AHS/Asylum synopsis and review

Another Season of AHS Bites The Dust

Well, it’s over.

And it ended as it began but I for one, still have about 148 questions.

It’s the present day and we meet Lana and her new sapphic squeeze, an opera singer or performer of some sort, as she’s being interviewed  by a TV news crew and Lord, did the make-up people work on her face, to give her a necessary seventy or eighty year old look.   Apparently, she’s an accomplished author with six–count ‘em–six best selling novels and not only that, she’s apparently, a TV personality too;  an investigative reporter and host of her own  TV show, you know the kind–that  of the crime solving genre.  She’s also about to be honored at the Kennedy Center.

Apparently, her ambitious need to expose Briarcliff as the hell hole it is, is what catapulted her to such success.     The expose began as a documentary.  She and a camera crew sneak into Briarcliff courtesy of that secret tunnel that Sister Satan introduced to at the very beginning.     We hear how she demanded to see Sister Jude who according to Lana tells us, is still there, lo those many years later.

We treated to a scene of Lana and company entering Jude’s cell, dark and dank and dirty, and on what was once a bed–I think–sits a clump of humanity with wilder than wild hair.   The camera lights prove it’s Jude, who was left in Briarcliff and forgotten.   Jude was the only source left that could prove how the Church (when it owned the asylum)  had looked the other way with regards to mistreatment and scientific experiments.

But is it really Jude?  Nah, that was either Lana’s poetic license…OR…..really bad editing.

We learn that Kit actually rescued Jude and took her home to live with him and his two kids.  The Sister Wives are no longer part of the equation.   His mulato wife killed grace with a couple of ax whacks in the back.    Jude’s name is now Betty Drake.   Kit said he did it–took Jude into his home–as his way of forgiving and forgetting all that crap that happened to him at Briarcliff.    Taking care of Jude, he felt, was his redemption.

He conveys to Lana that it was rough going for a while.  After a lengthy detox, Jude was sedated for years.   She’d forget where she was from time to time and think she was back at Briarcliff and scream and carry on, yelling at Kit’s kids mostly.  She couldn’t understand why there were kids around her.  There was no children’s ward at Briarcliff.

Years later while in the midst of a swing dance lesson, Jude develops a bloody nose.    I’m thinking leukemia    We see her on her death bed, whispering life lessons to Kit’s kids.

To the son: Don’t take shit from the man.

To the daughter:  Never let men dominate you.

The kids are sent out of the room and Jude sees the Angel of Death making her last appearance in the corner of the room.   There she is, decked out in black, wings fully extended  and all puckered up to give Jude that final kiss that’ll take her up, up and away.

Or down, down, down, if you believe the Old Testament.

So, by 38 minutes into the season finale, Jude dies and we’re whisked back to present day.  Lana accomplished her goal and closed down Briarcliff.     She decides to take on the Monsignor–now a Cardinal in New York.   She says he knows about Dr. Arden, the experiments…the cruelty, etc., and we learn that he offs himself in a bathtub.    Slit wrists which are oozing life, turn the bathwater to a deep crimson.

Lana then tells the reporter that  she carried Bloody Face’s child to full term and gave him up for adoption.   His name is Johnny.    We’ve met him before.  Dylan McDermott’s character is genetically programmed to grow up to be the be Son of Bloody Face and all that that implies.   His made an effort to pick up where his father left off.    We saw evidence of that.

Anyway, Lana continues on with the interview and expresses regret for giving him up, but felt she had no other options.    And wouldn’t you know, Johnny seemingly part of the  camera crew.   He even hands her some water during a break in the interview.    Somehow, she knows it’s her son.    After the camera crew leaves, she gets up to make herself a drink and knows he stayed behind. She  implores him to finally come out of hiding to ‘get this thing over with.”  She knows he’s about to kill her.  Johnny is a psychotic sure, but he’s also an angry whack job, which never bodes well.    He was a screwed up kid, in and out of Juvie and now here he is, 48 years old and wanting to whack his mother for giving him away and killing his father.

He pulls a gun on her, but she turn the tables and sweetly convinces Johnny that he’s not only a part of his maniacal father, but he’s also a part of he That means he has at least half the capacity to be a decent human being.     He relinquishes the gun and she takes it away from him, only to point it at his forehead and shoots.

Bang!!!!

Like father, like son.

The show segues back to the very first show, when Lana was desperately trying to gain access to Briarcliff to get an exclusive with Bloody Face.  She gained access to Jude’s office through a ruse.    She claimed she wanted to do a fluff piece on the asylum’s bakery which apparently makes a dandy bread.   Jude escorts her to the front door after learning that the all she really wanted was an interview with Bloody Face who was supposed to be brought to Briarcliff for mental assessment.   She reminds Lana how difficult life can be for a woman with lofty goals and ambitions.  This was 1962.    The last thing we hear; the last thing we see are these two women facing each other with glares that had laser-like intensity.    This was how the first scene with Lana and Jude ended 51 years ago, when Jude realized Lana only wanted to interview Bloody Face.   Jude tells her that whenever you look into the eyes of evil, evil looks back at you.

Then, Lana leaves and Jude turns around as the  camera pans to the face of  a shiny, glossy statue of the Virgin Mary which stands in Briarcliff’s foyer.   The head is tilted as if glancing in the nun’s direction.    Gee, no hidden anti-Catholic sentiment there, huh?

