Thanksgiving is the holiday of gratitude, food, and family. We gather around the table, connect with our loved ones, and prioritize what and who really matters to us. This week’s episode of Asylum, “The Origins of Monstrosity,” illustrates what happens when that familial loss is absent … Briarcliff style. From a sociopathic child who has no emotional attachment to her mother to a psychologist who suffers from abandonment issues, we break down the family issues surrounding AHS. Even though your family may exhibit all of their glorious dysfunction on Thanksgiving, just be thankful that you are not amongst the patients at Briarcliff.
1. Running with Scissors – Oh how we’ve missed having a signature demonic child around AHS! Well, we can put our anxieties to rest, now that we’ve met the devil incarnate, little Jenny, who has never cried in her young life and possibly murdered her friend with a pair of scissors. While she stands over her friend’s body and tells the police a “tall bearded man” killed her, her mother suspects her daughter was the perpetrator. She confirms this theory and admits her to Briarcliff after she discovers a lock of Jenny’s friend’s hair in her daughter’s pocket. The killings don’t end there. Later in the episode, Jenny again stands over a dead body innocently explaining to a police officer how a tall, bearded man killed her mother. After her mother admitted her to Briarcliff, did Jenny feel abandoned? Or is she simply incapable of empathy?
2. Mommy Dearest – As we sink deeper and deeper into Dr. Thredson’s psyche, the therapist reveals his own Freudian and abandonment issues with his mother. Never knowing his mother, he grew up in an orphanage where he learned “touch would certainly spoil a child.” Is a hug all Dr. Thredson needs?! As someone who analyzes others for a living, Thredson is quite adept at self-analysis as well. He concludes his sick killing spree is simply a quest to find a mother and sees Lana Winters as “the one.” Because nothing says “I love you, Mom” more than chaining your mother to a bed in a basement. Winters tries to escape Thredson’s basement torture chamber and successfully saws off her shackles. But before her escape, Dr. Thredson discovers her attempt to leave and responds with, “You were going to abandom me. Like my mother.” In order to keep herself from becoming a human lamp shade like Dr. Thredson’s past victims, she tries to fill the maternal void the therapist has lived with his whole life and embraces him.
So when you’re sitting down at the table today, just remember, we may all have our idiosyncrasies, and that crazy uncle gets a bit annoying after too much turkey, but at least we’re not dealing with characters from Briarcliff. Happy Thanksgiving!