american horror story synopsis

American Horror Story /Coven: Episode Four

American-Horror-Story-CovenWe begin with scene of a young African American male child, barely in his teens riding a bike on a nice, residential street in New Orleans.

So????

This was New Orleans in 1961 and based on the racial issues that existed back the , the reasons why this was a scene destined to end horribly are as clear as black is black and white is white. He’s pursued by a truck full of white men, obviously racists, who are hell bent on keeping this lad from riding his bike in what appears to be a white, middle class neighborhood. A couple of the fellows look like inbred rednecks, the other is a Jack Ruby Fedora wearing clone. The teen takes an unfamiliar sidewalk In an attempt to lose Whitey, but finds himself trapped by a dead end.

The next scene is in black and white and it’s a large tree in some field. Anyone with any knowledge of America’s more tragic history knows as sure as a Jim Crow flies, this is a lynching. The large noose confirms it.

His mother runs to the body of her boy and in the crowd stands a very angry Marie Laveaud. Apparently, the child’s mom works for her at her Ninth ward hair salon. This lynching has just been made even more personal.

An angry voodoo queen is a dangerous voodoo queen. Marie goes to the back of her shop, and starts drawing on the floor (we now know that means something bad is about go down) she starts convicting a potion, then sets it on fire in this lovely Horchow urn. She slices and dices up a few snakes, chants as drummers drum and the next thing we know, corpses reanimate from their graves and respond to her revenge spell. They find the lynch mob and kill them all in gruesome ways. And the best part about these AHS zombies??? They’re armed. In fact, they rose from their graves with weapons AND murderous intent. There are zombie farmers with pitchforks, confederate soldiers with muskets, an unscrupulous accountant with a Ponzi scheme.

Well apparently, this starts a ten year war between voodoo witches and the members of the coven, who are all, in some way, direct linear descendants of the original witches who lived in Salem circa 1692.

Then, we go back to last week when Fiona murdered Madison, but this time, we sit unfold from Spaulding, the mute butler, who minutes earlier dropped the needle on his Victrola, so he and his massive doll collection could enjoy tea with background music. He hears a noise, heads downstairs and witnesses Fiona turning Madison into a human Pez dispenser. As he roles up the young witch’s body in a area rug, Fiona hears a noise and goes into the backyard to investigate. It is a very injured Queenie lying in the grass with a bloody, gasping stomach wound. I’m thinking she was gored in the gut by the rutting Minotaur she tried to seduce last week. While still lucid, Queenie rats out her attacker as his silhouette rises out of the ground with ample backlighting and Fiona seems to know what it is and what to do with it without even looking in its direction. She knows it’s Sebastien, Delphine Lalaurie’s slave/houseboy who she killed for bumping stinkies with her horny daughter two centuries ago and Sebastian just happened to be Laveaud’s boyfriend. The Voodoo Witch sent him to the school where Delphine has been staying, working as a maid, in order to exact revenge.

raggedy ann and andyThen there’s a knock on the door and in a hat tip to bewitched, in walks a odd looking trio that comprise The Witches’ Council. They only assemble when there’s trouble brewing in the coven. The council is lead by Mert, played by whacky fashionFrancesConroy_Sml designer, Betsey Johnson. The hair is a chili powder red, rarely seen outside the Raggedy family. It’s actually the actress known as Francis whose last name is something Irish sounding, who portrayed Moira the Older in season one and the black winged Angel of Death last year.

We learn that the council isn’t happy with Fiona in her role as Witch Supreme. She’s a drunk, flakey, vain, self centered and lousy at her job. They believe she had something to so with Madison’s disappearance, just as she did with the missing Supreme she replaced (nice way of saying murdered) in 1971.velma

As it turns out, I believe I am to assume that based on camera dissolves between past and present, Mert and Fiona were classmates at Miss Robicheaux’s school back in 1971. Back then, Mert was mousy, bookish and homely, not unlike Velma, from “Scooby Doo”. She and Fiona don’t like each other and that’s made crystal clear when it’s announced that the old Supreme is missing and presumed dead, Fiona will assume the throne, providing she can pass seven special tests, based on each power a Supreme is supposed to have. At dinner with a menu no doubt consisting of braised bat wings, tangy toad tandoori and eye of newt, young Mert tells a fellow witch seated to her right that she hates the way Spaulding dotes on Fiona and feels sure he knows that Fiona is involved in some way with the former Supreme’s disappearance. So after dinner Mert goes to her room and recites Latin on coins and ultimately, places a spell on Spaulding’s tongue, rendering it incapable of uttering a lie. This will help Mert in her pursuit of the truth since the next morning, the butler is supposed to testify in front of the Witches’ Council investigating the formers Supreme’s whereabouts.

Spaulding overhears this and later that night, summons Fiona to the bathroom where he tells her, his last words will be that he loves her. He grabs a straight razor and cuts out his tongue. There, problem solved. A tongue can’t lie when it ‘s no longer intact. Now we know why he never speaks and why he seems so mindlessly devoted to Fiona.

We also find out what Fiona did with the Minotaur. She cut off it’s head and sends it, a la Don Corleone, to Marie Laveaud. She opens the box, and screams , especially when the the bloody, severed bovine head winks at her. This gets her crazy mad and once again, she goes to the back room and starts drawing on the floor, chanting, slicing snakes and in the end, sends a well- armed militia of zombies to stand and sway ominously in the front yard outside Miss Robicheaux’s school holding everyone inside captive.

At least I think the blinking cow head was the Minotaur….or it was Elsie, perhaps????    Not sure.

Episode four ends back in Spaulding’s room, an audience of dolls witness him in drag, wearing an antique peignoir and night cap. He goes to his closet and pulls out a very old wedding dress that Vera Wang would HATE, and takes it over to the corner where Madison, in a very advanced state of rigor mortis, is seated in a chair, holding a team up.

What comes next? I’ve nary a clue.

A FEW THINGS OF NOTE:

1) Cordelia’s husband is out of town on business. He picks up a chick who he meets on Craigslist, they have sex, he howls upon climax and then in the middle of a post coital of vending machine soup, he shoots her in the head with a very shiny gun. He’d did tell her that he went as a monster last

ahs spaulding

Halloween. Perhaps he’s reprising that role this year. Not all monsters have gills, tentacles, sharp fangs and eight clawed hands. Not sure what any of that was all about.

2) Spaulding was in the front yard decorating for Halloween. He was assembling what looked like an homage to the Burning Man bonfire mascot. He hugged it after adding the arms, and well, call me a romantic, but I thought that was how he took care of either Madison’s body or that of the Minotaur. Well, in the end we found out that it wan’t Madison under all that burlap.

3) After getting pissed drunk on Maker’s Mark at a local bar with mummy, Cordelia excuses herself and goes into the bathroom to yak. As she’s washing her hands, a very short Druid in the next stall exists with a glass in hand but it contains acid, which is thrown in Cordelia’s face. Huh?????? A voodoo warning of disfigurement????

3) But before the acid attack turns her face into a Dali painting, Cordelia tells her mother and the Witches’ Council that Madison might be missing, but it’s not because she’s the next Witch Supreme. Apparently, the new head witch has to be in perfect health which Madison ain’t. Madison had a heart murmur she mentioned to no one. So, who is the next Supreme? Don’t count out Queenie. Remember when she was in bed, bloody and gored and Cordelia lost her pulse? Fiona breathed life back into her and felt very weak afterwords. The big deal about the transition between Supremes is that the old one feels her power weakening. Keep an eye on Queenie in upcoming episodes. Nan, (Addie from season one), as well. Cordelia could be the right full heir to the throne. Spaulding too.

