Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday TV Special - American Horror Story: Asylum - 2x03, 2x04, 2x05.

By s. Saturday, November 17, 2012 , ,
Nor'easter, I am Anne Frank part 1, I am Anne Frank part 2
In the last three weeks on American Horror Story: Asylum we had a lot of craziness - in fact, it seems like with each episode Ryan Murphy is raising the bar of messed up shit - just when you thought things can't possible go worse for the characters, they do. In episode 2x03, which aired just as hurricane Sandy was hitting on Halloween, big storm hit Briarcliff. The very same night it was a movie night in Asylum and Shelley, Lana, Kit and Grace tried to escape.Of course, they failed. And Shelley got the worse of it.

The episode was very good from start to finish - we got to see a glimpse of possessed sister Mary Eunice, who killed a patient with scissors and tried to seduce Dr Arden. Mad and distraught after innocent sister Mary acted like a "whore," Arden wrecked a statue of sister Mary. As all of this was going on, Sister Jude fell of the wagon and got drunk, overwhelmed by everything that was happening in the Asylum. Then, completely drunk she introduced the movie in one of the finest scenes Jessica Lange has given us in the show yet.

As three inmates - Shelley created a distraction and was captured by Arden - were trying to escape they encountered Raspers in the woods and went right back to the Asylum. I suppose electro shock therapy is not as scary as mutated zombies trying to eat you. And Shelley...don't ask. In what was revealed in the season's most messed up ending yet, we found out that Dr Arden cut off her legs.
Dr Arden and Shelley in I am Anne Frank part 1
While Nor'easter had many awesome things - such as Sister Jude encountering an alien and mysterious lipstick sister Mary Eunice passed around, which made people act more mad than before (something which reminded me of Black Swan) it was really just a prelude to the show's two part episode I am Anne Frank. In the first part the mysterious patient (played by special guest star Franka Potente) came to Briarcliff, claiming to be Anne Frank - she told Sister Jude that Dr Arden is a Nazi who experimented on patients in concentration camp. We got really cool flashback sequence where younger Dr Arden was played by James Cromwell's own son.

Sister Jude is inclined to believe Anne as detectives came to talk to Arden about a prostitute who found disturbing photos and yes - Nazi memorabilia - in his office. While Sister Jude is digging, Arden is still experimenting on poor Shelley. We also find out that the Monsignor is protecting him, as he calls him to take care of any "house cleaning he has going on". The first part's most shocking scene featured conversion/aversion therapy on Lana, when Dr Thredson, with her permission, tried to "cure' her of being a lesbian. The scene was hugely uncomfortable to watch and when it inevitably failed, Thredson told Lana that they are leaving Briarcliff, giving her hope, for the very first time.

Meanwhile, Kit and Grace (so far the most boring story arc in the season) grew closer together, so close in fact that they had sex and got caught. Sister Jude wants to sterilize them, while sister Mary Eunice, possessed by Satan, seems to want to protect Kit. Grace reveals her story and the reason she is in Asylum - her step sister accused her of killing her father and stepmother. Later on it is revealed that Grace killed them after all - her father molested her and her stepmother didn't do anything to help her. So Grace chopped them with an axe. Kit doesn't stop caring for her though, saying that he understands why she did it.
Lobotomy scene in I am Anne Frank part 2
The best episode out of three and perhaps the best episode of the series so far was Wednesday's I am Anne Frank, part 2. In this episode Sister Jude hired a Nazi hunter, played by Mark Margolis who only appeared in the opening scene, though I'm sure he will show up again. Meanwhile, Anne Frank having shot Dr Arden and discovered Shelley in the previous episode, was revealed to be a disturbed woman named Charlotte, when her husband came to asylum. Sister Jude realized that she shouldn't have believed her and in the result she calls off the Nazi hunter. Later on she wants to bury the hatchet but Arden is angry. Sister Jude, realizing that the Monsignor will take his side, leaves her life as a nun and leaves the asylum.

While Grace is waiting for her procedure she is Aliens. Wherever that is she is taken to, she meets Kit's wife Alma who appears to be pregnant. We see quick flashes of what is going on, and what seems to be some weird surgery the aliens are doing on two women. Ryan Murphy said it is important that the aliens came for Kit's women right after he had sex with them. Are they doing something to the babies? Or are they merely making sure the women got pregnant? Does the Satan know and that's why he doesn't want anything happening to Kit? Do I even care about this story arc? No, I do not.

Meanwhile, Dr Arden manages to convince fake Anne Frank's husband that lobotomy is necessary. So he performs procedure in a very cool scene, inter cut with Sister Jude getting wasted and hit on in the bar. The episode had this really cool thing going on whenever we see "home video" style footage of Anne (aka Charlotte) and her husband and how she went nuts and started to pretend she is Anne Frank. The ending of the episode is that Anne is now a perfect housewife and lobotomy was a success. The very last thing we see it the zoom in on the board that has the photo of young Arden in Nazi uniform.
Lana in Bloody Face's liar (I am Anne Frank part 2)
Oh, and Shelley...sister Mary Eunice aka Satan appears to be a great fan of Dr Arden's work so she dumps to a school. Why? Because that is what Satan would do. In one of the show's most ingenious and grotesque moments, kids and their teacher start screaming as legless, mutated, deranged Shelley climbs upstairs. What is going to happen now? Other than a lifelong therapy for those kids, I do not know.

