Ten Things We Learned from American Horror Story: Asylum Episode S2/Ep01- “Welcome to Briarcliff” (SPOILERS!)

 “There is no God. At least no God that would create the things I saw.” —Kit, to Sister Jude

WOW, we learned quite a bit on the Season 2 Premiere of American Horror Story: Asylum (aired 10/17/12) last night! Some of it was pretty goddamned disturbing. Warning: this article CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE EPISODE. Consider yourself spoiler-alerted!

1.  Perhaps I spoke prematurely when I insisted Adam Levine would play a larger role. I’m not sure how long he can make it with an arm ripped off inches below the shoulder, even with that tourniquet, before bleeding out. It doesn’t look like his arguably slutty (actual lines from the episode: “You can totally  put it in my ass right now”, and “No, I want to know what’s in there! Do it again and I’ll blow you.”), wild new wife is going to be able to get medical help quite  as planned (classy).

2.  Kit Walker, played by Evan Peters, has been sent to Briarcliff due to the accusation of being the notorious serial killer Bloody Face, whose MO is skinning his victims alive, from the feet up, and wearing their flesh as a mask.

“A ferret…delightful creature. I used to keep one as a pet. Until it bit me, then I broke its neck.” -Dr. Arden

3.  They weren’t kidding about the aliens. Unless Kit really is  Bloody Face (and completely psychotic), he and his wife are attacked in their home, and Kit is abducted and poked with sharp objects (in places that will make you wince). A fellow patient tells him, after admission, his African-American wife was skinned alive. “I guess you didn’t like her color,” he sneers at Kit,  right before they get in a fist-fight.

4.  They also weren’t kidding about the nuns being kinky. Sister Jude bends poor Kit over her desk roughly and whacks his bare ass with a cane or large ruler, hard enough to leave visible welts. Furthermore, Sister Jude isn’t the only “troubled” nun in residence. Later on, Sister Mary Eunice, weeping, goes to open a HUGE cabinet of canes and spanking devices and pulls out a wooden cane easily the size of a pool cue, bends over Sister Jude’s desk (the same spot Kit got bent over earlier), pulls up her robes  to reveal nothing underneath and begs Sister Jude to punish her (to her credit, sister Jude refuses to smack her more than once (“I don’t have time for this”), and instead tells her, “If you ever hear you call yourself stupid again,  I’ll cane you bloody.”

“Something’s been living  in here.” –Sister Jude

5. Sister Jude seems to be the most uptight, frigid, prude on the show (yes, even for a nun in 1964). Yet during a montage of her cooking dinner for her and the monsignor, she wears a lacy red slip under her and lets her hair down before donning her penguin suit again. She also clearly knows she needs to stay away from alcohol. When the monsignor clasps her hand to make a point when they dine together, she’s visibly moved and imagines removing her nun’s habit to let her hair tumble out and removing her robe sensuously to reveal the sexy red slip, then sitting on his lap and leaning in close to him before she catches herself and snaps back to reality. Troubled past, indeed.

6. Two of the most impressive pieces of Pino Donaggio’s ’s score featured in Brian De Palma’s Carrie  (1976) are used in key scenes of this episode. When Sister Eunice goes out to the woods with the buckets of meat, becoming more and more frightened, the score is the same as the suspenseful  build-up to the prom ‘crowning’ scene when Sue Stern sees the ropes leading to the bucket of blood hanging in the rafters, puts it together too late, tries to warn Miss Collins, but gets thrown out and the gym doors slam closed right before the bucket of blood drops. The music while Kit is brought out of the police vehicle in shackles and led inside the hospital, followed by Lana the reporter, is the same heart-wrenching refrain played after Carrie’s mother stabs her in the back after the prom while they’re saying the Hail Mary together and Carrie tumbles down the stairs, gasping and wounded.

7.  Poor Kit was  thisclose  to getting a lobotomy (without anesthetic) until Dr. Arden discovers what seems to be a black metal alien tracking device implanted in his neck and removes it with a scalpel. Freakier yet, it sprouts six very thin insectoid legs and scuttles out of frame. Looks like this discovery gave him a temporary reprieve.

“She drowned her sister’s baby and then sliced her ears off.”  -Sister Eunice to Lana after Lana calls Pepper (the pinhead she encounters outside the asylum, who has just sweetly handed Lana a rose) “harmless”.

 

8. Either Bloody Face is still alive (doubtful) or the kinky honeymooners are trapped in some kind of time loop from Hell after they snuck into the Asylum to get it on.

