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  • Tag Archives American Horror Story: Asylum
  • American Horror Story: Asylum: The Last Episode, and Overview on the Season

    briarcliff-present-day

    American Horror Story Asylum

    This has been one Hell of a second season. No matter what you feel about a show switching not only primary locations, but characters and decades, no one can deny that it takes nerves of steel. Imagine if Friends had randomly decided to switch the show to Chicago, in the 30’s, after the third season. Or, if The Walking Dead decided to make the show about ghosts, move everyone into Iceland, and have all new characters. Granted, they’d have to change the name of the show to The Floating Dead, or The Walking Dead: Spectral. My point is, it was a bold move, and so of course there will be naysayers.

    A lot of fans don’t want to admit this, but we like our rigid confines. I certainly do. When Mulder was written off of The X-Files for those later seasons, I just stopped watching. So, I was naturally apprehensive about American Horror Story: Asylum. I enjoyed the idea of actors from the first season coming back, but I was very worried. I loved the first season of that show. What if the second season sucked?

    And so, I started watching American Horror Story: Asylum. And, admittedly, when it first began, I liked it, but thought it was a bit disjointed. What, so we’re in the present, seeing on old asylum called Briarcliff, and then we cut to the 60’s, and a guy married to a black woman, and then aliens, he’s accused of murder, a journalist comes. And I still say Bloody Face is the worst name for a serial killer ever.

    But, with the weeks, the show grew on me. I grew to love the characters, and even began to enjoy how many different plot elements with various horror tropes were thrown into the mix. I still had no idea how they were going to tie everything up, but I was along for the ride, no matter what.

    Soon, things began to resolve themselves. The aliens, and the weird mutated creatures in the forest. The possessed nun, who switches from innocent to literally devilish, played by Lily Rabe was fun to watch. And the ex-nazi Dr. Arden, played by James Cromwell, was also intriguing. Most importantly, the identity of Bloody Face, and who was killing the Bloody Face imitators in the present day, at the run down Briaricliff, was the draw of the show. Zachary Quinto did an amazing job.

    The season finale is, without question, my favorite episode of the entire season. Not only does it scare, but it manages a tough feat for things in the horror genre. It makes you feel a gambit of emotions. You smile, and you get sad when you see the last years of Sister Jude’s life. Or, as she is now in those final years, when she lives with Kit, Betty Drake. You see the joy this woman, brilliantly played by Jessica Lange, is capable of. Really, the character arc of Sister Jude, or Judy Martin, is the most astounding of any actor in the series. From antagonist, all the way round to protagonist. From heartless bitch, to sympathetic victim. Jude’s death was both moving, and haunting, as the angel with the black wings, (also performed brilliantly by Frances Conroy) finally comes after years of talking with Judy, to take her away.

    Dylan Mcdermott as Bloody Face’s abandoned son, Johnny, given up for adoption by Lana (Sarah Paulson) gives a powerful performance in this final episode. By the end, he makes you feel bad for a serial killer who wears the skin of women on his face, and that’s a tough sell. Of course, Lana, played by Paulson also brings the thunder. We hear of her transition from novelist writing about Bloody Face, to investigative journalist, who finally goes back and exposes Briarcliff. In the end of the episode, she faces her abandoned son, and I won’t tell you what she does, but it is both haunting, and in a way, a mercy. Lana knows all too well what institutionalization can do to a person.

    Really, there are many actors whose character arcs are dynamic. Everyone is constantly changing, and evolving for the better, or the worse. It is what made the first season so great, and what went on to make the second season great.

    In the end, this season, and indeed American Horror Story as a show has exceeded my expectations time and time again. I look forward to seeing what they’re going to pull out of their bag of tricks for season 3.


  • American Horror Story: the Aftermath

    KitwithBloodyAx

    Holy shit, this episode is a trip. A few years after the events which took place in episodes 1-11 is where we find ourselves.

    We see the evolution of Briar Cliff from an asylum run by the church, into a regular, plain, state institution. Jude ain’t doing so hot.

    We see how Lana banana is doing, and turns out she has a book.

    Kit, well, things are weird for Kit.

    And we end with the promise of a final showdown that will make the whole damn season if executed properly.

    Last episode is this Wednesday, the 23rd.


  • American Horror Story: Ride it, Monsignor

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    This episode, is entitled The Name Game, which I assumed had to do with certain buns in various ovens. Probably still does. However, it turns out it was also due to this, after a certain sister is given too much zappy juice.

    Strange episode, with a few shocking deaths. We are nearing the home stretch.
    How are they going to tie this all up in only 3 episodes? Easily, no doubt, at the pace this show moves, they could introduce a whole new monster and still tie it up.

    There is a really stunning shot as someone dies in this episode. I can’t tell ya who though, in the interest of no spoilage.


