She likes it here. We like it.
1. Sister Mary Eunice— the meek one who begged Sister Jude to use a bigger cane on her as she cried hysterically— is still in there somewhere. When Conroy’s Angel of Death confronted her, she said she knew what Sister Mary Demon was (“cousin… like me, but fallen”) and that someone inside her had been calling her, singing to her, for help, Old School Sister Mary Eunice broke free for a moment and weeping, begged the Angel to release her. “O Heavenly Host… will you release me? Can you release me?” When the demon came back to take over (“Shut up, you stupid SOW!”) that Dark Angel backed off, but told her, “We’ll meet again”. [Side note: every time Frances Conroy‘s Dark Angel unfurled her expansive, beautiful black wings (FWOOOOP) I actually gasped, the sight was so cool and breathtaking. ]
2. In one of many clever twists and reveals of the night, we discover Sister Jude did not, in fact, kill the little girl fifteen years ago in the hit-and-run. We did NOT see that coming (even though in the minutes leading up to the reveal, Missy’s mother seemed pretty cheerful for someone who’d lost a child, especially to an unsolved homicide). Mary Eunice knew Sister Jude didn’t kill her, but she knew Sister Jude thought she did, which was enough to start torturing her (more on that later) and playing on her guilt. Notice that in Jude’s memories, and even in the newspaper headlines, no-one ever said the girl had been killed; just the victim of a hit-and-run, but it NEVER occurred to us that she might have survived. Missy having survived was a relief, since Sister Jude was clearly planning to confess to her parents and then take her own life (probably with that straight razor). “We get to live with our daughter. The monster who left her there, has to live with himself,” Missy’s mother told her at the end of the scene. Sister Jude seemed a little more freaked out than relieved, but that’s understandable.
Shall I kiss you, and make this all go away?
3. However, we also learned that there’s still plenty of tragedy left in Sister Jude’s past. For instance, we find that she tried to kill herself before. Her awful shitbird of a fiancée… well, let’s hear it in Sister Judy Martin’s own words:
When Casey left me the night before the wedding, when I told him he’d given me syphilis and I’d never be able to have children… I forgave him …and he called me a liar and a whore. All I ever wanted was my own family, my own children to teach and love…
Yes, THE NIGHT BEFORE THEIR WEDDING, just to put the icing on the goddamn cake. If I’d been in her shoes at that moment, I might have looked into alcoholism too, if not a suicide attempt.
Poor thing. Maybe we should call Briarcliff. At least they could give her a bed for the night.
4. Sister Mary Eunice is still going out of her way to mind-fuck Sister Jude at every opportunity. Not only does she send fatal shards of the broken mirror into Mr. Goodman’s neck (though it doesn’t kill him right away, and looks very painful), she writes “Murderer” in blood on the TV and tapes up the Search for Missing Girl Continues headline to the TV over it for Jude to discover. Then (after a flashback) she calls Sister Jude. “This is your conscience speaking… That man dead on the floor, he was investigating you. ” She then tells sister Jude she left her a bottle of Kentucky Bourbon and “something else” for her, which turns out to be a straight razor. For a minute we see her slicing or wrists open (vertically) with the razor, then lying on the floor in a vast pool of her own blood …then we see Sister Jude was (phew) just picturing herself going through with it.
5. I love your work… Bloody Face, the Jeb-demon told Dr. Thredson during the exorcism. Since that same demon then jumped into Sister Mary Eunice, she knows Dr. Thredson is Bloody Face, just to make sure Lana is really screwed. OK, let’s back up a bit.
I’m going to crawl out of my own skin if I have to lay on that bed again.
6. When we first saw Lana this episode (SIGH), Dr. Thredson had gone from crying with happiness and curling up to ‘breast-feed’ with his new Mommy surrogate and moved on to raping her. Lana had gone limp and it was clear her mind was floating away; she already looked dead behind the eyes. It was no surprise the Angel of Death showed up, since they’d established she had to be summoned by someone ready to die. We still don’t know (or I don’t) who wrote the ancient Aramaic symbol (her spoken name was given in the closed captions as “Shachath”) on the wall in blood to summon her in the first place —Miles said he didn’t. Dr. Thredson said it was time to end it.
Peace is so close, Sister…
7. Lana realized she wasn’t ready to die yet, and attacked Dr. T with all she had—the hypodermic, the chain around her ankle, fists, feet, gravity, and miraculously made it own of his basement alive. But we horror fans know that the first time you escape from a maniac’s captivity and run like hell, the car that you flag down or stops for you is not going to contain a friend. Rather than have the man whose car she leaps into be working with Bloody Face and take her right back to him (as we at Horror Boom were expecting), he blew his brains out, the car crashed, and Lana ended up in Briarcliff, seriously banged up …under Sister Mary Eunice’s care. Absolutely did not see that coming – any of it.
