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!

Authorities investigate lungs found on L.A. sidewa–wait, WHAT? (Original Uncut Version)

Note: This is not only longer than most of my pieces (highest word count yet) but it’s also the heaviest. It’s not meant as a kind of preachy manifesto; instead I woke up, thinking about a video clip on Yahoo! News that reported on the newest, scariest drug on the streets  (it makes PCP look kind of quaint). Experts explained it was probably behind a rash of exceptionally disturbing, gruesome homicides.  The clip also helpfully more or less told you how to find it on the internet and what it sold for, plus that it isn’t branded as an illegal narcotic officially yet. I hoped the report–the clips showing what it’s reduced people to (I watched, frozen, as the news report quickly turned into a scene from a found-footage horror movie when it took at least three huge cops to cuff one white kid and wrestle him into the back of a cop car: though his face was blurred out, you could see his mouth open unnaturally wide as he began to scream and roar like a character possessed by a demon during a failed exorcism)   –scared most people away. Anyway, I saw that the lungs mentioned above and below hadn’t been identified yet, and that the coroner seemed rather blase about the whole thing. “It seems odd,” one quote read, “that they didn’t have any other body parts attached to them” (yes, I suppose you could call it that). I meant to write a shorter, lighter piece, but it turned into this. I tried to include direct links only to reference sites, instead of a link you just click on and get a gut-punch of material that even I found offensive. If my links aren’t enough and you do decide to scour the internet for more info or photos of any of the events I refer to, don’t do it if you’re feeling even a little off-kilter. You CAN look at that hellish visual documentation, obviously, I’m in no position to judge you. I try to keep the vibe here at  Horror Boom relatively positive; I want horror fans to enjoy reading and visiting, and come back and have more fun –not to bum anyone out. I did several re-writes to do my best to ensure that.  OK, you have now been warned that the following post isn’t a non-stop feel-good jamboree, and about seeing photos or discovering information you wish you hadn’t. Oh, and I swear even more than usual. So there’s that.

Well well, hasn’t the news been interesting lately! A little more interesting that several of us would like, and you’re taking to a decades-long horror geek. Movies, novels, short stories, TV shows, comic books, whatever I can get my hands on that I know isn’t going to be shitty. The last few weeks, it seems like at least once day I read some headline I glance at, move on and go about my business for a split-second, then say out loud, “Wait, WHAT?” and actually paused a minute before clicking on it, thinking:  maybe this is information I don’t really need. So far I’ve clicked on everything, though, unless there’s even a hint of animal abuse involved. In that case I put as much distance between myself and that information as quickly as possible; anyone reading this who has also practically sprained their fingers reaching for the remote to hastily change channels when one of those sad, sad, very sad ASPCA ads calling for donations pops up in a commercial break*.

Five or more years ago, if a friend pointed the crazy-ass headline above out to me, it would have sent me into gales of horrified laughter. Now, not as much. Maybe it has to do with turning forty, maybe it’s due to me reading the headline five minutes or so after I woke up, or that I was home alone when I read it instead of with a friend and some alcohol in me, but I sure as hell didn’t laugh. I also didn’t see any humor in the situation when the whole Miami face-eating story first hit the news. I found it frightening. No, the first thing to leap to mind in association with wasn’t YO, EPIC ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE  now f-ckin’ finally HERE, BEE_YOTCH, WHOOO YEAH!** like 90% of the article’s readers racing to be the first to post a comment with the best zombie joke (though in the interest of full disclosure, the horror reference that came to mind for me right away was the comic series Crossed).  Just disturbing as hell.  Each detail was more disturbing. The fact that it took a much larger amount of bullets than normal to take the guy down, the fact that the number of Facebook ‘likes’ had already reached the mid-five figures (thumbs up! Classy), the fact that they were both naked and had no previous connection, the fact that the homeless man survived and was in the ICU even though his face was ‘gone from the beard up’,***  the fact that the killer growled at the cop when the cop warned him to stand down at gunpoint, that a witness said he still had part of the face in his mouth at the same time and shook his head around like a dog.  This…  just… no. That was what my brain decided before it moved my attention on to something else to protect my mental health.

Well well, hasn’t the news been interesting lately! A little TOO interesting! You’re taking to a decades-long horror geek (with no shame in admitting it, and no apologies). The last few weeks, it seems like at least once a day I read some headline I glance at, move on and go about my business for a split-second, then say out loud, “Wait, WHAT?”

No-one’s actually said this to me yet, probably because the friends and family members that know me well enough to know how much I dig horror are kind, intelligent people, but I really hope there’s no chance of some idiot online (not anyone reading this blog, of course), or someone who I just met will bring it up–especially to my face when I have a drink in my hand I might be tempted to toss. I don’t want them blurting out something along the lines of, Hey, come on, you’re like seriously into horror movies! How could you not totally love this? Uh, because I have enough common sense to know that movies are fiction? Because I’m well aware there’s already enough scary, batshit, depressing stuff going on in the world without me having to go out of my way to look for more to try to top it? Even though I can’t explain in one articulate, organized sentence (with less than twenty words, anyway)  what psychologically draws me in to the horror genre and keeps me there–Jesus, I’m still jotting down basic notes for the About section of this blog– I knew one thing for certain long before I was old enough to drink legally: it was all about escape.

Maybe I should back up a little.

I was reading about the exceptionally brutal, grisly murder of Chinese student Lin Jun a few days ago.  Recent details emerging consistently state that the soul-less piece of…of… there’s not a nasty enough word in the English language I can think of right now to call the killer, so I’ll have to go with ‘the monster’ who took the life of Mr. Jun –and countless animals– did it for the possibly the most skin-crawling motive: a craving for attention and media fame in a way that makes the media whore referred to (bletcch)as The Octomom look almost tasteful.  So, I’d rather refer to the crime and the victim, the human being, the beloved man whose loving and father, mother, sister and uncle – had to fly from China for his remains, the collected parts of his body they’ve been able to recover thus far. They still have not found his head. The only comment from the family released to the media so far is his mother’s heart-wrenching quote: We come to take you home now. She’s also reportedly in so much grief and pain she can barely stand.

Since I began this piece, I discovered Huffington Post has a thoughtful article you can read discussing this very aspect of the whole media frenzy surrounding the case that enrages me the most: this monster, who everyone surveyed heartily agrees should suffer and be executed as fast as possible, wants: as much attention and media coverage as he can get. I recommend it (unless you feel that any article about the crime is twisting you into emotional time-bomb), and it focuses more on the tragedy while deliberately keeping gruesome descriptions to a minimum (I don’t know whether or not that’s the case for the several ‘related links’ given, though). It does have a photo or two of the evil bastard posing for a head-shot (he seems to have a very high opinion of his looks, though he resembles a constipated weasel with at least one STD) and his mug shot. In both, the monster has the same dead, inhuman, cold eyes. Lights on, nobody home. There’s a gallery you can click on, but I don’t know the contents, because I didn’t want to give the little shit what he wants: any further attention. I don’t recommend the gallery for the same reason.****

So, I’d rather refer to the crime and not give the monster who did it what he wants: any attention. When I was going through the comment section –in which every once in a while, someone would have the motherfucking nerve to complain about the video being taken down and how they couldn’t see it–  a memory came to me.

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