Is Kim Kardashian Decapitating People Now?

Siobhan, Siobhan, wherefore art thou, Siobhan?

When we last left Kim Kardashian’s dubiously named American Horror Story: Delicate character, Siobhan Corbyn—a high-powered publicist working to make actress Anna Victoria Alcott (Emma Roberts) the hottest celeb in the world—things had just taken a turn for the grisly. One of Siobhan’s other clients, a young, crimson-haired ingénue named Babette, had been decapitated.

Naturally, this freak accident occurred after Anna received a mysterious phone call from Siobhan, following the Golden Globes ceremony where Anna lost her nomination to Babette. “Do you want an Oscar, do you want it as much as a baby?” Siobhan asked the pregnant Anna, whose gestation had been troubling Anna (to put it mildly). Sensing some dark machinations from her Armenian-Irish publicist that may work in her favor, Anna basically said, “Fuck it,” and told Siobhan, “Yes.”

That moment, which was teased in the throng of promos for AHS: Delicate for weeks before the first batch of episodes aired last September, was long-awaited among this season’s 41 consistent viewers. But just when AHS Season 12 was getting good, it was snatched away from us, put on hold (for good reason) until the SAG/AFTRA strike came to an end and the show could resume filming. After the unions reached a new agreement in November, cameras rose once again, and by God, so did Siobhan Corbyn!

At long last, Kardashian’s menacing mogul has returned to us, and there are just as many frights in store as there are follies. Siobhan is blowing right past the whole decapitation business, and has her sights laser-focused on making Anna an Oscar winner. To do it, she’s bringing back her team of spooky bimbos, finagling a way into a dead girl’s funeral for a very inappropriate speech, and upping her body count—this time, giving someone the ol’ Kristen Johnston in Sex and the City.

If tonight’s premiere of AHS: Delicate Part 2 is any indication, this half of the season will be far better than the first, which took its sweet time doling out any frights or scares. For most of Part 1, we watched as Siobhan trounced around her office in sky-high heels and sang Madonna so badly it cracked a mirror. Don’t get me wrong: Those things were great, and we did get occasional glimpses of Siobhan’s ancient occult plot against Anna and her unborn child, but not nearly enough.

Kim Kardashian and Emma Roberts

Eric Leibowitz / FX

What viewers want to see is a Kardashian going full-tilt madwoman in a Ryan Murphy production, carrying out her character’s batshit and devilish plans with a fresh blowout. Part 1 did, however, give us one irrefutable truth: Kim Kardashian is a great camp actress! And if there’s one thing I’ve always said, it’s that ostentatious actors are better when you give them a knife.

This week is Siobhan’s world: There’s a mess to clean up, and that mess would be named Babette. After a brief introduction where we see Anna’s mother (a very special appearance by Grace Gummer) suffer a pulmonary embolism and pass away, shortly after Anna’s birth, we catapult back to the present day. Siobhan’s calls Anna the morning after Babette’s death, and though Anna is initially reluctant to answer, she picks up to find her agent seated at her desk on the top floor of Siobhan Corbyn’s Center for Wayward Starlets, flanked by her minions, the Ashleys (Billie Lourd and Leslie Gross).

“Babette was giving her limo driver fellatio when he drove into a tree,” one of the Ashleys tells Anna. “But the good news? You’re back in the number one slot on GoldDerby’s Best Actress Oscar poll!” As part of the Ashleys’ celeb crisis management tactics, they and Sibohan have secured Anna the headline speaker slot at Babette’s funeral. Anna tries to object, saying it’s a bit too morbid and she’s under doctors’ orders not to fly. But the twisted trio FaceTiming Anna gives her a perturbing stare, and Anna quickly changes her mind. Apple has just got to fix that bug where witches can cast spells on you over FaceTime—that’s how I got tricked into buying a timeshare from a number that looked like my mom’s!

On the way to Babette’s funeral, Anna tells Siobhan that she’s glad she came. “It was empowering getting on that plane,” she says. “I didn’t listen to the men, the doctors. I listened to me.” Here, Anna is laying the groundwork for a moment that will come later in the episode, where Siobhan alludes to men gaslighting women into giving up their careers for children, a convenient way to lure her client/BFF into whatever the hell she wants to do with Anna’s baby.

