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Posted at 08:50 AM ET, 11/22/2012

‘American Horror Story’: Five questions about ‘The Origins of Monstrosity’

Note: Celebritology will be dark through Monday, Nov. 26th. But naturally, this blog could not ignore the latest episode of “American Horror Story: Asylum.” So here’s this week’s post.

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.


Joseph Fiennes as Monsignor Timothy Howard, most unobservant backer of Nazi experiments ever. (Byron J. Cohen - FX)

On this Thanksgiving Day, let’s all be grateful for Zachary Quinto, whose dialogue on this week’s episode of “American Horror Story: Asylum” provided Americans with at least two things to say to break the awkward silence around the family dinner table.

“Can I tell you a secret? Nutmeg makes all the difference in. the. world.” (He’s right, by the way.)

And: “Baby needs colostrum.”

Actually — shudder — please don’t say that.

Since we’ve all got pies to bake and turkeys to baste, let’s not spend too much time discussing Dr. Thredson’s Oedipal complexities. Let’s just get right to this week’s questions about the “AHS” installment “The Origins of Monstrosity,” which I’ve reduced from 10 to five. (Because: pies to bake, turkeys to baste.)

1. So who was talking on the phone to the present-day detectives?

The person who called to tell the cops about the dead Bloody Faces at the contemporary, abandoned Briarcliff referred to them as imposters. Which suggests the caller is the real Bloody Face, a.k.a. Dr. Thredson.

The voice on the call certainly sounded somewhat similar to Thredson’s. And when I asked Quinto last week during a media conference call whether Thredson might also be 2012 Bloody Face, he said, coyly, “Wouldn’t that be cool? Yeah, you’ll find that out.”

I took this response to be Quinto-speak for, “Yes, he is.” But we’ll see.

2. Speaking of Thredson, it appears the origin of his monstrosity stems from his feelings of abandonment by his mother. Kinda predictable, right?

The whole thing was a little been there, Ed Gein-ed that. But some of the details in his story — his confusion between a medical cadaver and his mother, his perception of Lana as a potential mommy substitute, the fact that he was apparently able to move an entire bedroom set into his soundproofed torture rec room all by himself — made the story line uniquely creepy enough to avoid being completely derivative.

It also helped that Quinto convincingly ping-ponged between perversity, rage, sadness and vulnerability in a way that made him seem 100 percent compellingly cuckoo bananas. Seriously, Quinto as Thredson makes Quinto as Sylar on “Heroes” look like this.


GIFSoup

3. Can someone explain the nature of Arden’s experiments again? He explained it but it was kind of confusing.

Well, it was probably confusing because, to a sane, non-Nazi, the whole thing makes no sense whatsoever.

But the gist is that Arden is doing experiments that are supposed to help him figure out how to make humans capable of surviving a nuclear attack by the Russians. This explains why he’s into all that excessive X-raying: the more radiation in a person’s body, the more immune they might become to additional radiation. As for the TB, I believe he was injecting the tuberculosis bacteria into Shelley — and, presumably others — with the same idea in mind: to determine whether the human body could build up an immunity to it.

By the way, he was doing all this for the greater good. Obviously.

4. How was the Monsignor so oblivious to what Arden was doing?

So it turns out the Monsignor and Arden were not in cahoots to the extent I previously believed. While good ’ol Timothy did allow Arden to continue doing his “scientific work” after he took over Briarcliff, he apparently had no idea that the doctor was turning Chloe Sevigny and Kelly Ripa’s husband, among others, into their own special versions of the Elephant Man.

Which seems pretty negligent, right? I mean, it was 1962 when Monsignor Timothy gave Arden the go-ahead to continue his experiments. At some point in the two years that followed, shouldn’t he have popped into Arden’s lair and said, “Hey, are you torturing any people down here and turned them into freakish beasts who don’t have legs and are covered in pus-filled blisters? No? Okay, cool. Just checkin.’ ”

Instead, the Monsignor was just realized exactly what Arden is up to but was so concerned about his precious reputation in Rome that he still kept it quiet and rid of Sister Jude so she wouldn’t expose Arden’s true, Third Reich identity. For shame, Joseph Fiennes. For. Shame.

5. Is Sister Jude going to be implicated in Mr. Goodman’s murder?

First of all, poor Mark Margolis. As Hector Salamanca on “Breaking Bad,” he got blown up. Then on “AHS,” he got brutally murdered by Satan the Saucy Nun (a.k.a. Sister Mary Eunice). He can’t catch a break, this guy.

It seems pretty likely that Jude has been set up here. First of all, the last phone call he made was to Mary Eunice pretending to be Sister Jude. Also, Jude rather foolishly put her fingerprints all over Goodman’s body once she discovered it.

Plus, there are two men — a Monsignor and a Nazi — who would like nothing more than to ensure that Sister Jude gets locked up for a long, long time.

None of this looks good for Jessica Lange. But most foreboding of all for our favorite nun who once kept a squirrel as a pet: The devil actually did this via his current position inside Mary Eunice’s body. And Satan is definitely really good at killing innocent individuals and making it seem like other people are responsible for those killings. That’s, like, Satan’s thing.


(Byron J. Cohen - FX)

Will Jessica Lange go to jail? Why didn’t anyone realize that little Jenny girl (see above) was a murderer when she obviously has “Bad Seed” braids? And have you physically recovered from witnessing the whole situation involving Quinto and colostrum or will the heebie jeebies stay with you at least through the broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade? Please, discuss this in the comments.

By  |  08:50 AM ET, 11/22/2012

Tags:  American Horror Story

 
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