The Cheat: Battling Writer’s Block with Scheduled Posts

I have tons of recaps from previous seasons of American Horror Story, The Walking Dead and Doctor Who that I’ve never shared on my blog.  I started scheduling some to post, and it hit me that I was lucky that I had them because my brain is so tired that I’m not sure what kind of blog posts I could create right now.

My brain is exhausted, and that has crushed my creativity.

However, the desire to write is strong, so the trick is managing time to write.  If you make time, writing will come.

I was at a panel at Comic Con and it was mentioned that Benicio del Toro spends his mornings writing and his afternoons working.  I think this is the perfect balance. Of course, the first step is to get rich enough to be able to support myself so that this could be a reality.  I’m working on it.

In fact, that’s probably why I am so tired lately.

AHS Asylum Recap S2E7: Dark Cousin

American Horror Story Asylum, S2E7: Dark Cousin

Original Airdate: November 28, 2012

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


This week’s AHS was a bit darker than the other ones.  An angel of death was hanging over the asylum.

We start with two young nuns talking about the movies they have seen.  They go up to the medical ward to find that Grace has bled out in her bed.  Part of me wonders why they find this surprising.  She was bleeding out the last time we saw her.  As they work to revive her, a woman in black appears.  She leans over the bed and gazes sympathetically at Grace, who tells her she’s ready to go.  But just as the woman’s black wings spring forth from her back, one of the nuns delivers a blow to Grace’s chest, reviving her.  “You should have let me go,” Grace whispers.

An angel of death?

Sister Eunice finds Dr. Arden trying to revive a plant in his office.  She tells him she’s more concerned about his patients than his plants.  Poor Grace has been hemorrhaging nonstop since the sterilization surgery he performed.  He maintains that he never performed a sterilization surgery on Grace.  Mary Eunice laughs at the denial and warns him that if he doesn’t take care of it, they’ll have no choice but to take her to a real hospital, and then he’ll be exposed.  The more she taunts him, the angrier he becomes.  He demands that she treat him with respect; he is the leading official at Briarcliff and she needs to remember that…even though she does hold all of the cards when it comes to exposing his true identity.  She doesn’t let up, and he slaps her.  But instead of backing away, she glares at him.  If he touches her again, she warns, he will die.  Of course, Arden can’t let her get away with this imprudence, so he raises his arm to strike her again.  Evil Sister Eunice sends him flying across the room.  She looks very pleased with herself.  That should make him remember the chain of command at Briarcliff.

In the kitchen, a nun sings and an inmate named Miles is making sandwiches while the voices in his head are berating him.  He tells them to “shut the hell up,” to which the nearest nun tells him that cursing won’t solve any problems (I beg to differ…).  Miles notices that the slices of meat are uneven and asks to take a look at the slicer.  She hesitates, but eventually walks away so that he can look at it.  The voices in Miles’ head get louder and louder, urging him to stand up and make a difference for once in his life.  Miles thrusts his arm into the slicer, sending blood all over the place.

Later, Sister Eunice arrives in the kitchen.  Frank reports that Miles will need quite a few stitches.  She becomes distracted by some writing on the wall.  It looks like the word “one” but it isn’t.  It’s a name, she says, written (in blood) in Aramaic.  How on earth did Miles know that name? She wants to know if he “summoned her” and he denies knowing what she’s talking about.  Sister Eunice orders him to solitary confinement as punishment for his actions, and then she screams for someone to clean the wall up.

Frank and the guards make sure Miles is secure in his room for the night.  Miles says he doesn’t want to be there anymore.  Frank assures him that he’ll only be in there for the night, but Miles says that he’s talking about being alive. He doesn’t want to live anymore.  Frank gives his shoulder a reassuring squeeze before leaving the cell.  I have to admit, this was a softer side of Frank.  Miles can hear the retreating guards as they walk down the hall.  He tries to rip the stitches from his wrist…and that’s when he sees the woman in black in the corner.  Now we see that this woman is played by Frances Conroy, the housekeeper from Season One.  She tells Miles that he summoned her, and with her kiss, he fades off into the night.

However, this woman senses the presence of another person in the cell.  It’s Sister Eunice, but the woman senses that there is a duality to the nun.  There’s a spirit inside of her, a fallen spirit.  The woman in black says that they are dark cousins.  Evil Sister Eunice laughs and allows the human inside of her to beg to be released.  For a moment, we can see the panicked face of human Mary Eunice as she tries to break free of her demonic bonds.  Alas, her struggle yields no results and the demon inside ropes her back in.  “We like it here,” she informs the woman.  And there is still work to do.  The woman in black fades away, leaving Mary Eunice standing alone with the body of poor Miles.  It looks like he has done something important after all.  He has released some kind of spirit.

Grace starts to wake up, and she sees Dr. Arden hovering around her.  He’s upset because she clearly is suffering from a botched hysterectomy, yet they both know that he didn’t perform one on her.  And while it would be easier to just let her die, the fact is that if she dies there would be too many questions and that isn’t acceptable.  Therefore, she will receive medicine and extensive care so that she’ll live at least long enough for her to corroborate his story.  Poor Grace….

Oliver Thredson is having sex with Lana.  As he increases his pace, she becomes more catatonic.  Her eyes drift to the corner of the room and the woman in black is standing there.

Kit is in a meeting with his lawyer.  He tries to explain that the tape wasn’t a confession, that Dr. Thredson tricked him into confessing using his “headshrinker” tricks.  And Grace can support his argument—she saw Alma.  Alma is still alive somewhere.  The lawyer shakes his head.  Grace is really sick and might not make it to the trial, and besides that, she’s an inmate at the asylum.  Why would a jury believe her?  As he continues on, talking in vague terms about possibly lying on the stand as a last ditch effort to avoid the electric chair, Kit’s eyes start to wander.  Suddenly Kit leaps from his chair and hits the lawyer with the metal hole puncher.  He hits him again for good measure, and then he takes a long look around the room to figure out the best way to escape.

Back at Thredson’s house, Lana is tucked in a ball on the bed.  The woman in black reappears.  Lana asks if she came because she called for her.  She doesn’t know if she can keep this up anymore.  She used to be afraid, she says.  The woman in black advises her to “just let it go, she’s right here” with her.    However, Lana isn’t ready to go just yet.  The woman fades away as Thredson comes down the stairs.  He tells Lana that they have reached an impasse.  He’s too tenacious and that has always gotten in the way of what he needs to do.  As Lana looks on in terror, he assures her that he wants this to be as painless as possible: “I can either cut your throat or I can strangle you.  I don’t believe in guns,” he says.  Oh, that’s refreshing.  She starts to cry.  That’s when he realizes that he can sedate her, and then the method of execution won’t matter.  She won’t feel anything.  He holds her down and tells her she’ll be reunited with Wendy.  As he tries to give her the shot, she hits him in the head with Wendy’s picture frame.  Once he’s on the ground, they struggle and she chokes him with her chain.  He comes after her, and she kicks him.  He lands on one of the metal tables, unconscious.

Lana flees from the subterranean torture chamber and finds herself in the middle of the woods.  A car pulls up and she jumps in.  The driver automatically assumes that she did something to her boyfriend.  He becomes more and more enraged.  Lana just wants to go to the police.  The man laughs.  She jumps into his car and starts making demands.  He pulls out a gun.  Lana asks why he’s doing this.  Well, as it turns out, he’s having trouble with his wife, and it looks like Lana found herself in the middle of his crazy drive.  That’s when she notices the woman in black sitting in the back seat.  Lana’s expression crumbles.  Not now, not after all of this, she says softly.  The man looks over at her.  He puts the gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger, sending the car careening all over the road.  Lana screams and everything goes black…. When she wakes up, she looks up into the smiling visage of Sister Eunice, who welcomes her back to Briarcliff after an incredible adventure.  The nun cautions her against moving, and then she tells Lana that the accident was so bad that the driver didn’t survive.  Looks like the woman in black wasn’t there for Lana, after all.

