'American Horror Story: Asylum' Recap: A Mother's Work Is Never Done - Rolling Stone
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‘American Horror Story: Asylum’ Recap: A Mother’s Work Is Never Done

The fates of three babies are revealed

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Evan Peters as Kit Walker in 'American Horror Story.'

Byron Cohen/FX

I honestly feel like AHS: Asylum and I are in a successful long-term relationship at this point. Just when I start to take it for granted, just when I think I know it better than it knows itself, AHS surprises and delights me anew. And by “surprises and delights,” I mean “horrifies and disgusts.” On a related note, I would personally like to start the campaign to get an Emmy nom for the actress who played the role of Pandora, the Most Committed Sex Worker of All Time. I can’t locate the actress’s name, but she deserves kudos for the zeal she brings to breastfeeding Dylan McDermott, a/k/a Johnny, a/k/a Son of Bloody Face. “I’ve been saving up all day. I even gave my baby a bottle of formula,” she purrs. “There’s no way I’ll run dry.” Ah, but you know what might be dry? My heaves. “If they hear the sound of crying, will they leak?” Johnny inquires. Oh, my heaves! Pandora truly deserves every red cent she earns from this guy. “All you need is a little mothering.” she explains. “You don’t have to cry to be my baby.” She is just pure professionalism through and through.

We’re but a few episodes from the end, and AHS: Asylum still has a couple of game changers to toss out there – but overall, it seems like it all boils down to mommy issues. Back in the 1960s, Dr. Thredson wakes Kit for a smallpox vaccine, a circumcision and some good ol’ fashioned menacing. “You and I would both move heaven and earth for our children,” Thredson glowers. Not knowing where his taped confession is has put Thredson in a mood. Down in the common room, Pepper has to physically shove the other patients away from Grace and her baby, a scene I would like turned into an iPhone game as soon as possible. Grace’s preternatural calm about the whole “aliens abducted me, brought me back to life and gave me a super-baby” thing is starting to unnerve me. Wouldn’t any normal person just constantly be screaming, “OH GOD THERE ARE ALIENS EVERYONE PLEASE ALIENS”? Instead, Grace seems content to raise her baby in the insane asylum she risked her life to escape. “I’m going to name him Thomas after ALL THOSE ALIENS THAT TOOK ME,” she basically says.

Grace also has some unfortunate information about Alma: she’s dead. Apparently the aliens put both of Kit’s paramours in a giant, vagina-erasing tank on the moon or something and Alma drowned. But don’t worry! “Our baby is special,” Grace says. “He’s going to change the way people think.” OUR BABY IS THE JESUS ALIEN CHRIST. Since they referred to the baby as a “he,” I guess there’s no way Johnny will get a knock on the door during the season finale, only to find Connie Britton standing there ready to kick his serial-killing ass? Ah, but isn’t it pretty to think so?

Sister Collette from the Loving Home of Insane Ladies’ Babies arrives to take little Thomas away, just as Mother Claudia finally comes through on taking Lana out of Briarcliff. Game changer! After retrieving Thredson’s taped confession from a bag of flour, Lana is able to sneak past him with a little help from Kit. I loved that overhead shot of her walking out of the asylum and, of course the sweet, sweet bird she flipped Thredson from the comfort of the cab. It was all so sweet, like that delicious molasses cake or whatever it was that brought her to Briarcliff in the first place.

But it wouldn’t be right to deprive actors Sarah Paulson and Zachary Quinto of their final showdown. “I knew you were the one,” Thredson chuckles when he finds Lana waiting in his home with a gun and a fierce dress. She snarls back, “I’m the one who is going to put you in that electric chair.” Shoot. His. Ass. Why is there so much banter? Shoot. His. Ass. I was genuinely nervous that Thredson would escape while he explained how he, uh, raped and dismembered Wendy‘s corpse. “She came in handy for practice,” Thredson laughed. Good job, needing corpse-rape practice. Ugh, serial killers have no idea how lame they seem.

Personally I thought the choice to cut between Thredson’s disgusting deeds and his son’s modern-day rage was a particularly good one. “You’d be surprised by how many men have mommy issues,” Pandora says consolingly as Johnny gets more and more agitated, finally flying off the handle and choking her. I’m going to say it now: if you have a weapon, shoot. His. Ass. At least Lana gets her vengeance up enough to finally put a bullet in Thredson’s smug mug. Fortunately, his taped confession is enough to explain his murder, though publishing her Briarcliff exposè outs Lana in the process. At least we get to see her buddy Lois one more time before Lana moves to New York. “That house is pretty big, if you need a roommate….” Lois hints. Jesus, woman! You are literally standing next to your girlfriend in front of Wendy’s tomb. Have some self-control. Haha. Oh Lois, I can’t stay mad at you. You do you, girl!

You know who I can stay mad at? Monsignor Timothy. What is this guy’s deal? I guess I cling to the idea that something else must be going on to explain his character’s total insanity. The Monsignor knows for a fact that the devil was at Briarcliff, has killed at least two women with his own bare hands and yet still keeps up the illusion that Sister Jude is insane because. . . why? He doesn’t want to admit what a shitbag he is? “I’m more sane now as a mad woman than I ever was at the head of Briarcliff,” Jude snarls as her former love sputters indignantly before locking her in solitary. Lana comes by with the authorities to spring Jude, only to find that she has “committed suicide.” Wouldn’t the authorities at least ask to see her body? Or, if her body is already gone, ask why there is an illegally functioning crematorium on the grounds? You know that thing isn’t up to code! Sister Jude got short shrift this episode, though there was a tantalizing hint at the very end that she might be the monster that ripped off Adam Levine’s arm in the season premiere. They’ve got two more episodes. They have more than enough time to pull that off. 

It’s so rare that I get the chance to think to myself, “Well, this abortion scene isn’t going to go well.” I thank AHS: Asylum for giving me that gift. Lana visits her local underground abortion provider to have her serial-killer-rape pregnancy ended. The abortionist is nice but not exactly the most professional person alive. “Oh yeah, I sterilize everything in all these pots! Oh, this one has spaghetti sauce in it. Lol, sorry! Let me just rinse it off,” she essentially says. I smell a spin-off! Horrified by a flood of violent images running through her brain, Lana stops the abortion, deciding instead to keep the baby. Heeeeeell no. Hell no. I guess it’s the 1960s and the world doesn’t have movies yet so they aren’t familiar with tropes, but everyone knows that you get that serial-killer baby out of you as soon as humanly possible. Instead, Lana gives birth to lil’ Johnny and reluctantly nurses him in the hospital. The nurse that asked her to breastfeed should be fired. Commended for her Boston accent, then immediately fired.

Lest we forget, there is another baby at play here. Since everyone seems to be leaving Briarcliff this week, anyway, Kit is able to finagle Grace’s release (since she’s technically already dead. It’s in a document!) and is himself let go after Lana’s exposè is published. The two arrive at his sprawling ranch home, open the door and discover. . . Alma sitting there with her own babe-in-arms. Game changer! What if both Grace and Alma have been replaced by pod people, and their children are just alien spawn? What if Alma’s baby is a girl and Ms. Connie Britton portrays her as she roundhouse-kicks Johnny in the face? Unless Pandora just shoots him and puts him out of his misery. I wouldn’t put it past her.

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