Ten Things We Learned from American Horror Story Asylum, Episode Two – “Tricks and Treats” (SPOILERS)

“I-I’m a schoolteacher. The children– they won’t understand!”   -Helen

Consider yourself spoiler-alerted!   If you haven’t seen S02/E02 yet and plan to, don’t read this until after watching!

1.  As revealed by the demon-possessed Jeb Potter during his exorcism, Sister Jude’s troubled past did indeed involve alcohol and sex.  Demon-Jeb starts by pointing out with accuracy that he knows it drives her crazy to be the smartest one in the room, yet knowing she’ll never have any power because she’s not a man (though he uses WAY less tactful words). He also knows she’s wearing red ‘knickers’ (funny how he uses the word knickers, which I think is a pretty wholesome way to refer to underwear, even in 1964, but everything else that came out of his mouth when he was talking to her was so raunchy I was shocked it made it past the FX censors)*  and calls her a whore, but we don’t know yet whether she literally turned tricks (I doubt it) or just, well, really got around because she was lonely and drank a lot. We see in flashback that she was a slightly down-scale lounge singer who spent plenty of time drowning her sorrows and according to Demon-Jeb, blew 53 men  (not all at the same time).  After a rough night, she was so drunk driving home that she plowed into some poor little girl on a bicycle, killing her, but didn’t even get out of the car, just drove home …and I assume that was when Sister Jude decided to make some big lifestyle changes.

2. Dr. Arden is a vile, misogynistic, evil perverted ratfuck who calls all women who don’t wear nun’s habits sluts and dirty whores, sometimes to their face.  I’m also pretty sure those brains in jars he keeps in his office weren’t obtained through the traditional channels by medical science. He has an extremely creepy (even for  American Horror Story ), not-so-subtle sexual obsession with Sister Eunice.


3. (continued here to avoid #2 turning into a novella-length essay). He might as well have spit on Shelley (more on her later) when she was trying to trade sexual favors for even five minutes of fresh air and sunlight.  When he hired a high-class call girl for ninety minutes, he scared the hell out of her even before he told her to take off her makeup and dress in a nun’s habit. For some crazy reason, she didn’t lock the door before opening up a box on his dresser (maybe she was hoping to find some weed or pills in there, which I sure as hell wouldn’t blame her for in order to prepare for having sex with him; NO amount of money is worth being alone in a bedroom with this bullying prick). Inside was a dirty booklet called Fetters that had a more hardcore version of Bettie Page-type bondage photos. Much creepier, she found actual black-and-white photographs of women tied up …on what appeared to be hospital beds. The last few personal photos she saw showed the women’s (or men’s, they were pretty messed-up)  mutilated faces and body parts. Actually, they could have been corpses.

“Men like sex, and no-one calls them whores.”  -Shelley

5. Sister Jude doesn’t know about the ‘raspers’ in the woods (who also seem to have a ominously increasing appetite);  the only nun who takes the food out to them is Sister Eunice (Dr. Arden makes a point of instructing her not to say a word about it to Sister Jude).

6. Unless something really  weird is going on (I can’t think of any rational explanation so far), we now know Kit cannot be Bloody Face… at least the version that killed Lana’s lover/partner, Barb.  He was locked up (REALLY locked up) in Briarcliff when Barb, who made a really bad judgment call when it came to home security, was attacked and almost certainly murdered by Bloody Face the night before Halloween. Lana is still convinced Kit is the killer, seemingly based on no evidence at all other than hearsay at this point.

“It’s a madhouse, doctor. What did you expect?”  -Sister Jude

7.  Speaking of Bloody Face, we find out (as far as we know) that he only kills women. He also decapitates them in addition to skinning them …hopefully in that order.

8. Shelley’s back story (according to her, and I believe her) is that she’s loved sex ever since she was five years old when she, uh, started playing doctor with herself (she says that after that, her mother made her wear mittens to bed). She later ran away from home and met some jazz musicians (“free thinkers”) and fell in love with the bass player –mistake. As soon as he put a ring on her finger, Shelley was his property (“he could screw every Betty in town and I had to stay home and scrub his dirty drawers”).  So when the fleet was in for the week, he came home and found her in bed with two Navy guys. When she got caught red-handed, she told him that “it’s not for self, but for country”. Then he ‘decked’ her flat-out, threw her in his car and had her locked up in Briarcliff. Shelley says her crime is liking sex, and the sickest thing is that he was allowed to have her tossed in the asylum for it.  We fucking agree.

Lana: I don’t need those, Sister, I have an excellent memory!
Sister Jude: Yeah? We’ll just see about that.

9. Dr  Thredson has something dark in his past. When Demon-Jeb suddenly speaks to him in an old woman’s voice saying, “Oliver, when I look at what you’ve become, I’m glad I gave you up,” he pulls back quickly and is visibly shaken.

10. When the demon left Jeb’s body, sister Eunice fainted and the next we saw her, it was pretty clear the possession was transferred into her. She was not in the least bit shy or modest with Dr. Arden and when he left, flustered, she tossed off her blanket again and a crucifix on the wall rattled on its nail for a moment. Also, when he woke her up and she acted startled, the sound that came out of her sounded more like a hiss than the gasp that the closed captioning indicated.

Stray Thoughts:

  • When Ryan Murphy started giving details in the press about this season, he said there would be no supernatural horror. I was willing to put aliens in a gray area, but demonic possession, not so much. Knowing the darkest secrets of church members and medical professionals? Check. Throwing people across the room with telekinetic powers? Check. Other people’s voices coming out of his mouth? Check. Levitating? Check. It’s dawning on me as I write this that he meant the FOCUS would be on psychological horror.
  • The same writer/s that wrote for Constance Langdon must be having a blast writing for Sister Jude this year. I love her entertaining nicknames like “Lana Banana,” her steely threats that are backed up by following through on them, and in this episode, chastising Pepper (the murderous pinhead) for keeping food in her cell. “Now if you could just get that through that pointy little head of yours…”
  • Jessica Lange looks fantastic and glamorous in bright red.  That’s a hard color to pull off without either looking tacky, or like a politician’s wife (though our current First Lady also really makes it pop).
  • I got curious about the actress portraying a certain Briarcliff inmate. Check out the attractive actress in the below photos:

Naomi Grossman as…

Gabba Gabba HEY!

That is one brave woman. I saw her demo reel on IMDB,  and there’s a couple freaky clips in there, but nothing like THIS I have no idea how they got her to look like that (besides a great job with prosthetics). CGI? Bald cap? Did they just shave her head because she turned out to have a pointy-shaped skull?  I don’t know, but that’s an impressive job on the part of everyone involved.

* Oh, you can talk about fifty-three cocks in her mouth, but calling knickers panties? That’s where we draw the line!

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