I suppose it’s safe to say that Lana’s stint in the snake pit that was Briarcliff didn’t turn Lana into some cold, emotionless bitch with ambitions large enough to choke a whale.   Lana entered Briarcliff that way and walked through its doors unchanged.    Sister Jude recognized that right off the bat and in her special, ‘no holds barred’ manner, told her so.    She wasn’t predicting Lana’s life per se, but she certainly called it.   Lana didn’t have what Jude or Kit had:   at least a small period in life where there was peace and normalcy.

If I’m right, then I’ll give the writers a rate-a-record score of 79 for adding a smidge of pathos, but was it enough?   Not for me, then again, I’ve come to expect a certain shoddiness with AHS..

Characters were killed off too soon.   There were more holes in the plot line than in Bonnie and Clyde’s ambushed car.   We didn’t get to spend much time in Johnny’s head.   I could’ve used an episode delving into all of his angst.    What about that evil little girl who killed her friend and then her whole family?    What happened to the crazy ass serial masterbator????  And Kit’s alien space babies?    The ones that were so ‘special’?     One grew up to be a doctor, the other a lawyer.    Hhhhh’mmmmm, do those two occupations in this day and age really make them all that ‘special’?   Well, for a Jewish mother, maybe……

Lana was the only major character who survived.   Sister Satan and Dr. Arden were burned to death in the asylum’s crematorium.  Threadson was shot in the head several episodes back.    The Monsignor/Cardinal committed suicide. As far as I’m concerned, all three deaths happened prematurely and allowed a season finale that was anti-climatic.   In the finale, Jude died of cancer and so did Kit, although he was abducted by the same bright white light that became an obscure third or fourth level character on the show this season.   Why wasn’t this connection to space beings expounded  upon?  Why did those space freaks murder and mutilate all those women?    What happened to Pepper the Pinhead???     And why couldn’t we learn more about the forest dwelling  critters that Arden created?   And soooooo much more could’ve been done with the satanic angle, but nooooooooo!!!!!!

Season two jumped the shark so many times that poor thing’s dorsal fin was sheared off.

Anyway, I wasn’t as colossally disappointed as I was when season one ended.  And while I have questions, I think  that the unscripted dangling participles that I swat away like slimy tentacles are supposed to make me  come up with my own answers; my own conclusions.   Whenever I encounter endings like this in books, TV shows, movies and such,  I hearken back to a press conference I attended back in 1993.  girl coat

Directing wunderkind, Steven Spielberg came to Houston on a press tour promoting his boffo hit, “Schindler’s List.”     This involved filling a theater with local   high school kids, have them watch the movie then he would take their questions about the flick.   All members of the press could do was watch and at least in my case, learn.

One astute young woman asked Herr Spielberg about the little Jewish girl in the Warsaw ghetto who had worn the pinkish red coat;  the only bit of color in the black and white film.   Her question focused on the coat color and what that  was supposed to mean.

He responded without missing a beat, “It means whatever you need it to mean.”

That day, I learned that poetic license was a tool that the story teller could use at his or her discretion and it’s one that sometimes, an audience member has to employ as well.

scoobydoo_02And in spite of my many criticisms, I can’t wait for  Season 3.

Seriously, I can’t.

As for plotlines, I’m thinking a family of vampires moves into an abandoned but still ‘hot’ nuclear power plant and the fun begins when genetic mutations run amok while angry neighbors who complain, mysteriously after a  mod painted van called “The Mystery Machine” filled with four hips kids including one beatnik lookin’ cat named Shaggy who pals around with his  giant, snack eating, running in place while bongos play, talking dog with a speech impediment, arrives on the scene.

And here I’ll be at my keyboard poised at the ready in the  minutes after the  finale ends, closing the curtain on yet another fakakta AHS season.  That’s when and where  I’ll hold writers/creators Ryan Murphy and Bryan Falchuk  responsible for series of shows that leave more questions unanswered, throw logic out the window and could have been/should have been so much better.

And because of that, I’ll fully expect one or both to appear on camera and admit that they would’ve gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids!!!!!

American Horror Story/Asylum: Episode Nine

It was an episode that would have made Margaret Sanger cringe.

Lana is pregnant with Dr. Thredson spawn and this doesn’t sit well with our incarcerated print reporter, mainly she was raped while being held hostage then was almost killed and secondly, she a raging lesbian but the biggest reason, I would surmise,  has everything to do with the fact that  Daddy is a maniacal serial killer with a thing for female skin .

Off the bone.joan and hangers

She decides to go all Joan Crawford on her uterus, so while in the midst of a little kitchen duty, she steals a coat hanger from a uniform cleaner’s rack and goes back to her cell to take matters into her own hands.    Apparently her Briarcliff version of a back alley abortion merely ‘scrapes the surface”.   She’s still pregnant and through the satanic omniscience, Sister Mary Eunice (Devil with the Black Dress, Black Dress, Black Dress….Devil with the Black Dress On) informs us that not only is the little fetus alive and well,it’s also a boy.