4)  Zooey goes back to Incest Manor and finds Kyle the Human Quilt still bloody and zombie eyed from kill his mother lover last week, so he’s banging his head against the toilet.    She decides that’s a fine time to go in the kitchen and make him tuna salad.   Just as she’s adding enough Hellman’s to make it nummy, she looks up and spies a big ol’ box of rat poison.    She will kill the very thing she helped bewitch and stitch together.   When she brings him a bowl of the tainted tuna, he’s gone.  She runs to the front porch and sees nothing, just a bunch of people   in costumes.   It is Halloween, after all.    Kyle will just fit in with everybody else.

5) And lastly, why were the members of the Coven dressed in various shades of black and white throughout the entire episode? Was this to stress the age old concept of good (white) versus evil (black) and that each member can at any given time, possess their share of both traits???

See ya next Wednesday for episode five. As previews indicate, there’s a lot at stake for one witch….literally. She’s tied to one and Cordelia looks poised to light it, with a cigarette. Please oh please, let the ciggie be a Salem.

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 Sstory/Asylum: Episode Five

My..my..my..my..my.

Dr. Threadson revealed he is Bloody Face.

Or did he??????

Why would the creative team of Falchuk and Murray shoot their wad so quickly?  I mean, the identity of the person behind Bloody Face is this season’s Latex Onesey Gimp.   And by the way, I still feel that one of last year’s MAJOR AHS plot flaws was a failure to reveal anything about this black shiny masochistic device, as in why Tate wore it.  Why he killed while wearing it.  We all knew he could kill without it.   Remember the exterminator in the basement?   There were other murders he committed without the suit as well.

So, why reveal five episodes in that Threadson is Bloody Face?

Okay, I’ll accept that he might be a murderer–he might even be the real Bloody Face,  but I’ll bet you ANY amount of money that BF version 2012 isn’t Threadson, unless he’s also gotten that Dorian Grey thing down.  Remember, this season takes place in 1964.   For Threadson to still be whacking and hacking today, he’d have to be in his 80’s.  The Bloody Face that attacked the haunted house touring honeymood couple, Adam Levine and the Mila Kunis/Selena Gomez clone in the first episode, sure was agile and fast for an octogenerian.

We’ll have to dissect this further once we learn more about Threadson and his plans diabolique for future female victims.

Meanwhile, LOVED the homage to Ed Gein with the nipple’s clearly visible in the lampshade made out of skin in Threadson fabu 60’s bachelor pad.   Old Eddie was one extremely interesting homicideal maniac who was the inspiration behind The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Silence of The Lambs.  He’d kill, rob graves and keep trophies of his exploits.   A chair made or real human args and legs, etc.

Even the candy bowl on Threadson’s coffee table was the top of a skull.   Cool, as was the trap door in his…uh “work room”.    If you remember, Threadson took a fancy to reporter Lana Winters and promised he could/would rescue her from Briarcliff.   He made good with her promise.   He walked her right out, put her in her front seat of his car and even told an aproaching gaurd sent by Sister Jude to find him, that he no longer worked at Briacliff.  In fact, he insisted that the guard tell her that “he never had worked there”.

Makes me wonder if he was ever really a shrink and just a well educated maniac who lied his way in to Briarcliff to find who or what he was looking for.  I mean, hey–for a serial murder with a penchant for crazy, asylums make victims ripe for the picking.   And after last night’s episode, it sounds almost like Lana will be spared because she’s a reporter and this murderous psychopath-slash- narcissist wants his story told.   Perhaps Lana will get the story, but she’ll have to go tbrough  HELL to get it written.  He took the face off of Lana’s lover who he attacked in episode two and made a mask out of it.    He crudely placed her teeth in and around the lips and asked Lana to give it a big old wet one.

Nercophelia is bad enough, but add dismemberment to the issue?????

Ed Gein was in to that, too.

Also, I’ve inclined to think that Grace (the French chick with the shag haircut) never went under the knife for her sterilization.  I think she was abducted by the aliens from her cell (which by way, looked very much like the one Adam Levine’s wife hid from Bloody Face in).   She was awakened by this approaching bright light and grinding metal on metal sound and just before we went to commercial, we were offered an extreme close up of Graces face and eventually her eye, and in a pinpoint light next to her pupil,  you could see an image of something–it was either an octopus….a Portuguese Man of War…..OR….one of the tentacled but benevolent aliens that greeted Jodie Foster on the familiar beach of her mind in the movie, Contact.

Did anyone else see that or was I just having an acid flashback?

Anyway, she’s on an examining table on some nebulous sound stage and has some strange encounter with Alma, (I think that’s her name)  which was Tate’s wife that was supposedly killed by Tate/Kit, but as we know, was actually abducted by aliens.   So does this mean Alma is alive and living happily among the aliens or….did they simply need to move into her body to appear human to dupe the humans??????   You know aliens are.

Anyway, the next thing we know, she’s sitting in the  Commons Room and bleeding vaginally.    Tate/Kit sees her and thinks she was sterilized.  Just then the guards come in with the police and arrest him for all the Bloody Face murders.   They say they have his taped confession.

Which was something Threadson made him do in an old reel to reel recorder under the guise if he heard what happened in his own words there would be a better psychological connected to what really happened–or some psycho-babble shit.  Threadson sent the tape to authorities giving them their Bloody Face and allowing Threadson to continue to thrill-kill willy nilly.

No, I don’t think Grace was sterilized.  I think she was either crudely impregnated by the aliens or had an impromptu hysterectomy, not sure which.  I say this because of the conversation he and Grace had in their adjoining cells.   There was a lot of talk about wanting children…especially how much he and his wife Alma wanted kids.  I feel there’s a connection there somewhere.

I also loved Chloe the hobbled nympho’s appearance at the bottom of the stairs near the school.   Sister Satan told Dr. Arden that she took her out to the woods.   Nah, she tossed her down the stairs just like Regan did with Father Karras at the end of The Exorcist.    The stairs even looked like the ones in the movie and lest we forget, the demonic connection is shared in the story line.  As we’ve learned over the past two seasons, Falchuk and Murray are not above pilfering (lovingly so) from their favorite horror movies.

Then there’s Anne Frank, supposedly Charlotte Brown, a housewife with one helluva bad case of postpartum psychosis.   After having her baby, she became obsessed with Anne Frank and assumed her identity.  Whether she’s Anne or not, she knew enough to be able to  completely out Arden as Herr Doctor Gruber or Gruper, an insidiously cruel Nazi SS  physician who toured the Concentration Camps performing ungodly experiments on inmates.

Eventually, Charlotte’s husband has to bring her back to Briarcliff–he can’t handle her and Arden performs a lobotomy on her.   She goes home and transforms into this Stepford Wife who’s in the process of throwing away all her Nazi homework.   But she didn’t get to all of the copies of photos and newspaper stories on the wall.    Just as episode five comes to an end, the camera keys in on one remaining photo hanging there.   It’s one of Hitler standing at a podium in the midst of some anti-Semitic/Final Solution speech and behind him is a scowling decorated SS officer and of course, it’s none other than,  Dr. Arden Gruper Nazi SS Angel of Death Sadist Tool.

Lastly,  did Sister Jude actually go out on the town, and with her red lipstick, seduce up a man at a bar and sleep with him?    Or was that just a fantasy of her previous life or of a life she wants to live outside of her monastic confines????    Arden did say he was going to press charges against her because Anne Frank lifted a gun off a visiting detective and shot Herr Doctor in the leg.  Just a flesh wound.

Sister Jude said the charges meant that it was over for her.  She was done.  Tooth pick inserted in the center and removed crumbless.

Here’s what I think:  Threadson will keep Lana hostage in his hellish lair o’death forcing him to write his biography….a hat tip to the movie Misery, perhaps.   Sister Satan will become increasingly more demonic and will form an unholy alliance with Arden to rule Briarcliff and with the help of the aliens, develop maniacal, imperialistic designs to eventually, THE ENTIRE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!

