‘American Horror Story: Delicate’ Episode 4 Recap & Ending Explained: What Is Dexter Up To?


With last week’s episode 3 and this week’s episode 4 of American Horror Story: Delicate, it is gradually becoming clear that the first two episodes were just weak, meandering beginnings deliberately stretched. While episode 3 had introduced two extremely mysterious female figures dressed in all-black, we now get a hint of who they are and how they are relevant to the plot. In addition, more about Dexter and his family is also revealed, along with a change of fate for our protagonist, Anna.

Spoiler Alert

Who Are The Mysterious Women In Black?

In a surprising change-up, American Horror Story: Delicate Episode 4 does not begin with our usual characters but instead goes back centuries to the Hampton Court in 1555. A woman in royal attire, followed by royal guards, walks into the building in a hurry, meeting with a group of other women all huddled outside a door. This woman is revealed to be Elizabeth I before she became the Queen, and she is here to inquire about her stepsister Mary, Queen of Scots. The woman outside Mary’s chamber reveals that the Queen has indeed become a mother, but that she has given birth by herself without letting anyone else enter the room.

Despite the others’ warning, Elizabeth rushes into the chamber to ensure that her sister is doing alright when she hears the cries of the baby and sees Mary hold a small bundle in her hands. The baby is not visible to Elizabeth, though, and so she asks more about it when Queen Mary reveals that she has just given birth not to a human baby but to a demonic child with long, sharp claws on its fingers. At that very moment, the same mysterious women seen following Anna on the beach in episode 3 appear in the chamber, making it clear that they have existed over different time periods in some strange and peculiar manner.

The two women now reveal their faces and then make the entire matter clear. They are seemingly worshippers or helpers of Satan, who had been waiting for more than 6,000 years for the next devil baby to be born. In a direct attempt to bring the son of Satan into the world, the women had made a deal with Queen Mary, in which she had agreed to bear an evil child for them in exchange for the most successful reign in the history of England. Elizabeth is shocked at hearing all of this, even condemning her sister for this horrific act, and she tries to stop the two women from leaving. In response, they curse her to remain barren forever in her life, and the young woman falls to the ground, clutching her belly, ending this strange but exciting opening sequence. In fact, if we are to refer to history here, both Mary Queen of Scots and then Queen Elizabeth I remained childless throughout their lives, and the series adds a supernatural twist to that very history.

A few minutes later into American Horror Story: Delicate Episode 4, the two women, who were seen in all-black clothing with their faces hidden behind masks until now, are formally introduced as two new characters. When the protagonist, Anna, goes to her friend-cum-agent Siobhan’s office to discuss her next PR steps, Siobhan suggests that she needs to cleanse her public image after the disastrous events on stage at the Gotham Awards. In order to help her get back to being famous for the right reasons, Siobhan has hired the help of two public relations experts, the Ashleys. Both named Ashley and Ashleigh, differentiated only by the spellings, these two women are indeed the ones seen earlier taking away Queen Mary’s baby in 1555. The two had been following Anna around earlier and had even performed some procedures on her body, and now they have created an official way to get closer to the woman. Ashley and Ashleigh then help Anna make an Instagram reel that blows up on the internet and almost magically brings back a positive light for her.

Now that the two women’s identities are revealed, more things seem to fall into place, as a theory can be formed with regard to what has been going on. Their existence in the human world at present means that the women are once again looking to somehow get the son of Satan born, and this might be the reason why they have been tailing Anna. It must be that Anna had gotten pregnant with a demonic baby, and so when she had a supposed miscarriage, Ashley and Ashleigh got hold of her and performed a procedure, making the baby inside her womb alive again. Indeed, when Anna gets herself checked at Dr. Hill’s clinic in this episode, the doctor states that she is really still pregnant with a child.

The gynecologist states that Anna must have been pregnant with twins earlier, which was really difficult for him to say since twins cannot be identified before at least twelve weeks. In many cases, something called “vanishing twin syndrome” occurs in medical science, in which the weaker of the twin embryos are automatically rejected and flushed out by the body when its chance of survival grows thin. Dr. Hill says that this was exactly what must have happened with Anna, and the blood loss and missing heartbeat had been mistakenly diagnosed as her losing the chance to be a mother. As the doctor now assures that a baby is healthily growing in her womb, it seems highly possible that this was the work of the Ashleys, because Anna had felt her baby moving inside her only after her dream-like encounter with the two women.

If this is indeed the case, then the perspective on Ms. Preecher and Ivy also changes, as they now suddenly seem to be on the good side. Ivy was the one to ensure that Anna had a miscarriage, and if she was the intruder at the very beginning of the series, then she had also left a message for her stating not to get a baby. Similarly, Ms. Preecher had also repeatedly warned Anna against someone working against her. It is most probably this same lady who was communicating with Anna through the messages on her calendar app, and so it means that she knows who the Ashleys really are.