  • American Horror Story: The Coat Hanger…not just for coats anymore!

    american-horror-story-asylum-2x09-the-coat-ha-L-1GC_dz

    A shocking revelation. Sister Jude in an interesting new position (and not the one she was in at the end of last episode with evil Santa man). A vague sentence.
    And finally, we get some more alien action! Woo!
    I find it hard to review these, as all the episodes seem to bleed together.
    Speaking of bleeding…a certain character either has his worst nightmare, or greatest dream, come to fruition.
    However, I will say this episode has a new character introduced in the intro, in the present day. A certain man’s son, a certain deranged man’s son.
    Oh, by the by, if you’re squeamish on coat hanger abortions…be forewarned.


  • American Horror Story: Unholy Night, and a really bad Santa

    This episode had Bad Santa times a thousand.

    In one of the best cameos yet, Ian McShane plays one of the most realistic psycho Santas I’ve seen yet. (I really don’t get to write that often enough.) He shoots people, he bites faces with his teeth, and he really puts a damper on Sister Jude’s Christmas spirit.
    Someone new gets offed, an unlikely partnership begins to blossom, and somehow Kit remains in Briarcliff, despite having just escaped a prison by assault.
    I’m sure the writers explained it away somehow, but I didn’t really catch it. A certain psychiatrist also finds himself in quite the snafu.
    A solid Christmas themed episode. We even get a brief bit of aliens again. No present day scenes in this episode. Hopefully next episode, we’ll hear more about modern day Bloody Face.
    This show has super ADD. It’s even hard for me to follow sometimes. However, it’s still entertaining. I’m excited to see how they tie up all the different elements by the end of this season.


  • American Horror Story: Dark Cousin, and the beauty of black wings

    When I saw Frances Conroy was back in this episode, I got excited. You know, the older version of the slutty maid from the first season.
    Not to mention the role she plays is quite awe-inspiring.
    Black wings are involved. Reminds me of a certain Tom Waits song.

    A certain someone dies, Sister Jude discovers something which challenges all of the guilt she’s built up over the years, and Kit breaks out of the clink, and fucks some shit up.
    Oh, and Lana has a bummer of a time.
    No present day intro in this episode. I hope they do more with that story line, as we all want to know more about modern day Bloody Face.
    A solid episode, if not as kinetic as the last one.
    Still wondering when they’re going to explain those God Damn aliens.
    Or show them. I want aliens, durnit!


  • American Horror Story: The Origins of Monstrosity, and also, sorry Dad

    First off, no idea where I got the notion there were only 6 episodes in this season of American Horror Story. The first season had 12 episodes, so I really have no idea. Blame it on a lot more sensory input lately. I apologize if anyone thought this was the last episode, though a simple IMDb, Google search would tell you different. Anyway, onwards and upwards.
    I was at my parents house when I caught this one on demand, as I missed it last Wednesday.
    So, I’m going to try to avoid spoiler alert territory. It makes it tough to review a show like this, but screw it, you fine folks don’t deserve surprises ruined by an overzealous blabbermouth.
    Truly a shocking episode. They all contain some shocking moments; some revelatory scenes as it were, which explain character motivations about the monsignor, and Dr. Arden, Sister Mary Eunice, and even Bloody Face.
    A funny side anecdote. So, my dad’s in the room, as the show is playing in the living room of my parent’s abode. Emily (girlfriend, and writer of Positively Bleak) was also there, but though I’ve never previously stated it, she is usually watching things with me. She is my favorite watchin’ buddy, and also the love of my life. And when I say watchin’ buddy, I mean shows and movies, not anything nefarious.
    Anyway, first dad falls asleep on the episode, as dads are wont to do. And then he woke up and, well, let’s just say it was almost as awkward as the time in the same room, I watched The Woman, and my mom refused to leave despite my warnings that she would hate the film. My mom is very open minded with entertainment, but let’s face it, it’s hard to watch POV rape, and extended torture scenes next to your mom. (She took the rape scene ay less shouty than I figured she would, but you could cut the awkward in the air with a knife.)
    So, anyway, sorry I watch really gory, disturbing stuff around you sometimes dad. I’ll make it up to you someday by…I don’t know, I’ll think of something.


  • American Horror Story: I Am Anne Frank Paht 1

    We are introduced to a Jewish inmate, dropped off at the asylum known as Anne Frank (Franka Potente), who has an alarming theory about Dr. Arden, and his previous occupation.
    A little bit of Kit and Grace coitus, and we find out something alarming about Grace. Dr. Thredson tries to cure Lana of her homosexuality, and it’s in a very alarming way. Remember, in the 60s homosexuality was considered a mental disorder.
    Very alarming episode.
    Oh, and some screwy stuff happens to Shelley.
    This episode really sets things up for a tense wind down. Looking forward to part 2.