We return to the hotel to see Sister Jude in a panic as Sam Goodman lies dying on the floor.  He repeats his message from last week, that he was attacked by one of her nuns.  We flash back to when Sister Eunice went to the hotel and attacked him.  She broke the mirror and stabbed him.  Jude dials 911, but just as she starts talking to the operator, she notices that the television is covered with articles about the death of the little girl that she hit five years before.

Back in 1949, Jude is awakened from a drunken stupor by one of her band mates.  He wants to know why she didn’t show up for their gig; the band had to perform without a singer.  One of the guys’ cousins filled in for her.  He hands her an envelope and tells her she’s out of the band.  She has been slipping for a while, and now they know they can get by without her.  Jude is furious at first, but then he starts talking about how the cops have been asking around the club for information about the hit and run accident the week before.  After he leaves, Jude has a meltdown and packs up her belonging.  On the road she thinks back to the night the little girl died.  She remembers being in the club, kissing the soldier, tossing back a few drinks…and then she recalls the shock of the impact when the little girl’s body collides with the windshield.  Without realizing it, Jude drives herself to the local convent.  The nuns ask if she’s ok.  That’s when she sees the statue of the angel and has an epiphany.

The phone in the hotel room is ringing.  Jude answers it.  It’s Sister Eunice.  “This is your conscience calling,” she laughs.  Eunice reveals that she knows everything about what happened fifteen years prior—after all, she was in Jude’s head the night of the exorcism.  She says that Sam Goodman was conducting an investigation about an unsolved hit and run accident.  Eunice advises Jude to start running, but not before telling her that she left a bottle of liquor and a switchblade in the room for her use.

In the washroom, Jude opens the blade and cuts open her wrist.  Blood pools in the sink, and eventually she’s on the floor in a puddle of blood.  No, wait, that was just a vision.  Jude still has the knife.  She didn’t kill herself after all.  She leaves and goes to a coffee shop.  The woman in black takes a seat across from her.  Jude knows who she is, apparently, for they have met before.  Never trust a drunk, Jude advises her, referring to the fleeting moment when she thought about killing herself.  She thought about it, but she didn’t go through with it.  The woman in black says that she comes when she’s called, when she hears their songs.  This song was different.  Jude wants to know why it’s different.  Was it so different than the night before her wedding, when her fiancé left her because she’s not able to have children thanks to the syphilis he gave her?  Why didn’t she die that night? “You were young, you still had hope,” the woman tells her.  She tells Jude that she didn’t die after she killed the child because that was the night that God revealed her true calling.  “Peace is so close,” she tells Jude.  Jude agrees that she wants peace, but she still has something that she needs to do.  The two waitresses stand nearby and watch Jude have a conversation with herself.  The wonder if they should call Briarcliff…at least she’d have a warm bed for the night.

Jude sits on a couch.  A woman holds a baby while her husband brings Jude a cup of coffee.  Jude mentions Missy’s blue coat.  It looks like Jude is seeing absolution for her sins before she dies. That’s when the door opens and a young nurse comes in.  She takes the baby from the older woman.  Yes, as it turns out, Missy didn’t die that night.  Missy survived the accident.  Now Jude has to backpedal a little bit.  She tells the story of how Missy’s plight led her to become a nun.  Missy’s mother says that her husband wanted to seek revenge on the person who ran over their daughter, but she reminds him that their daughter came home to them.  That monster has to live with himself.  Jude is completely shell-shocked.

Back at Briarcliff, Lana refuses to take her medicine.  She has to stay awake, she tells the young nun.  She has to speak with Sister Jude.  Sister Eunice enters the cell and dismisses the nun, then she informs Lana that Sister Jude no longer works there.  Now Sister Eunice is in charge.  Lana tells her that it was Dr. Thredson who killed Wendy, and he killed the other women as well.  Sister Eunice recalls the night of the exorcism, when Jed said “I like your work, Bloody Face,” to Dr. Thredson.  She tells Lana that she believes her.  Lana looks relieved and makes Sister Eunice promise that they won’t let anyone know that she’s back at Briarcliff.  Sister Eunice agrees, and then she encourages Lana to take her medicine.

Outside Lana’s cell, Sister Eunice tells Frank that she’s still very confused and she believes Dr. Thredson kidnapped her and that Kit Walker is innocent.  Frank tells her that he’s escaped custody, and the police have ordered that he’s to be shot on sight.  Beneath Briarcliff, Kit runs through the Death Chute to the door leading inside.  Little does he know, one of Dr. Arden’s creations is down there with him.

Upstairs in the kitchen, Grace is seated at one of the tables.  A nun sees her and can’t believe that she’s out of bed.  She was just on death’s door the day before.  “I’m one of Dr. Arden’s little miracles,” Grace explains.  She begs the nun to let her stay there.  She doesn’t want to go back to her room.  “You actually have to go now,” comes Kit’s voice from across the kitchen. Grace turns and runs into his embrace.  He couldn’t let her die in there, he tells her.  But before they can escape, the nun returns and starts screaming when she sees Kit.  Then the monster that followed Kit attacks the nun, ripping out her throat.  The creature lunges at Kit, who manages to kill it.  That’s when Frank arrives.  All he sees is the carnage.  He can’t see the monster on the ground.  As he raises his gun, Grace jumps in front of Kit and takes the bullet that was meant for him.  She falls to the ground.  The woman in black appears and asks Grace if she’s ready yet.  Grace says yes, and the woman kisses her.  “I’m free,” Grace says.

But I’m not so sure that Grace dies.  There’s a flash of light in the room before the scene ends.  After all the twists and turns we have come to expect with this show, I’m not going to believe that she’s dead until I see her dead body.  I think the aliens might intervene at this point.

There you have it, Asylum fans.  Tonight’s episode had a markedly different tone to it.  The pacing was interesting as well.  I found it to be very fragmented, and I’m not sure I understand where the whole woman in black thing fit into the story.  It was believable until Jude had a conversation with her.  The Jude from the first episode did not seem like the type to believe in the supernatural.  But what do I know…

Please leave your comments below.  Am I the only one who thought tonight’s episode was a deviation from the first six episodes of the season?

AHS Asylum Recap S2E6: Origins of Monstrosity

American Horror Story Asylum, S2E6: Origins of Monstrosity

Original Airdate: November 21, 2012

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


Given the season, I’d like to offer thanks to my faithful readers who follow along with me through this madness known as American Horror Story: Asylum.  I’d also like to give thanks that I am not an inmate at Briarcliff.  Thank goodness for that.  But tonight’s story is about origins…and what a story it is….

So…remember when poor Teresa and Leo were trying to make their escape from present day Briarcliff?  Yeah, it has been a while.  The last thing we saw was the “real” Bloody Face giving chase to the two imposters who thought they were pulling a prank on the unfortunate newlyweds.  Well, the prank was on them.  At any rate, Teresa had tried to place a 911 call.  She got through, and then she got.  She dropped the phone.  The show tonight begins with another 911 call from Briarcliff.  The 911 operator answers and a man tells her to send officers to Briarcliff.  We see them enter and start searching the grand entryway.  The man’s voice continues to say that he disposed of the imposters.  The voice says that he’s “been a busy boy,” and he promises that they’ll know who he is when they see his work.  What does that mean?  Something drips down on one of the cops.  He looks up…and there are three Bloody Face ornaments hanging from the ceiling.  Well, tis the season, right?  But wait…how can there be three Bloody Faces?

Back in 1964, a woman and a little girl come through the doors of Briarcliff.  The mother is talking to Sister Jude as we watch them enter.  She can’t believe that her little girl could be capable of these things.  This is the being that lived inside her, the same one that she bathed, that she fed.  She can’t understand her behavior.  The poor woman confesses to Sister Jude that little Jenny has never really acted like a child.  She never cries.  One day, during a play date with little Josie (the only child who could be convinced to play with her daughter), they went out to the woods to gather leaves…and the next thing you know, little Josie has a pair of shears sticking out of her chest.  Jenny tells her mother in a matter-of-fact voice that a man killed Josie.  He was tall and had a coat and beard, and he threatened to hurt Jenny if she got in his way.  Sister Jude correctly guesses that they never found this man, but that’s not the problem.  Two days prior, Jenny’s mom found a lock of Josie’s hair in Jenny’s pocket. Clearly, she can’t go to the police.  Jenny is still her daughter, after all.  Sister Jude is sympathetic, but Briarcliff doesn’t have a children’s ward.  (Or “waaad”, as she says)  The only thing left to do is pray, Sister Jude tells her, handing her a Bible.  Jenny’s mother begs Jude to talk to Jenny, so that she can better understand the evil inside her daughter.  Was she born this way?  But the idea of talking to the little girl seems positively abhorrent to Jude, who looks rattled as the mother leaves her office.