9. The secret underground tunnel (the “death chute”),  wasn’t just used to shuttle out bodies during the tuberculosis epidemic. Sister Eunice sneaks around through there to visit the woods (containing, I assume, the raspers) and toss out buckets of offal and raw meat to feed them.

10. Sister Jude may be scary as hell, resort to cruel blackmail, and rule with an iron fist (or a wooden cane) , but she’s on to Dr. Arden, coming as close to calling him on his shit as a nun can, asking him pointedly why of the four patients he claimed have disappeared under his supervision, have ‘died ‘and been cremated (including a fifth the night before), none had family, no one to grieve or ask questions. “I think you’re lying. I’ve dealt with far bigger monsters than you. Let me give you clear warning. I’ll always win against the patriarchal males.” You go, Sistah!

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25 Of The Best, Most Twisted Quotes From American Horror Story Season One

Charles Montgomery: She seemed so sad. I’ve decided to give her a smile that will last forever…

 

   Constance: Don’t make me kill you again.

 

Many of the show’s greatest lines came from Jessica Lange, Denis O’Hare, Evan Peters and Zach Quinto’s characters on American Horror Story (Season One, AKA “The Murder House“). I tried finding a more diverse sampling, but if you’ve seen the show, you’ll understand. I also left a few out that were major spoilers. I purposely called this piece “25 OF the best, most twisted quotes”, rather than “THE 25 best, most twisted quotes”, because all twelve episodes contained at least five kick-ass, twisted lines. The majority of them had ten or more. It’d be a two or three (long) days of work to get them all, and probably an equal number of days to decide the top ten best. So instead, here’s a sampling of some of the best!

Left to right: Tate Langdon (crouched under table), his multi-award-winning mother Constance Langdon, her daughter Adelaide Langdon (peeking out) Young Moira, Larry Harvey (on fire), Moira (scrubbing), Violet Harmon (the Harmon’s only daughter), her father Ben Harmon, and her mother Vivien Harmon.

There’s also several (you’ll know them when you see them) that were so nasty and/or profanity-filled, I was shocked that FX let them stay in the episode. During the pilot episode, a character used the word ‘c*cksucker’ three times in one line of dialogue  (without the asterisk), to describe HIS MOTHER  — and made it clear he meant it literally, not just as a profanity (I couldn’t find the exact line anywhere at the time of writing, or it would have been on the list). I wonder now if that was something the writers tossed in there to either see how much they could get away with, or to distract them from something they were really worried might get cut, so they could agree to remove c*cksucker (which I swear to God, I didn’t even hear them ever get away with on VERY gritty shows also on FX  like The Shield or on Sons of Anarchy (yet, anyway). Apparently Ryan Murphy was pretty surprised too, saying they hadn’t gotten a single ‘note’ from FX. Actually, considering what they got away with on Murphy’s previous show, the non-supernatural but equally twisted Nip/Tuck (there’s an article coming on that —advertisers actually pulled out after a couple of  really nasty, gruesome scenes in the last two seasons, after the show sadly jumped its tracks), it’s not THAT shocking. I suppose it’s a matter of perspective, not being easily offended —and a fun, sick sense of humor.

Doesn’t mean I don’t find several of these quotes–especially all the ones involving Elizabeth Short, AKA the Black Dahlia –deeply frightening. Then again, that case always scared the shit out of me, since the day I leafed through a bookstore copy of Hollywood Babylon  in the early 80s and saw photos of the crime scene –when I was WAY too young. I have no such excuse for reading Elroy’s blood-curdling, sickening, shocking novel The Black Dahlia back in the mid-90s, though parts of it actually made me physically sick (no-one who recommended the novel warned me about the Mexico scenes, among other sickening, disturbing details) also based on and around the crime. Too late!

Adelaide: You’re going to die in there.
Troy: Shut your mouth or we’re gonna kick your ass!
Bryan: We got bats.
(They almost immediately get their throats ripped open and die in there)

 

Patrick: Maybe you should have taken a few minutes to get to know me before you shoved a fireplace poker up my ass.

 

Larry Harvey: I’m trying very hard not to judge you.
Ben  Me?  You murdered your entire family!
Larry : Yes, but I was never unfaithful.

 

Chad: Put your skanky claw on that crib, you’ll be pulling back a bloody stump.

 

 

Constance: (gives Moira silverware] Do me a favor and polish this up before I take it, won’t you? It’s cruddy with corrosion, and do you know why? Because you are shitty maid.