The most exciting part of the episode was by far what was going on with Lana and Thredson. They successfully left the asylum, but for a moment Thredson was stopped by the guard. He told him he never worked there. Red flag number 1. He took Lana to his apartment instead to the police station - red flag 2. He didn't let her make a call - red flag 3, ding, ding, ding! By then I think everyone knew that Lana's predicament have now became a very graphic and creepy version of 'from bad to worse". Thredson is Bloody Face.

And sure, right after that he turned on the lamp that was made out of human skin and had nipples. Then he offered Lana a mint (on the side note - who the fuck offers someone a mint when they are drinking red wine? Skinning psycho, apparently). Lana excused herself, trying to get out and ended up in his "workshop" filled with flayed skin and tools. And then trap door, bam! Lana has found herself in some sort of Saw/The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo bathroom/basement/liar, chained to the floor, with Wendy's rotting body next to her and with all sorts of tools on the wall.
Lana and Thredson in the "workshop" (I am Anne Frank part 2)
I have to say that I'm quite surprised Zachary Quinto's character turned out to be Bloody Face. First of all, Quinto already played one iconic TV villain in Heroes so it would be obvious if yet again he would be the bad guy and after last season's fiasco of Rubber Man reveal when literally every single person knew who he was before the "twist' came, I thought Murphy will try to make things a bit harder this season. Second of all, Dr Thredson, even with the creepfest of that therapy in 2x04, still appeared to be one of the very few people we can actually root for on the show. Well, now it went to hell.

I must say, though, that I'm very happy Quinto is playing the villain. He is such a gifted actor and he plays psychos really well. Bloody Face, who is apparently based on three different serial killers, one of whom is obviously Ed Gein (the crafts he made out of pieces of his victims), seems to be such a great villain. He trapped Lana because he wants her to tell his story and apparently in the coming episodes we will get to see what that story actually is via flashbacks.

What makes his character really interesting is that he is not just some crazy wacko who can't keep his shit together for even a brief moment- he is a master manipulator who can hide who he is very well. He is also an actual psychiatrist - in the phone conversation with EW Quinto confirmed that Thredson got all the training and the credentials. The fact he said to Lana that they will continue her "therapy" and the fact Ryan Murphy not only wrote the next episode but also said that the next one is "the darkest episode" yet leads to one conclusion. Thredson will make Lana eat Wendy.

Charming, isn't it?

Lana and Thredson in the promo for next episode


  1. I think that Thredson will make Lana eat Wendy too.

    All I can say is that this show is just getting crazier and crazier. The lesbian curing, Shelley in a school, nipple lamps :S :S

    Can't wait to find out everyone's backstories. Also I don't mind these many stories as long as they have a satisfying end.

    1. Yeah, I'm so scared of what will happen to this poor girl on Wednesday :(

      Me neither, though I must say Kit's story has been boring me so far.

  2. I forgot that there will only be a combined 25 episodes in the first two seasons, so I might start this after the new year. But I haven't even finished Luther yet, because I'm catching up on 2012 films. Baby steps... :)

    1. Yeah, it's probably the way too go, season 2 will end somewhere in January, so you can watch it without waiting, though I'm not sure if AHS in big doses is a good idea :)

  3. Okay, I am going to comment by storyline:

    Arden - what the hell did he do to Shelly? That was sicker than I imagined. Love to know what will happen to her after being dumped at the school. Also, I didn't know his son played the younger him.. that is really awesome (and much better than Lange playing her own 15-year younger self but looking exactly the same).

    Jude - is she coming back to the Asylum? If not, I am interested to see where that plot line goes.

    Kit - "Do I even care about this story arc? No, I do not." cracked me up! At the start of the season his story was really interesting but now it's on the back burner for me as well.

    Lana - What terrible luck this girl has! As soon as she got to his apartment there was such a tense feeling of impending doom that you know something was up. I still wasn't exactly sure he'd be bloody face until the lamp. Damn, she is going to deal with even worse than anything Jude would have done.

    By the way, I still haven't watch the first season, but luckily since they're unrelated I was able to jump into the second season. So far I like it a lot, and will eventually revisit last season.

    1. It was really disturbing, there is so much amputation going on in TV and movie recently. I think the police may send her back to the Asylum and Arden will kill her or something, hopefully, I mean that poor girl.

      I think sister Jude will be an alcoholic now but will step up later on and become the heroine of the season.

      Yeah, Kit is really boring :/ I'm really not into that whole alien thing.

      Yeah, Sarah Paulson said that what's coming to Lana is so awful she wish she was back in Briarcliff :/

      Oh, awesome, the first season is really good too, not as disturbing as this but there is a very interesting monster living in the basement :)