The strange relationship between Mary Eunice and Arden could be one of the more interesting elements this season. She feeds the creatures in the woods for him, and no one else is the wiser. (Though really, if he can go outside to ask her how it’s going, he can probably leave two buckets out himself.) They share a moment later after she awakens from her faint, and Arden’s eyes wander too far into her shirt before she covers up, not wanting to distract him from the work of the day. Out of context, this may seem normal, but we got a good look at Arden’s rampant sexual deviance tonight.

Of course, we’re first led to believe he is a man of strict science, as he repeatedly denies Shelley’s sexual advances. “Bend me over a bread rack and pound me into shape.” This is actually a good scene for Shelley, who is allowed to share her backstory in between all the oral sex offers. She’s disgusted by the word whore, which Arden labels her several times. A chronic masturbator, she was forced to wear mittens to bed by (Totally giggled when she said that.) She ran away from home and hung out with jazz musicians, eventually marrying the bassist. But instead of staying home and scrubbing his dirty drawers, the libidinous Shelley is caught getting it on with two Navy guys. “It’s not for self. It’s for country.” So he hit her and put her in the asylum. Nothing mind-blowing, but it’s interesting. It’s worth noting that Shelley is just kind of allowed to be unrestrained. Just because she’s non-violent doesn’t mean she wouldn’t shank a bitch to get out of there. All she wants is sunlight!

Later, Arden’s strange side comes out when a hooker gets to his house, and he’s more interested in setting up dinner and ambience than in the hooker’s interest in big cocks. He acts just as disgusted with her vulgarity as Shelley was with his. He plays Chopin and pulls out the finest cabernet, but she’d rather dance to something with a beat. He eventually makes her change into a nun’s habit, and while she’s doing so, she finds a terribly hidden box full of erotic pictures of women that Arden tied up into odd positions. He finds out what she did and gets rougher with her, but she bites him on the arm and runs out of the room. And he falls to the ground…from an arm bite. Despite the weirdness, I’m not judging Arden too harshly for his fetishes just yet. Though I am judging this show for presenting more tied up and strapped down characters.

The last major storyline involved Lana and Grace trying to form an escape plan. It starts in the bathroom, where Lana lays out her trust issues amidst all the female nudity. Grace wants Kit to join them, but Lana is completely against this, sure that he’s a murderer, and still put off by Wendy signing her life away. Even when Kit gives Lana her notes back, he gets no slack. Later, during the exorcism when everyone has been put in their rooms, there is a power failure, and the halls are bathed in red. Lana and Grace nearly make progress, but then Kit shows up and Lana’s conscience shits on everyone’s plans and she calls for help. The wards show up immediately and beat the shit out of Kit.

At the end, Lana, Kit and Grace are all sent to Principal…I mean Sister Jude’s office. After learning a lesson in the power of Satan, Jude says Lana deserves something special for her tattling ways. Her surprise is getting to pick the canes that Jude uses to spank Grace and Kit’s bare asses. “Live large.” As Jude sets her whooping stance, Kit stands up and claims he is the only one to blame, that Grace was just doing as she was told. So Jude gives him the forty lashes instead of twenty, telling Grace, “He seems to think you’re just one big scoop of melting strawberry ice cream.” I love that line, because I don’t know exactly what it means.

For all the off-kilter things that went on in “Tricks and Treats,” it still felt like a mild episode by this series’ standards. I don’t mind this at all, since this show plows relentlessly forward like no other. With more organization this season, the odd moments aren’t coming from quite the same side of left field. And with a religious asylum as the setting, there are only so many places the story can go, I guess. (Aliens!) But since they’ve already gone through three of those things, I’m flummoxed by what may still be on the dark horizons, though I can hear buttons popping, so there are probably sexy nuns involved.

The Inane Asylum

“Show me your mossy bank.” A new Emmy category for Creepiest Dialogue should be invented, and James Cromwell should accept the award every year.

“Too bad your ambition outweighs your talent.”Sister Jude should have her own line of harsh fortune cookies to go with that molasses bread.

Jon Ronson’s book The Psychopath Test has a really interesting story about a guy who acted crazy to be institutionalized instead of going to prison, and has been stuck there ever since, without a proper way to prove his sanity that doesn’t feed into some other notion of how insane people behave. Not that I think Kit’s story would go this way, but that’s what it reminded me of.

Seriously, when Briarcliff is closed, they should open up an amusement park called Strap Land.

The worst acting in the show tonight? When Wendy sobbed an admission of having no candy for the day early Trick ‘r Treaters, and the one kid is perfectly fine with this. I guess we didn’t hear him call her a “candyless old bitch” when they walked away. I take back my insult.

“Take me home.” – Jude, to the man with puppy dog eyes staring at her hungrily.
“I can’t. The baby’s sleeping.” – the man who immediately looks disgusted with himself.
This was a mildly disgusting exchange. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

“I have a cucumber in my room. But not because I’m hungry.” Shelley’s words left a slightly better taste in my mouth.

Hairy Krishna, or Pepper to be proper, is actually a very beautiful woman, which sounds like an incredibly moronic thing to bring up. I wasn’t familiar with Naomi Grossman before, and I mostly assumed they hired an unfortunate looking soul to play the part like they did in season one. Wait, what do you mean the Infantata wasn’t real?

In the last scene, Jude calls Kit both James Dean look-alike and Sir Galahad. Sounds to me like she was going to enjoy those spankings for more than disciplinary reasons.

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