‘AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM’ RECAP – 2.05 “I AM ANNE FRANK, PT. II”

1

The writers of American Horror Story hate women. How else to explain the shitstorm that befell poor Shelley, Grace, Lana, Anne Frank and even Sister Jude herself?

Let’s start with Anne Frank, or the woman who claimed to be Anne Frank. Turns out her real name is Charlotte Brown, born Charlotte Cohen. Her husband came to Briar Cliff looking for her, and told Sister Jude her story. A few months ago, Charlotte, eight months pregnant, read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Then, she saw a stage adaptation in Boston. She soon gave birth to a son, David (great name). But the baby had colic, and in her unsuccessful attempts at soothing him she became overwhelmed with a feeling of “powerlessness.” That’s when she started identifying more and more with Anne Frank, and becoming obsessed with the Holocaust. “It was like she wanted to relive it, that she could change the outcome.”  Her husband showed her a picture of the family in happier times and she started coming around. They went home…

But it wasn’t long before he brought her back. At home, he asked Charlotte if she wanted to hold the baby. This threw Charlotte over the edge again. “Yes, darling,” she said. “Why don’t I do that?” As she stormed into the nursery and little David went silent, Mr. Brown raced to investigate and found Charlotte trying to suffocate the baby with a pillow. Now back at Briar Cliff, Mr. Brown begged Sister Jude to take her in, and asked for Dr. Thredson to treat her. But it was Dr. Arden who would come to the rescue. “I see no reason for punitive action. Not when there is a far more humane remedy at hand,” he told the worried husband. “As a matter of fact, we could do it tonight. Then she would be home by tomorrow. A new woman.”

Cut to Dr. Arden’s operating room, where he prepared her for a transorbital lobotomy. The tools: A small silver hammer, and Bloody Face’s weapon of choice, an orbitoclast. As Arden gently tapped the spike through her eye, Anne Frank slowly faded away fromCharlotte’s memory…

In the meantime, Kit received a stay of execution, or sterilization as the case may be. Sister Mary explained that Sister Jude, impressed by Kit’s confession that he was Bloody Face, had decided that he had “showed signs of true redemption.” His reward: he wouldn’t be sterilized and would be released from solitary. But Grace was not so lucky. She was left to suffer in solitary. The isolation drove her nuts (more nuts?) and she began to literally bounce off the walls. She flew into a fit of rage and then, exhausted,  she saw a light, blinding and white, permeating through the cracks around the door. Had she somehow died and this was Heaven? Not quite. As the camera zoomed in on her eyeball, we saw the reflection of a gray alien with spindly arms and legs.

When next we see Grace, she appears to be in a white space limbo, getting her guts ripped open. Kit’s wife Alma stood by her side, attending to her. “Don’t fight it. You’ll make it worse.” Was Grace abducted by aliens who were now performing experiments on her? Or was she imagining it? Trying to mentally escape the sterilization procedure? I’m not ready to rule out the alien theory yet, but later on we find Grace in the Common Room, bleeding from her nether regions, leading us to believe she probably was in fact sterilized.

Kit tried to find out what happened, but before he could get an answer, the two detectives from last week arrived to arrest him. See, earlier in the episode, Dr. Thredson, convinced Kit that in order to avoid the chair he needed to confess to the Bloody Face killings, and sound perfectly sane in doing so. Well, Kit’s confession (which was recorded by Dr. Thredson on the biggest freaking recording device ever) ended up in the detectives’ possession and it must’ve truly been convincing because they came to take him away. As the cops hauled him off, Grace sprung to life and called out: This is a mistake! He didn’t do it. She’s alive! Everything you said is true! I saw her! Alma is alive!”  (She’s alive! Alllliiiiiivvveeee!)

Poor Shelley. We didn’t see much of her in this episode, but when we did it was quite disturbing. If you remember last week, Anne (or Charlotte as we now know her) found Shelley in Dr. Arden’s lab: legless, disfigured, begging to be put down. When Sister Jude went searching for her inArden’s lab at “Anne’s” behest, she found nothing. That’s because the demonically possessed Sister Mary moved her. Arden, as well as myself, assumed Sister Mary had brought Shelley outside, fed her to the creatures that roam the hospital grounds. Oh, but how wrong we were. Turns out Shelley was discovered at an elementary school, climbing out of a stairwell and scaring the crap out the kids and teachers. This doesn’t bode well for Herr Doktor…

Things also aren’t boding well for Sister Jude. After the fiasco that was Movie Night a couple eps back that saw three prisoners escape, and now “Anne” managing to nab a gun from a detective which she used to shoot Dr. Arden, her days at Briar Cliff seem to be numbered. Dr. Arden informed Sister Jude that he intended to press charges against her. “On your watch, that crazy bitch got hold of a gun and you sent her home without as much as a slap on the wrist! Your ineptitude is staggering.” She asked what she could do to clean the slate with Arden. He wanted her to grovel, beg for his forgiveness. Barring that he would go straight to the Monsignor and demand her dismissal. But she has too much pride to go down on bended knee for him. “You’re through here, Sister,” he hissed. “And you know it.”

