Briarcliff AHS

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.