We meet ‘this boy” in the beginning of the episode.   It’s present day when we get to see the hunky Dylan McDermott–in a much more likable roll than that of P-whipped Ben Harmon–and he’s sought the help of a therapist who specializes in obessive compulsive disorders.   He has recently learned is the “SON OF BLOODY FACE” and like father/like son, he loves to skin and kill women.      Her specialty is smoking cessation  and she soon realizes that she’s not at all equipped to handle a patient with all his issues.  Hell, I don’t think a SWAT team is capable of dealing with this boy’s problems.    He begs her to help him because he knows his own murderous lineage and he’ll no doubt kill again and again.

Long story short—-he kills the therapist and her secretary.

We’ve also learned, however that he has moved into his father’s old digs which included the Basement from Hell which held Lana hostage 50 years ago and these days,  holds that  young just married chick who looks like an odd melding of Selena Gomez, Mila Kunis and Tobey Maguire.  We see her strapped to a gurney, Bloody Face Jr. in full cara and he’s about to skin her.

We all realized last week that after Jude stabbed another serial murderer after he attacked her, she’d become an inmate at Briarcliff and that this bit o’news would be a high point for so many nuns who she misused and abused.    But this was only attempted murder.   Lee Emerson is still alive…just a flesh wound in the neck and he tells police that he saw Jude kill the Security Guard.

She didn”t.

Sister Satan slashed his throat outside Emerson’s cell.

H;’s convinced the Father Narcissist (the monsignor) who has grandiose dreams of papacy and world domination that he’s a new man, repentant for his murderous ways and wants to walk a path of righteousness with the Lord.   This makes the Monsignor happy to no end.  What a coup for this guy!!   To be able to change a maniac…to convert him back into a contributing member of society.    An every man—who just happens to have killed 18 people over one long Christmas weekend back in 1962.

He turns the table on the priest and attempts to drawn him in the baptismal font.   The next time we see the Monsignor, he’s been crucified–literally–strung up on the cross in Briacliff’s chapel.   The next thing we see is Moira the Milk Eye maid from last season who this go round, is the Angel of Death, approaching the priest as he asks for help.    Does he live or die?   We’ll have to wait for that answer.

And Sister Satan freed Dr. Thredson who Lana and Tate/Kit had tied up and hidden in some dark, dank storage room.    And this doesn ‘t bode well for Lana.  She told him that she was pregnant thanks to his baby batter and he begged her not to abort it or give it up for adoption.  He would hate that since he knows a thing or two about the child welfare system.    Nope,  says Lana.   The baby’s a goner (or so she thought) and so will Dr. Thredson.  She promises to return to kill him’

But…

Not before Lana managed to get a confession out of Thredson–who he killed and why–and Tate/Kit was hiding in the wings with a huge solid state reel to reel recorder.  He got the whole thing on tape.

Anyway, she comes back to the storage room to keep her promise.  Her weapon?   The same coat hanger she thought she self aborted with.  Apparently if you bend it in half a couple of times its stable enough to stab–at least a feather pillow.

But when she enters the dark storage room, Thredson isn’t there.   His bindings are on the floor.  He’s loose!!!!!!

The scariest part of tonight’s show was watching a frightened Lana wander through the darkened halls after discovering he’d been set free.  I felt Dr. Crazy around every corner.   Lana was armed only with that coat hanger, adrenalin and a survivor’s instinct.   She doesn’t run into Thredson, but as mentioned earlier, she has an encounter with Sister Satan in the hallway and she gives us the impression that she will see to it that Lana’s baby has to be born at all costs .

In another odd plot twist, Dr. Arden actually shows Tate/Kit a little kindness and compassion.   He catches Tate/Kit hiding the recorded tape  reel of Thredson’s confession (which will exonerate Tate/Kit from the Bloody Face accusations) but there’s no punishment.  Instead, he invites Tate/Kit into his office, offers him a ciggie and pours him three fingers of a delightful 18-year-old single malt Scotch.   He tells Tate/Kit that he believes his story about the aliens because he encountered them too.   Even made a plaster cast of the ostrich like claw footprints that were left in the dust on the floor of the death chute.  If you remember, he was hauling off Grace’s body after she’d been shot by the Security Guard two episodes ago.   As he’s about to drop off the body, he hears the damnedest noise, sees a bright light and a fraction of a second later, he opens his eyes and Grace’s body is gone.

Several episodes right after the start, he removed this strange metal spider-like critter from Tate/Kit’s neck.  He’s convinced that these alien beings are studying Tate/Kit.   It seems every women he has sex with, eventually gets abducted.     Arden fee;s sure that if Tate/Kit is about to die, they’ll come for him, allowing Arden to figure out who and what they are.  So he decides to give Tate/Kit an injection with a needle that I swear was as long as a Jedi light saber.

Right in the heart.    Tate/Kit convulses; has a heart attack and clinically dies.    Arden knows he has about a four-minute window to resuscitate Tate/Kit, but just as his pulse slows to a stop, that damned bright light and noise is coming from another room, indicating the aliens are in the house.    Arden runs out of his office to investigate.  He opens a cell door to find Pepper the Pinehead attending to a very nude, very pregnant Grace huddled in the corner.    Pepper insists the baby is in a breach position and she can help.

Oh really???   The tiny noggin with boobs is in Briarcliff for drowning her sister’s children and cutting off their ears!!!!!

