'American Horror Story: Asylum' Recap: Storm's A-Brewin' - Rolling Stone
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‘American Horror Story: Asylum’ Recap: Storm’s A-Brewin’

A Nor’easter hits during Briarcliff Manor’s inaugural Movie Night

american horror story sister judeamerican horror story sister jude

Jessica Lange as Sister Jude in 'American Horror Story.'

Byron Cohen/FX

Is Ryan Murphy some kind of dark meteorologist? Did he know that the real world would experience a cataclysmic storm the same week as the poor souls at Briarcliff? Hopefully he wasn’t predicting yet another horrible future by revealing further details about modern-day Bloody Face.

After she closes herself in the room where the Thing That Ripped Off Adam Levine’s Arm resides, I thought for sure the creature would quickly dispatch of Theresa. Instead, Bloody Face bursts through the door, a deeply wounded Leo leaps to her defense and the two fall into a gory pile. Theresa finishes off Bloody Face with an ice pick to the chest, hauls Leo to his feet and is immediately gunned down by two lame weirdos dressed as Bloody Face. One of the punks panics about randomly shooting two strangers while the other stays cool, though of course they both lose their minds when the actual Bloody Face emerges once again from the shadows. That… that was in fact the original Bloody Face, right? From the Death Chute? That wasn’t a fourth Bloody Face joining the mix, was it? Don’t give me that look. You know it easily could have been!

Speaking of Ryan Murphy, there are certain moments when watching AHS – or any of his shows, really – feels like sticking to a diet or quitting smoking. (Note: I’ve actually never done either of those things. I’m smoking a big, sloppy hamburger right now!) There are instances when things just seem like too much and you want to give up but instead, you have to bear down and keep pushing through, knowing that a smaller muffin-top or less lung cancer or a Nazi-engineered alien-demon-serial-killer is waiting for you on the other side. Personally, I had a couple of those moments tonight.

The first came when Sister Mary Eunice (now with more Satan!) delivered Sister Jude‘s mail, along with a tempting carafe of red wine, a mouth smeared with Ravishing Red lipstick and, oh yeah, a newspaper from 1949 reporting the disappearance of the little girl Jude secretly ran over with her car. I know Sister Jude was distracted, what with all the horrible lies of her sordid past threatening to reveal themselves, but come on. She would have caned Mary Eunice’s white ass red for even looking at a cosmetic, let alone acting snide about Jude’s teetotalling or the sudden arrival of some very unusual mail.

It must have been that damn superstorm bearing down on Briarcliff that had Jude so far off her game. Good thing she can take out her anger on the dough of some scrumptious, moist molasses cake! Dr. Thredson stops by to request the medical records of deceased exorcism recipient Jed Potter, and Jude immediately assumes he was the one who slipped the newspaper into her mailbox. “You have a very paranoid mind,” Thredson chides her. “Bordering on delusion.” Uh, didn’t the Devil tell Thredson just last week that his mother didn’t want him? Seems a little soon to be calling other people delusional. I’m predicting it now: Sister Jude is Dr. Thredson’s biological mother. Count it.

Because she is a beacon of compassion, Sister Jude has prepared to gather the inmates together for a screening of The Sign of the Cross to distract them from the storm. “We’re all going to be together in the dark watching The Sign of the Cross, a movie full of fire, sex and the death of Christians,” Mary Eunice chuckles. “What fun.” I don’t know why having 100 homicidal, mentally ill people together in a room during a horrible storm seems like a better idea than keeping them in their individual rooms, but at least it gives Kit and Grace another opportunity to escape. Shelly wants in too, explaining her plans to live in Paris and have sex without being declared criminally insane. Wow, judges would accept any document for any reason back then, wouldn’t they? Meanwhile, Lana convinces Thredson to take a note to Wendy, not knowing that Bloody Face has already paid her girlfriend a visit.