I’ll bet Grace is pregnant.  Tate/Kit somehow gets a ‘get out of fail’ card and we’ll learn more about the human eating, forest dwelling creatures,  a sorority in which  the hobbled nympho will surely be blackballed.   Perhaps, the tubby teacher who saw her attempting to slither up the stairs near campus, will call the cops who’ll be able take her to the hospital where she might still be verbal enough to prove that she’s a prime example of Dr. Arden’s handiwork.

And then…maybe the Simon Wiesenthal-esque nazi hunter that Sister Jude contacted will finally get his man.

And in turn, so will Sister Jude.

Probably won’t be able to offer up an overiew of episode six next Wednesday.  I’m cooking for 11 people for Thanksgiving in my lovely, semi-well appointed new home.    I’ll be up to my armpits in dressing, cranberries and Kendrick holiday  mayhem.  See you back here for Episode Seven in two weeks.

Also, my epic piece on JFK assassination facts will be published Tuesday.  this year marks the 49th anniversary of his death in Dallas.  I’ve done a lot of research on regarding lots of little known facts about the case.   Interesting read, if I say so myself.

Until then have a great holiday, kids.

Oh and have a turkey leg for the hobbled Nympho.

American Horror Story/Asylum: Episode Three

“There’s a big fat storm coming, Sister. “

Wow, Satan In A Wimple–you said a mouthful!!!

What a difference a week makes.    Seven days ago, the meek little convent rodent known as Sister Mary Eunice was possessed by Old Scratch himself during a botched exorcism of a young country boy.   She was shy, reserved, vulnerable and frightened by her own shadow.    This week,  she’s a mean, angry, slut murderer.  The very antithesis of what she was.  Gee, I guess demonic possession will do that to you.  She looks different; she talks different…her mannerisms are completely changed.

While in the common room, telling the inmates of fair Briarcliff that a storm is coming (art immitating life in the damndest way–Huricane Sandy), Sister Jude has decided that showing a movie when the storm hits,  will help quell the neurosis that will no doubt result from thunder and lightning.  The movie is a storm in it’s own right. I can’t remember the title, but it’s about sex, violence and the ‘death of  Christians”.  When describing it to the inmates.  Sister Mary Eunice (Sister Satan)  announces that fact with a gleam in her eye.  Her pupils, I swear, turned red when she said it.  That’s when one hip inmate who didn’t speak a lick of the King’s took one look at her and said in a frightened whisper, “SATAN!!”

Sister Mary Eunice Von Demonburg gave her an “I’ll deal with you later” look and trust me,  she did…she killed the woman while praying, on her knees on the floor of her dingy, dirty cell, with scissors in the throat.

Sounds like a clue from the game, Clue.

Sister Satan immediately piled the body into a wheelbarrow and took it to the forest where she encountered one of the Creatures–at least I think it was one of the Creatures.  This one, obviously drawn to the location in search of a fresh, hot lunch, had very human looking arms and hands.    There was no exchange.   The show segued straight to commercial

After 60 seconds worth of Proctor and Gamble propaganda, we return–it’s the next day; the day the Nor’Easter will hit.   Sister Satan brings the mail in to  Sister Judes.    Included in the bills and super saver shopping notices, is a newspaper from June 28th, 1949, the day that Sister Jude, when she was known as Jud’s office.   Now if you remember from last week,  that was the day Sister Jude (then known as  Judy, a gin joint singer and all-purpose fun  girl, had run over a young girl while driving home with a snoot full.   It was a fatal hit and run apparently.   It’s also been haunting Sister Jude ever since and one of the principle reasons she became a nun.  As if that could eliminate any and all guilt.   Because it doesn’t and never will,  Sister Jude freaks out.  No one is supposed to know anything about her sordid past.

Enter paranoia and the frightening realization that  Sister Satan–who no once seems to notice has become a far more fun character to watch–knows everything.  Omniscience must be one of the few perks of possession.   She’s gotten into Sister Jude’s head but good!!!   She comes back into her office with a carafe of communion wine that she claims someone is drinking on the sly.  She’s also wearing bright red lipstick, the same shade Jude wore back during party days.   Sister Satan tries to get her to taste the wine, knowing full well she’s an alcoholic.   Instead of sampling the grape stompings, she forcibly removes the lipstick which Sister Satan said she applied at the insistence of Dr. Mengele Arden.   Remember, this pervert has the hots for the nunlet.

Now, Sister Satan decides to get in and romp willuy nilly  in Dr. Arden’s head.   She enters his office, coming off as the same naive monastic he’s knows and lusts after.  Her purpose is to seduce him.    She was wearing a garter belt and exclaimed that she was and I quote–“all juicy”as she exposed her “mossy banks” to him with her legs akimbo on his desk.   This appalls the good doctor apparently, he likes his women to be pure, touchable only through fantasy.    Dr. Arden bitch slaps her.    Sister Satan just laughs and calls him a panty waste.

In the meantime, the storm starts to move in–thunder, lightning, driving rain.  Hitchcockian weather to be sure.    The phone rings in Sister Jude’s office, she answers it and it’s the voice of the little girl she struck and killed all those years ago.   Oh, this is not good.   Sister Jude is mentally screwed up as a result.  Why is this happening?  Who knows within the asylym walls that she’s a killer.   She grabs the decanter of communion wine and starts drinking.

She drunkenly enters the common room that’s been turned into a theater and makes an announcement. It starts and in the darkness, Tate, Lana the Reporter, the Vague French Girl and Nymphomaniac make a run for it.  They actually make it outside, thanks to the nympho who bought them some time by uh….well, “inflating” one of the guards who’s been searching for the Mexican, the woman with David Ferrie like eyebrows, who sensed Sister Satan was in fact, Sister Satan.   She knocks him out and starts to run down the hall where her fellow escapees are waiting, but she’s  cornered by Dr. Arden who decides this stormy night is the perfect occasion for him to finally sample her sexual wares, since he’s the last staffer in all of Briarcliff to do so.    He forces her to assume the position and unzips his pants, but apparently, the doc and his body part that rhymes with his occupation is either ridiculously small or badly misshapen.  The nympho laughs at it which enrages the doctor.  He hits her over the head and knocks her out.

Meanwhile, Sister Satan awakens Sister Jude from her drunken slumber and tells her there are several inmates missing.  She gets up and starts to look for them and encounters some crazy looking alien that we’ve not seen before.  It’s a quick shot; you just get a fleeting plance, but it looked like a typical alien to me.     This assumption is backed by an earlier radio weather update, in which the announcer blamed the storm for all the strange lights people have been reporting in the sky, possibly downed aircraft.

The trio of escapees run through the woods and stumble upon body parts…even in the wind and rain, they’re able to deduce its “The Mexican”.   Take looks behind a bush and sees one the creatures, this very gross, bloody humanoid looking thing, chowing down on an arm.  It gives chase.  There’s another…then another.  The Creatures look a lot like James Carville eating bar-b-que.  They’re scared.  So scared by the Creatures that they actually return to Briarcliff.

With the door open.

We then are taken back to Dr. Arden’s lab where the Nympho is coming to.   Since she laughed at the doctor’s tiny bubbles, he punishes her.  She is hobbled below each knee cap.   She isn’t going anywhere and its safe to say that her days of giving BJ’s are over.

I enjoyed tonight’s episode, creepy and strange as it was.

A couple of other items of note:   Lana the Reporter tried to get Dr. Threadson to give her Lesbian Teacher partner a message.   Due to his hatred of Sister Jude and her crazy ass ways, he agrees.   He goes to the teacher’s house, but she’s nowhere to be found.   If you remember, she was attacked by someone–or something.   Dr. Threadson found some blood on the carpet, but nothing else.   When he reports this to Lana, she’s worried and also finally convinced that Tate isn’t Bloody Face.

Okay, Miss Teach is missing.  What doees THAT mean?

Now, this episode began where last week’s left off:   with Bloody Face stabbing Adam “One Armed” Levine as she watches from the confines of a closed cell.   She thought she was safe.