Episode nine is the last one for 2012.  We’ll have to wait a few weeks for episode ten.   It’ll air January second.  The previews indicate–at least the passing glance I gave them–that Jude might have an exorcism in mind for Sister Satan.     We know she goes to the forest dressed in Jude’s red lace slip,  maybe for a little sexual tryst with the Arden’s creatures????    We’ll also have to wait till then to find out if Arden missed the deadline to inject Tate/Kit with life restoring adrenaline.  We’ll have to wait to find out Grace’s story; whether Thredson finds Lana….what the deal is with Son Of Bloody Face 2012…and if the monsignor swapped spit with the Angel of Death.  If so, he’s out of the story line.

Guess his contract was up.

So, it’ll be a while before we commune again on this subject.   I hope you survive the Mayan apocalypse and if so, it’s my wish you have  a wonderful Christmas and a stellar New Year.

But in the meantime, I’ll leave you with this:    I know this series is pure  is fiction and the writers at AHS writers have always allowed room for the inane and  incomprehensible,  but I like at least a  soupçon of credibility.  Therefore,   it’s really bothering me that the inmates,  Lana and Tate/Kit specifically, manage to get out of their locked cells all the time and roam the halls completely undetected.  How does this happen?  And not only that,  how do  they get access to recording equipment and knives, phones,  and stuff to bind hostages———BUT flip-wilsonthey can’t escape the asylum?????

I only wish real life could be written with such implausible plot twists as this season of AHS.

It reminds me of this one time back in sixth grade, circa 1970,  when I got into trouble.    I don’t remember the infraction, only my mother’s reaction, which was pure rage and I was facing being grounded for three months–tantamount to juvenile house arrest.   I tried to avoid getting three months ‘in the hole’ by flippantly telling my mother the warden an excuse for my actions.  It was one of the silly platitudes of the era…that  ‘the devil made me do it”.  

Man, that was the longest six months of my life.

American Horror Story/Asylum: Episode Eight

Tonight’s offering:    Unholy Night.  American-Horror-Story-Season-2-Episode-8-Unholy-Night-2-550x366

And yes, based on what I watched for roughly 42 minutes, I’d say it was.

Loved the intro.

It’s a few days before Christmas, 1962.  A one Mr. Lee Emerson is a psychopath who kills a red kettle, bell ringing Santa Claus in front of a closed grocery store.  He takes the suit and breaks into a suburban home where  he befriends a little girl who hears a noise and comes downstairs.  She greets him and acknowledges that Santa has a massive blood stain on his chest.  He’s playing  with the electric train encircling her FABULOUS aluminum Christmas tree.   He ends up killing her mom and dead after tying them up with Christmas lights.   What happened to their daughter–the one  with the badly feigned New England accent we’ll never know.

And I had to laugh at all the double entendres he offered his victims, one he threatened to rape, both he made clear he would kill:

  • The difference between that Santa and me is that he only comes once a year
  • Come on,  there’s always at least one big ticket in Santa’s sack.

A year later, we’re invited to a  Christmas party-slash-photo op in the Common Room at Briarcliff.   Mr. Emerson is there with the other inmates and yes, he’s shackled.   Apparently, Mr. and Mrs. Suburbia and Santa Claus weren’t the only people he killed.   There were 15 murder others that night.    Sister Jude is ramrodding things and making it clear she wants Emerson in the photo–front and center–to assure residents in the area that he’s in custody.   Well apparently, ‘thems fightin’ words” to this mass murderer.  He then does his best Hannibal Lector impersonation and bites the face and neck of one of the orderlies.  For his actions, he’s sent to solitary confinement somewhere in the bowels of Briarcliff.

Speaking of bowels, Dr. Arden admits his Nazi past during an interesting session with Sister Satan.   He offers her a large pair of ruby earrings.  She goes gaga over them.  The devil loves anything red, dontcha know.  She asks where he got them;  if they’re a family heirloom.  He tells her no, they belonged to a wealthy Jewess in one of the camps who kept the jewels hidden by swallowing them over and over again…even to the point of digging through her own feces to find them….only to swallow them again  She didn’t want the Nazis to have them.      Well, she ends up dying of intestinal sepsis and internal bleeding.  Seems all those jewels wreak havoc on a human G.I. tract.  This little tidbit doesn’t bother Sister Satan in the least.

But the fact that she greedily accepts the present–in spite of its horrific past—concerns Dr. Arden.   He realizes that this isn’t the Sister Mary Eunice he once fantasized about.  No this…this thing in a nun’s outfit is evil and with his past, he ought to know.   He meets with Sister Jude who’s been banished from Briarcliff.   He realizes they need to join forces to fight Sister Satan.   And yes, both  Arden and Jude know that the devil is inhabiting the young novice’s body.  But this only proves to be a scheme to prove the ex-Nazi’s loyalty to Sister Satan and the power pact they have between them.  You know—world domination.    You can take the boy out of the Reichstag, but can you ever take the Reichstag out of the boy????

In fact, in an earlier scene, Sister Jude sneaks back in to Briarcliff and bends over Sister Satan and holds a straight razor to her neck, telling her that if she kills Mary Eunice she’ll free her soul and banish Satan back to hell.   Sister Satan says that’s crap and that all she can do is cane the devil out of Mary Eunice.   All of a sudden, the cabinet door opens and several stage hands who are off camera, throw canes at Jude’s hunched over butt.