 

Tate:  I prepare for the noble war. I’m calm; I know the secret. I know what’s coming, and I know no one can stop me, including myself. I kill people I like. Some of them beg for their life. I don’t feel sad. I don’t feel anything. It’s a filthy world we live in. It’s a filthy goddamn helpless world, and honestly, I feel like I am helping to take them away from the shit and the piss and the vomit that run through the street. I am helping to take them somewhere clean and kind. The world is a filthy place; It’s a filthy goddamn horror show. There’s so much pain, you know? There’s so much… There is something about all that blood; I drown in it. The Indians believed that blood holds all the bad spirits, and once a month in ceremonies they would cut themselves to let the spirits go free. Now, there is something smart about that, very smart. I like that.  (beat)  You think I’m crazy?

Larry Harvey: Gimme my treat! You don’t want the trick!

 

Violet Harmon: And the worst thing is my mom had like this brutal miscarriage a year earlier. We had to have this macabre funeral. Have you ever seen a baby coffin before?

Hayden: You know what I could go for? A nice, big, fat, juicy… [gets hit directly in the face with a shovel)

Travis: (to Larry): Maybe you could snag me some news clippings? Just… little articles about me? I’m thinking about starting a scrapbook.

Constance: And soon after came the mongoloid, and of course, I couldn’t work after that…

Elizabeth Short: That’s how they found me – naked, on display for the whole world to see.
Hayden: You were the front page news of every paper for two months.
Elizabeth Short: I really did become somebody…

 

Violet: You got any Ramones? Like ‘Animal Boy‘ or’ Too Tough to Die’?

 

Constance Langdon: Now, who wants to say grace?
Tate: Thank you for the salty pig meat we are about to eat, along with the rest of the rest of the indigestible swill. And thank you for our new charade of a family. My father ran away when I was only six, and if I had known any better I would have joined him. And, also because she’s been trying to get back into this house ever since she lost it, Lord, a big thank you for blinding the asshole that’s doing my mother so he can’t see what everybody knows: that she doesn’t really love him.
Adelaide: Amen!

Billie: Her husband murdered her with an ice pick.
Constance: It’s hard to keep good help.

Miguel: Oh God, I’m dreaming…
Elizabeth Short:  (suddenly looks right at him) You’re wide awake.

 

Constance: From blood and pain come perfection.
Hadley: Hey, bitches. Did you get all that slime off my baby yet?

Constance: Don’t make me kill you again.

Dr. Curran: What have you done?
Charles Montgomery: I’ve bisected her body, removed the intestines and drained her blood.
Dr. Curran: Why?
Charles Montgomery: A writer writes, a surgeon cuts. I think you will find these pieces more portable.
Dr. Curran: What are you doing now?
Charles Montgomery: She seemed so sad. I’ve decided to give her a smile that will last forever…


Tour Guide: The Montgomery murder-suicide was only the first of many to occur behind these bloody walls.
Marcy: Let’s not put that on the listing.

 

Constance: I also remember, every time I see that ghostly eye, that I was – and continue to be – a hell of a shot.

 

 

Vivien : If you are about to diagnose me with Post-traumatic Shock Syndrome, I’m going to bash your goddamn face in!

 

Violet (to her father, Ben): How is it that a big fancy shrink hasn’t noticed that his wife has totally lost her shit? You’re a cheater: Young girls, old ladies with feather dusters! You’re so weird and pathetic I’m surprised you’re not after me!

 

 

Moira: Haven’t you read “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman?
Vivien: No.
Moira: Her husband, a doctor, locks her away in the upstairs bedroom to recuperate from a slight hysterical tendency. Staring at the yellow wallpaper day after day, she begins to hallucinate that there are women trapped in the pattern… Half mad, she scrapes off the wallpaper to set the women free. When her husband finally unlocks the door he finds her circling the room, touching the wallpaper, whispering “I finally got out of here.”

 

Moira: I’ll get the shovel, you get the bleach.

For some reason, that last line by Moira holds sentimental value for me. Maybe it’s because I was already more or less blown away by the show, but that line, from Frances Conroy’s character, delivered as calmly  as Ruth Fisher announcing to Nate Jr. and David what she had decided to cook for dinner that night when they asked, was the moment I knew I’d basically become American Horror Story’s bitch rabid, devoted fan. Oh American Horror Story,  you had me at I‘ll get the shovel, you get the bleach.  Let’s be bestest friends for the rest of the series, AHS!  I may just get organized enough to review each week’s episode next season, but I’m not promising (anything could happen between now and then). I promise to TRY, though. Lots more coverage is coming and will continue, for Season One and  the season advertised below! Less than ten days away at the time of this writing, woooo-hooo!

Counting down the days till the Season Two premiere, how about you?