Whether Siobhan is also involved with this in any way remains to be seen, but at moments inside her office, she did seem to be in perfect sync with Ashley and Ashleigh. American Horror Story: Delicate Episode 4 now also reveals that Siobhan has her secrets, too, and she has been sleeping with the director of Anna’s last film, Hamish. The woman intends to keep this affair a secret from the world, especially from her close friend, and it seems like she was the one who had told Hamish the address of Talia’s luxury home. There is also a different secret between Siobhan and Hamish with regards to how the director came across the plot of his recent film, and Siobhan once again stresses the need to keep it confidential only between the two of them.

Is Dexter Involved In Anna’s Supernatural Situation?

Dexter provides more support to Anna in this episode and is rewarded for it when Dr. Hill tells the couple that they are actually still pregnant. However, a more suspicious side to the man is revealed indirectly through another new character—Dexter’s mother, Virginia. When the couple returns to their New York apartment only for one night, they are surprised by Virginia, who had already arrived at the place before their arrival. It is perhaps clear from Dexter and his mother’s conversation that they are not very close to each other, since Anna’s miscarriage is news to her. Virginia also comes off as incredibly insensitive, as she really makes her disapproval of Anna felt, and it is her son who has to defend his wife.

It is also soon revealed that the mother-son relationship is more transactional than usual, for Virginia appears in her son’s life only when she needs something from him. She reveals how she was not extremely happy when pregnant with him and suggests that she would have never had a baby if she ever had such a choice. The woman even makes her displeasure felt at her son and daughter-in-law trying to have a baby, stating it to be an unintelligent choice.

Later on, when Virginia meets with Dexter at a restaurant, the real reason for her visit is revealed. The woman and her husband, Dexter’s father, have been estranged and separated for many years, but she now also wants to sue him for certain actions. Virginia is entirely sure that the man used to “satanically abuse” her, meaning that he would have rituals and satanic procedures practiced on her without her realizing it at the time. It was only at present, when she had been consulting with a psychotherapist who also happens to be an expert in helping people recover memories of satanic ritual abuse, that she realized what had happened to her earlier. If this is to be compared with Dexter and Anna, too, then it seems possible that the husband does know more about his wife’s condition than he is revealing. If his father had really tried to get satanic rituals done on his wife, then Dexter might also be the main perpetrator behind the supernatural situation with Anna.

What happens with Anna?

Compared to the previous episodes, the direct attention on Anna is significantly less, as other things take on more central roles. American Horror Story: Delicate Episode 4 begins with Anna still staring at the dead raccoon, as at the end of the last episode, and she now starts to do something extremely strange. The woman gets a hold of towels and picks up the dead raccoon, carrying it to the basement of Talia’s house. Although the house manager, Nicolette, tries to question her action, Anna snaps back at her and continues on her descent to the basement.

During this time, she was still not informed about her pregnancy, and so it seems like Anna is only expressing the suppressed feelings of motherhood by caring for a dead raccoon. Continuing with the baby imagery, she even lays down the corpse in Talia’s old crib, stored away in the basement. Despite the animal starting to rot with flies and insects buzzing all over it, Anna continues to care for it and even picks it up in her arms to caress it.

At the very end of the episode, Anna goes down to the basement one night and tries to access the small trap door that had taken her to the lair of the Ashleys. Not only is she unable to open the door, but in the process, she also slips and falls, losing consciousness. When Anna wakes up the next morning, she checks the news to find out that she has indeed been nominated for the Golden Globe Awards, along with her younger rival, Babette Eno. The actress then suddenly goes on to perform the most bizarre act, as she bites into the rotting carcass of the raccoon, with maggots all over it, and eats it up hungrily.

What to expect in Episode 5?

Things are starting to look clearer in American Horror Story: Delicate now that some major revelations have been made. But the entire situation of Anna is still not clear, although it does seem like the woman is rearing a satanic baby inside her body, which makes her chomp away at the dead raccoon in the end. If the Ashleys are truly satanic worshippers, what exactly happened to the baby they took away from Queen Mary would be interesting to see, if it is given any more scope. On the other hand, what secret Siobhan and the film director have been hiding also remains to be seen, and it would be really fun to watch some scenes from Anna’s latest film. Could it be that the events in her current life are repetitions of what happened in the film’s plot? Either way, the film’s plot and how it was acquired seem to be very important. Lastly, what exact role does the husband Dexter play in this entire matter also remains to be seen. It could be that he had conducted the satanic ritual on his wife, and Siobhan and Hamish had taken the opportunity to get a plot for their film from the devil-worshippers that was promised to succeed in every way. It seems like Anna will consult Virginia’s expert psychotherapist and more about this will be revealed.

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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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