Another funny scene takes place in the Commons Room.    Sister Satan is hosting a Christmas party for the inmates.  There’s a tree but because of Sister Jude’s hard assitude, there are no ornaments.  So Sister Satan improvises.  She cuts bows off female inmates heads–hair still attached.  She uses empty pill boxes….even one inmate’s dentures.   Festive.

Meanwhile, Lana discovers Kit is in a bed next to hers in the hospital.  She tells him that she was kidnapped by Threadson and he’s the real Bloody Face.  If you remember, she’s still recovering from a massive accident two weeks ago and of course ,he was injured battling one of Dr. Arden’s in the kitchen last week.   Remember, one of the guard’s shot Grace who jumped in the way to take a bullet for Kit who’d escaped from jail and returned to Briarcliff to rescue her.    She was recovering from an erstwhile hysterectomy at the hands…er uh…at the ‘tentacles” of  space aliens which apparently, also inhabit that bullshit barn of horrors.   All guards were given a ‘shoot on sight’ order.

As for the dead creature, all we know about him or it,  is that one of the guards is having a bout with conscious and feels the cops need to be called in.  He references one of them–dead in last week’s attack–hidden away in some room.  Dr. Arden says nah, don’t involve any outsiders.   So, now we know he’s going to die which he does–later–because Sister Satan slashes his neck and plans on blaming it on Emerson the Killer who she allowed to play Santa Claus at the part in the Common Room.  He’s sitting there, an inmate on his lap.  he propositions her.  Something about getting savage with each other and sucking something.  Sister Satan  then sigs him on Sister Jude who came back to Briarcliff as a ruse to kill Sister Satan.

As for that part of the story, just as Emerson is about to rape Jude (he’s already beaten the crap out of her) she finds a letter opener on the desk and jabs him in the neck.   He bleeds out and keels over.  But does he die?    Not sure but I do know this much:    irony of ironies, what Jude did will all but ensure that she ends up an inmate in her own asylum.   Revenge is a bitch.

Lana sneaks into an office and finds a phone to call the authorities and in the process, is found by Dr. Threadson who learned of Lana’s post accident whereabouts in a news story.  He’s about to strangle her when Kit suddenly bursts through the door and bops him on the head.  Lana insists  she needs to kill him but Kit says no, he needs Threadson alive because he’s the only who can prove he didn’t kill his wife or anyone else.  They tie him up. As the scene ends, Lana says one day, “I’ll bury you”,.

Hhhhhhhhmmmmm…interesting.

Lastly, Threadson is seen escorting Grace’s body (that child has been on ice for a week!!) down the Death Chute when suddenly, he hears an ear-piercing noise and bright lights.   He passes out for a flash and VOILA!!!   Grace’s body is gone.   They aliens already have her uterus.  They came back for the rest of her.

A couple of things to note:   Lana is seen earlier heaving up her lunch in a bed pan…only thing is, she tells the nun/nurse she hasn’t eaten.   I’ll ask the obvious question here.  The one we all have:  could she be pregnant??

WITH THREADSON’S CHILD???????

And could Dylan McDermott (who thanks to a preview of next week’s AHS, we learn will make an appearance), be Bloody Face, Version 2.5???     A few episodes back, the opening scene included several murder victims all strung up in the rafters of the current dilapidated Briarcliff.   It included a phone call made to the cops.  Someone saying that he’d been a ‘bad boy” and that imposters are dead at the old asylum.  The voice sounded like Mr. Mac and if that’s the case, that would sure answer that timeline question we’ve all asked about Bloody Face then and Bloody Face now.

With Dylan McDermott as  The Son Of Bloody Face, that would explain how the maniacal acts are still being perpetrated more than 50 years later.

We shall she, kiddies.   We shall see.

American Horror Story/Asylum: Episode Seven

Hosting eleven for Thanksgiving dinner  last week precluded  me from commenting about episode six though God knows there was a lot to discuss.   All I can say is “Baby needs colostrum” now joins “show me your mossy banks” in the pantheon of exceedingly strange AHS phrases that have peppered the dialog this season.   I have no doubt there will be more to come.

Tonight’s episode, “Dark Cousin”, focused on that age-old literary struggle, good versus evil.

A new character named Miles is fighting schizophrenic voices as he helps prepare sandwiches in the Briarcliff.   A nun is using a meat slicer to hack off some bologna when one of the voices tells Miles to grab it by the wrists.   The next scene, he’s on a stretcher,  there’s blood everywhere and on the wall, scribed in the crimson stuff is a word.  It looks like it’s spelling out “one” in funky lettering but when Sister Satan enters the room, she informs us that its ancient Aramaic.  She then she asks our Bleeding Buddy on the gurney if he summoned “her’.

‘What? Huh??”, inquires the dazed self-induced hemophiliac.

He’s wheeled away and placed in a room as a panicked Sister Satan runs amuck, obviously bothered by the fact that  “one” is now at Briarcliff.

The next scene we find a restrained Miles telling the guard he doesn’t want to be at Briarcliff any longer.  In fact, he no longer wants to be in this world any longer.  When the guard leaves, a woman in black  appears at the foot of his bed.   At first, I thought it was actress May Steenburgen  She looked familiar.  It was Frances Conroy, who played  Moira the maid last season.   The older milk eyed version.

