Last week’s episode of Asylum left us on a cliffhanger: Anne Frank was pointing a gun at Dr. Arden’s head and exposed him to be SS officer and experimental doctor Hans Gruber. This week, we finally discover the man behind the monster mask and the mystery behind Anne Frank. Before Anne has time to shoot Arden, the Briarcliff guards catch her and alert her husband of her violent disobedience. Her husband discloses that Anne Frank is actually Charlotte Cohen, who is suffering from postpartum depression after giving birth to their son. She copes by absorbing herself in the Holocaust, reliving it in an attempt to change its outcome. Not only does she convince Sister Jude that she was Anne Frank, but she definitely convinced me. I loved how Ryan Murphy created a second life for Anne Frank, but I should have known that she fabricated her story seeing as she is living in a mental institution. Talk about unreliable characters on this show.
Sister Jude releases Anne from the institution to be with her husband, but he soon realizes he can’t handle her anymore. He desperately tries to re-admit her back into Briarcliff, and guess who is ready to accept her with open arms? None other than Dr. Arden. Arden performs a lobotomy on her in an excruciating scene that left my skin crawling. Not to worry, though! Arden transforms her into the Stepford wife her husband always wanted. “I’ve never been happier,” she says to him sedately as she hugs her baby. This is one of my favorite storylines in the show so far, so I hope this isn’t the last we see of Anne Frank…I mean, Charlotte.
The next big reveal comes from Dr. Thredson, who, unfortunately, was too good to be true. It’s always the nice ones who turn out to have the darkest secrets, right? Dr. Thredson appears to be an advocate for his patients. He organizes Lana Winters’ escape and helps Kit Walker eschew execution. He seamlessly leads Winters out of Briarcliff and hides her at his house, and we briefly exhale for Lana. She’s free at last! However, as the music grows eerie and Thredson prevents Winters from making phone calls, we realize the doctor’s intentions aren’t wholly good. In fact, they’re very frighteningly evil. Winters takes a wrong turn in his home into a room containing pliers, knives, hollowed human bone and distressed flesh strewn like beef jerky. Thredson is a furniture maker, but his preferred material of choice is not leather. HE is the monster man behind Briarcliff (aside from Dr. Arden) who killed Wendy and one of the many legends of asylum. But if he was the one who killed those boys from episode three, does this mean that Dr. Thredson is still lurking the hallways of Briarcliff to this day? And what is his motive? And, more important, who is next on his list?