her face, which keeps peeling off layers of skin. Incidentally, Anna remembers that the nurse, Ivy, also had a similar mark on the exact same part of her face as well. Siobhan and the protagonist then go out for a walk on the beach, and it is then that two extremely strange figures are seen to be following Anna around. Dressed completely in black from head to toe and wearing what seems to be bunny ears, these figures remain hidden from the characters as of now but also actively keep an eye on Anna. The best friend leaves in some time, after informing her that Anna could soon feature on the cover page of Vogue. While walking on the beach alone, the protagonist stumbles upon something in the sand, and upon unearthing the object, she is shocked to find a doll bearing her resemblance (which had been shown in the earlier episodes) but with numerous nails stuck on its belly.

Anna picks the doll up and then returns to the house, where she now thinks of going down to the basement again. Here, she goes through Talia’s things from when she was a baby, and after drinking some wine by herself, Anna falls asleep inside the basement. When she wakes up, though, she hears a whispering chant coming from a small trap door inside the room, and upon opening the door, she finds a long tunnel with candles lit along the way. There are some blood stains on the walls as well, but the woman continues to explore the place. Anna reaches a room filled with jars containing either full bodies or severed parts of dead babies, at the end of which is a hole leading to another room. Inside this chamber is a gynecologist’s chair, and as soon as Anna enters the place, the black figures seen earlier hold her captive and sedate her with seemingly chloroform. They then inject the woman with something. Amidst ritualistic chants, the two figures seem to conduct some procedure on the protagonist’s body.

When Anna wakes up, she is still inside the basement, but outside the tunnels or the trap door. As of now, it seems like whatever she experienced behind the trap door was just a nightmare because of her extreme grief and guilt for having lost her baby. When she leaves the basement and meets with Dexter, he too expresses his grief at losing their baby, but Anna is of a different opinion now. Right after waking up inside the basement, she felt a squirming in her belly, and a movement was literally seen in her body as well. She now believes that her baby is not really dead, and her miscarriage could have been a misdiagnosis.

Are The Strange Experiences Really Anna’s Dreams?

The next morning, Anna has a word with her gynecologist, Dr. Hill, about having the continuing symptoms of pregnancy. She had talked about this with Siobhan earlier as well, and both told her that this could indeed happen. Sometimes, even after a miscarriage, the body initially keeps thinking that there is a baby inside the womb, and so keeps acting in a particular manner. Dr. Hill confirms that the excessive blood loss that she had experienced and the fact that there was no heartbeat in her ultrasound test made it clear that there was no baby inside her. But Anna still firmly believes that she is still carrying a child, especially after her gums start to bleed mysteriously, which is an early sign of pregnancy.

That afternoon, Anna visits a local store, which also keeps items related to maternity and babies. Her intention is to buy a fetal heart monitor, probably to be sure once and for all whether she is a prospective mother. The store does not have it in stock at the moment, and Anna instead buys a clothing item for her imaginary baby. Very strangely, she experiences another loss of time passing as she spends the afternoon until night staring at objects in the store. Anna then also sees the two figures in black, confirming that they are either part of her hallucination or they do actually exist. However, the storekeeper does not see them, and so the second theory still does not feel very possible.

However, on her way back home in her car, driven by Kamal, Anna seems to spot Sonia Shawcross on the street, and she immediately asks for the car to be stopped. Anna gets down to check whether it was Sonia, but she immediately returns to the vehicle and hides as she sees her husband, Dexter, meeting the woman and taking her into an alley. At this very moment, a figure jumps out in front of the car’s window, telling Anna to watch out for some woman, not making sure who she means. Very interestingly, this figure is Ms. Preecher, and Kamal also sees her and tries to scare her away. Anna is finally relieved that the driver has also seen the strange woman, and it is now confirmed that Ms. Preecher is actually not some imaginary person.

Returning home, Anna suddenly has an idea about communicating with whoever was trying to mess around in her life. She remembers that the notes in her calendar app on her phone were being changed randomly, and she suspected this to be the actions of a hacker. Almost taking a shot in the dark, Anna leaves a message on the app about what the hacker wants, and a series of replies do come in the form of calendar notes. Whoever Anna is talking to now claims that they want to warn her about the fact that someone referred to by “they” has tried to harm her baby. Looking for certain answers, she asks whether they killed her baby, to which the reply is that her baby is not dead after all.

What to expect in episode 4?

Although American Horror Story: Delicate episode 3 makes it certain that Ms. Preecher’s presence in Anna’s life is very real, the extent to which her appearances are real is not very clear. Could the elderly lady really have been perched on the branch of a tree, or is she capable of some transfiguration? The two figures in black are also extremely creepy, and who they are, or at least whether they exist in reality, remains to be seen. In the end, Ms. Preecher warns Anna about someone, and this could be either Dexter’s latest artist client, Sonia, or it could also be the very suspicious house manager, Nicolette, who is always keeping a very stern watch on the protagonist. Lastly, who is the stranger that communicates with Anna, and what has actually happened to her baby, will also be revealed in the next few episodes.

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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