Lana is waking up.  She’s in a bed.  At first she looks very peaceful, and it seems that for the moment she has forgotten where she is.  We hear the sound of something being fried in a pan.  That’s when Lana’s eyes widen and she realizes that she’s in the subterranean workshop of Dr. Oliver Thredson, aka Bloody Face.  He notices that she’s awake and asks her if there is anything better than waking up from a nap to the smell of croque monsieur cooking.  For those of you who don’t know, croque monsieur is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.  The French gave it a fancy name.  The camera pulls away to show that Lana is still in that same sterile room with the cold white tile all over, but now she’s in a nice bed with matching side tables and lamps.  She has even been dressed in a nice nightgown.  Thredson comments that her mother probably cooked the same thing for her on rainy days.  That’s when Lana starts to scream.  He yells, too, and then he tells her that the place is soundproof.  Lana looks at the portrait of Wendy beside the bed and asks him what he did to her.  He assures her that he took care of the body.  He had to be very careful, of course, because it wouldn’t do for her to be found now that Kit Walker has given his confession.  He pauses, revealing a big secret. “Nutmeg makes all the difference in the world,” he tells her.  She realizes how mad he really is.

Thredson brings the soup and sandwich to Lana, calling it the perfect “mommy food.”  Not that he would know about that.  She slowly starts to eat, and he continues talking.  As it turns out, his mother was about her age when she abandoned him.  He grew up in an orphanage where he was fed and housed, but never experienced any form of human contact.  That would spoil the children.  Lana sees what kind of madness she’s dealing with, and she plays along, telling Thredson how good the food is.  She says that she was also abandoned, only her abandonment came at Briarcliff.  But he saved her.  For a moment it seems like he can see through the ruse, but then his face twitches into an excited grin when he realizes that he made the right decision with Lana.  She does understand him.

He goes on to explain that he was always more intelligent than the other children around him.  He chose the field of psychiatry to better understand his own disorders.  While in medical school, he came across a cadaver in his gross anatomy class that was the same age as his mother when she abandoned him (33, the same age as Lana).  His classmates teased him and said it was the closest he’d get to a girlfriend.  Boy, were they wrong.  Thredson visited the cadaver late one night after she’d been sewn back together.  He pulled off her sheet and tore off his white button-down shirt so that he could feel her skin pressed to his own.  This skin-to-skin contact is what he had been lacking all these years, and what he was craving.  Seeing the body reinforced what he was looking for, but he didn’t like the fact that she smelled of formaldehyde and her skin was cold when he peeled it off.  He talks about the Harlow experiments, where baby monkeys are given the choice between a wire mesh monkey with milk and a model made of terry cloth with no milk.  Even the monkeys know the difference.  It’s the skin they crave, even if the cloth one doesn’t have milk.   That’s what made him attack his first victim, the secretary we saw earlier.  He cut her up while she was still alive, which made a huge difference, but it still didn’t fill the void.  This terrifies Lana, who thinks she will become his next victim.  He sees her fear and assures her that all of that is behind him.  She’s perfect for what he needs now.  He leans close to her and calls her “mommy.”  Oh, dear.

Sister Jude’s phone rings.  It’s Sam Goodman, the man who was investigating Dr. Arden’s true identity.  Jude tells him that she tried to get in touch with him, that the patient in question—Charlotte/Anne Frank—was a fraud and she no longer requires his services.  But Goodman has been working diligently on the case.  Even if she is a fraud, the young woman had been correct about Arden.  He was an Auschwitz doctor named Hans Gruber who was given a new life after the war. Hans Gruber became Arthur Arden.  Of course, Goodman will need a fingerprint to be absolutely certain, but the fact remains that Arden is almost certainly a former Nazi.  This news is shocking to Sister Jude, who realizes that not only is a Nazi being housed in the asylum, but that Anne Frank had been right all along.  When she hangs up, she finds little Jenny standing behind her.  As it turns out, Jenny’s mother gave her a kiss and left her at the asylum.  This day keeps getting better and better for Jude.

Monsignor O’Hara arrives at a hospital and is greeted by one of the directors.  It seems they have a tuberculosis patient who is in need of Last Rites, but they weren’t able to convince any other priests to come to her aid after seeing the photos that had been released from the Bloody Face murders.  The Monsignor seems surprised that TB cases still exist.  The director warns the Monsignor that she is a gruesome sight, but the Monsignor assures him that “we’re all God’s creatures.”  He goes into the room and sees the woman lying in bed, her face almost unrecognizable with all of the blisters and boils on her face.  The Monsignor gets closer, and recognition passes through his expression.  “Shelley?”

We go back to 1962 when Father O’Hara first arrives at Briarcliff.  They go into one of the TB wards, where Dr. Arden is presiding over several patients.  O’Hara is surprised that there are still a few TB cases in the wing, which he thinks would make a great day room.  That’s when Dr. Arden introduces himself as the chief of the tubercular wing at Briarcliff.  He is aware that O’Hara is the new owner.  One of the patients is near death, so Father O’Hara sits with her and prays with her.  The next scene shows him hauling her body onto a cart, which Dr. Arden wheels through what we know as the Death Chute.  Arden explains that they used to transport hundreds of bodies through this tunnel, where they’d end up in the crematorium and ultimately in a little wall full of holes for their ashes.  O’Hara is shocked by the callous treatment of so many people, but Arden points out that many of these patients are long-forgotten.  It’s unfortunate, because he has been conducting research on ways to make the human body resistant to strains of illness, and he’s close to making some very important advancements.  This piques Father O’Hara’s interest.  The only thing holding him back is human trials, as it’s hard to find test subjects.  Arden gives the priest a very pointed look and tells him that even Rome would be interested in his research.  Rome?  This really catches the priest’s interest.

As we return to 1964 and the hospital, we see Monsignor O’Hara choking poor Shelley with his rosary.  She takes one last breath before dying.  The Monsignor’s hands shake as he pulls away.  Now what would possess a priest to murder a helpless, disfigured TB patient?

Dr. Arden is playing classical music in his office.  The Monsignor knocks the record from the player.  Jude was right about him, he seethes, pointing his finger at the doctor.  He mutilated poor Shelley.  Dr. Arden doesn’t seem flustered in the least.  Briarcliff is a “receptacle” for depravity, Arden points out.  He has been able to take these depraved people and through them advance his research.  We see Spivey masturbating in a broom closet while watching Mary Eunice bathing in her room.  He’s interrupted by Dr. Arden, who tells him that he has mistaken the broom closet for the playground, where he used to “expose himself” to the children there.  “Never the boys” though, Spivey points out while wiping off his hand.  He has his standards.  He follows Dr. Arden down the hall, telling him that he’s a new man.  He was only there because Mary Eunice told him to watch her flash herself.  Dr. Arden shoves him against the wall in anger.

Back in Arden’s office, Dr. Arden tells O’Hara that he has been able to take these wretched individuals and give their lives purpose.  To further this point, he takes O’Hara into his lab, where Spivey is strapped to a table sporting the same horrendous boils that Shelley had.  Arden’s research in to tuberculosis and syphilis has gone cutting edge thanks to the studies he has been able to conduct.  If the Russians were to bomb the United States, the radiation would wipe out twenty million people, but Arden’s research will ensure that we are able to survive and remain dominant.  He turned Spivey into a superhuman.  O’Hara has seen enough.  Arden should be exposed, but Arden points out that if O’Hara exposes him, then everything that has been hidden at Briarcliff will be exposed.  Everything.  And they have a common threat a Briarcliff that is more important to deal with.

