‘AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM’ RECAP – 2.03 “NOR’EASTER”

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So I missed recapping last weeks episode, for which I apologize but hey, stuff happens, life gets in the way, midget porn was on, etc. Anyway, let me quickly catch you up on events before recapping last night’s episode.

In present day, newlyweds Teresa and Leo were attacked by Bloody Face, who stabbed Leo a few times while Teresa hid in some closet. In 1964, most of the episode centered on an exorcism, which saw Sister Jude confronted with memories of a past incident (seems she was a drunken slut back in the day), the poor possessed victim dying and the demon (Devil?) seemingly entering Sister Mary. Lana formulated an escape plan with Grace, who insisted Kit come along. When Lana refused, believing him to be Bloody Face, Grace brought him along anyway and Lana blew the whistle. We meet Dr. Thredson, brought to Briar Cliff to see if Kit is mentally competent to stand trial and who also immediately butts heads with Sister Jude, whose methods he believes are prehistoric. Oh, and Dr. Arden has women issues. Severe woman issues. On to last night’s ep.

We open once again in present day with Bloody Face attacking Teresa and Leo, pretty much how we last saw them. Teresa hid while BF stabbed Leo a few dozen times. I’m not sure how this story ties in with the main story, but man has it been filled with horror clichés. Back in episode 1, while exploring Briar Cliff, Teresa and Leo start having sex, when Teresa hears a noise (cliché #1), they go to investigate (#2), they find a door with a hole in it and naturally Leo sticks his arm in there (#3) and subsequently loses it (#4). In this latest episode, Bloody Face is about to kill Teresa when Leo, the boyfriend who should’ve been dead what with being stabbed and losing an arm and all, comes to her rescue just in time (#5), allowing her to get the jump on the killer and  kill him (#6). But he’s not dead yet!

As she tries to escape, Bloody Face appears before her, no, he’s behind her! WTF? BF shoots her, then lifts his mask. Seems there are 2 Bloody Face killers. Or at least 2 wannabe psychos pretending to be him. Bloody Face Pretender #1 whoops it up, enjoying the murder of two innocent people while Bloody Face Pretender #2 shows remorse, worried that they went “too far.” But then another Bloody Face shows up. Are we dealing with the Cult of Bloody face? I’m not really sure where this storyline is going, but I’m starting not to care too much. There better be a good payoff…

Now back in 1964, there’s a storm coming. It’s a little ironic that the same week Hurricane Sandy batters the east coast, AHS features an episode in which a similar storm is bearing down on the same general location. It’s just a coincidence though, as the script was written back in June. The patients are restless, and Sister Jude has planned a movie night. The feature presentation: Cecille B. Demille’s The Sign of the Cross, which deals with themes of Christianity, lesbianism, lust, mass-murder, purity, religious-persecution, and sexual-deviation. Hmmm, sounds a little like this season of AHS. I bet the writers did that intentionally…

Sister Mary, now possessed by whatever entity possessed the poor soul from last week, is acting strange. She’s wearing lipstick (Ravish Me Red, which is actually meant for Sister Jude, a present from Dr. Arden, or so she says), she tempts Sister Jude with communion wine, she’s seducing Dr. Arden, and she’s totally freaking out one of the inmates, an older female Mexican. At one point she stabs the woman in the neck with a pair of scissors and it’s then that I’m really glad this show is on FX and not one of the networks, or even USA or TBS. The amount of blood that spurted from the poor woman’s neck was enough to rival any decent horror movie. And only on a channel like FX or AMC (which is equally willing to show gore on shows like the Walking Dead), where the censors are less restrictive, can you see that kind of assault without it happening off camera or through shadows. Sister Mary then feeds the dead woman to the creatures outside, who we actually see a little more of later on.

Meanwhile, Dr. Arden has discovered the “bug” he extracted from Kit’s neck back in the first episode is actually kind of, well, a bug. The broken pieces join together, then sprout a couple little legs and antennae and starts crawling around.  Dr. Arden brings Kit into his lab and interrogates him, thinking Kit has more hardware in him and might be working for someone trying to spy on him, such as East German Stazi, the KGB or more to Arden’s disdain, “Jews.”

Someone is torturing poor Sister Jude. Not torture in the way that Dr. Arden likes to torture the inmates. No, this is subtle, methodical torture. First with a newspaper article dated 15 years earlier (June 28, 1949 to be exact) that talks about the disappearance of a little girl, then with a phone call (“You left me there. … You never even bothered to get out of the car.”) , and then with a pair of broken glasses. See, what we’ve learned about Sister Jude is back in her old drunken slut days, she accidentally hit a little girl while driving home drunk. (The glasses belonged to the little girl) This incident is what led Sister Jude to receive a “calling from Jesus Christ” and become a woman of the cloth. But now, these little hints that somebody knows her secret (I Know What You Did 15 Summers Ago), leads her to a. suspect its Dr. Arden and b. start drinking again.

