American Horror Story: Asylum Recap: Out of the Frying Pan and Into…?
Since this week’s American Horror Story: Asylum is the second half of the “I Am Anne Frank” two-parter, you kind of go into the hour expecting that story to be resolved somehow. (And it does get resolved — and how!) But what you don’t necessarily expect is that not one but two major characters leave Briarcliff — presumably for good! — and we learn the identity of Bloody Face. And that’s just for starters!
SISTER CHRISTIAN | The episode opens with Sister Jude recruiting a Nazi hunter to help her expose Dr. Arden. But, since at that very moment Sister Mary Eunice is hiding what’s become of Shelley and “Anne” is being disarmed, her plan is doomed before it’s even gotten underway. Worse, “Anne’s” husband soon shows up at the loony bin and explains that a) her name is actually Charlotte, and b) she became obsessed with Anne shortly after giving birth to their son. (Classic postpartum psychosis, says Dr. Thredson without being asked.) In light of this new information, Sister Jude calls off her Nazi hunter and sends Charlotte home to her family — a big mistake, it turns out, as it gives Dr. Arden ammunition to press charges not against the disturbed new mother but against his nemesis!
DOCTOR, DOCTOR | Catching Dr. Arden with his pants down — changing the bandage on his wounded leg, I hasten to note — Sister Mary Eunice apologizes for coming on to him and suggests that, once Sister Jude is out of the way, he’ll be put in charge… and will need a right-hand nun that he can trust. Like, say, her! Later, the mad scientist is all but invited to exact his revenge against Charlotte when her husband brings her back to the nuthouse even crazier than before. His “solution” to her problem? Lobotomy, of course! (Ironically, when we see her post-Stepfording, dismantling her shrine to Anne, among the photos she’s discarding is one of Hitler… with Dr. Arden right behind him!)
MAD WORLD | Though Kit is spared from sterilization and sprung from solitary, Grace isn’t so lucky: Not only does she (as far as we can tell) undergo the procedure, she’s also abducted by aliens and, on their ship (?!), introduced to Kit’s “dead” wife, Alma. Meanwhile, in order for Dr. Thredson to save him from the electric chair, Kit confesses on tape that he is the Bloody Face killer. Unfortunately for him, Dr. Thredson is actually not an ally at all — a point driven home when the cops show up and haul Kit off to prison and what seems like his inevitable execution!
MANEATER | When Sister Jude learns that, on top of Dr. Arden’s determination to press charges against her, Lana has gone missing (more on that in a second!), she finally accepts, once and for all, that her goose is cooked. (Her words.) Defeated, she recalls a heartbreaking childhood incident in which her mother cruelly told her, “God always answers our prayers, Judy; it’s just rarely the answer we’re looking for.” Then she doffs her habit, paints her lips a familiar shade of harlot red and goes to bed with the first stranger who asks, “What’s your poison, sweetheart?”
CRAZY FOR YOU | Amazingly, Dr. Thredson manages to walk out of Briarcliff with Lana in tow. But, as soon as they reach his home, we get a sense that something is amiss. He says all the right things — that together, they’re going shut down Briarcliff, etc. But it doesn’t feel right. Why? We find out when Lana, feeling as uneasy as we do, looks for a way out and instead stumbles onto a room straight out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. “You make furniture,” she says hopefully upon being caught. “What kind of material do you use?” Sadly, we know the answer to that question even before he — the real Bloody Face! — sends her plummeting through a trap door. In the basement, Dr. Thredson slips on a mask made of stitched-together skin and Lana’s late lover’s teeth, and tells her that now they can continue her aversion therapy… !
Okay, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Were you surprised that Dr. Thredson is Bloody Face? How awesome/gruesome was it when Shelley resurfaced and scared the bejesus out of all those schoolkids? And don’t you think that Jessica Lange’s big monologue pretty much guarantees her a second AHS Emmy? Comment away below!