Jenny is in the kitchen with Sister Eunice, who is chopping vegetables.  Jenny wants to try it, but Eunice says she’s too young to use the knife.  She asks why her mother abandoned her at the asylum.  Jenny says her mother is afraid of her and thinks she killed Josie.  Did she?  Jenny says no, but Eunice corrects her.  “How does she know?” Jenny asks.  “I’m the devil,” Eunice replies.  Whoa.  Anyway, Josie deserved it, Eunice continues nonchalantly.  She was just a little shit who only played with Jenny because her mother made her do it.  But Jenny has the gift of “authentic impulse,” a gift that should never be killed.  And Eunice knows all about it, because she spent her whole life trying to make people like her.  She recalls a pool party she attended where she was tricked into dropping her dressing gown while standing on the diving board.  Everyone else was supposed to be naked, too, but as it turns out, Eunice was the only one who was actually naked.  And they all laughed at her.  She tells Jenny that she turned to God, but God isn’t real.  He’s just something that someone made up.  Eunice says she’s tired of living under the rule of a drunk who wears red lingerie.  Dark little Jenny has taken quite a liking to Sister Mary Eunice and confesses that she’s afraid they are going to lock her in her room.  Eunice cleans the blade with her fingers and hints that maybe Jenny just needs to learn how to defend herself.

Sister Jude is ending her phone call when Monsignor O’Hara comes into her office.  She tells him that Jenny’s mother is coming back to get her, but she can tell that something is wrong from the expression on his face.  Indeed, it looks like he is grappling with the decision he has made but is too afraid to turn back.  He tells Jude that Briarcliff has become too much for her, and he has recommended her for a position at a new girl’s home in Pittsburgh.  He even has the flight booked already.  She knows that Arden is behind this.  She reminds him that she was right about him.  But he won’t hear it.  He becomes even more agitated when she speaks of Arden.  Per his request, Sister Jude will be leaving Briarcliff immediately.

While she’s packing, Sister Eunice visits Jude’s room to tell her that Jenny’s mother came to pick her up.  Then she sees that Jude is packing and wants to know what is going on.  Jude explains that she’s leaving Briarcliff at the request of the Monsignor.  They share an embrace; Jude thinks that Eunice is being sweet and considerate, but it’s exactly the opposite.  Eunice is cold and calculating and working entirely from her own angle.  How will they function? Eunice plays up Jude’s own fears, which leads Jude to promise to do what she can to take Arden down and prevent him from harming the innocent younger nun.  She tells Eunice to fetch the cognac and two clean glasses from the kitchen.  As she leaves, Eunice casts a long look at the red lingerie in Jude’s drawer.

Back at the Thredson Residence, Oliver Thredson gets a call from Kit, who is using his one phone call in jail to figure out what the hell happened.  The cops say they have a taped confession.  Kit reminds Thredson that the doctor promised to lie for him so that Kit could avoid getting the chair.  The reality is that Thredson lied to Kit and got him deeper in this mess.  Thredson tells Kit he needs to start accepting what he did, but Kit won’t back down, telling him that Grace saw Alma in a vision, that she’s alive.  He calls Thredson a phony liar, which sends the normally calm and collected doctor into a frenzy.

He’d only left Lana for a few moments, but she was out of bed trying to cut her restraints off.  She manages to get back into bed before Thredson sees what she was doing, but Kit’s accusations and insults have pushed him off the deep end.  Evidently, there are some unresolved issues that he has with being called names.  Suddenly, he notices her elevated heart rate and discovers that she had managed to cut through part of the chain.  She was going to abandon him.  Now furious at her, Thredson cuffs her to the bed and tells her that she brought this upon herself.  He dawns the Bloody Face mask and slowly approaches her.

In one of my favorite moments of the season yet, Sister Mary Eunice dances around Jude’s room, singing along to “You Don’t Own Me.”  She’s sporting high heels and the infamous red lingerie.  When she gets to the line “Don’t say I can’t go with other boys,” Eunice pulls her ring off her finger and sets it on the dresser.  Then she proceeds to sing to the crucifix on the wall.  Looks like the devil is coming out to play.  A ringing phone interrupts this moment.  She answers; it’s Sam Goodman.  She tells him he’s speaking to Sister Jude.

Dr. Arden is caring for his precious alstromeria when Sister Jude walks in, wearing a black dress as opposed to her habit.  She offers him a toast for having won the battle, and she has always prided herself on her good sportsmanship.  Arden is immediately suspicious and won’t drink unless she does as well, so she pours a drink for herself and they drink.  The camera pans down at his glass.  There was never anything wrong with the drink.  She needed his fingerprint.  That was her ticket to busting his Nazi ass.

Sam Goodman is putting together his articles and research on Gruber when there’s a knock on the door.  But it isn’t Sister Jude—it’s Sister Eunice.  He asks if Jude sent her.  “She doesn’t know I’m here,” she replies, taking a step toward him.

Sister Jude walks down Sam Goodman’s hallway.  His door is open and the phone is ringing.  She has the glass and the fingerprints, just as he asked.  The phone is ringing so she answers it.  The line goes dead.  She hears a thump behind her.  Goodman is on the floor in his bathroom with a shard of glass in his neck.  Jude shrieks and goes to call an ambulance, but Goodman beckons to her.  She immediately assumes that Arden did this, but he tells her it was a nun.  And it wasn’t just any nun.  It was one of her nuns.  Sister Jude looks shocked.

Back at Briarcliff, Sister Eunice reads over the documents she snatched from Goodman’s apartment.  She tells Dr. Arden that he was very handsome back in his Hans Gruber days.  He can’t believe that Sister Jude had this “Israeli Sherlock Holmes” in a hotel doing research on him.  Eunice confirms that she was about to expose him, but then she assures him that she has taken care of it all.  When she calls him Hans, he slams his hands down on the exam table.  To her credit, Sister Eunice doesn’t even flinch and instead smiles indulgently at his rage.  She tells him that she hid some of the evidence in case he tries to double-cross her.  He pleads his case, telling her how lonely it is trying to hide his work from the “pious vigilantes” who don’t understand the work he’s doing.  He doesn’t understand why she’s trying to help him.  He believes himself to be too old and ugly for her to love him, so what is it that she wants?  She tells him that she wants him to trust her with his entire soul, as this is the beginning of a great new era.  As she kisses him, it’s clear that he is putty in her very capable hands.  He was driving the boat, but now she’s in total control.

A police officer asks Jenny to describe the man who killed her mother and siblings.  A knife is sticking out of her mother’s back, a knife that looks a lot like the one Sister Eunice was using a few nights prior.  Jenny calmly describes the bearded man in a coat to the officer.  She certainly doesn’t look like she’s upset that her mother, brother and sister are all dead now.  She calmly twirls a lock of their hair around her fingers.

Thredson explains to Lana that she’ll feel the first cut, but then shock will take over and she won’t feel anything else.  She tells him that it doesn’t have to be that way.  He straddles her midsection with the mask on, slowly cutting apart her clothing.  It turns out that he had been watching her before she arrived at Briarcliff.  He saw her at the police station as they waited for Kit Walker to be brought in.  She was explaining to a colleague that she was tired of her cooking column and wanted to figure out the man behind the killer.  After all, he was still someone’s son.  That was what caught Thredson’s eye.  She understood him.  Lana pleads with Thredson not to hurt her.  She says that a mother’s love is always unconditional, and he sits back when he hears this and pulls off the mask.  That’s it—she has hit the money spot.  “My baby,” she whispers.  “Baby needs colostrum,” he replies, leaning down.  He fastens his mouth to her breast while she tries not to scream.

Back in the present, the officers lower the three bodies to the ground.  They have traced the phone to a man named Leo Morrison.  The three masked men are teenagers, yet to be identified.  Leo is in his thirties.  Upon searching the asylum, they find poor Leo face down where he had been shot.  A phone rings, and when they find it they see that the phone is in Leo’s detached hand.  But we know that Teresa had dropped the phone, so someone moved it after Leo died.  One of the detectives answers it.  “You know who I am,” the voice says.  He goes on to say that he just killed the imposters.  After he hands up, another detective comes in and announces that according to Leo’s sister, he was there on his honeymoon.  So where is his bride?