Jessica Lange is well on her way to her second Emmy award for this show. As she is about to play the movie for the uneasy inmates, she gives a drunken monologue that ranges between comical and sorrowful and ends with a line that cracked me up: “…and as the Emperor Nero, the incomparable Mr. Charles Laughton… who, I understand, is an enormous whoopsie.”

As movie night progresses, Kit, Lana, Shelley and Grace attempt to escape, again. While last week Lana was adamant about leaving Kit behind, this week she’s second guessing if he really is Bloody Face. She had asked Dr. Thredson to get a note to her lover Wendy, and he later informed her that when he went to her place, Wendy was missing, and what’s worse, found evidence that Wendy might be a victim of Bloody Face. It’s at this moment Lana questions her belief that Kit is Bloody Face and allow him to escape with her. Is Wendy dead? We saw Bloody Face paying her a visit last week, but her true fate currently eludes us. I also don’t believe Kit is Bloody Face. So who might he be? I doubt its Dr. Arden, that’s too obvious. My guess is Joseph Fienne’s character, Monsignor Timothy Howard. Mark it down, I called it here first.

Sister Jude, aware that the Mexican is missing, searches for her in the dark caverns of Briar Cliff’s underbelly. There she is confronted by…an alien. Possibly one of the aliens that abducted Kit and his wife. Have they come to Briar Cliff in search of Kit? Or was it just a hallucination brought about by Sister Jude’s guilt and drunken state? Whatever it was, it caused Sister Jude to faint. I’m really skeptical on this whole alien storyline. In a story dealing with Christian themes and the devil and science vs. religion, I’m not sure where aliens fit in. I just hope it doesn’t turn out to be something stupid like they’re agents of God/Satan or something out of Prometheus.

As the gang makes their way toward a tunnel that leads to the asylum’s exterior, they discover Karl the Orderly. So the others can make their escape, Shelley offers to distract Karl as only she can… by giving the guy a blow job. Again, the freedoms given to FX come into play as this was a pretty explicit scene, showing us pretty much everything but the guy’s johnson. (Not that I want to see that, mind you, I’m just saying…wouldn’t see this scene on the networks either!)

Finally able to get out of the asylum, Kit, Lana and Grace find themselves outside, in the pouring rain. They savor the freedom, the rain on their skin. Until their moment of triumph turns sour as they are greeted by the Raspers, Dr. Arden’s rejected human experiments which feed on human flesh. Seems there are worse things than being held prisoner inside Briar Cliff’s walls and the trio haul ass back inside to safety.

Shelley in the meantime, having dispatched of Karl by knocking him out (she pushed him to the floor where he smacks his head) is discovered by a different kind of monster: Dr. Arden. Fresh off his desecration and toppling of a Virgin Mary statue (“Whore!), he questions what she’s doing away from the movie. “I was just going to the bathroom.” Dr. Arden cries foul and attempts to rape her. Once he gets his pants down though, the good Doctor is unable to perform. Shelley bursts out laughing. “Did you have an accident?” I was thinking all along that Dr. Arden had some issues in that department. Either he forgot to take his Viagra, he’s impotent or he’s not all there. Whatever it is, Shelley’s outburst really pisses him off and he knocks her out with a paperweight.

When she awakens, she is on an operating table in Dr. Arden’s lab. He explains that he’s taken steps to insure that she can no longer attempt to escape. He pulls back the sheet…Shelley screams…he’s amputated her legs below the knees! I actually worry that Chloe Sevigny may not be long for the world of American Horror Story. I like her,both her character and as an actress, but she’s credited as a guest star, she just had her legs cut off and judging by the previews for next week, Dr. Arden isn’t done with her yet. Sigh…there goes my hope for the Lana/Shelley lesbian scene I predicted in my TV preview.

See you next week.

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Dave Zagorski

Dave Zagorski is a filmmaker who has yet to achieve his potential. He has written and directed two movies under his MAD Z Productions banner: “Killing Brooke” and a remake of the euro-horror exploitation movie “The Devil’s Nightmare.” He enjoys long walks on the beach, lesbians and putting his friends through hell on set. He hopes to one day win an Oscar, but until then he’ll make due with his son Oscar.