8. We learned that Dr. Arden has it in him to actually cure a sick patient (the traditional way, too, not his own fucked-up version of what he sees as a cure). I thought Grace was going to bleed out and die, since the infirmary at Briarcliff seems rudimentary at best, (not to mention any visit from the Dark Angel is a big hint), but even though it was for his own selfish reasons (he didn’t sterilize her, but no-one’s going to believe that, and he says she’s going to live, “if only to set the record straight”), he actually treats her (in a tradition way) and it works. The last thing I expected was to see her sitting in the kitchen, looking and sounding healthy and like her regular self again. The surprises kept coming, though…
I’m here to help… if that’s what you want.
9. Escape from police custody seemed pretty easy for Kit once he set his mind to it, but of course, it didn’t work out for long. He made the (well-meaning) mistake to return to Briarcliff for Grace. Unfortunately for everyone, he went in through the death chute, where a very ravenous, energetic Rasper (remember, as the winter gets colder, they’ve been getting hungrier and less shy about staying back in the woods, keeping to themselves) slipped (or lunged) in behind him, unnoticed. It looked like the really aggressive, fast one that sent Lana, Kit, and Grace sprinting back into Briarcliff the evening of their very brief escape in Episode Three, “Nor’Easter”.
10. Speaking of brief, Grace and Kit were re-united. Grace happened to be in the kitchen when Kit snuck in, and told her he was taking her out of there. Their faces light up —nice to see any likeable (human) characters look truly happy this episode– and they embrace. “I couldn’t let you die here, Grace,” he tells her, and hand in hand, the happy couple head for the exit. Well, this is great news!Finally, what a relief, to know there’s hope for escape, and for Grace to back up his story that Alma is alive! Glad something is working out for someone on this show! What happens next, happens fast. The returning nun working the kitchen promptly runs into them on the way out, and immediately screams for help …a split second before the rasper jumps her, tears her throat out with his teeth and hurls her across the room. Kit thinks fast, grabs some deadly weapon I couldn’t make out, stabs it into the rasper hard enough that its weird innards spill to the floor, Frank bursts in and sees this (including Kit with a weapon and a dead nun) then raises his gun to shoot—a split second before Grace leaps in front and catches the bullet meant for him. As Grace lies on the floor gasping, the Angel of Death comes for her, and this time, gives her that kiss to escape from Briarcliff for good.
Dark Angel: Are you ready for me?
Grace: Yes… I’m free.
- When the Angel of Death said she’d see Sister Mary Eunice again, she wasn’t kidding. Ryan Murphy confirmed Frances Conroy will return (yay!) Read more in his EW.com exclusive interview, which went live right after the episode aired, here (with lots of other juicy information).
- So they let people who are unmedicated enough to hear voices in their head (“they get real loud sometimes,” Miles says) work in the kitchen with every single sharp object imaginable, including a meat-slicing saw with no safety mechanism? I’m still on the lookout for the name of the actor who played poor Miles, by the way.
- After Dr. Thredson raped her Lana for God knows how long, he has the nerve to ask, “You decent?” before coming down later to talk to her. Yeah, sure wouldn’t to intrude and, you know, invade her privacy or anything.
- Frank the guard? Still decent. He did his best to comfort the miserable Miles. As far as the sad ending (I actually got a little choked up) the order on Kit, according to Frank, was “to shoot on sight.” He had to move fast, and there was a dead nun and a dead rasper there, what was he supposed to think? He didn’t have time. I’m sure he’s not going to be able to easily brush off killing an innocent –OK, relatively innocent bystander, who had just made a miraculous recovery from the brink of death, either.
- When the nuns in the infirmary find Grace on her cot with what looks like more blood outside her body than in, one nun/nurse asks the other, “Should we call Dr. Arden?” She responds, “That butcher? He’s the one that did this to her!” in an alarmed hush. Looks like despite that miracle cure, Dr. Arden isn’t fooling many of the nuns on staff. They don’t know the half of the “butcher” part, but they know he’s the last doctor to trust a life to… especially a woman’s life.
- In the guest star department, that was Bob from That “70s Show” (minus his 70s ‘fro and leisure suits, of course) as Kit’s wrong place, wrong time court-appointed defense lawyer. Handsome Sean Patrick Flannery, who only looked to us about 5 years older than he did in Cruel Intentions (1999) played Terry, Judy Martin’s band-mate who came to tell her regretfully they’d finally had to replace her. Insane woman-hating driver who picked up Lana? William Mapother, who most viewers probably recognized from Lost, but we obsessive Ju-On fans remember him as Matthew from the 2004 Ghost House-produced version of The Grudge (he was scary in that, too).
“Legend has it that once you were committed to Briarcliff, you never got out.” –from the first five minutes of the Season Premiere
- American Horror Story: Asylum Recap: The Angel of Death Descends on Briarcliff (eonline.com)
- Ten Things We Learned From American Horror Story Asylum, Episode 4 – “I Am Anne Frank, Part One” (horrorboom.com)
- Ten Dark Things We Learned From American Horror Story Asylum, Episode Six – The Origins Of Monstrosity (horrorboom.com)
- Ten Things We Learned From American Horror Story Asylum, Episode 3 – ‘Nor’easter’ (SPOILERS!) (horrorboom.com)