We flash to a dark room with a bed and lots of old medical equipment all over.  Teresa is tied to the table, and she’s slowly regaining consciousness.  Bloody Face emerges from the shadows, wearing a white undershirt and a heavy duty apron.  Holy hell, what is going on??

Well, tonight was a nice little trip down memory lane for our Briarcliff friends.  It doesn’t surprise me at all that Sister Mary Eunice spent most of her youth trying to fit in.  It doesn’t surprise me that Thredson is trying to make up for his mother’s abandonment by killing those women…but I was a bit shocked that he was trying to turn Lana into his surrogate mother.  The scene at the end when he tries to drink her breast milk was just bizarre.  And what’s really striking about it is that he clearly is gifted with superior intelligence and is in fact a real doctor.  Reflecting on past episodes, it makes sense that he’s a real doctor, because that was part of the mystery that Dr. Arden was trying to solve.  Arden couldn’t believe that Kit was capable of skinning those women with such precision.  And the demon spirit inside the boy recognized Thredson’s abandonment issues.

The introduction of Jenny was interested.  Will she have a role on the show?  What will become of her now that her whole family has been killed?  Aside from the “You Don’t Own Me” scene, I really enjoyed Jenny’s interaction with Sister Eunice.  There was something about the way that Eunice spoke so nonchalantly to the child that was really striking.  The child has evil inside of her, and Eunice acknowledged that she was devil.  What an interesting pair they made.

As always, I would love to hear your comments about tonight’s show.  The preview for next week looks insane…like, literally insane.  Who knows what will happen next….

AHS Asylum Recap S2E5: I Am Anne Frank Part 2

American Horror Story Asylum, S2E5: I Am Anne Frank, Part 2

Original Airdate: November 14, 2012

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


I have come to the conclusion that just when you think American Horror Story: Asylum can’t get any crazier, well, it can.  Tonight’s episode offered us irrefutable proof of that.

Sister Jude pulls up in a big ol’ Chevy.  She’s a woman on a mission (though we do pause to think the only other time we’ve seen her in a car was when she ran over the little girl).  Tonight she’s not in her habit, and instead she’s sporting a red kerchief over her hair.  She arrives at the apartment of Mr. Sam Goodman.  He ushers her inside and tells her that he’s sorry they’re meeting under these circumstances.  She explains that the only one who knows she is here is Mother Superior; now even the Monsignor thinks she’s crazy. (Little does she know, he’s letting her believe that he thinks she’s crazy to protect the fact that he knows more about Arden than he’s telling her.  And if that sounds confusing to you, well, welcome to Briarcliff.)  Sister Jude is going on her instincts with her suspicions about Dr. Arden, to which Sam replies that it’s best to trust those instincts.  Sister Jude correctly guesses that Sam has lost people in the war, which he confirms when he rolls up his sleeve to display his numbered tattoo.  He lost everyone, and so now he has made it his life’s work to hunt down the Nazis still out there.  He doesn’t want her money; he just wants to bring justice to those innocents who died.  Though Arden’s file is thin, Sam explains that he may be operating under a false identity.  After the war, Nazi scientists were rounded up and given new identities.  He asks her if she has ever seen him without a shirt, but she hasn’t.  Sam cautions her against digging around for information.  If Arthur Arden really is Dr. Hans Gruber, he’s dangerous.

Sister Eunice is rifling through Sister Jude’s desk when Dr. Arden comes in.  His leg is bleeding and Anne is right behind him, pointing her gun at his head.  She wants to know where Sister Jude is.  Arden is a Nazi, there are monsters in the lab, and he’s responsible for tons of other crimes.  Dr. Arden exchanges meaningful looks with Sister Eunice, whose concern immediately turns to Dr. Arden’s “research.”  She rushes from the room, and just when Anne thinks she has the upper hand, Frank bursts in and puts his gun to her head.  I don’t know what she was thinking, keeping her back to the open door….

…Anne wakes up in bed.  Sister Jude is standing over her, telling her that she had to be sedated.  She wants to know where Anne got the gun, but Anne tells her that it’s a good thing she had it because Dr. Arden is a monster.  She should see what was in the lab.  Sister Jude says that Dr. Arden was in bad shape when she arrived, but Anne insists that he was keeping monsters in his lab.  The problem, Jude tells her, is that when Arden gets better, he’ll come back and possibly bring police with him, and then the truth will never get out.  And Anne could very well end up on the operating table.  When Anne pleads with her to go to the lab to see for herself, Sister Jude informs her that they did go to the lab.  They didn’t find anything.  It’s possible that whatever it was got away.  Before they can continue their discussion, Sister Eunice interrupts.  There’s a man in Sister Jude’s office, and he’s looking for his wife.  She casts her eyes in Anne’s direction.

The man, Mr. Brown, explains that Anne is his wife.  She was born Charlotte Cohen, and they have a son together.  Things were fine until she read The Diary of Anne Frank and went to see the play when she was eight months pregnant.  That’s when she started to see herself as Anne Frank.  The baby was born and then she couldn’t sleep, which lead her to research the Holocaust to such an extent that it was like she was reliving it.  As Mr. relates the tale, Dr. Thredson interrupts and says that it sounds like post-partum psychosis.  Sister Jude doesn’t want to hear his diagnoses.  She decides that Anne should go home with her husband.

Anne changes her clothes and meets Sister Jude at the stairs, remarking that they made her change her clothes.  That will make her transition easier, Jude explains.  She’s going home…with her husband.  Anne looks confused.  She doesn’t seem to recognize the man standing before her and she’s scared.  But when he shows her a picture of him with their son in her arms, memories start rushing through her brain.  She slowly starts to remember her son…but at the same time she doesn’t want to leave without ensuring that Arden is stopped.  After she leaves with Mr. Brown, Thredson tells Sister Jude that he can’t believe such a sick woman is being re-released into the world without receiving the proper care.  Good thing she isn’t his patient, Sister Jude tells him.  Speaking of which, Thredson replies, Kit Walker is his patient, and she has no right to authorize a procedure such as sterilization without his consent.  She dismisses him.

Kit is in his cell.  He asks Grace if she’s afraid.  She says no, and he doesn’t believe her.  He talks about his desire to have kids.  As they talk, they both fantasize that they’re touching each other.  This is all Sister Jude’s fault.  It’s a very emotional scene…until Sister Eunice arrives.  She informs Kit that Sister Jude feels he showed signs of “true redemption” and he’s being released.  Yay!  And don’t worry, she hasn’t forgotten Grace.  Once Kit is gone, she tells Grace that her operation is still on.  Rest up…she’ll need her strength.  As Sister Eunice walks away, Grace has a breakdown…and then, suddenly, there is a bright light coming from under the door.  Looks like those pesky aliens are back.

It’s medicine time in the day room.  Lana dutifully takes her medicine and then goes to the window.  Thredson approaches her and says that they’re leaving that night.  She is to meet him at six by the stairs.  Lana gazes at him in wonder.  She asks if this is a dream.  He assures her that it isn’t.  He’s getting her out of there.

Thredson moves on to his only official patient, Kit.  Kit begs Dr. Thredson to help Grace, but the doctor won’t do anything until he sits down and works with him.  He asks Kit if he’s ready to do what they talked about in their last session.  He needs to give himself permission to remember, and to help with the process, Thredson will record the session so Kit can hear himself.  Kit clarifies that if he does this, Thredson will tell the courts that he should stay at Briarcliff.  Of course, Thredson agrees.  Kit takes a deep breath and admits to killing his wife and the other women.

While Kit confesses, we see Grace strapped to a table.  Another woman is there who identifies herself as Alma, Kit’s wife.  Alma urges her not to struggle, but soon Alma is replaced by one of the aliens.  She screams, and at one point her belly is slashed open.  Grace screams and screams.  Where is she?  Is she on board a ship of some kind?  Those pesky aliens, always up to no good, it seems.

