My first gut reaction about the second episode was slight disappointment. Where was the mystery? Where was the bombshell reveal? Where was the random “OMG” moment? It was a lackluster episode. Most likely, its role was to lay down some ground work for the upcoming episodes. The only positive side of the episode was that we got to the darker side of two characters on the show which I am sure will play a role in future episodes. SPOILER ALERT BELOW.
The episode picks up exactly where it left off last week, present day with Theresa running for her life and screaming like a typical white girl in a horror movie. And following her is “Bloody Face.” She tries to grab Leo and drag him into the room where his arm got ripped off (smart!). Unfortunately for her, “Bloody Face” arrives, dragging his dismembered body and begins stabbing him as Theresa, who is locked in the room, watches helplessly. I guess she’s semi-safe for now…I think we can bet that she’s as good as dead though.
FLASHBACK to 1964: Lana’s lady friend is crying over the guilt she feels about locking up Lana to save her own reputation and job. Lesson learned, never can trust a bitch. She decides to be Lana’s “knight in shining armor” and save her. Unfortunately, “Bloody Face” shows up and she’s as good as dead. Odd last words, she pleads, “I’m a school teacher, the children, they won’t understand.” Not really sure how that’s supposed to be appealing to a man with the name “Bloody Face” who skins women and wears their flesh. However, I do find it very convenient that he killed Lana’s lady. Maybe someone like Sister Jude or Doctor Arden released him to “get rid” of her? Food for thought.
Back at the Briarcliff Manor, the guards awake the patients for random room searches. In Lana’s room, they discover notes she’s been taking about her days at the asylum. She brags to Sister Jude that she has an excellent memory which the sister replies, “We’ll see about that.” Challenge served. Sister Jude goes and visits an unlikely ally, Doctor Arden. She comments that Lana’s memories are tormenting her and thinks electroshock therapy will save her. Of course, she prayed on it and thought what would God do?
The next scene, I’m not going to lie, was unnerving. It’s so crazy to think that people really used electroshock therapy to help “cure” their patients. These medical professionals fried human being’s brains to help them or in the name of science. It’s a painful scene to watch Lana scream out for help as she is strapped down to the bed, fighting for her life, then watching as her body convulses. Sister Jude almost seems to feel remorse as she holds the electroshock nodes in place. Almost.
This episode, we also met another familiar face from season one of American Horror Story. Zachary Quinto is back. And, let’s just say since he’s “come out of the closet,” he’s way cooler. This season, Quinto is playing Dr. Oliver Thredson, the shrink sent by the court to asses Kit’s mental state. Kit pleads with the doctor that he’s not crazy and that the outer space men have his wife. Dr. Thredson diagnoses Kit with acute clinical insanity.
We cut to Dr. Arden in the woods with Sister Mary Eunice, who is questioning the doctor about the creatures she is feeding. She reassures him that she’s kept his secret. And then in a weird “Snow White and the Old Woman” moment, Arden offers her a candy apple which she resists at first but he urges her to try it and he watches her bite into it (Creepy!). What are the creatures he created? Werewolves? Man eating people? Tell me, please!
Dr. Thredson approaches Sister Jude about the conditions at Briarcliff. He calls her treatments barbaric. Sister Jude, not so politely, reminds him that he’s here just for Kit so he better check himself before he wrecks for him, so to speak. She then proceeds to meet with the parents who want to complete their adolescent son and Dr. Thredson invites himself into the meeting. They discuss his odd behavior and reveal how they discovered their son, Jed, had ripped open a cow and had eaten the heart. Gross!
Jed is locked up and strapped to a bed; he is crying out for his mom, then speaking in “tongues.” Dr. Thredson tells Sister Jude that the boy needs to be medicated, however, she laughs and says, “No doctor, that’s not what he needs.” Exorcism time.
We learn Shelley’s backstory on how she came to Briarcliff, yawn, all the other patients are hustled to their rooms during the exorcism. Doctor Arden prepares for a romantic dinner at his home with a call girl who eerily resembles Sister Mary Eunice. The conversation turns uncomfortable quickly and a look of panic quickly appears on her face. Later, Arden makes the call girl wipe off her makeup and put a nun’s habit on. She snoops and discovers photos of women tied in poses – some are gruesome. The doctor impatiently busts in on her and as she tries to leave, he orders her to lie on the bed. When he gets close enough she bites him hard, kicks him in the crotch and runs away. This gives us more insight into Doctor Arden’s character and how he “gets off” dominating women and humiliating them. Also, he lushes after Sister Mary.
At the asylum, the exorcism is underway; Jed looks at Dr. Thredson and says, “He’s glad he gave him up.” Did Dr. Thredson have a child that he abandoned? Chaos breaks out quickly, a bible goes flying, then the priest flies out of his wheelchair crashing into the wall. The spirit in the boy taunts and mocks the others in the room. When Sister Jude enters, the boy tells her that it must drive her crazy to be the smartest person in the room, but be held back because she’s a woman. A true statement in the 1960s – women were still treated inferior to men and not valued for their opinion. He continues mentioning she is wearing red underwear and that she’s been with 53 men.
FLASHBACK: Here’s our insight into Sister Jude’s life before she became a nun. She’s dressed up in a red dress, in a club performing for young soldiers. We watch as a drunk Jude is driving home and runs over a little girl in a blue dress, killing her.
She rushes over to Jed and begins hitting him. Doctor Thredson sedates the boy. The light flickers on and off, the door cells rattle, and a low siren can be heard. Suddenly, all the doors open and Lana, along with Kit and Grace, decide to escape. Lana tells them she will not help Kit leave, convinced he is a murderer. Grace decides to abandon Lana and chooses Kit. Lana panics, feeling betrayed by Grace, she screams for help. The guards arrive to stop them. Lana could have escaped, this was probably going to be her only chance and you could tell she knew that, but instead of just taking Kit with them, she decided to stay loyal to herself. She is convinced that Kit is “Bloody Face,” so she decided to be selfless and sacrifice her needs for the “greater good,” in her mind.
Next, Jed goes into cardiac arrest and dies. Sister Mary Eunice, woken up by the madness in the asylum, watches the boy die from the doorway. The crucifix falls from the wall and Sister Mary faints. Theory Alert: The evil spirit or Satan possesses Sister Mary. Things are about to get interesting.
The next day, Doctor Arden goes to visit Sister Mary Eunice. It’s so hard to not be creeped out by him now. He pulls down her night gown to protect her modesty and he tries not to stare at her. When he walks away, we see the crucifix on the wall -jump! Yup, she’s possessed.
Sister Jude rewards Lana for calling the orderlies on Kit and Grace, but making her watch them receive their punishment is so messed up. Lana tries to apologize to Grace who “gracefully” rejects it by replying, “Screw you.” Kit, in at odd act of bravery, tells Sister Jude not to punish Grace. So she makes them both watch as the sister lashes Kit 40 times. Again, meh.
However, next week’s Halloween episode looks EPIC. And if we all remember the Halloween episodes from season one – they were awesome! So fingers crossed.