She reminds Miles that he in fact, summoned her and then asks if she can basically kiss him and make it all better.    She puckers up and when she does, she sprouts black wings that while large in terms of span, look awfully paltry feather-wise.    They were sparse;  like something you’d find in a discount costume shop.   She obviously has killer kisses.   Miles dies.  Just then, she realizes that someone is at the cell door.

It’s Sister Satan.

She walks in; they recognize each other.  Black Angel Cheap Wings calls her “Cousin” and soon realizes that as angels go, she’s the fallen one.

Lucifer.

And she knows that he/she is inhabiting the young nuns body.   For a second, Sister Mary Eunice comes screaming through possessor.    Sister Satan  reclaims her host, and sends Black Angel Cheap Wings away saying she’s already done what she came to Briarcliff to do.

I’m assuming this is the Angel of Death, sans the large scythe and cloak and hood.

She also pays a visit to Lana after Threadson rapes her.  Incest on top of serial murder???????  What a cad!!    But Lana tells her ‘no’.

A little back story;  we learned last week that he felt Lana was his ideal mother figure.    But it seems that even homicidal maniacs have a conscious and a disdain for their own Oedipal issues.   He decides his indiscretion was reason enough to waste Lana, but a struggle ensues, she bops Threadson over the head with the photo of Wendy, her lover and manages to break free.  She runs out of Threadson murderous pied à terre and on to the highway where wouldn’t you know, she flags down one a driver, which happens to be one of THEE angriest misogynist on the planet.

He hates women; holds them responsible for every pain and misery he has and pulls out of gun and shoots himself as his ’61 Plymouth goes out of control and careens into a tree.   Black Angel Cheap Wings makes an appearance in the backseat and once again offers Lana a homecoming, but declines once again.  The next thing we know, Lana is back in Briarcliff and under Sister Satan’s care.

She tells the horned one that Threadson is Bloody Face and that his tastefully decorated home has a basement of horrors.  Sister Satan remembers conveying this while possessing the body of the Farm Boy ( yet another serial masterbater that we met in Episode Two).  He told Threadson who was in attendance that he appreciated his handiwork.

Sister Satan believes Lana, then sedates her, assuring her that she’s safe.  No one knows she’s at Briarcliff.

We also learn that Kit/Tate escaped from prison.  He’s on his way back to Briarcliff to get Grace who was abducted by aliens and Kit’s wife a few weeks ago.  Remember?   The performed an ersatz hysterectomy on her.

Sister Satan tells Dr. Arden that he  botched the sterilization that Sister Jude ordered after she caught Grace and Kit screwing around.   Arden denies it all and resents the way Sister Satan is addressing him.   He’s about to hit her and she goes all Reagan McNeal on her and like a scene out of the The Exorcist, telekinetically bitch slaps him and like Fathers Merrin and Karras from the movie, flings him half way across the room.

A classic coup’d tat deftly handled.  And Arden knows all too well there’s been a transfer of power.

The story line with Sister Jude is getting interesting.   She’s been reassigned and his leaving Briarcliff, but has to handle a few things first.  Like getting the Nazi Hunter she enlisted a few episodes ago to properly deal with Arden, who we all know was a doctor within the Third Reich.   But Sister Satan killed him with a piece of mirror.   A large shard right to the jugular!

Jude finds him in a bloody mess in his bathroom.    She calls an ambulance but stops short when she senses he had died.   And he does.   Black Angel Cheap Wings appears out of nowhere kisses him (this has got to be the proverbial kiss of death).   Last week, he lived long enough to tell Jude that one of her nun’s was the perp.

Jude looks up and taped on the TV screen is a news article from 1949…a story about the little girl she hit while on a drunken bender.   There’s a few flashbacks and we see Jude in her civies sitting in the sadly appointed living room of a typical New England couple.   They are Missy’s parents, we soon learn.  Missy is/was the little girl in the blue coat that was out playing in the road late one night; the hit and run that changed everything.

Well,  in walks an adult Missy in a nurse’s uniform.

She survived????

Huh??   How did Sister Satan not know this???    Maybe because Old Scratch can only get in our heads and root around to get at our biggest fears and guilt trips.    Therefore, if Jude thought Missy Blue Coat Front Bumper Fodder was in fact dead, so would Sister Satan.  She’d play off that.

Earlier, Jude imagined slitting her wrists in the Tastee Freeze bathroom.   She walked out and encountered Black Angel Cheap Wings who she recognized.  Seems Jude has threatened to take her own life many times before.  The two are old pals.   She tries to talk Jude into finally letting go; seek the peace only Black Angel can offer.

“Let’s French!!!!”, she all but suggests.

No, insists Jude.   There’s at least one more thing to take care of before that ultimate swappage of spit.  And that was to confess to Missy’s grieving parents which ultimately, created one helluva monastic tap dance in the living room of Missy’s parents.   Jude was dumbfounded when Missy and her cat eye glasses walked into the room.  She’d spent 13 years thinking she killed Missy.    But was injured and there’s still the matter of the hit and run; the failure to stop to render aid.