Nah…

He burst through the door and started slashing her but Adam, despite being stabbed, minus one limb and about four quarts of blood, manages to attack Bloody Face from behind.  Wifey finishes him off with several two armed stabs and might I add, it was very much the same way/style in which Sister Satan stabbed “The Mexican”.

Hhhh’mmmm……

She grabs Adam and they attempt to escape the Asylum only to be knocked off at the pass by Bloody Face.  They turn and run the other way.  Lo and behold, there’s ANOTHER Bloody Face waiting for them.   There’s a whole freaking litter of these bastards roaming the halls.  One pulls a gun and shoots the couple.  They remove their masts to reveal two townies, trying to scare  tourists who come to the rubble of Briarcliff  for a good old-fashioned scare.   This time though, things got out of hand, to put it midly.

But as any karmic devotee knows,  what we put out in the world always comes back to us.  The two townies are then confronted by yet another Bloody Face.   This one had no bloody wounds on his chest.  They lay eyes on him and they’re scared.  Slack jawed scared.    Their fates are uncertain.   The opening theme started just as Bloody Face walked towards one of the guys, who resembled a  poor man’s Billy Mumy.

How many Bloody Faces are there?

What in the hell is going on here?   I’m even more perplexed than last year.

This episode while entertaining, was like this Hollywood screenplay on acid.  It included almost every genre of horror known to man:  demonic possession, human maming, murder, cannibalism, monsters, space aliens, criminal insanity and a very drunk head nun in charge.

Tonight, we saw that there’s a massive power play  underway for total control between Sister Jude, Sister Satan and Dr. Arden.   Sister Satan is pitting them against each other while getting her licks in.

Literally.

Scariest moment tonight?   A drunk  Sister Jude having a hit and run flashback while reciting in spoken word, the lyrics of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the movie and musical, “Carousel”.  Odd.

One of the funniest moments?   As Sister Jude announced the cast of the movie being shown in the common room, she called the magnificent Charles Laughton “a huge wuss”.

The portly Oscar-winning actor was gay or bi-sexual at the very least.

And lastly, very little was mentioned by Tate who was tied down to Dr. Arden’s examining table from Hell.  The doctor wanted to see if he had any more strange little mechanical shape-shifting spiders hanging around his jugular vein.  The doctor makes an incision, Tate screams and appears two scenes later with no marks or bandages.  The doctor also acts as if the spider was a spying device; something all about espionage from the KGB…the Germans… maybe even the Jews.   Everybody, he says, is interested in learning more about ‘his work”.

What exactly IS his work?  And what’s the connection with the bevy of Bloody Faces?  The neck dwellling spiters?  The human eating Creatures??   A Satanic nun?   So many attempts to usurp Sister Jude’s authority?   The aliens?  I have no clue.  All I know is that this is one crazy salad in an even crazier bowl with Satanic nuance dressing and Hollywood screenwriters trying to outdoor themselves each week, tossing it.

Pun completely intended.

Based on something Sister Jude’s said in next week’s preview, I wouldn’t be surpirsed if we find out that I’m more right than wrong in comparing Dr Arden to Dr. Mengele, the Nazi “Angel of Death”.

See ya next week.

American Horror Story/Asylum: Episode Two

Well, Adam Levine is dead.    At least one can assume that’s the case after being stabbed in the torso numerous times by an ice pick weilding Leather Face look-alike.

This second episode begins as last week’s series premier ended.   The Vanessa Hudgins looking wife was running through the asylum screaming for help after hubby, Adam Levine reaches into a dumb-waiter or laundry chute with phone in hand to get a peak at what’s on the other side.  He screams in pain then pulls back a bloody stub.   Someone or something has severed it.  As wifey runs to get help, she runs into the Leather Face character and a chase ensues.  It is, I swear, a scene straight out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Wifey reaches Adam and his reconfigured lefty then tries to get him up and running.   This isn’t working.  LF (Leatherface) catches up with her…she abandons all efforts to get hubby on his feet and escapes to a cell and slams the thick metal door shut in the leather one’s face.   Through the opening in the door  that is the tray slot, she can see and hear everything.  LF kneels over Adam and a fraction of a second after Adam Lelimb weakly asks  LF to help him, he stabs him through the heart, chest, face neck….and what’s left of his arm.  He then starts pounding on the cell door.

The scene immediately segues into the lesbian teacher’s living room.  It’s 1964. She is there with two friends.  The knocking on the cell door in present door audibly morphs into the sound of someone pounding on her front door.   She’s encouraged not to answer it;  there’s a murderer loose and he’s killing women.  Nah, says one buttoned up looking extra from Mad Men.  He was arrested in last week’s episode and is now put away; shackled securely the safe confines of Briarcliff.    The knocking, it turns out, is just a group of kids a day early for Halloween.

Nevertheless, the stage is set.

Miss Teacher is crying to two friends, lamenting the fact that she allowed Sister Jude to essentially blackmail into signing a release allowing her reporter/lover to stay in the institution to heal–after being attacked when tried to ‘break in” to the asylum to get closer to the murderer known as Bloody Face.     Miss Teacher insists that she’ll be fine.   A toke on some spleef and a hot  rinse off  in a shower designed by Alfred Hitchcock and Anthony Perkins is all she’ll need.

She finishes her shower and throws open the white plastic curtain to the beat of a Dusty Springfield song.  The hall is dark, the windows are open.   Her robed figure turns to enter a room through those God awful 60’s beads and there he is: Leatherface.    Miss Teach screams, trying to explain that she’s a teacher and that her kids won’t understand.   That was a complete waste of last breath.   Like a mass murderer clad in someone else’s facial skin can be reasoned with.

The scene fades to black and the intro begins.   It is safe to assume, Miss Teach has gone to LPGA heaven.

CALLING LINDA BLAIR

A man and woman, obviously from rural Massachusetts are at Briarcliff  complaining to Sister Jude about “their boy”, a chronic masturbator who ‘ain’t been hisself” lately.  Pa done gone to the barn to find Junior nekked and gnawing on the heart of his best Guernsey cow, sayin’  all kinds crazy, dadburn things.    Ma and Pa are flummoxed and he ends up committed to Briarcliff.

It is in episode two that we also get to mee  Zach Quinto’s character.  This go round, he  plays a court appointed psychiatrist who is at the institution I guess, because the court appointed him to be there. Perhaps to assess the sanity (or the lack thereof ) of Tate/Kit/Bloody Face.

As Dr. Oliver Thredson, Quinto’s hair is short and wolfed back slightly.  He brooding; never seems to smile and all that’s punctuated by the fact that he’s sporting these Kennedy Administration approved black horn rimmed glasses.  He confronts Sister Jude  about conditions at Briarcliff;  the horrific nature of the cells and of course, the beatings and other forms of torture such as  frequent electric-shock therapy treatments; administered just for grins it would seem.

She automatically hates the visiting shrink who deigns to mock her management skills.  She reminds him that he’s a guest and should mind his own business.   A few scenes later, he then walks in the conference Sister Jude is having with the hick parents.   Dr. Threadson seems to think it’s all a part of adolescence run amuck.   Sister Jude knows that the only things that can save this Guernsey-Bater  boy are is A) a good caning and B) a little exorcism.

While Sister Jude plans an exorcism, Lana Winters (the reporter)  and Grace, the French girl with the bad  shag haircut (like Carol Brady on Aqua Net steroids) plot an escape from the asylum  Grace wants to take Tate (Kit, the alleged Bloody Face).  Lana says no, he can’t go claiming he’ll just kill again.  For some reason, I really don’t think Lana thinks Tate/Kit is a killer.  But she doesn’t like him.  Perhaps because he’s a member of the Penis People and she loves the ladies.  Perhaps, she’s developing a thing for Grace.  They were naked together in a punishment tub and when she hopped bare butted out to enjoy the view….. well,  let’s just say Lana enjoyed the view, too.   The reporter is also aware that her lover, Miss Teach signed the paper essentially committing her to Briarcliff.  Lana  feels abandoned on a number of levels.   Therefore, Lana by all accounts, is now  free to date, even if that means fellow inamates with bad hair cuts.

