American Horror Story: Delicate Episode 1 Recap With Spoilers: “Multiply Thy Pain”

American Horror Story returned for its twelfth season Wednesday night on FX with the new season taking on somewhat unfamiliar territory with its adaptation of Danielle Valentine’s new novel, Delicate Condition, a story that Valentine has described as “a horror novel about pregnancy.” The season, which stars Emma Roberts, Kim Kardashian, Cara Delevingne, Billie Lourd, and more, follows a woman named Anna (Robert) as she becomes convinced a sinister figure is going to great lengths to make sure that her pregnancy never happens while the men in her life refuse to believe a word she says. With American Horror Story: Delicate being one of the most eagerly anticipated seasons of American Horror Story to date, fans have been eager to see how the series takes on the novel and this modern take on Rosemary’s Baby. We’re here to break down everything that goes on in the first episode, “Multiply Thy Pain” as well as how it compares to the novel.

Spoilers for the Season 12 premiere of American Horror Story: Delicate, “Multiply Thy Pain” abound from this point on. Only read on if you really want to know.

What Happens in American Horror Story: Delicate Episode 1?

Anna is asleep in bed when someone curls up in bed with her. She wakes, startled and chases the hooded figure out of her apartment and calls the police. As she’s on the phone with the police, she sees the torn photo of an embryo and blood. One week earlier, Anna is running late for her egg retrieval according to her husband, but she is sure that she’s not running late. She hurries out to get there on time and as she leaves her apartment, she sees a strange woman across the street looking at a bird’s nest with a dead baby bird. She also spots an advertisement for her movie, The Auteur. The fertility clinic manages to squeeze her in though she’s running late. She and her husband are undergoing their third cycle of IVF and she feels broken. Her husband reassures her it will be okay. After the procedure. a groggy Anna (and her husband) are given some specific instruction, though more to her husband than her.

We’re introduced to some of the more unsettling things that start happening to Anna. An older woman, Ms. Preecher, approaches her at the clinic and menacingly tells Anna that she knows her. Outside of the clinic, Anna sees the strange women from outside her apartment again. At home, Anna discovers a strange hair that seemingly goes forever before she is able to pull it out. We also meet her publicist, Siobhan (Kardashian), who is revealed to be Anna’s best friend who she previously met at an IVF support group. Anna is in the middle of an Oscars campaign for her film and is signing autographs for fans — including a doll from her role as Summer Day in a The CW teen drama from years previously. Anna initials the doll’s stomach, but the doll weirdly ends up in her own purse. When talking with her husband about some of her concerns, we learn that Dex’s first wife, Adeline, died in an accident and that they had never tried to have children. At home, her medication that was supposed to be in the fridge was mysteriously left out even though Anna remembers putting it away.

Anna meets her husband and friends for dinner. Dex’s late wife, Adeline, is a topic of conversation as the artist he and his business partner is working with reminds them of her. While at dinner, they get the call from the doctor with good news about their embryos. She tries to reschedule the transfer to Friday. Later, Anna looks up Dex’s late wife and finds someone online making hateful comments about her under the handle “Annihilate Anna”. She also sees her appointment on her calendar change before her eyes and changes her password. After the calendar incident, Anna changes her appointment time and leaves herself a sticky note with the new time. While she’s on Andy Cohen, she briefly sees the strange woman, Ms. Preecher in the audience and the weird doll shows up in the green room, this time with an X on its stomach. At home, she thinks someone is in the apartment with her and finds her sticky note torn.

Anna goes to Dex’s art show and encounters Sonja, the artist who does in fact look like his deceased wife. When Dex approaches her from behind and scares her, he scolds her. During her embryo transfer the next day, Anna has a horrifying vision of Ms. Preecher. Anna wakes up with no idea how she got home. The episode then loops back around to where it opened, with Anna asleep and the strange figure curling up in bed with her, cradling her stomach. This time she discovers the blood isn’t blood but lipstick and she gets a calendar message to look in the mirror. “Don’t do it Anna” is scrawled on the glass.

How Does American Horror Story: Delicate Episode 1 Differ From The Book?

With the season just starting, there aren’t too many differences between Valentine’s book and the season just yet, but there are a few. While, thus far, Delicate is following Valentine’s book beat for beat, right out of the gate there are some character changes. Dr. Carla Hill in the book is now Dr. Andrew Hill, signifying a gender change for the character. Siobhan in Valentine’s book is, like Anna, an actress, but in the series she’s now Anna’s publicist, signifying the combination of Siobhan with a character from the book named Emily. The friendship between Anna and Siobhan remains intact. The series also introduces the “Summer Day” doll early on, which differs from the book. The biggest shift might be Dex’s first wife, Adeline. In the book, Dex divorced Adeline because she did not want children but, in the series, she died in an accident. There are also some smaller differences, such as Dex’s job, and the intensity of Anna’s paranoia is hitting earlier than in the book, though the tone remains very true to the source material.