…And we’re back! Our favorite show, American Horror Story: Asylum went on hiatus over the holidays, leaving us twiddling our thumbs on Wednesday nights without Evan Peters on our screens. We had so many unanswered questions about Briarcliff, Bloodyface and Grace’s baby. Rest assured, our beloved horror show returned last night and progressed the plot line in multiple ways. Sister Jude undergoes electroshock therapy after being diagnosed with manic depression, Grace has Kit Walker’s baby, the Monsignor Timothy O’Hara kills Sister Mary Eunice and Dr. Arden commits suicide to reunite with Sister Mary. Some critics have referred to Ryan Murphy’s AHS as the evil twin of his other show, Glee, and we never felt that way more than after watching last night’s episode. From the dance number to the virginity-losing, Briarcliff was less like an asylum and more like the halls of McKinley High. Here are our favorite Glee-like moments from “The Name Game.”
1.The Name Game – This comparison is by far the most obvious. In the middle of the episode, Lana Winters asks Sister Jude if she knows her own name after receiving electroshock therapy. Without answering Winters, a delirious Sister Jude trudges to the new jukebox in the asylum and selects Shirley Ellis’ classic to play, “The Name Game.” When she plays the song, Sister Jude immediately transforms into a glamorous early ’60s songstress and the bleak patients of Briarcliff get their groove on. Where is Kurt to bust out a showstopper when we need him? While we know this is a dream state and American Horror Story has its absurd moments, we couldn’t help but imagine Ryan Murphy in the writer’s room suddenly deciding to insert a dance number into the episode. Even for AHS, this felt out of place.
American Horror Story: Asylum has portrayed it all — from murders to amputations, Ryan Murphy leaves nothing to the imagination. Still, we are used to many of these graphic scenes just from visiting our local movie theater during Halloween season. As gruesome as it is, we are accustomed to the blood spewing, the white-tiled basement filled with murderous tools, and the exorcisms. We love Murphy’s wink to the horror genre and his dramatic flair, but this week’s episode seemed more disturbing than the usual stabbing. Lana Winters finds out she’s pregnant with Dr. Thredson’s baby and is determined to have an abortion — hence the title of the episode “The Coat Hanger.” The titular scene was probably one of the most disturbing things I’ve seen on this show so far. Now that they’ve depicted such a thing, what else can really be portrayed? Have we overcome the shock factor? Where do we go from here? Here is my list of questions from this week’s episode and what’s next for the rest of the season. Let me know if you have any answers, readers. We’re looking at you too, Ryan!
1. Did Dr. Arden take Kit Walker’s tape of Thredson admitting his crimes? Can Kit trust him now that they have this new alliance?
2. Is Grace having Kit Walker’s baby? Do you think she’s even carrying a baby?
3. Is Grace still alive or just a figment of Dr. Arden’s imagination? Did the aliens bring her back to life? What should we make of her?
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? Read more…
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. Read more…
Last week’s premiere of American Horror Story: Asylum left me with a lot to mull over. From Lana Winters’ institutionalization at Briarcliff Manor to Dr. Arden’s experiments on Kit Walker, there were many questions to be answered and new back stories to fill in. “Tricks and Treats” didn’t further the plot as much as delve deeper into characters introduced in the premiere and welcome some new terrifying patients to Briarcliff. We learn more about why Sister Jude is such a bitter, cruel person — she just wanted to entertain the troops! — and are introduced to psychiatrist Dr. Oliver Thredson (Zachary Quinto!). AHS would never need an episode entirely dedicated to Halloween, since it always is such a fright fest. Still, “Tricks and Treats” had some particularly disturbing and sadistic moments for the holiday that left me clutching my pillow for dear life (go on, laugh), which is why I am recapping this episode with the Top 5 Screamtastic Moments.
Scream 1 – The episode opens with Winters’ lover Wendy and friends worried over Lana’s institutionalization at Briarcliff Manor. She misses her dearly and says, “Nothing makes sense without her.” Aww. They’re all trying to find ways to release her from Briarcliff, but can’t seem to find a solution. However, it already appears someone is listening to their thoughts. (Hmmm…could someone be following them?) After Wendy’s friends have left and she gets out of the shower (a clever nod to Pyscho), she walks through her house only to find that Freddy-like monster from last episode lurking in her hallway. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Wendy makes it out of this episode…her students will probably have study hall all day tomorrow.
The 16th Annual Hollywood Film Awards gala took place at The Beverly Hilton Hotel last night, and we have some bona fide A-listers who kept the fashion flag flying very high. Marion Cotillard can always be counted to hit it out of the ballpark, and she did just that in a gorgeous, edgy midnight-blue Christian Dior dress with metallic silver pointed pumps by the same designers. She also totally pulled off that ’40s hairstyle. Amy Adams also looked like a retro goddess with flowing titian hair and a fitted black Oscar de la Renta column with a mesh panel, with Giuseppe Zanotti shoes, Tiffany jewels, and a YSL bag. Brava! The surprise entry on this list is Helen Hunt who went the sexy route in a slinky silver dress and strappy heels. Way to work it out, lady! While we’re certain that these three really deserve to be up here, we have a couple of entries we’re not quite so sure about, and need your help with.
Kerry Washington is so pretty and we love her black-and-white printed Monique Lhuillier dress. The Louis Vuitton shoes and clutch kind of ruin it for us, though. We feel the clutch clashes with the dress and the shoes are too twee for the whole thing. Then there’s Clea Duvall in that very feminine pink, flowing gown. We’re just not sure about that material sprouting out of her shoulders. Besides, we could not find one photograph of her smiling. That stone-faced expression is what she appeared to have on the entire time, and when one’s wearing such a soft, draped, girly gown … you have to sell it.
[Photos: Getty Images]