BUT IT’S TIME TO EXORCISE

Back at Briarcliff, we learn that a Father Merrin equivalent is contacted and the rite begins.  To be honest, an exorcism seemed to be a but much too soon.  It;s only episode two, but I guess the writers needed a vehicle in which to inform us all about Sister Jude’s tawdry back story.  More on that in a bit.

Anyway, the farm boy starts is strapped down and starts shouting things in Latin, Greek, French (I think) and maybe a little ancient Aramaic.  Something in on those of those languages sounds like he was repeating the name “Anderson Cooper” over and over again.   As Dr.   (Quinto) checks his blood pressure, Farm Boy resumes his English skills and gets in his head.  He says something about being glad he gave Oliver up.  Huh???  Mom?  Dad?   Old boyfriend??    Just like Friedkin’s The Exorcist, Dr. Threadson is reminded NOT to listen to anything Satan says.   That’s when the fun begins.  The Father Merrin character (who looked like Ned Beatty’s much uglier brother) gets slapped around and goes flying across the room.

The exorcism doesn’t work.   Odds are that if given the chance out of his restraints, a second prize Guernsey will be eating for dinner while pratlling off the names of CNN staffers in a foreign tongue.

Satan 1     Priests 0

As Farm Boy is recovering in a cell after his botched exorcism, Sister Jude walks by.  His eyes are bleeding and he’s screaming–in pain, but coherently.   Sister Jude shows some uncharacerstic mercy by entering the cell to render aid.  As she attempts to wipe blood from his eyes, he verbally takes her to town and in doing so, gives us a brief overview Sister Jude’s sordid past.

Jude or Judy as she was once called, used to be something of a B-Girl.  She used to wear red gowns , lipstick and cheap CZ jewelry while singing badly at nasty, dirty gin joints for US servicemen home from the fighting the dreaded German Hun.  She drank and smoked and cavorted with strange men (56 of them in the act of the ultimate oral fixation or so says Mr. Devil)  and we learn after one particular night of whoring and drinking, she was driving home and while listening to a bad version of the Paleface tune”Buttons sand Bows” (this had to have taken place in the mid-40’s)  she hits a little girl in a blue coat who for some reason, was out in the middle of the road in the middle of the night.

Satan’s Field Frump then assumes the face/body/soul of the little blue coated girl.   She reminds Judy that  she didn’t even stop to render aid.  Wow, a hit and run.   Plus, we learn that Sister Jude IS IN FACT, wearing red underwear.  So that WASN’T part of the pre-priest feast fantasy  she had last week.

Interesting.

It would seem that Sister Jude assumed a new, monastic life as a means of running away from her old one.

This outing at the hands of Old Scratch enrages Sister Jude.  She starts pounding on the patient.  This ruckus draws the staff to the cell, including Sister Mary Eunice (Mrs. Montgomery last season).  Farm Boy goes into cardiac arrest and dies….Sister Mary Eunice standing in the doorway, faints at the exact same moment.  Any fan of the horror genre would immediately think this was ‘classic soul transference’.

AND HOW DID THAT MAKE YOU FEEL?

Tonight’s episode was better than last week’s.   It redeemed itself for me in some ways.    I liked delving into Sister Jude’s background.   I’m also digging the fact that we’re learning more about Dr. Mengele Arden, the twisted sadistic physician having a field day in an unregulated asylum with guinea pigs ripe for the proverbial picking.

In on particularly interesting scene, Dr. Arden and Sister Mary Eunice, who we know is something of a groupie not to mention, the doc’s principle  dirty work do-er (she feeds ‘te creatures’ in the woods buckets of bloody viscera).  She tells Arden that creatures were particularly aggressive during their feeding the evening before.  They all but shredded the buckets.  Arden then rewards her with ‘a treat’.  It’s a candy apple.   Mary Eunice declines, saying that Sister Jude is part dentist and that sweets are evil.  But Arden insists and he brings the apple to her mouth rather seductively…well, as seductive as actor, James Cromwell can be) and she takes a bite.

Okay…who didn’t get the sense that this was a scene taken right out of Genesis?    Arden (the serpent) tempting Eve (Mary Eunice) with an apple (knowledge).  You could practically hear Arden hiss whenever he uttered a word with an “S” in it.

You can also insert your own “an apple a day” and doctor joke here.

Moving on—Arden has learned through the asylum grapevine that Mary Eunice fainted when the exorcised patient dies.  He goes to see her in institution’s infirmary.  She’s asleep.  He pulls down her nightgown to preserve her modesty and she awakens.  But….but…something is amiss.  She isn’t the same, sweet, innocent we once knew.  It’s nothing she says, it’s just her countenance.  For starters, she in a nightgown….not her nunly habit.   Her hair is down.  Her expression is different, as are her mannerisms.   There’s a sarcastic tone to everything she says to the doctor.  They exchange pleasantries and he leaves.   She watches him walk out the door.  The look on her face is wickedly sinister.    As she rearranges the covers, a crucifix high above on the wall, starts moving.

As for soul possesion:  mission accomplished.

ARDEN HARDENS

Arden also has a diner date with a prostitute, a petite blond number who resembles his nun-friend.   She gets all sassy with him and he tells her that her behavior is unbecoming…as is her tawdry clothing and make-up.   She smarts off to him once again and he grabs a large carving knife that he’d been using to slice up some very rare prime rib and rams it into the table.   He’s stern; he’s serious.  He’s also armed.  She complies.  He tells her to go into the next room to clean her face and change into a nun’s outfit.

What we have here is a prime example of sexual transference.  He can’t have Sister Mary Eunice, so he goes for the next best thing;  a proxy.  Oldest trick in the psychiatric book.

As she changes clothes in another room,  she notices a box on the dresser.  She opens it and notices newspaper clippings…about murders mostly, then underneath that are  some old school Polaroids.  At first it looks like he has a thing for Betty Page–you know, fairly innocent Kitten With A Whip stuff, then additional pics indicate the bondage gets even more  severe.  Hog-tying, hood over heads–things like that.   I think I even saw a few crime scene photos; a bloody face or stump or something.  He hears her rifling through stuff and opens the door.

Dr. Arden is displeased.    The hooker knows he’s displeased and she’s scared because of this.  This is one scary cat.  She’s willing to say keep the money, just let me out of here.    Nah, that simply isn’t going to happen.   He slams the door and tells her to lie down on the bed and slowly show him “her mossy bank”.   As he prepares to enter her seminary, she kicks him squarely in the figs and escapes as he writhes on the floor.

Fear not, she’ll be creature food by Halloween.

IN SUMMATION

Perhaps I’m watching this season with a far less critical eye because I’m not getting the same psychological nuances I got last season.  One would think there would be more since this takes place in a mental institution.     I think I was reading way too much into certain scenes last year.   Because of that, I was rather disappointed how season one ended.   So, in order to keep my last synopsis from turning into an angry rant that Martians and psychotic physicians killed women, nuns, simple-minded farm boys  and Jessica Lange’s career , I’ll view this season with the sole purpose of being entertained.

BUT…

Whatever happened to the Vanessa Hudgins lookin’ wife who barricaded herself from Leatherface in one of the asylum’s cells?   Seeing your one armed husband ice-picked to death after being chased by the same maniac has to be at the very lest, a bit unsettling.   How did she get out?   This is one loose end I need tied up.

Lastly, I will close on this:  mixing religion (Catholicism specifically) and science is juicy and in many ways, brilliant in terms of thematic conflict; mainly because religion and science are arch enemies.   I also like the biblical references…or at least the ones I think I’m picking up on.  There’s the Adam and Eve thing, the possibility that Dr. Arden is playing God by making forest dwelling creature zombies (extreme Creationism).   There’s temptation,  redemption, crime, punishment.  Good, evil.   Tons of statements on morality.

