American Horror Story: Asylum Watch: Episode 1 - Welcome to Briarcliff

By NIck Venable 2012-10-18 03:45:40 discussion comments
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Mary Eunice moronically agrees to let Lana poke around for a few minutes, taking her where Kit was previously held. The hallway full of crazy male patients is no place for attractive women, as proven by Mary Eunice getting a face full of ejaculate from a particularly peppy inmate. Lana is then left alone, stumbling upon Shelley orally pleasing a male ward before hiding in an empty cell when Sister Jude walks the halls. Just when she feels safe again, Lana is grabbed by the neck and knocked unconscious.

She wakes up, you guessed it, strapped to a bed. Jude smugly tells Lana of her visit to Wendy, where Jude casually threatens to reveal their relationship to the world, thus ruining Wendy’s teaching career. (Because gay people are stupid? I can’t quite figure out why anything but a gay P.E. teacher would bother these people, even in 1964, but I’m naïve that way.) In a corner, Wendy agrees to sign the papers admitting Lana into Briarcliff, inevitably sealing her fate.

Sister Jude will definitely become a much more hated, and possibly celebrated, character than Constance was from the first season. (Keep that Emmy shelf dusted, Ms. Lange.) She presents herself as the epitome of righteousness and piety, but can’t stop herself from sexually fantasizing about Monsignor Howard as they sit at a dinner she gussies herself up for. Howard’s devotion to climbing the Catholic Church ranks, with Jude as his right hand woman, is what sets Jude off, picturing herself popping her habit off and getting rowdy. She is definitely power hungry, but it’s good to see she has weaknesses. Perhaps her swearing off alcohol will come back to sluice her later. Drunk, horny, and full of blarney.

But despite her frigid persona, Jude apparently isn’t all brimstone and physical admonishment. Though she is adamant in scolding Mary Eunice for allowing Lana onto the property, she is just as adamant about convincing Mary Eunice it was a mistake, and not a mark against her intelligence. Jude dismisses the whips that Mary Eunice pulls out for her spanking. (An instance of female assery, in a series dominated by male assery.)

She shares no such sympathy for Dr. Arden however, plainly accusing him of the mishandling of four patients, all without family, who died under his supervision. “All that have died are alone in life,” is his cryptic response. Near the end of the episode, she finds him in a cell, scrubbing the walls down with disinfectant. Jude is disgusted by the smell, asserting that something had to have been living in there, to which Arden claims the room had been unused for years. So why would an unused room need cleaning? Perhaps he needs the sterilization for the experiments he’ll be performing in the room later. Thanks to a quick flip into the present, where Leo lies on the floor bleeding out, we realize that he was reaching into the same room Arden was scrubbing.

The very end of the episode finds Teresa, still dashing around like a crazy bitch, running into the “real” Bloody Face, whose face is indeed bloody and made of other people’s skin. Let me talk this out. There is an actual Bloody Face, who probably isn’t Kit Walker (which I didn’t believe anyway), that was possibly around before this show’s events started while having nothing to do with the asylum, and is also around almost fifty years later. Is it a legend that inspired someone to make it real, or something supernatural? This doesn’t seem like something Arden would purposefully have any part of, but maybe it was a medical mistake of some kind. Not the actual sewn –up skin mask, but the undying lunatic part.

While I had, and still have, some reservations about this season, since religious exorcism horror really doesn’t do anything for me, I can’t think of anyone better than Murphy and Falchuk to freshen up a staled staple of the genre. Too bad Friedkin already did the whole crucifix masturbation thing. Murphy will probably have someone using a full-sized cross. Drop your theories below and join me next week. It’s gonna be a great autumn on FX.

The Inane Asylum

I truly expected the Drifters’ “There Goes My Baby,” as sung by Kip, to be some kind of clue. I guess it was, if being skinned and murdered is what happens when someone’s baby “goes.”

“You can shave me bald as a cue ball and I’ll still be the hottest tamale in this joint.” It doesn’t take a lot of confidence to feel more attractive than rabid, muttering lunatics, but it helps.

I hope “Sister Jude’s Molasses Bread” becomes a tie-in product, because damn that sounds good.

Best thing about eating while wearing a straitjacket? All that money saved on utensils.

“Did her dark meat slide off the bone easier than your other victims?” Even as a nun, a Jessica Lange character can’t help but be a little racist.

A small moment in TV and movies that I absolutely hate is when a character lights something, in Wendy’s case a joint, and then immediately puts it out. Such a waste. How good was the weed in 1964 anyway?

The strap budget on this show must be extraordinary. Perhaps next week, someone will stumble into the asylum’s underground strap factory.

Arden’s “Cleanliness is right next to godliness” line was as perfect as it could be. And his story about the ferret was a winner as well. I love James Cromwell. Maybe his wife will end up being Frances Conroy, and a Six Feet Under reunion will happen. Hey Michael C. Hall, I didn’t really mean that Dexter crack earlier. Really!

“I’ll always win against the patriarchal male.”
“Bully for you.”
The sexual tension between Jude and Arden is denser than a dead star, am I right? No?
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