Sister Jude, believing to have been fooled by Anne/Charlotte, tries to reach Sam Goodman to cancel his investigation.  As she hangs up, sneaky Dr. Arden comes in and asks who she was talking to.  He thinks she has some juicy gossip and wants to know what it is.  He knows she was snooping in his lab and demands to know what she saw.  Sister Jude tells him that she didn’t see anything interesting there.  He informs her that he wants to press charges, but not against Anne/Charlotte.  No, he wants to press charges against Sister Jude for allowing a patient to get ahold of a gun and for enabling his accident.  She is inept and should be removed, and he’ll go straight to the Monsignor if he needs to.  This has the desired effect of upsetting Sister Jude immensely, of course.  She cherishes her power, and the thought of having it taken away is devastating.  Score one for evil Dr. Arden.

Dr. Arden retreats to his office, where he pulls off his pants and starts to clean his bandages.  Sister Eunice walks in, sporting her new red lipstick, startling him.  She tells him that all of the nuns have had basic medical training and she can help clean his wound.  Eunice purposefully sinks to her knees before him, provocatively, and apologizes for her behavior during the storm.  Dr. Arden is content to blame it on the “barometric pressure” and never speak of it again.  He thanks her for protecting his work—and him—by clearing poor Shelley out of his lab.  While she tells him what she did, we see her moving through the lab, dragging Shelley out.  She points out that he can continue his work once Sister Jude has been removed from Briarcliff.  Once she’s gone he’ll need help running the place, and clearly Sister Eunice is up for the task.  He thanks her for her help, telling her that he trusts her implicitly.  Then he marvels that she was able to get Shelley out by herself.

That’s when we cut to a local elementary school.  Two little girls are getting some water when one hears a noise.  She wanders over to the stairs, where she sees the bloody, legless monster that Shelley has become.  She screams and runs away, which leads her teacher and the other students to go see what she’s screaming about.  Of course, once they see Shelley crawling up the stairs, they all scream.  I scream, you scream, we all scream…because there’s a freaking monster climbing up the stairs.  Holy crap.

Sister Jude and Frank march into the grand entryway as Anne/Charlotte is brought back into the asylum.  She is taken to a cell while Sister Jude speaks with her husband.  Dr. Arden watches over the whole scene with interest, and as soon as she’s in her cell, he pays her a visit.  She’s not so tough without her gun.  Mr. Brown tells Sister Jude that Anne/Charlotte is worse than before.  When he tried to get her to hold the baby, she tried to smother it.  There is no family who can help.  He needs her to be readmitted and to be under the care of doctors who can cure her.  She needs a doctor like Dr. Thredson.  Frank is sent to find him.

However, Dr. Thredson is down in the entryway.  He finds Lana under the stairs, and he tells her that she is going to walk out the doors with him.  And that’s exactly what they do. (It’s a wonder that more patients didn’t try that.  The guards weren’t paying an attention at all!)

Mr. Brown runs into Dr. Arden in the hallway outside of his wife’s room.  He knows that his wife shot him and is incredibly apologetic.  He is grateful that Arden isn’t pressing charges.  Arden suggests that they turn to an alternative treatment rather than criminal charges.  In fact, he says pleasantly, they can do the procedure tonight and she’ll be as good as new the next day.

Frank finds Dr. Thredson as he is about to get into the car.  When he explains the situation, Thredson tells Frank that he doesn’t work at Briarcliff anymore.  In fact, he never did.  What the heck does that mean?

Back inside, Dr. Arden preps Anne/Charlotte for surgery.  He’s going to perform a transorbital lobotomy on her while her husband watches.  It’s as safe as filling a cavity, Arden tells him.

Frank interrupts Sister Jude as she goes through her prayers.  Lana isn’t on the grounds, and Thredson is gone.  Looks like the world is going to shit.  This leads Sister Jude to deliver another fine monologue for us about being so alone as a child that she found a baby squirrel and kept it in a shoebox.  Her mother worked as a maid and her father was already out of the picture, so Jude was always alone.  One day the squirrel died (Jude had forgotten to feed him) and so she laid it out on the table and prayed for it to come back to life.  When her mother got home, she threw it in the trash.  Jude told her mother that God hadn’t answered her prayers, to which her mother replied that He rarely does in the ways that we want Him to.  Sister Jude looks at Frank and tells him that her career at Briarcliff is over.  Frank, in an uncharacteristically tender moment, tells her that she shouldn’t blame herself.  The way he sees it, she never had a chance because “men will never accept a woman in charge.”

The next scenes show Arden prepping Anne/Charlotte for surgery while Sister Jude dresses in a nice dress and goes to a bar.  As the music crescendos, a man approaches Sister Jude and asks what she’s drinking…and Dr. Arden drives his instrument through Anne’s skull.

Lana and Dr. Thredson arrive at his house.  Dr. Thredson’s house is the consummate bachelor pad.  He tells her to call him Oliver, and he explains that she can’t go to her house because that’s the first place they’ll look for her when they figure out that she’s missing.  He goes to get a glass of wine for her, but he returns when she tries to make a phone call.  He’s at risk as well, he reminds her.  He tells Lana that she’s going to win the Pulitzer Prize for her story…for telling his story.  She watches as he turns on a lamp…wait, are those nipples on the lampshade??  And what the heck is he serving the mints in?  She excuses herself to the bathroom, but she doesn’t find it.  She finds his hobby room instead.  He makes furniture…lamps, mostly, using skin…he hits a switch and she drops through the floor.

Back at Briarwood, Kit finds Grace bleeding in a chair.  He calls for a doctor, but instead two police officers come in and arrest him.  Kit tries to tell them to find Dr. Thredson…but Thredson was the one who gave them the confession on tape.  As Kit is led away, Grace tells him that she saw Alma, and everything that he saw was real.

Lana wakes up in a nightmare.  She’s in a room that reminds me of the first Saw movie, complete with white tile.  There’s another person on the floor.  Upon closer inspection, we see that the dead woman is none other than poor Wendy.  Lana screams.  That’s when we see Dr. Thredson in the corner.  Now he’s wearing black clothing and he’s amused by her terror.  He’s been keeping Wendy on ice instead of skinning her because they need her to help continue with Lana’s treatment.  Kiss her cold lips, he tells her.  Holy hell, what is going on?  He promises that Wendy won’t bite, because as he dons the familiar mask made of skin and hair, we see that he has added teeth…Wendy’s teeth.  Oh shit.  Dr. Oliver Thredson is Bloody Face!!

Next we see Sister Jude waking up with the man from the bar. The song that plays through the scene talks about how “it could be a wonderful world.” Looks like the good Sister has fallen off the no-fleshly-pleasures bandwagon.

Then Mr. Brown comes home to find his Charlotte cleaning up her articles.  She’s holding baby David and she’s dressed like a Stepford Wife.  She’s even cooking a pot roast.  Gone is the feisty rebel.  As she moves to make her husband a drink, he helps take out the trash.  On the bulletin board, we see a picture of Hitler delivering a speech…and there is young Dr. Arden right over his shoulder.  Dr. Arden’s secret seems to be safe…for now.

Holy shit.  I felt like I’d been hit by a bus with tonight’s episode.  I don’t even know where to begin.  Thredson is Bloody Face.  Grace was abducted by the same aliens that Kit and Alma were, and Alma might be alive.  Kit has been framed for murder by the real killer himself.  Sister Eunice is back in Dr. Arden’s circle of trust.  Poor Shelley is finally out in the sun, but she’s a monster.  Lana has been freed from Briarcliff, only to end up in the seventh circle of hell at Dr. Thredson’s house of horror.  Dr. Arden ensures that his secret is safe by performing a lobotomy on Anne/Charlotte.  And Sister Jude has left the institution and has sought refuge at the bottom of a bottle…and in a man’s bed.

Just when you think it can’t get any better…it does.

So let me know what you think about tonight’s episode, Asylum Faithful.  Will Lana live to tell her tale?  Why is the good Dr. Bloody Face taking so much care with her?  Will Dr. Arden be exposed as a Nazi?  Will the aliens explain what the heck they’re doing up on their spaceship?  So many questions, so few answers at this point.  Please leave me your comments below…and be sure to sleep with the lights on…

AHS Asylum S2E4 Recap: I Am Anne Frank Part I

American Horror Story Asylum, S2E4: I Am Anne Frank, Part 1

Original Airdate: November 7, 2012

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock


Raise your hand if you woke up last Thursday morning and checked to make sure your legs were still attached.  Hey, you never know….