Lana “Lesbian” Winters,  is a thorn in Jude’s side.  She lied to the Head Nun about the nature of the story/assignment  she wasn.  She  arranged an interview with Jude under the guise of wanting to know more about the molasses bread the Briarcliff kitchen staff makes and sells.   She also defied Jude’s authority by sneaking in to Briarcliff to get her story on Bloody Face.  She’s also a big ol’ Lesbian, which I’m sure is a big no-no in Jude’s world, probably because back in her gin-swilling, blow job-a-palooza days, she probably banged a few feline gongs a time or two.   Jude  hopes that Lana she can be “cured” during her confinement at the institution.   From being a lesbian sure, but because Jude also considers her a liar, a sinner and a bad writer, albeit an ambitious one who wants a crack at real news as opposed to women’s topics which for a female reporter circa 1964, would have been what she would have been relegated to covering.  Jude references her lack of talent tonight, admitting that she’d read a few articles and found them ‘compelling’, such as the one that covered wayward geese and others that included soup recipes and spot removal.

Dr. Arden referred to Lana tonight as ‘that Sapphic reporter”.

I laughed.

So far, I’ve seen examples of at least seven  of the Ten Commandments broken and it’s just episode two.    How do you like them apples?

Not one damn bit…especially if I were Sister Mary Eunice.

See ya next week.

American Horror Story/Asylum: Episode One

The name of this mind boggling broadcast madness is entitled, “Welcome to Briarcliff”….which according to tonight’s premier episode is hell on Earth.   Name one tuberculosis ward turned Catholic owned and operated mental instution that isn’t.    But kids, this one is Hollywood bad.  Like last season, creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Fulchuck continue to borrow shtick from other films.

We open with a newlywed couple, played by Adam Levine (Maroon 5’s frontman and some Vanessa Hudgens lookin’ chick) on  their honeymoon which consists of touring the country’s most haunted locations.

Enter the spooky, run down ediface known as Briarcliff.

And that’s what they did.

They break through the dilapidated front doors. We are treated to a view of Briarcliff’s innards for the first time.   They’re dark and dank–creepy; obviously abandoned for commercial use for years.  There are piles of nurses shoes, rusted equipment, falling walls and ceilings and graffiti scribbled on the what’s left of the walls courtesy of  hoodlums with exquisite penmanship.   I’ve never seen neater gang signs and logos.

The couple vows to kink light fantastic by having sex somewhere in the building’s haunted confines.  They’re hoping to find the Death Chute which hauled all the bodies of patients who died from tuberculosis from the building to an on-premise cemetery (just like the Waverly Hills Sanitorium–an old, broken TB hospital whose ghosts have been hunted to near extinction).  They also hope they can find the cell which at one time housed Briarcliff’s most famous inmate, Bloody Face, a mass murderer.  They find an old exam table–make out on that for a while, then wifey promises mind-blowing oral sex if hubby looks in what appears to be a dumb-waiter.    Instead, he sticks his hand in with his phone in camera mode and records whatever is in that hole in the wall.  Suddenly, we see a flash on his camera phone…it’s a gruesome face which takes Adam’s arm.   He pulls back a bloody stub and commences to go into shock.   The wife screams and we’re immediately swooshed back to 1964.

Remember Tate from last season?   Well, this go round he’s a  short-haired brunette, gas station attendant, dealing with grumpy customers who feel as though they’re being robbed at gunpoint by paying a whopping 14-cents a gallon.   He then has a run-in with some friends…the gist of which I didn’t hear because I had to make a potty break.   I return to my TV set to find  Tate at home where he’s greeted by his Lisa Bonet looking wife, with whom he eloped.   Now keep in mind, this is 1964 and apparently, somewhere south of the Mason/Dixon line.  Interracial marriages were–oh, let’s  just say ‘frowned upon”.   Both are scared by what their families AND a Jim Crowish society will think–and do.

Well, after Tate gets home from work, he and the Mrs. have a little carnal knowledge of each other, then suddenly there’s a loud noise and a brilliant white light.  He’s convinced it’s his trouble making friends making mischief, so he grabs a gun and heads outside where he’s suddenly bathed in the same blinding white light shining down from above. He fires a couple of shots into the trees, then hears his wife scream and runs back in the house that’s now in total disarray.  She’s nowhere to be found and then he has this odd acid trip in which objects around him start defying gravity (an homage to “Close Encounters” one would think).The next thing we learn is that he killed three women, including wife.  But wait, there’s more. .  We find out that he also skinned them.  One eye-witness said he ran out of the house wearing a mask made of skin (Ed Gein anyone???  It was this mass murder’s antics on which The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was based.  He’s sent to Briarcliff for rehab until the court system can try him.

Briarcliff is managed by Sister Jude (Jessica Lange), an ice veined broad with a sadistic streak eight miles long.   Her right hand monastic comadre is some sycophant nunling with big blue eyes who cowers in her presence.   She brings in Sarah Pauley’s character (she was the psychic in later episodes last season).  Sarah is a newspaper reporter in Bobbie Brooke boucle suits and narrow  pumps guaranteed to create hammer toes.   She connives her way into Briarcliff under the guise of interviewing Sister Jude about their institution’s kitchen prowess.  It’s staff makes a mean molasses bread, apparently.  Now, what this reporter really wants is an exclusive interview with Tate Bloody Face.   When Sister Jude realizes that she’s been had, she kicks Pauley out of the institution, banning her from ever returning.   She goes home and tells her roommate, with whom she is in love, that she’ll get the story one way or the other.  Yes, they’re lesbians.   Now, keep in mind, this is this is 1964 and apparently, somewhere south of the Mason/Dixon line.  Lesbian relationships were–oh, let’s  just say ‘frowned upon”.

What bothered me about this scene wasn’t the fact that two women were about to embrace and kiss–demonstrating their love and attraction for each other, but that Sarah P’s lover, an elementary school teacher, insisted that they close the blinds first.  Odd.  She left them wide open as she sat at the table and sparked up a joint before dinner

One more thing about this reporter.  When she enters the grounds of Briarcliff, she’s confronted by what some would call a pinhead, which is a street term for a person who’s microcephalic, a condition characterised by an abnormally small and often pointed cranium.   This is often called “pinhead syndrome” and almost always resulted in retardation.  Or in the case of this particular inmate character, murder.  She drowned her sister’s children.  I took one look at the harmless looking tiny headed one and thought of Schlitze, the pinhead star of Todd Browning’s epic 1932 classic, Freaks. 

Anyway, we get to see a very shackled Tate enter Briarcliff.  He’s greet by guards who rough him up and sedate him with a shot in the neck.  He eventually comes to with Sister Jude by his bedside.  His hands and feet are bound to the bed.  Sister Jude does a little trash talking–insisting he’s an evil killer. He insists he’s innocent and little green men from Mars did the murderous deeds.  She calls bullshit on that tale and asks him if his wife’s “dark meat slid off the bone easier than his other victims”.  Tate lets loose with the arsenal he has at his bound disposal:  he spits in her face.  She tells him he’ll regret that, then walks over to this built-in cupboard (which apparently every room in this asylunm has)  that’s stocked with a multitude of spank-ready devices: chains, canes, whips of various lengths and malleability, rods, straps, poles and paddles–leftover props from the erotic movie, 9 1/2 Weeks.  

In the next scene, Tate is walking into Briacliff’s common room where other inmates/miscreants are sitting, banging their heads again the wall, swatting at imaginary flies, swaying slack-jawed, sitting in chairs in catatonic states and generally looking like extras from  One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest.  His hospital gown is open in the back; his whooped, reddened ass looks like a striped barber’s pole.  He befriends Grace who has a French accent who insists she sane, although she’s accused of slaughtering her entire family.  The Singing Nun’s 1964 hit, “Dominique” is playing over and over again.   She tells Tate that one of the rules is that the record must play continuously whenever inmates are allowed Common Room time.

