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Posted at 08:38 AM ET, 11/01/2012

‘American Horror Story: Asylum’: 10 questions about ‘Nor’easter’

A weekly investigation of “American Horror Story: Asylum,” as well as, when applicable, an investigation of the “American Horror Story: Asylum” bakery. Spoilers lie ahead.


Lily Rabe as Sister Mary Eunice: just your typical demure, demonically possessed nun. (Byron J Cohen - FX)

After a week in which the East Coast was pummeled by a massive weather system, what a relief to turn on the TV on Halloween night and watch a nice little show about ... the East Coast being pummeled by a massive weather system.

Yes, the “American Horror Story: Asylum” episode “Nor’easter” was certainly timely. But it was about more than that “big, fat storm” coming, as Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) put it, using words that made her sound like Catwoman.

This was an hour of TV shock-drama that started out like a “Saw” movie, briefly turned into an episode of “The Walking Dead” and ended with a shocking reveal reminiscent of a major plot point in the 1942 movie “Kings Row.”

It was grim, raunchy, sordid and in that regard — as the screening of “The Sign of the Cross” for the asylum’s patients reminded us — not all that different from a pre-Code movie released in 1932. Raunchy and sordid wasn’t invented by Ryan Murphy and co., after all. They’re as old as a Cecil B. DeMille picture.

Speaking of movie cliches, let’s cut to the chase. Here are 10 questions about this week’s installment of “American Horror Story: Asylum.”

1. Why were there three Bloody Faces in the opening segment?

We got to spend a bit more quality stabby-stabby time with Jenna Dewan Tatum and Adam Levine, which also allowed us to see the person wearing that Bloody Face mask in the present-day narrative. Turns out, at least on initial reveal, there were actually two Bloody Faces, both frat boy rejects apparently enjoying a good laugh over killing a pair of newlyweds.

But then another Bloody Face — the one who ripped off Levine’s arm — showed up. So there’s three of them. What does that mean?

This reminded me a bit of the copycat killers in the “Home Invasion” episode of “American Horror Story.” The two goofballs who wandered in from a screening of “Sinister” are just playing dress-up-like-a-serial-murderer, but the other Bloody Face is the real deal. But is he the same real deal we see in 1964? Or was this whole prologue designed to telegraph the notion that perhaps more than one person is killing all those women during the ‘60s-era portion of our tale?

2. Why doesn’t anyone realize Sister Eunice is possessed by a demon?

Maybe this is much easier to pick up on as an outside observer, watching what transpires at Briarcliff in a format edited for FX. But: why doesn’t anyone realize that Sister Eunice has been invaded by Beezlebub?

She passed out last week right after Demon Boy died, and ever since then she’s been running around acting like Smirky the Smart Alecky Slutty Sexpot Nun. She’s wearing Ravish Me Red lipstick, boozing on communion wine, delivering old newspapers designed to psychologically mess with Sister Jude, and totally hitting on Ruth Fisher’s ex-husband. (Speaking of which, when did she shop for those lacy thigh-highs? Is there some asylum gift shop that sells racy under-the-habit apparel for Briarcliff’s fashionable nun set?)

It seems like more people should have caught on to the oddness of her behavior, which — all of a sudden — is completely out of character.

3. And another thing about Sister Mary Eunice: Is she the Framingham, Mass., girl that Sister Jude hit with her car back in 1949?

I am convinced she is. It would explain why she had a copy of that paper to deliver, and how she was able to call Sister Jude using her former little-kid voice, and why she still possessed the cracked glasses she clandestinely left on Sister Jude’s desk. Sure, she did all this at Satan’s behest, but even he doesn’t have access to all those back issues of the Framingham Herald.

Also, please report to your DVRs and reexamine the shot of the newspaper photo of the young accident victim. She looks an awful lot like a preteen-aged Sister Mary Eunice. Perhaps the girl didn’t die, but has returned to Briarcliff and — with a little help from the forces of Hades — decided to make Sister Jude’s life its own form of hell.

4. Why does Dr. Arden think he’s being spied on?

Just before he reinserted the alien magna-doodle bug that was implanted into Kit’s neck, Dr. Arden (James Cromwell) asked Kit if he was spying on the not-so-good-at-all doctor on behalf of East Germans , the KGB or America’s many Jews. Which is semi-standard procedure when implanting alien bugs under people’s skins, but still, kind of curious.