A woman with no ID enters Briarcliff in the middle of the night.  She’s on a psychiatric hold and it’s easier for the police to dump her there than deal with her.  Sister Jude, who had been awakened and is wearing her robe, wants to understand what set the woman off.  Apparently she was in a bar and an anti-Semitic joke set her off.  She has blood on her coat, but it isn’t hers.  Sister Jude is sympathetic to what happened to “her people” in the War and asks if she lost someone.  The woman starts whistling.  She looks like she has a secret, but she’s not telling just yet.  Sister Jude orders her to be locked up for the night.  Her treatment will start in the morning.

Dr. Arden is up late.  He’s preparing a syringe full of something sinister.  You can just tell that he’s up to no good.  Poor Shelley struggles on the exam table.  She wants to know if she’s going to die.  Dr. Arden laughs.  “After this, you’re probably going to live forever,” he replies, injecting her in her temple.  Shelley screams.

In the kitchen, inmates prepare the dough.  Kit asks Grace for a cigarette and she sees his face.  “Arden?” she asks.  Indeed, Dr. Arden roughed Kit up during his search for answers.  Where did the little mechanical bug go?  He took lots of x-rays.  But Kit is more interested in Grace’s story.  She tells him about waking up in the middle of the night in her family’s farmhouse.  There’s a noise.  She goes down the hall to see a man murdering her father.  She manages to run down the stairs and into a closet.  The murderer runs out of the house looking for her, and then Grace turns around to see that her stepmother had been chopped up and placed on the shelf.  Grace tells Kit that she lost her father and stepmother that night, and her stepsister the next day.  Her stepsister didn’t die, though; her stepsister and her lover conspired to kill the family and blame Grace so that they would inherit the land.  The police wouldn’t believe Grace no matter how many times she told the story.  She talks about how she misses the farm and misses riding the horses, because riding made her feel like she was flying.  “You’ll fly again,” Kit reassures her.

Dr. Thredson asks Lana where she went during the movie.  He tells her that he’s not going to tell Sister Jude anything, but he observed her to be gone and then she reappeared with Kit and Grace.  We flash back to movie night and see that he’s watching the trio as they leave the day room.  Kit tells the two women that even if Shelley made it out, no one can know that they tried again.  Returning to the present, Dr. Thredson admits that Lana is not a threat to society and she shouldn’t be locked up.  Lana smiles.  “You head shrinkers are such hypocrites,” she says.  She criticizes the use of the Bible as a diagnostic tool, one that proclaims that her homosexuality is a disease.  That’s where Dr. Thredson wants her to know that he can help her. He knows why she’d try to escape and offers an alternative.  He doesn’t have much time left at Briarcliff, but he can take her on as a patient and prove that she has been cured, at which time they’d have to release her.  He calls her a fish out of water, gasping for breath.  She won’t last there much longer.  But Lana resists, telling him that she has been “this way” for as long as she can remember.

The new girl is sitting in the day room writing.  She talks about how the people in the asylum have been locked away to die, which differs from her experience (presumably during the War) when her people held hope of getting out.  In the asylum there is no hope.  Lana watches her write and approaches her, telling her that she’ll be thrown into solitary for writing.  She might need a friend.  The newcomer isn’t afraid, though, and she doesn’t seem interested in making friends.  As Lana leaves, Dr. Arden enters.  While he observes one of the inmates, the woman rises from the chair.  She shouts that he was there, at Auschwitz.  He stands there, stunned, and then he calls the orderlies to sedate her.  They drag her away, and that’s when she introduces herself.  “I’m Anne!” she cries.  “Anne Frank!”

Anne meets with Sister Jude.  Sister Jude says it will be a relief for millions of schoolchildren that she’s alive.  Anne Frank died in the camps before they were liberated.  Not so, says Anne.  She was too sick to tell her name.  When she regained her health she lived on the streets.  She met an American soldier from New Jersey who married her and brought her to the US.  He died in Korea in 1952, the same year her journal was published.  Sister Jude wonders why she never reached out to her father, but Anne replies that her father had started a new family, and her journal had so much power.  People saw what happened to her people through the work of a fifteen year old girl.  It would only have that power, though, if it remained in the voice of a fifteen year old girl.  So she didn’t say anything.  Sister Jude believes her story to be obscene, but Anne has a bombshell—the real horror is that Briarcliff is employing a Nazi war criminal.

Dr. Thredson has a dilemma.  He tells Kit that if he declares Kit sane, he will be sentenced to the electric chair.  If he says he is insane, Kit will face a life locked away at Briarcliff.  Thredson doesn’t believe Kit is crazy or evil.  He thinks society drove him to create this fabrication about aliens to cover up the heinous acts he committed.  Thredson is willing to lie to the courts to save Kit’s life, but Kit will have to spend the rest of his time with Thredson facing the reality of what he did.  Kit insists that he told the truth, but Thredson won’t hear of it.  Thredson is going to tell him what really happened.

Anne tells Sister Jude that Dr. Arden wasn’t known by that name back then.  She has a flashback to the concentration camps.  His name was Dr. Hans Gruper, and he was there when they arrived at Auschwitz on the trains.  She recalls seeing him stop two twin boys from getting off with the rest of the children, and she thought they were lucky.  As it turns out, no one was lucky.  He’d come into the women’s barracks and bring them candy.  He said that he wanted to help all of them but he couldn’t, so he’d leave it to a coin toss.  The women who left with him came back unable to walk, so damaged that they rarely lived long afterwards.  They’d been sworn to secrecy so no one ever understood what happened.

Thredson tells Kit that he married Alma in secret, and even though it was his greatest joy, he had to keep it a secret.  He posits that it was this secret that pushed him to release the strain by attacking the librarian in January, removing her skin and her head.  Was it because those things represent the things that society was punishing Alma about?  Her race and identity?  The same thing happened to a secretary outside of her house.  The night that Alma died, Kit claims that his friends came to his house.  He hid Alma, but the stress of having to hide her made him snap.  We see him throw Alma into a table and beat her into a bloody pulp.  Kit shakes his head, haunted by the portrait of a killer that Thredson is painting.  He insists that he didn’t do it.

Sister Jude shakes her head.  Dr. Arden is not a Nazi.  She says that Anne can’t possibly know that because she wasn’t there at the camp.  Anne thrusts her arm out and displays her tattooed ID number.  She knows where she has been.  But can Sister Jude say for sure that she knows where Arden came from?

Two orderlies dispense meds in the day room.  Lana approaches and then stops, hearing a voice in her head.  Slowly, the day room fades away and she’s accepting an award for her expose on the horrors at Briarcliff.  Though the day room is still all around her, she steps up to the podium, now resplendent in a colorful dress and makeup, and gives a speech.  She thanks the other inmates at Briarcliff whose stories broke her heart.  She talks about Martha, who was beautiful when she entered the asylum after her husband’s death but now spends her time bashing her head against the wall.  Then there’s Rudy, the chronic masturbator, whose habit got worse under the beatings he received.  No matter how they tried to break her spirit, Lana pushes on, even though they keep trying to make her forget what she has seen.  “She did everything she could to survive, and then she did what she had to to get out.”  That said, she marches into Thredson’s office and asks to start his treatment.

Kit punches his ball of dough.  Grace teases him about using the dough instead of taking his aggression out on Sister Jude, who ordered them to work double shifts.  Kit’s wondering if maybe he is crazy.  What if he imagined the whole thing because he doesn’t want to face the truth?  What is he? Crazy or sane?  Grace doesn’t care.  She has made a decision to stay with him.  They share a kiss, which leads to a passionate tryst on the countertop.  (Where exactly is their supervision??)  As they finish, the door opens and a guard walks in to catch them in the act.