Like in the first half of Season 12, a slew of strange events occur with seemingly little meaning. Once she’s back in the Hamptons, a black cat crosses Anna’s path, leading her to a child’s doll, which turns out to be the one that Anna modeled for when she was a little girl. She’s been finding several of these toys, all in different areas. In a stroke of brilliance, she opens Apple Maps on her phone, drops a few pins to where she found each doll, and sees that the pins form a pentagram. Of course, they do. We wouldn’t want any subtlety in this show, would we?

In the city, Siobhan meets Hamish (Dominic Burgess), the director of Anna’s lauded film, The Auteur, on a cozy penthouse rooftop. Hamish is spiraling, telling Siobhan that he no longer wants anything to do with her. We’re reminded that it was revealed at the end of Part 1 that Siobhan and her parasitic coven wrote The Auteur, with Hamish as their scapegoat. Hamish tries to tell her that he’ll go to the press, screaming at her, “I need to do the right thing!” At this, Siobhan pivots on her six-inch stiletto, glares at Hamish, and delivers another cheer-worthy piece of dialogue. “Honey, in show business, no one does the right thing.” Start engraving that Emmy.

After a few more filler scenes—truthfully, most of AHS Season 12 has been filler, and poorly lit filler at that—Siobhan and Anna head off to a girls’ dinner to gab. I had hoped that this might be an exciting ending; just before this, Anna experiences a series of visions at her husband Dex’s (Matt Czuchry) art show, complete with the characters played by Cara Delevingne (a nameless nurse), Michaela Jaé Rodriguez (Anna’s house manager), and Annabelle Dexter-Jones (Dex’s art world pal) circling Anna and prodding her left and right. Siobhan scoops Anna out of her stupor and shepherds her off to dinner, where Anna accidentally bites through a chicken bone and swallows it. Should be a promising conclusion, right?

Well, yes and no. Little happens in this final scene, but Kardashian—and, um, her character—does give us a stirring monologue about the sacrifices that women make to have children, right after she threatens to disembowel anyone who comes near Anna.

Anna tries to tell Siobhan that she wants to quit the business and stop campaigning for her Oscar, and promptly receives a cold, hard slap to the face. “I will not let you say another word about fucking quitting,” Siobhan says. “Let go of your dream to protect your baby? Is that what you rethink your baby wants, an unfulfilled mother who secretly resents its existence? Is that what your mother wanted? Fuck that.”

“I don’t want to hurt you, but what I really don’t want is to see you hurting yourself,” Kardashian—I mean Siobhan—continues. “I know what you’ve been through, what sacrifices were made for you. We live in a world that tells us it’s fine to give up what we love, as long as we’re mothers. You know why we’re told that? They want us to disappear, and stop competing with them. If you quit, it’ll be a tragedy for all of us, including that fuckin’ baby. So why don’t you stop whining about what you’re so scared of, and focus on what you can change: how hard you fight for that little gold man.”

Kim Kardashian and Emma Roberts

Eric Leibowitz / FX

Shockingly (and I mean that with the utmost sincerity), this is not Kardashian’s best work. She doesn’t sound wholly convinced of what she’s saying, even though she has received endless public scrutiny for the deep mortal sin of daring to be Kim Kardashian and a mother at the same time. It’s a little disappointing, but that’s alright. After six months away, I had hoped AHS: Delicate would come back swinging, but it seems that first it needed to brush the dust off itself. With only three episodes left, I have a feeling things are going to pick up. Siobhan’s delightfully gauche final line signifies that perfectly.

In the restaurant, a television flashes with the breaking news story that Hamish has been found dead in an apparent suicide. Anna is shocked, but Siobhan just scoffs. “Wow, such a bummer!” she says, nails clacking away on her phone. It’s exactly like one of my favorite clips from Keeping Up with the Kardashians, sans Kardashian’s nose whistling. “It’ll be really good press for the movie though,” Siobhan continues, before waltzing off to get another drink.

There’s little to say about the bloated middle portion of Episode 6, but bookending it with two great Siobhan scenes is exactly what we viewers needed after some time away. I just hope and pray that the wild, bloody events teased in the trailer for the second half of the season don’t meet the same fate. No one wants to sit through all that muck for a glimpse at Kim Kardashian going full murderess. But if that’s what I have to do for Siobhan, so be it.