Of course, there’s a simple explanation for all this and that is this: Dr. Arden is a Nazi. This is fairly obvious for a few reasons.

1. Teasers for “American Horror Story: Asylum” suggested the plot would involve Nazis.

2. All of Arden’s aforementioned paranoia is directed at groups a Nazi might be threatened by.

3. He was subsequently seen reading a book called “The Stages of Mind Control” and also clearly has a thing for a woman whose features could accurately be described as Aryan.

4. The promos for next week’s episode further imply that Arden may have been on the wrong side during World War II.

So, in conclusion, Nazi.


Dr. Arden and Sister Jude, having a little chat. (Byron J. Cohen - FX)
5. All right. So what do the zombies out in the woods that Arden and Sister Mary Eunice are feeding — and who Kit, Grace and Lana ran into during their second futile escape attempt — have to do with Nazis?

Those things out there definitely have a zombie-like appearance, albeit one involving more blisters. (Again, I’m basing my walker opinions largely on what I see on “The Walking Dead.”) I’m still not sure why Arden is sustaining the lives of these creatures. My working theory right now is that, in keeping with the Nazism, he’s trying to breed a master race of people. So he’s keeping the zombies alive so that he can Frankenstein their working physical parts with other body parts to create a super-human. Another option: He’s just keeping them out in the woods to ward off anyone who may attempt to spy on him.

Either way, he said he only needs them alive “through the winter,” so his plans for them should become clearer soon. Assuming they haven’t escaped from the Briarcliff grounds, that is.

6. Couldn’t anyone think of anything to call that poor, dead Briarcliff patient apart from The Mexican?

It seemed a little insensitive, right? Also every time someone said it, it made me think of that not-so-great Brad Pitt/Julia Roberts movie, which reminded me that Emma Roberts is related to Julia Roberts, and that Emma Roberts is dating Evan Peters, and that Evan Peters is innocent and should not be in the mental ward at. all. And that made me feel very bad for him. You know, much the way that so many people on Twitter feel ”bad” for him during each episode.

7. Can anyone cock their head in a sly manner that says “I’m onto you” the way Jessica Lange can?

The answer is no. When she did that in the presence of Dr. Arden, I honestly thought her cranium, was going to go completely vertical for a minute. Also, no one else can have a drunken mental breakdown while reciting the lyrics from “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the musical “Carousel” the same way she can. Just stating this for the record.

8. Speaking of Sister Jude’s emotional movie night moment, would the Archdiocese really have loaned Briarcliff “The Sign of the Cross”?

Given that the Catholic church objected to the film’s unsavory content when it was released — what with the semi-nudity and, as Sister Mary Eunice noted, Christians getting eaten — it seemed like an odd choice. Something tells me Sister Mary Eunice may have been behind this particular movie booking. In other weird pop cultural references, it also seemed strange that Shelley would have read Delta of Venus” since, while written in the ‘40s, it wasn’t published widely until the 1970s.Maybe she has some extremely exclusive Amazon Prime subscription?

9. Do we think Zachary Quinto will be able to tell the authorities about Wendy’s “disappearance”?

Dr. Thredson promised Lana he’d deliver a message to her partner. But when he went to see Wendy, there was evidence that something terrible had happened to her, what with her having been killed by Bloody Face — or one of the many Bloody Faces, perhaps — in last week’s episode.

Now he suspects that Kit has been wrongly accused. But I have a feeling he’ll be prevented from blowing the whistle on this situation. I don’t know how or why yet. But it wouldn’t surprise me if Thredson somehow gets confined to Briarcliff to keep him quiet, even if Sister Jude desperately wants him to go away.

10. Last question: WHY DID DR. ARDEN DO THAT TO SHELLEY’S LEGS?

Amputations are very “in” on television right now. Can’t switch on the set without seeing one these days.

Arden clearly felt that removing Shelley’s gams was the proper punishment for her “whore-ishness.” I suspect her legs also may become dinner for the zombie-blister creatures in the woods.

But won’t someone wonder what happened to the unfortunately assaulted nympho? How is she going to explain her suddenly acquired amputee status? Is Arden just going to hold her hostage in his lair?

And does the fact that modern-day Bloody Face also wanted to cut off Adam Levine’s arm confirm that he’s Arden?

You tell me by posting a comment.

Related: Chloe Sevigny on what’s ahead of Shelley

By  |  08:38 AM ET, 11/01/2012

Tags:  American Horror Story

 
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