Sister Eunice chooses a cane for Sister Jude to use on Grace and Kit.  The cane she chose, she says, is fitting for their punishment.  Sister Jude smiles and tells her that “she doesn’t know what has gotten into her,” but it’s an improvement.  Oh, Jude, if you only knew….  Grace wants them to give out their punishments and be done with it, but Sister Jude is concerned that these two are far too familiar with each other and are trying to create a “murder baby.”  Kit defends Grace, saying she was framed.  Sister Jude orders them both to be sterilized.  Frank the guard enters just as Kit tries to argue that they can’t do that to them.  He tells Sister Jude that two detectives are there to see Dr. Arden.  Sister Jude leaves, telling Sister Eunice and Frank to take Kit and Grace away while their paperwork is processed for their procedures.  Sister Eunice wants to take Kit, and she sends Grace off with Frank.  Sister Eunice has the eerie little smile on her face.  What is she up to? Once they’re alone, Sister Eunice removes a file from the cabinet and puts it in front of Kit.  As she leaves to give him privacy, she tells him that Grace isn’t as innocent as she claims to be.  He leans forward and starts reading.

Ever the curious one, Sister Jude bursts into Dr. Arden’s office pretending to need him.  The detectives rise to their feet.  Dr. Arden looks very uncomfortable sitting at his desk while she introduces herself.  They’re there to investigate charges brought upon the doctor by the prostitute that he’d attacked.  He insists that there is no case while we flash back to their odd evening together.  Arden doesn’t believe they even have a case against him, but they go on to say that the woman saw certain things—pornographic images, Nazi memorabilia—that make them want to look closer.  He dismisses them and leaves the room, but hearing about the accusation only heightens Sister Jude’s concerns about him.  It turns out that these aren’t vice detectives.  They’re homicide detectives, and there are things about the evidence that caught their eye.  They ask her about the charges against Kit Walker.  Does he really seem like he possesses the surgical skills necessary to remove a woman’s skin, or to cut off her head with precision.  Sister Jude’s eyes widen with alarm at the implications.

Lana sits in a darkened room with Dr. Thredson, who shows her image after image of women in provocative poses.  Lana finally is so overcome she vomits into a bucket.  He rubs her shoulder.  He’s giving her a morphine drip, which helps with this therapy to teach the body to be repelled by certain triggers.  He shows her a picture of Wendy that he brought from her house.  He tells her to say “when,” and she manages to hold on several moments before getting sick.  She asks for a few moments before he shows the next picture, but Thredson decides that they can stop this part of the treatment (aversion therapy) and move on to the next phase, conversion therapy.  He’s pleased with her progress and suggests that she might enjoy the next phase.  He brings in a young man, Daniel, who is willing (“honored”) to participate in her treatment.  She says she’s willing to do whatever it takes, which means that Daniel will take off his robe and she will regard his physique.  She’s afraid of him touching her, but Thredson says that she wants her to touch herself.  She complies, slowly, and he tells her to “focus on his genitals.”  She does.  Then he asks her to keep touching herself while holding Daniel’s “member.”  She manages this, but only for a few moments before she gets sick.  Thredson ushers Daniel out of the room and tells Lana that they don’t have time to delve deeper into the causes of her fixation.  They need to move on.  How many of you Thredson fans just fell out of your chairs?

Sister Jude informs Monsignor O’Hara that detectives were at the asylum to interview Dr. Arden about the prostitute.  She has reason to believe that he was a Nazi.  The Monsignor listens to her but believes that this is all part of the personal vendetta that she has against Arden.  When she insists that it’s the truth, he forces her to admit that the evidence comes from one of the inmates.  Perhaps this job is too much for her, he suggests.  She’d rather blame Nazi war criminals than look in the mirror to see the truth.  She says she’s only trying to protect their shared dream of building Briarcliff into a premiere treatment facility, but he drops a bomb on her.  He knows she has been drinking, and she was drinking on the night of the escape.  He tells her to pray on it to find answers to this dilemma.

Dr. Arden is working on Shelley when the phone rings.  It’s the Monsignor.  “They’re onto you, Arthur,” he says as Shelley writhes on the table.  “If you have any housekeeping to take care of, I suggest you do it now.”  Dr. Arden regards Shelley on the table while the Monsignor takes a long, reflective drag on his cigarette.

Sister Jude tells Mother Superior that she “slipped.”  The good Mother seems familiar with Jude’s story and tells her that God will present challenges all along the way.  It was He who left the carafe of wine on her desk.  Mother Superior suspects that Jude came to see her for other reasons, and she doesn’t seem surprised when Sister Jude tells her all about Dr. Arden’s transgressions and how the Monsignor doesn’t want to ask the difficult questions.  Men are like that, Mother Superior sighs.  They don’t like to be caught in these situations.  She urges Jude to talk to someone who can help, but Jude is reluctant to go behind the Monsignor’s back given that he was the one who helped her to find her mission in life.  Mother Superior disagrees, citing the fact that she was a broken woman when she arrived on her doorstep, but she always had a strong moral compass.  Sister Jude just needs to get back on track.

Grace hears a door open.  An orderly brings Kit to his cell.  Sister Eunice is with him.  Kit looks pale and sad and he doesn’t look over at Grace.  Once he’s locked up, Sister Eunice leaves, casting a long look at Grace.  Grace immediately asks if Kit is all right.  They haven’t cut his balls off, he tells her.  He demands to know why she lied to him.  Grace realizes that he knows what she did, and she asks if he wants to hear that she’s sorry, which she isn’t.  Then she tells the story of how her father used to come into their room at night and do things to her.  She told her stepmother what was happening but she kept Grace quiet by giving her candy.  Grace murdered her first, and then her father.  Her stepsister saw her murdering her father.  She asks if Kit is repulsed by her.  He tells her he admires her for what she was able to do.

Dr. Thredson seeks Lana out in the day room.  He tells her that he has felt sick for doing what he did to her.  He gives her the photo of Wendy and tells her that he’s leaving at the end of the week, and he plans to bring Lana with him.

Sister Jude is in a room with Kit, who wants to confess about his crime.  He wants to know if God truly knows everything.  Does He know whether or not he killed those women?  He can’t remember, but based on what everyone tells him, he must have done it.  He begs Sister Jude to forgive him.  She says that God forgives everyone who asks for it.

Dr. Arden drags Anne into his exam room.  She has brought all kinds of trouble upon him.  He taunts her, telling her that Anne Frank is dead.  As he locks the door, she pulls a gun on him.  She took it from one of the guards.  When he comes closer, she shoots him in the leg.  He falls to the ground but still taunts her.  That’s when she hears the noises coming from the next room.  She takes his keys and opens the door to find Shelley on the ground.  Her face is covered in blistering welts.  “Kill me!” she begs.

Well, my friends, this show has definitely taken off in a different direction now what we’re a third of the way into the season.  Where do we even start?  The scenes between Lana and Thredson were downright disturbing.  Is Kit pretending to go along with Thredson’s suggestions, or is it possible that he really committed those murders?  Is this really Anne Frank?  And what is Monsignor O’Hara’s connection to Dr. Arden?  As always, I want to hear your thoughts.  Where is the show going?  What more can possibly happen?  Leave your comments below!

Entitlement and Plain Old Stupid People

Lately I’ve really seen an uptick on people who believe they are incredibly entitled, as well as those who are just plain stupid.  And many who toe the line between the two.

If you drive an eco-friendly car, thank you for doing your part to help the environment.  However, your eco-friendly car does not entitle you to text while driving, run red lights, or drive while smoking pot.  I saw all three today.

Yesterday I watched as a woman’s credit card was declined at Walgreens. She proceeded to open her drink (the safety seal cracked open), take a swig, and then try to convince the clerk that it had been open already.  Then she fled the store with a pocket full of stolen items.

People who text or talk while ordering food or paying at a cash register irritate me as well. As if you can’t wait thirty seconds before resuming your conversation.

People who think they can do whatever they want just piss me off.  No one is better than the next person, and ignorance/stupidity is not an excuse for doing stupid things.

Doctor Who’s Peter Capaldi at Week 4

Tonight Doctor Who fans will be treated to a an old fashioned thriller of an episode.  We haven’t had any scary episodes lately that haven’t featured the Angels or Cybermen, so this is a treat.

I would love to know what your thoughts are on Peter Capaldi as the Doctor.  You know from earlier posts that I think he’s fantastic. 

But, please, tell me what you think! Are you enjoying the Capaldi Era of Doctor Who?