Then she notices the dried up lampshade with the nipples on it. Then she sees that Thredson’s eating candies out of a bowl made from the top of a skull. Avoiding panic and using the bathroom as a guise, she looks for an escape down the hall, stumbling into his little medical lab, with all its scattered bones and shiny surgical equipment. After learning Thredson’s hobbies include beach walks and making furniture out of skin, Lana is dropped through a trap door into the hidden portion of Thredson’s dungeon.

In a Saw-esque manner, she wakes up next to the frozen corpse of her ex-lover Wendy. Thredson was “hoping she’d be a little more pliable” by the time Lana came to. Normally he’d have already removed her skin and head, but he kept her fresh for more therapy, which must begin with Lana kissing Wendy’s cold dead lips. “She won’t bite,” he says as he finally brings out and puts on the Bloody Face skin mask, pointing to the mouth. “I took her teeth.” Fucking amazing. There are loads of corny lines on this show, and that was definitely one of them, but it was done with such reckless abandoned after introducing necrophilia to the situation. Rarely am I so giddy while being creeped out. Strange that this plotline has already gotten to this point, but not surprising.

Alternating Shots of Kit and Grace Together In Solitary

As Kit and Grace talk through the cell walls, the normal shots are interspersed with each character imagining they were embracing the other as they talk. It’s as close to tender as this series gets. Mary Eunice soon interrupts, sparing Kit from Jude’s sterilization plans. Grace isn’t so lucky. After much screaming in disbelief, Grace sees a white light under the door, and after a beautiful close-up of her eyes dilating, she goes through that whole white room alien thing that Kit went through. But a pregnant-looking Alma is there also, introducing herself to Grace, who is covered in so much salve she looks like a bear claw. And of course, there are lots of quick shots of aliens.

Meanwhile, pre-nipplelamp Thredson makes Kit record a confession, explaining the purpose is to play it back for Kit to listen and judge how convincing his confession sounds. So like the dope he is, Kit records himself saying he killed his wife, thinking Thredson will prove his insanity somehow so that he stays in the asylum and not the electric chair. Later, Kit finds Grace in the public room, bleeding from her private parts. As he’s calling for help, cops storm into the room and arrest him for the women’s murders, since of course Thredson gave them the confession tapes.

As they’re taking him away, Grace yells out that she experienced what he did, and that Alma is still alive. My question is this: Is Alma an alien herself? It would explain the abductions only happening to Kit and Grace, so far. But that wouldn’t explain the shitty police work that identified her headless corpse, nor that alien that showed up behind Jude’s back a couple of weeks ago. But you know, pardon me for not understanding the extraterrestrial angle in a show set in a religion institution.

Side-view of Shelley Climbing Up Steps

Mary Eunice cleaned up Arden’s lab before Jude and the cops could go through it, which Arden is thankful for. She plays the part of the ambitious underling, and he eats it up. He expresses his disbelief that she got the legless Shelley out by herself. “You’d be surprised. She weighed very little.” Mwahaha, such a twisted line.

I was certain she had only tossed Shelley out into the woods with the other experiments, but no, Mary Eunice dumped her at the bottom of an exterior basement stairwell at an elementary school. It was a joyously gruesome moment when the first little girl saw the pus-covered half-being clawing her way up the stairs, and was more joyous still with an entire group of kids, along with the teacher, sees Shelley, all screaming simultaneously when she raises her head. As if one needs eye contact to be freaked out by the abomination Shelley has become. The truly amazing moment is the static shot of the side of the building as Shelley emerges from the depths, climbing to the top step. As cinematic a moment as any in the episode.

Rapid Edits As Arden and Jude Talk

Jude admits to Arden that she looked in his lab, and he’s pleased with his assurance that she didn’t find anything. He plans on pressing charges against her. On Jude’s watch, a patient got a gun and held him hostage, and Jude let her walk out the door without any repercussions. Jude sidesteps an apology and tries to begin their relationship fresh, but he’d prefer she grovel and prostrate herself for his forgiveness. “You’re through here, Sister, and you know it.”

I’m fairly certain between each line of dialogue, the camera would quickly cut to the blazing flames in the fireplace. I’m not sure if this was just a simple metaphor showing us that Jude’s fragile sense of personal morality is burning up with each of Arden’s convictions, or if it serves as foreshadowing, pointing to one of these characters getting burned in the future. I’m guessing Arden, because you know what happens when you play with the devil…

This scene inspires the last major moment of the episode, and though it isn’t filled with mind-blowing imagery, it’s a Jessica Lange monologue, so absolutely nothing else is needed. Sensing her impending dismissal, she expresses her fears to Frank, telling him a story about her lonely childhood. After finding a baby squirrel outside, she keeps it, only to later find it dead due to her forgetfulness about feeding it. She set it on the kitchen table and prayed for hours for God to give it life again. Her mother arrived home, screaming in horror before tossing it in the trash. Jude sympathizes, saying her hard-working mother couldn’t have known how cruel an act it was to a young girl. It was Jude’s first realization that God does not heal all wounds, and now she may be fully convinced of this.

Because no one in AHS acts within reason between two extremes, Jude immediately relapses, dressed like a hooker, drinking and smoking in a bar before picking up a man. She sleeps with him in a room roughly the size of a lawnmower’s gas tank, and then leaves before he wakes up. The fact that Jude’s past and present show a Lange free of time-central make-up, this scene actually could have happened twenty years previous.

I may have to watch it again when I get home. There won’t be a list of randomness at the bottom here, as I’m short on time, but I’d like some input on what anyone thinks will happen with Shelley now that she’s out in the real world. Can she even communicate enough to blame Arden for her appearance? We shall find out one day, and I’ll be there with brain matter slowly dripping out of my trepanation hole.

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