Tate is then confronted by Mark (Mr. Kelly Rippa) Consuelos, completely miscast as a tough talking Brooklynite bad ass, who wants to take on “Bloody Face”  They have a fight.  Sister Jude comes running in with her nightstick wielding thug/guards and once again, Tate is beaten into submission.

Or unconsciousness, whichever came first.

He’s thrown in a dark, dank cell and fitted with a straight jacket.

The next thing we see is the sycophant nunling having a conversation with the staff doctor played by James Cromwell, who was Archie Bunker’s best friend, Stretch Cunningham…Babe’s dad, Lewis’s father, Mr. Skolnick in Revenge of The Nerds and more recently, Prince Phillip in The Queen.  This sawbones is apparently Briarcliff’s version of Dr. Mengele.  It’s implied by Sister Jude in an earlier scene that he performs experiments..some lethal..on patients with no family.  They die due to ‘natural causes” and are buried on premises…or are they?

I ask because the sycophant Sister Nunling ( who was the ghost of Mrs. Montgomery, the crazy ass doctor’s wife last season) is instructed to haul buckets of bloody meat out to the woods.  The bloody buckets are eiteher the remnants of missing patients or sloppy joes that the inmates couldn’t or wouldn’t eat.   She puts the buckets down, then hears loud, hunger pangs as the creatures approach;  they know it’s suppertime.  The Dingaling Nun high tails it out of there, but she’s encountered by the Sarah Pauley reporter who’s been nosing around..at night…in the woods..alone and cons the Nunling to allow her entry to Briarcliff.  She obliges, taking the reporter in through a back entrance that few know about.  This takes them down to a row of the inmate’s  cells;  a gauntlet they must past through to get back to the main building.    It’s there where we see Mark Consuelos behind bars.  He says something rude to  the women,  then like Miggs–one of Hannibel Lector’s fellow basement cell dwellers from Silence of the Lambs, throws either excrement or seminal fluid at them.  A chunk of gooey repulsion lands on the Nunling’s face.  She screams and leaves to clean it off, instructing the  reporter to stay there and wait for her to return.

That’s when Sister Jude enters the hallway on her night rounds.   The reporter hides by slipping into a vacant cell.

Potty break number two prevented me from learning what happened next.

All I know is that when I returned to my Sealy Posturepedic perch, a whopping eight ounces lighter, the reporter is lying in a bed, with a neck brace or head halo on. She’s also bound to the bed.  As usual, Sister Jude is there and insists she’s to stay at Briarcliff ‘to heal”.

After a day or two, her girlfriend worries about her because she’s not heard from her.  She knew she was going to attempt to get inside for the real story of Bloody Face, so she came to the institution looking for her.  The all-knowing Sister Jude outs her–knows she’s a lesbian and threatens to tell the school board that she’s a big ol’ dyke if she takes the matter of her missing girlfriend to the police.  She signs a piece of paper and goes on home, alone and feeling like a total sell out.    Some part of this scene–to me, at least–was reminiscent of the Shirley MacLaine/Audrey Hepburn movie, The Children’s Hour.

In the meantime, the sadistic doctor wakes Tate up in his call; jabs him with ten cc’s of something vile and when he awakens, he’s strapped to an examination table.  One a nearby tray table is every known torture device…some the Vietcong didn’t even know about.  Scapels and syringes with thick needes….a button hook or two from teh set of Cybill. The doctor, whose convined Tate is Bloody Face wants to get into his head and figure out what makes him tick.   His eyes are forced open wide with this device that looks like it could be a rotisserie for chicken and once the meds surge through his veins, he has a flashback involving his wife, her screams and being sucked into a cloudy, vapor-like ether by the aliens.    In this scene, we learned he was probed by the beings who took his wife and probablyu skinned her for sport.

Potty break number three prevented me from finding out what happened immediately after that,  but I’ve read overviews of the episode to find out what I missed.   Apparently, during the exam, the doctor feels a lump in his Tate’s neck and with a slice of a scapel, out popped a rhombus shaped piece of metal that morphs into a roach-like spider and flies off.

The next thing I knew, it was present day.   The Vanessa Hudgins look-alike wife is screaming at her now armless husband, begging him to stay alert and  conscious..  She attempts to run out of the institution to get back to the car, to get help, but the doors are now chained shut.  The next thing I see is that some Leather Face lookin’ mother fella is walking down a hall that oddly enough has working light fixtures.  She’s confronted by a character than can only be the mythical  Bloody Face who looks a lot  like Leatherface from all those Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies.  Meanwhile, Adam Levine is still lying on the floor, oozing life.

So, what else did I miss?  Potty breaks tend to leave holes in the action.

Feel free to fill in the blanks in your comments.   I’d appreciate it.

Overall, I’d say episode one was okay, but hardly stellar.  Nothing jumped out and scared me like certain scenes from last season, then again, we’re not talking about ghosts in round two of AHS.  This season will be mostly about  the mind and let’s face it, our imaginations can be scarier then reality.

Case in point:  taking that dreaded Sophomore chemistry final.  The fear and anxiety it created pre-test, were worse than the exam itself.   So was that audition, that job interview….that blind date.

Hearing the A/C click on in the dead of night can sound like Bad Ronald (an ABC “Movie of The Week” from the mid seventies in which a disturbed young man played by kid actor, Scott Jacoby, secretly lived in a the attic of a nice families’ home) stalking you from the other side of the popcorn ceiling in your bedroom.

We’re able to humanize the damndest thigns.  We see faces of people and things in tortillas, clouds, a shirt wrinkle, a gouping of ass moles, on tree trunks, on grease stains at an auto shop.   We hear people lurking outside our homes, scratching on our windows.  It’s really just a breeze propelled tree limb that’s just BEGGING for a good pruning.

I have a feeling that the producers of  Season Two will attempt to force our imaginations to do some of their theatrical bidding.  If you noticed, none of the violence was ever shown.  Fancy editing cut away from the scene just before Sister Jude picked her spanking weapon of choice.    When the jack booted thugs-slash-Briarcliff nightstick brandishing guards were just about to bop Tate on the head for fighting with Kelly Rippa’s husband, the scene changed.   We saw no head to nightstick contact….no cane-to-ass skin shellacking.   We really didn’t see what are obviously the good doctor’s physically/mentally augured experiments–the ones that endured makeshift lobotomies and  Lysol enemas–the ones that perhaps Sister Nunling was feeding out in the woods.

Of course there were holes in the plot–other than those my tee -tee sessions created.   The same very same zombies or….bloodthirsty E.T’s that killed Tate’s wife and others,  DIDN’T kill the snooping reporter who was out late at night, by herself, on their turf.  The time line flip-flops were a bit incongruous, but what the hell, TV aint brain surgery.

Still, if I were to be totally honest, I must say that I’m not sure how I’m going to feel about this season.  Granted, one episode into it might be too early to make any kind of statement, but let it be known right here and now that I’m not a fan of UFO’s or the little green men who pilot them.  Zombied out living dead do nothing for me–regardless of when they attack, be it dawn, night or day.   Psychological wear and tear is just fine when properly mixed with a little Wes Craven, John  Carpenter and  Tobe Hooper.   If tha’s the case, I’ll definitely stay tuned, but for me to do it weekly, there will have to be rock solid wow factor that frankly, episode one didn’t have.   Again, it’s early.  I’ll give it time, but I’m going to need more zing.