Lastly, Kit/Tate makes his way back to Briarcliff and darts in and out of the tunnels in an effort to find Grace and run away with her.  He bursts through the kitchen door.  She’s eating  a snack with a nun.   Yes, she’s better now—up and walking around thanks to the miracle of sulfa drugs and Bactine administered by Dr. Arden, earlier in the show.   But the guards know he’s an escapee and have been ordered to shoot him on sight.    one was nearby and heard the nun scream.  He goes into the kitchen; sees Kit and shoots, but Grace ends up taking the bullet for him.  Shot in the gut.    Then one of Arden’s forest dwelling human eating creatures with the single quail plume-like dreadlock thing hanging from his head attacks the guards, then Kit, but Kit gets in one good lick and stabs him in the stomach and his entrails or something, falls all over the kitchen floor.

As Grace lies there, Black Angel Cheap Wings appears above her and yes, they kiss and yes, Grace dies.

She is free, she whispers.

Then we’re treated to next week’s previews.   It’s the Christmas edition of this season of  AHS.  Nothing says Yuletide quite like a crazed inmate in a Santa suit.  Can’t wait.

As I mentioned in the beginning, good and evil are the focus here.  It just so happens to these two things converge at an asylum.   One thing is becoming apparent—from Arden’s Nazi past, to Grace’s murder of her family and of course, Sister Jude’s crazy ass life, evil is a part of  man’s existence on this Big Blue Marble.   We have to deal with it.   Try as we might, we can’t erase that which we’ve experienced, nor can we turn a blind eye to it.   All the characters this season hammer the point home that the evil and good are real;  they exist independently, but they can’t co-exist, not without consequences.

That said, I’m beginning to think that the asylum is like some form of Purgatory.  For those not raised under the tent of Catholic dogma, Purgatory is the condition of purification or temporary punishment before entrance to the Pearly Gates.   Here’s the ecclesiastical 4-1-1, kids.

According to the Church and Wikipedia,  immediately after death, a person undergoes  judgment in which the soul’s eternal destiny is specified. Some are  united with God;  others reach a state known as Hell, the  eternal separation from God often envisioned as a fiery, sulfur smelling place of punishment, misery and Lawrence Welk  records.   Apparently, it’s by one’s own free will that a person enters into the state of hell.  It’s willful entry.

Conversely, one could argue that would apply to the opposite destination.  Those who die in a state of grace are believed to be prepped and readied to  move on up–to the Eastside.  To that dee-lux apartment in the sky….eye….eye.

You know, Heaven.

I know that’s thought process, especially when applied to this show, is as insane as one of Briarcliff’s inmate.   I tried to approach last season from a psycho/social mindset and I couldn’t have been more wrong.    There was no Miltonian metaphor.  No deep seeded Faustian explanation.  The house was merely haunted.   With ghosts.   Phantams.  Spectors…Ronnie AND Phil.

But all I know regarding this season so far is simple: if there IS a purgatory, a place for those who lived the worst life  to be  given the choice of redemption and head north….↑ (towards the sound of harps)

or south↓ (where da brimstone at!!!)

Briarcliff would be it.

American Horror Story/Asylum: Episode Four

A bar fly is admitted to Briarcliff for observation.

Mandatory, I suppose, and the reason why is that she took umbrage to a few anti-Semitic remarks by other bar patrons.   This enraged the petite Semite who apparently went Sharia all over the bar.     The long arms of the law embraced her and she ends up in Briarcliff, where ‘treatment’ is to begin the next morning.   This little morsel will serve as a delightful experimental blank canvas for the likes of a sadist like asylum hatchet man–and I mean that literally–Dr. Ardin.

Speaking of, he injects Chloe the nympho whose legs he hacked off right around the knee during last week’s episode with something that he says could would/could make her live forever.   I am assuming that she’ll soon be one of the creatures living on sloppy human seconds out in the woods.

Meanwhile, Lana The Reporter and psychiatrist, Dr. Threadson are becoming friends.  He admits to her that he doesn’t think she’s ill–ill being a big ol’ Lesbian and furthermore, he thinks he can cure what ails her.

Uh-huh.

Meanwhile, the new girl is in the Common Room writing someone with the monotonous Singing Nun warbling on the Victrola in the background.    Lana warns her that she’ll get a caning if anyone see’s her writing.   She puts her pen away just as Dr. Ardin strolls into the Common Room.  A look of recognition rushes over her face and she approaches him.

“You!” she screams.  “You were there!!!   At Auschwitz.  Don’t you remember me doctor?  I am Anne.   Anne Frank!”

And then there’s a tussle with the guards and we go to commercial.

Okay, let’s check the math of this new plot dealio.     Anne Frank was 15 when she died in Bergen-Belsen.  Now, had Annie survived as she explained to Sister Jude, she’d be around 34 in 1964.   Plausible for plot purposes?   I guess so.  The woman claiming to be Anne Frank looked 34-ish.   She explained that she had actually survived the Death Camp but was very sick with typhus during its liberation and in the ensuing mayhem, slpped by unnoticed.   She was able to recuperate and eventually married an American soldier who brought her to the States.   She said she learned of her celebrity status when she realized her diary had been published, but insisted on living an anonymous life in the US so the legacy of an amazing 15-year-old whose diary would become required reading for every school age kid on the planet…except maybe Afghanistan…would endure.

She also told Jude that she recognized Arden as  Hans Gruber a high-ranking Nazi SS physician who was stationed at Auschwitz, where Anne and several members of her family were initially taken after their arrest .  She said he practiced all kinds of horrific experiments, especially on women.   He’d pick an inmate, take her into his lab from Hell.  She’d return days..sometimes .weeks later as some kind of  spaced-out zombie.