For the first time this season, we got to see Sister Jude vulnerable. She wanted to keep her job, to preserve her place in this safe haven from her past. She prayed to St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, to help her one more time. But when Guard Frank reported that Lana Winters had gone missing (more on that in a second) Sister Jude knew her fate was sealed. “It’s over for me, Frank. My goose is cooked.”

And so Sister Jude reverted back to Judy Martin. Breaking the habit (see what I did there?), and dressed in a tight gray dress, she hit a bar, flipped open a compact mirror, and applied a thick coat of ravage me red lipstick. A man took the seat next to her. “What’s your poison, sweetheart?”  When next we saw her, she was waking up in bed next to him. Disgusted with herself, she grabbed her cigarettes, got dressed and bolted. Interesting thing to note: we never saw Sister Jude get fired from Briar Cliff, so her employment status is uncertain. What is certain however is that this little event will no doubt have an effect on her future…

Finally we come to Lana. Dr. Thredson made good on his promise to get her out of Briar Cliff. He took her back to his place (naturally) because as he told her, the police would be looking for her. Nevertheless, she wanted to go home. She wanted to find Wendy. In due time, Dr. Thredson explained. Tomorrow they would go to the police and present their evidence of the dirty deeds (done dirt cheap) happening at Briar Cliff and shut it down. When Lana tries to call her friend Louise, Thredson hangs up the phone. “No Calls!” “I’m at stake too,” he tells her. “You’re the perfect person to tell my story.” Wait, your story? What story does he have? Then the whole scene starts getting downright creepy, as if it wasn’t already. Lana notices the lampshade next to her chair. The material was coarse, tan and thin as…skin. He offers her some wine and a mint, contained in a dish that wait…is that a skull??  She asked to use the restroom. He directed her to a doorway down the hall. Anyone else see where this is going?

She looks for an escape, finds an eerie looking room with lots of cutting tools, bones and…my god!  Are those pony tails hanging on the wall??? “I see you have found my little hobby,” said Thredson, surprising her. “You make furniture?” she asks, playing dumb. “Lamps, mainly. I make the shades myself.” Lana asked, “What kind of material do you use?”  At this point I swear Dr. Thredson morphed into Zachary Quinto’s Heroes character Sylar. With malicious glee he replied: “Skin.” He pressed a button. A trap door opened and Lana fell down the rabbit hole…

Lana awakens some time later, chained Saw-style by the ankle to the wall. And just like in Saw, there’s a body in the room with her. Wendy’s body. Is she dead? Probably. She was frozen, thawing like a Thanksgiving turkey. If you haven’t figured it out by now people, let me spell it out for you: Soylent Green is people! Er, I mean, Thredson is Bloody Face!!! (Damn, there goes my theory about it being the Monsignor. I’m not completely letting him off the hook, though. He’s up to something nefarious I know it!) : “We’re going to continue our therapy now, Lana.” Alluding to the aversion therapy he started with her last week. “You can begin by kissing her cold lips.” He put on his Bloody Face mask. “Don’t worry. She won’t bite.” Slow zoom on the mask, which includes a new addition:  “I took her teeth.” Cue Lana screaming….

Back to Charlotte for a moment. She was now a Stepford wife. Offering to make her husband a martini while she held the baby (a multi-tasker!). Curiously, she showed no signs of having a spike hammered into her face. “You seem happy,” Mr. Brown said. “Are you as happy as you look?” “I have never been happier” she replied. And as the show ends, the camera zooms in on a picture on the wall. A photo of Adolph Hitler, surrounded by his troops, and standing behind him, was a man Charlotte once thought was Dr. Arden. Bum bum bum….

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday and Black Friday next week there won’t be a recap.

Share.

About Author

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.

  • Malaysia

    Am I the only one who thinks “American
    Horror Story” has more plots and twists in the five episodes we’ve seen to fill
    ten years worth of stories for the ‘X-files?’ I was talking about this episode
    with my co-worker from DISH and the more we talked about this episode the more
    confused we got, although I have to admit I called Dr. Thredson out as ‘Bloody
    Face’ after episode two. I’m going to miss next week’s episode but I set my
    DISH Hopper to record it. I’m lucky there is over 2,000 hours of DVR recording
    room so I can record the rest of the season this way I won’t lose anything as I’m
    sure even missing five minutes of this show will be a loss of the entire
    season.