During her downtime between sneering and gloating, Sister Mary Eunice stops by the Mexicans cell (or, as I called her in my mind, Spanish-Speaking Crazy Eyebrows Lady’s cell) to straight-up murder her. Relishing the camp fest that is the Roman Catholic faith, Mary Eunice kicks the Mexican’s rosary away, forces her to get on her knees and then just jabs her right in the neck with a pair of gigantic scissors. Luckily for M.E. and unluckily for everyone else, she already knows a perfect place to dump an unwanted body: the mutant-filled forest. As Mary Eunice drops off her bloody package, we finally see a distinctly humanoid arm through the underbrush. Raggedy-ass pants: check. Hideous gurgling boils: check. Thirst for blood: check and check!

Speaking of awful things, Dr. Arden finally gets his moment of seduction with Mary Eunice. It does not go well. “Don’t let it go to waste, Doc. I’m all juicy,” she purrs. Aghast by her licentiousness, Arden slaps her and demands she leave. One element of both seasons of AHS that I truly enjoy is how each character comes into each situation with a different perspective, usually so blinded by their own desires that they fail to perceive the bigger issues at hand. (We all know that weird bug chip Arden found in Kit’s neck isn’t about him; Sister Jude should know by now that something is up with Mary Eunice.) Jude confronts Dr. Arden, thinking that he sent the damning newspaper. Arden snarls back, enraged that she has apparently learned of his interlude with Mary Eunice. Soon after their discussion, Arden totally loses his goddamn mind. I can’t tell if I like his storyline because it is both insane and totally unrelated to the rest of the show, or despite this. Unless there’s some greater plot point in store for him, it appears that nothing but pure, misogynistic murder-lust is what drives Arden to paint lipstick nipples on a statue of the Virgin Mary, scream at it and shatter it on the ground. Unless… maybe aliens?

The pressures of her dark past finally break Sister Jude, and she drunkenly presents the movie with a tipsy, tragic, fabulous recitation of Carousel’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Luckily, everyone in the audience is either profoundly mentally ill, planning an escape or an incompetent guard, so no one pays her much mind. Wandering back to her office, Sister Jude breaks down after getting a phone call from the little girl. The thing is…the newspaper from 1949 said the girl had been missing for six days, not that she had died. This seems like an important plot point, seeing as how the ghost girl’s angry voice scolded Jude, “You never even bothered to get out of the car.” If Jude didn’t hide the girl’s body, where did it go? Alien abduction? Serial-killed? Became a serial killer? Or, even more horrifying: did Dr. Arden pick her up? As Jude staggers down the hall, she catches a glimpse of a goddamn alien’s face before collapsing in a stupor.

Back in the movie room, Thredson informs Lana that clues at her home (a patch of blood and an open window) convinced him that Wendy is dead and Kit is not Bloody Face, so Lana instantly changes her mind about him. She sneaks out with Kit and Grace, Shelly staying behind to Brown Bunny security guy Carl like the hero she is. Lana vows to get Shelly out using JOURNALISM once she’s free and leads the other two down the Death Chute… directly into a howling storm filled with cannibalistic forest mutants. We finally get a glimpse of the creatures, and they are definitely human. Are they zombies? Just poor victims of Nazi experiments? Both?

Back at the death ranch, Sister Jude sobers up and pulls the plug on the film. “They all die. Satisfied?” she snarls. She announces that three patients have gone missing… even though sopping wet Lana, Grace and Kit sit sheepishly in their seats. Instead, the three that are missing are Shelly, Pepper and the Mexican. “A sex-crazed maniac, a pinhead and a Mexican,” Jude says with a scowl. Quickly, someone check the nearest bar! They probably just walked into it!

After propositioning her in the most disgusting fashion yet (“Spread your cheeks”) and cuffing her in his secret lab, I thought for sure Dr. Arden would have already implanted Shelly with some kind of mutant and/or alien fetus. Instead he whips off her bed sheet to reveal that he… um… he just cut her legs off. Not that that isn’t scary! Because it is! It’s totally scary. It just seems a little off-game for me. There’s already so much going on to introduce mutilation.

But it’s fine. You know Shelly’s going to get alien-pregnant at some point in the next few weeks anyway. Count it!

Last episode: Judy vs. the Devil

In This Article: American Horror Story


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