Her character has the slightest German accent.   Nice touch.

Meanwhile, two detectives pay Briarcliff a visit.  They want to speak to Dr. Arden about roughing up that prostitute in Episode Two.  Remember the one he made wear a nun habit and show him her ‘mossy banks”.   She apparently pressed charges and told them about those kinky photos she found in a dresser drawer WHICH included Nazi stuff.

MOST RIDICULOUS SCENE OF THE EVENING

In Dr. Threadson’s treatment of Lana includes aversion therapy.  She’s forced to look at slides of women in various cheesecake poses.   She’s also been given morphine–I think–which makes her throw up periodically.  The theory is that she’ll soon associate a pic of a hot chick with abject nausea, hence aversion therapy.  When that doesn’t seem to work, he brings in an Ashton Kutcher lookin’ fella who’s nude and tells Lana to study his parts.   She does and nothing happens.   Threadson tells her to reach out and touch him, she does, then he tells her to touch herself.

She does, but only ends up puking.    A reaction I could have predicted.

As this goes down (or doesn’t go down) Sister Jude has gone to Briarcliff head collar in charge–we’ll call him Maxie Priest— to tell him that Dr. Arden has got to go.  He’s a perv and a war criminal.  When the Bishop asks her how she knows the latter bit o’info, she tells him that Anne Frank, the new inmate told her.  He looks at her with a feigned look of incredulousness–mainly because he knows that cat is a perv and a war criminal.  In fact, when Jude leaves his office, he calls Arden to tell him the jig up and to ‘take care of any housekeeping”.  Aw man, what a downer!!   He gets this news JUST as grabs a fresh new syringe with the hobbled nympho’s name on it.

Jude is also battling with the fact that Sister Satan has busted her about her drinking.  She told Maxie Priest that Jude was a drunken pile of crap when addressing the inmates after the movie during the storm.   She redeems herself and her guilt by threatening to beat AND neuter  Grace (the French chick) and Tate (whose accent gets more Bostonian as each episode progresses)  for getting caught having sex in the kitchen while making bread.

We also learn later that Arden still intends to have a little fun by forcing Anne Frank into his lab.  He’s angry that she’s been telling everyone he’s Nazi sadist, Dr. Hans Gruber.

She says  nien, nien!   He vas most certainly at Auschwitz.

Nien, nien insists Herr Doctor.   He’s from Scottsdale.

HA!   Great line.

He then locks the door so the fun can begin, but she pulls out a gun, one she pick-holstered from one of the detectives who came to Briarcliff to investigate Miss Mossy Bank’s accusations.  She shoots Arden in the thigh and demands he gives her the keys.   He does and when she opens the door, she finds the legless nympho in a various state of physical transformation.  Her face was all contorted.

Forgive me for saying this, but I looked at that screen and I know that was a banged-up Hank Williams, Jr–minus the beard, shades and attitude–lying on the filthy laboratory floor begging to be shot in order to be taken out of her his/misery.

IN CLOSING

Tonight’s episode was strange.   It was more disjointed than usual and almost completely devoid of Sister Satan who’s quickly becoming my favorite character.   Previews indicate she’ll be back next week BUT the big question is–will Lana be back?????

Threadson’s brief tour of duty at Briarcliff is almost up.  He told Lana that he fully intends to take her with him when he leaves.  He doesn’t know how he’ll do it, but he says she’s going home, which in plot-speak, is a cue for something dire to happen to one or both of them.

I think Threadson has the hots for Lana.   Her lesbianism is a kinky, turn on to him and her so-called treatment and cure are just ruses.     If he can free her from Briarcliff, perhaps he thinks she’ll be grateful and offer up a little sampling of her mossy banks.

Then again, he ALSO said that he saw a lot of himself in her.  Perhaps THAT means he’s a big old closet queen and by getting intoher  head (maybe literally speaking) he can wrap his head around his own homosexuality.

But before we put this bad boy to bed, let’s take a gander at the current character salad that’s being tossed before our very eyes:  we now have walking dead, flesh-eating forest creatures, carotid artery dwelling spiders, space aliens, serial killers that wear fleshy masks,  chronic masturbators (that scene with chronic handyman was HIGH-larious yet somewhat disturbing), Lizzie Borden ax wielding killers, more entrails on display than at a butcher’s shop, the reincarnation of Anne Frank, a Dr. Mengele wanna-be, lesbians, threats of sterilization, one hobbled nymphomaniac, a nunlet possessed by Satan him or herself and one fantasy of Lana winning a HUGE award for in-depth reporting of all the atrocities at Briarcliff.   Then the scene in which she explains how she escaped, segues to her entering Threadson’s office asking when they can begin therapy.   So then does that mean  her winning the award a fantasy?    Was it a flash forward?   A flash backward per chance?????

I think the writers are putting plot lines in a salad spinner and whatever manages to break the grip of centrifugal force and float our of the opening, gets inserted into the script that coming week.  Seriously.What’s left??   I guess  I’m waiting for the episode featuring a transgendered witch named Rolley, a Visigoth who’s into tartan plaids and a talking ocelot with a penchant for baking pretzels.

AHS is….was and always will be as illogical as a Pollock painting.   I don’t even think Dr. Arden could dissect its plotline appropriately.

Yet, I still watch.

See ya next week.