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American Horror Story: Asylum Watch: Episode 2 - Tricks And Treats
”The times may have changed, but the nature of evil has not.”
Aliens and sexy nuns in the first week. Electro-shock, exorcisms, and still more sexy nuns in the second week. It is inevitability that by week four, something will happen that sets in motion an Armageddon, and then weeks five through thirteen will just be empty space where a universe once existed.
All seven people that were holding out hope that Adam Levine might live through another episode, or even utter meaningful dialogue, were disappointed by tonight’s color-saturated cold open, as Bloody Face made mincemeat out of his chest with a knife. Channing Tatum’s wife locked herself in a room and watched him die. And then Bloody Face beat on the door a lot. Is that the last we’ll see of him this week? Nope.
A regretful Wendy drinks wine with her lesbian friends, who advise her to renege on admitting Lana to the asylum and claim she was coerced into it against her will. Not that it would have worked, but she never gets a chance to do it anyway. She takes a shower, unwittingly leaving a window open for men with bloody faces to come in and kill her. And so of course after she closes it, Bloody Face pops out and stabs her. He looks exactly the same as he does in the present. I like that a seemingly timeless monster has to use human entryways. Also, Dusty Springfield’s “Wishing’ and Hopin'’” was playing during this scene, a strange choice for something lesbian-centric. That Ryan Murphy sure likes his pop music irony.
Back in 1964, Sister Jude oversees a cell inspection, and it’s found Lana has been keeping confessional scrawls on random pieces of paper about how horribly she’s being treated. (Papers that look, to the untrained eye, like the ramblings of a lunatic I’m sure.) Using all the decision-making techniques of a Magic 8-Ball, Jude insists that electro-shock treatment is the perfect way to rid Lana of these memories. It surprises Dr. Arden, whom Jude soothes over by saying, “I came to the understanding that the therapy is another tool in His bountiful tool chest.” And Arden gets to it, instead of saying, “Why would an eternal deity have a tool belt consisting of things that weren’t even invented for billions of years? Where does he keep the God-erang?” Beyond some skittish vision, it doesn’t appear that Lana was all that affected after the fact.
Meet Dr. Oliver Thredson (Zachery Quinto), seemingly the only halfway normal person around, condemning the asylum’s insistence on using ancient practices instead of newer psychological therapy. He sees the abuse and the malpractice, and he complains. But not, like, very hard, and not to anyone who matters yet. And Jude is quick to put him in his place. He meets with Kit, who doesn’t mention aliens, but is still convinced that his wife Alma is alive, and that he had nothing to do with the other headless women. For all his trouble, he’s diagnosed with acute clinical insanity.
Thredson is also involved with the “holy shit there’s an exorcism” exorcism later. A hicked-out family admits their son Jed after finding him speaking in tongues while eating the heart out of the ripped-up belly of one of their cows. (But he’s great at parties.) Behind Thredson’s back, Jude and Monsignor Howard call in a cocky priest to perform the exorcism on the strapped-down gravel-throated Satan-container. Though the disbelieving Thredson stays, Jude is told to leave, as an exorcism room is no place for a woman. I bet he’s the kind of guy who thinks God is a woman, and wants to spend his eternity in “she-aven.”
Nearly needless to say, the exorcism goes horribly awry. Demon Jed, complete with crazy eyes and a wounded face, speaks to Thresdon as his father. He uses invisible forces to throw the priest against the wall. As Howard takes him out to perform last rites, Jude enters and her vagina is immediately referred to as a clam. Demon Jed then chides her for the deep, dark secrets that the show ads couldn’t stop referring to.
Jude was a loose woman! We probably could have guessed that. Not in particular that she sang bar songs and took at least 53 dicks in the mouth, but that she wasn’t chaste her entire life. Demon Jed even mentioned to Howard that Jude thought of him in times of ill repute. But not before an actual deeper, darker secret: that Jude drunkenly hit and killed a young girl with her car and didn’t report it. Considering the only attempts to youthen Lange up consisted of a snazzy dress and crimped hair, it’s impossible to tell how long ago it was. Maybe that’s what changed her life around, and is why she swore off spirits. It doesn’t seem like there’s too much mileage to get out of it, but at least we know the bitch is a bitch for a reason.
After the punching and screaming Jude is taken away, Sister Mary Eunice stands in the doorway. Suddenly, Jed goes into cardiac arrest and dies. The crucifix above his bed falls to the ground, and Mary Eunice falls to the floor in a heap. Did the devil make a transition? She doesn’t appear to be worse for wear when she wakes up, but then we don’t know how normal Jed was before he went all Captain Beef Heart on everyone. Thematically, it would make sense, since she went against Jude’s predetermined wishes by eating a caramel apple that Arden, ever the pervy sweetheart, offered to her. “Sweets lead to evil,” she says, I think. I have to wonder, what are the biblical implications of repeatedly mistaking a caramel apple for a candied apple? Is this what turned Lot’s wife to saltwater taffy, or whatever?
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