Next week, we’ll be introduced to Zachary Quinto’s character.  There’s mention of an exorcism.  Perhaps that’ll add some of the zing I’ll need to return each week.  We’ll learn more about Bloody Face who based on the last scene of the episode is still working the halls of Briarcliff, in search of more victims for his dining or experimental pleasure.  That said, the person I would say behind all that sinew would be the doctor,  but considering he was in his mid to late 60’s in 1964 when this season takes place, that seems improbable.  Perhaps its Sister Jude who needs a steady flow of nut jobs to inahbit the cells at Briarcliff to keep its numbers up.  Maybe its the monsignor, but with them, it’s the same numbers game.  That would mean they’ve been steadily murdering people for….48 years!!!!!!    Hell, even Pol Pot’s official villainous reign of terror lasted a mere eight years.  I seriously don’t think it was or his Tate.  Maybe its the ghost I need for viewing staying power or maybe even an otherwise invisible or nebulous  space alien with a jones for blood.  The only way it can take human form is by skinning its victims and wearing their flesh.  Who knows?   But one thing is for sure:   Bloody Face will be this season’s version of last year’s mystery guy in the black, shiney Latex onesy.

And  speaking of last season,  it took four episodes to see  Dylan McDermott’s finely honed ass.  Remember when Ben stepped out of the shower??   Well, by the time the clock reached 42 minutes into the Season premier, we were treated to Tate’s butt, Sister Nunling’s ass and glimpses of the hiney belonging to the Vanessa Hudgin’s look-alike getting banged on a rusty old examination table….with restraints still  attached.

Ass-sylum.

By the way, Ben, played by the dashing Dylan McDermott has just signed on to appear in one or two episodes this season.

Lastly,  how did you like Sister Jude’s priestly fantasy?  Who knew under that black habit of hers was a silk slip–red, to match her passion and her out of this world, tasty as hell, coq au vin?

Once again, imagination at work.

But is it enough to garner Sister Jude her second Emmy nomination and win?

Let me know what I missed.   It had to be substantial because I feel like a plate of an only half eaten meal was removed before I was done.  If I were to compare tonight’s  premier gastronomically, it left me feeling as though I’d eaten a big but mediocre tasting meal and the only thing that could make me feel better is a loud, forceful, shingle shaking belch.  But alas, I cannot burp and if I can’t burp, I can’t feel sated.    Sad but I feel this way after the season premier.   I can only hope the next seven shows offer me burpability.

I’ll give it one more proverbial college try and will return to FX and this lowly computer next  Wednesday night.

And I promise I’ll drink less beer.

One Additional AHS Note

American Horror Story

PUBLISHED TODAY IN ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY:

Attention American Horror Story fans: hope you didn’t get too attached to the Harmon mansion and most of its inhabitants. Creator Ryan Murphy told reporters today that season 2 of the hit FX drama will begin with a new locale and a (mostly) new cast.

That means fans may — or may not — get another fix from stars like Jessica Lange, Dylan McDermott, and Connie Britton when the drama returns next year. “Some of them will be coming back,” Murphy teased during a teleconference today. “I’m talking to several of them and we’re in negotiations. There will be familiar faces, but there will also be new faces on the show.”

Murphy hopes to announce the new storyline and cast in February.

Should some of the first season actors return for another round of AHS episodes, they’ll be “playing completely different characters, creatures, and monsters,” Murphy added. ”It’s a really fun idea to do an anthology show. That’s the way it was designed from the beginning. Every season, there will be a new haunting and we’ll have a new overriding theme.”

The drama’s unique mission has made it easier to attract top talent, Murphy acknowledged. He’s heard from many film stars who like the idea of not having to commit to so many seasons. “When we met with Connie, Dylan, and Jessica, they were interested because the story had a beginning, middle and an end. Connie just came off of Friday Night Lights and was not interesting in going back into the grind of a 5-year commitment. When I told her she only had to do a 1-year run, she was excited by that.”

Added Murphy, “I would have all of them back in a heartbeat to play someone completely different.”

But the mansion is definitely history, Murphy admitted. The set was already struck to move “onward and upward.” So long, original craftsman fixtures and solid oak floors!

The AHS finale on Wednesday averaged 4.4 million viewers, making it the most watched episode of the series. The show is currently tied with TNT’s Falling Skies as the No. 1 new show among adults 18-49 this year. It’s already the highest-rated first season show in FX’s history.

FX notes that AHS performed 50 percent better than Murphy’s last creation, Nip/Tuck.

******************************************************************************

Okay…fine…new cast…cool..I can handle that,  but if you want to keep good ol’ Laurie Kendrick in your roster of fans, you’ll have to get some better writers next season.   Otherwise, I’ll turn this blog around and we’ll go straight back home.

Most of you agree with me about Wednesday night’s finale:   Suckarama.

Others loved it.   To each his own, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how anyone who watched all 12 episodes could have even remotely liked the crap we were offered as a season finale.    All season long I had this feeling that writers just kind of through things in willy nilly with little to no forethought.   Certain aspects of storylines were left dangling like errant participles and never addressed again.  

Such as:  

  • Why did Ben sleepwalk?
  • In the first several episodes, what was his fascination with fire? 
  • What was it about the House in particular that imprisoned the spirits who died there?  
  • What what was the weekly obsession with babies??
  • Where was Thaddeus?   I thought he was supposed to play a major role in the finale.   What was he doing?   Hungrily killing possums in the basement for 70 minutes? 
  • Couldn’t they have delved into Moira’s age-related shape shifting?    
  • Why did Tate have to dress up in the Latex onesy?  
  • What happened to that little white dog of Vivien’s?    We haven’t seen the pooch since Hayden pretended to microwave it in Episode 5.
  • In the final scene, only Hayden and Tate are on the metaphorical outside looking in Harmons as they decorate the Christmas tree.    Why were they the only ones present?  Could the other 22 ghosts in Murder House be Jewish??
  • And lastly, will Billie Dean, the Lee Press On Psychic, EVER get her Lifetime TV deal????? 

In the finale, which was only 70 minutes in length…48 if you allow for commercials…there were so many opportunities to explain so much.   The way it was shot…the way it was written made  me think the AHS team of writers woke up last Friday morning and collectively thought, “Oh shit!!   We’ve got a season finale to write and five days to do it!   YIKES!!!”

The finale was supposed to be 90 minutes long.   That means 20 minutes was edited out .   If what we were offered was the best they could come up with, can you imagine the crap that has to be lying on that editing room floor???? 

And there were all the oddly biblical names in the finale, too.   There were two Michael’s in the show.   The Ramos kid…the skateboarding zealot with enough teenage age angst to produce ten Clearasil commercials, was named Gabriel, an archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.   And there were two Michael’s.   Mr. Ramos was named Miguel, Spanish for Michael and of course, the Constance’s ill-gotten demon seed grandchild was also named Michael,  who was one of the principle  archangels.   He’s viewed as the field commander of the Army of God which battled Satan’s forces.   Ain’t that interesting irony?

We also learned a smidge about ghostly protocol.  The ghosts of Murder House can only be seen if they CHOOSE to be seen.  So that meant with 24 ghosts in the House, there was an awful lot of spectral  traffic under one roof.  

I hated that last scene in which the now happy and functional Harmon’s and Moira are happily decorating the Christmas tree.   In death they’ somehow found a unity and tolerance that they couldn’t in life.     Suddenly, Viv and Ben are in love again and Violet is angst free.   The only cuttin’ she wants to do is on a rug.  She’s happy.   The whole family hangs the ornaments and exchange happy glances…even Violet smiles (Violet never smiles) and had she hopped off that tree decoratin’ ladder and uttered a hearty, “God Bless us…everyone”,   I swear I would have spewed forth a projectile vomitous flow,  the force  and mass of which hasn’t been since the Vesuvian eruption in 79 AD.

And what about that tree which Ben said he cut down himself….I’m assuming it had to be a tree from somewhere on the property.   Since it was on the property and cut down on the property, meaning it also died on the property, guess it will never be allowed to turn into mulch.

Merry Christmas, ya’ll.    I’ll be posting a very special holiday post tomorrow.  

Thanks for your love and support and readership this year.   I appreciate every time you ever dot commed me.