Month: September 2014

What Are You Watching?

The Fall TV Premiere season is underway.  The networks are vying for your eyes.  They want your viewership.  Nowadays, a new show can face peril after one bad night.

That said, what are you watching?

I’m hooked on Gotham already.  It’s gritty and dark.  It’s a police procedural set in a fictitious world where we know the main characters…or better yet, we know who the main characters will become.  There are Easter Eggs and double entendres aplenty if you pay close attention.  Technology exists, and yet the cars are from the 70s and 80s, though they look very new.  It’s an exciting concept, and I’m eager to see how it plays out.

What are you watching?

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The Walking Dead Recap S3E6:

The Walking Dead S3E6: Hounded

Original Airdate: November 18, 2012

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

Merle, Evil Glenn and some other citizens of Woodbury are out in the woods and the stumble across the cut up remains of a Biter.  Michonne has left them a “Biter-gram” that spells out “go back.”  Well, kind of.  The arms and legs spell “go” and the back is self-explanatory.  Clearly the Governor is correct—stopping Michonne is a public service.  But Neil isn’t so sure.  He expresses his concerns to Merle, who challenges his allegiance.  Poor Neil.  As soon as he swears fealty to the Governor, Michonne appears out of nowhere and stabs him.  She kills Evil Glenn and the other man before Merle can stop her.  Merle fires his gun and she uses a body as a shield, but not before he manages to graze her leg. That doesn’t slow her down as she retreats into the woods, Merle chasing behind her.  She manages to lose him, though, much to his chagrin.

Back at the prison, we learn the identity of the caller.  It’s a woman whose relief is evident when she hears Rick’s voice.  She has been calling that line since this mess started.  Rick wants to know where she is and whether or not she’s safe.  She is, she assures him.  They’re safe because they’re careful.  He tells her that he has a son, and after a pause he tells her about his newborn daughter.  Can they take on other people?  The voice hesitates and says she must confer with the other members of the group.  Despite his plea, she doesn’t allow him to make his case directly to the group and she instead tells him that she will call back in two hours (which is interesting…how do they know what time it is anymore??).  Rick begs her not to hang up.  I think Andrew Lincoln could submit this scene as consideration for an Emmy.  It has been a long time since viewers have been able to see Rick’s raw emotions, and now they’re pouring forth like a fountain.  He’s almost unrecognizable as he tells her that people in his group are dying.  She hangs up and he stares blankly.

The rest of the gang is eating breakfast when a freshly bathed Rick enters the cell block.  He acknowledges Carl with a hand on his son’s shoulder, but he forgoes pleasantries and tells everyone that he cleared out the boiler room and now he has to clear the bodies.  Glenn offers to help but Rick insists that he needs to do it.  Daryl and Oscar are seated on the stairs away from the group seated at the table.  They seem to be comfortable together.  Daryl reports that Axl is trying to get the generators going, just in case they end up needing them.  It looks like the group has been functioning quite well in Rick’s absence.  He asks about ammunition, and their supply is running low.  Glenn and Maggie were already planning to make a run; they found a phone book and were going to hit some stores.  (This is ironic in two ways—one, ammunition would be the second thing I’d grab in the event of a zombie apocalypse, so the odds of finding a well-stocked sporting goods store are slim.  Two, just as we don’t know what time it is anymore, we also can’t consult the internet for business locations, which makes it absolutely necessary for yellow pages to be printed out in the future.  The fate of humanity could very well rest on it.)  As Rick departs, we note that he not only fails to tell everyone about the phone call, but he also fails to inquire about his daughter.  This isn’t lost on the group.

In the woods, Neil cries over the bodies of his friends.  Merle appears and tells him to buck up and get on his feet.  He shot Michonne and she’s getting away.  Neil is completely in over his head despite Merle’s insistence that some “serious shit” is going down.  He tells Neil he needs to rise to the occasion, something that he emphasizes by explaining that Michonne isn’t running, she’s hunting, and that means that she’s going to be coming after them if they don’t get moving.  But before they can leave, Merle reminds him of their code, that they don’t allow their own people to turn into Biters.  He plunges his bayonet blade into Evil Glenn’s forehead, and then he wipes the blood on his pants.  Now it’s Neil’s turn.  There’s some reticence at first, but soon Neil stabs the other man’s head (which is lying neatly beside his body).  The act seems to give strength to Neil, who slowly rises to his feet to follow his leader.

Back at Woodbury, the Governor finds Andrea watching some children play games.  He can tell that the gladiator games really bothered her, and when she goes to ask a question of him, he declines until she explains what she thinks about their games.  Andrea doesn’t see them as games; rather she sees the whole thing as something brutal, which doesn’t make sense because they are surrounded by brutality.  So why have them?  The Governor takes this in and switches gears, asking what she wanted to know before he made her condemn their lifestyle.  Andrea wants to contribute to the community, and she tells him that she wants to work the wall.  She’s a good shot, she says, and she would like to keep her skills honed.  When he asks if she can shoot a bow, she says she’s willing to learn.  This makes the Governor very happy.  Little does he know, she is very apt to get into trouble…as we all know….

Rick sits and waits for his phone call.  The desperation is evident.  The phone rings and a man asks if he’s speaking to the man “she was talking to.”  The man tells Rick that his people are safe and they have been safe for a long while.  No one has been bitten.  He asks Rick if he has killed anyone.  Rick haltingly tells him about the four people that he has killed, leaving Shane for last.  In Shane’s case, he had to kill him or risk losing his own life.  The man wants to know how Rick lost his wife, and I think we all paused and wondered how the caller knew about Lori.  However, this was a little trick by the writers.  The man points out that Rick has a son and baby.  That means he had a wife.  Rick closes his eyes and the muscles in his jaw are tense.  He doesn’t want to talk about this.  He says this to the man on the phone, who abruptly hangs up.  Rick realizes how he just screwed up and screams, though he’s careful not to damage the phone.  Are we watching Rick’s descent into madness?  I wonder why he hasn’t told the group about the phone call.  Didn’t he learn anything from withholding the information about the zombie infection after their trip to the CDC?  You have to share information with the group or else they will question their leader.

Andrea chats with one of the women who is defending the wall.  This young woman is proud of the fact that she is such a great shot and she promises to teach Andrea how to use the bow and arrow.  Her father trained her to go hunting, and would have been thrilled for her to go to the Olympics.  She’s using his prize bow, which is worth more than her car was.  That’s when she admits that she had to kill him for it.  Andrea presses her—surely it wasn’t just about the bow.  She agrees, admitting that neither her father nor her brother were themselves anymore.  Andrea immediately feels a sense of camaraderie with her and shares that she had to kill her own sister.  They agree that it sucks.  Just then, a lone Biter approaches their location.  The girl immediately takes aim, but she misses with the first shot as well as the second shot.  That’s when Andrea springs into action, jumping down from the wall, which is against the rules, and she knocks the Biter down and stabs him in the head.  That’s how it’s done, she proudly proclaims.  The girl isn’t impressed or amused at all.  That’s not what they’re supposed to do.  I have a feeling the Governor is about to learn why a large number of fans believe that the show is better off without Andrea and her idiocy.  Frankly, I wanted to roll my eyes when she leapt down from the wall.  It’s her own brand of stupidity that led to Daryl being shot last season.

Rick paces the phone room when he hears someone approach.  It’s one-legged Hershel.  Uh-oh.  Rick’s busted.  Hershel asks for a chair, which Rick provides for him.  He tells Rick that he can still feel his missing leg (he’s wiggling his invisible toes right now).  Hershel reminds Rick that he saved his life and that he has carried this group through the toughest times.  But Hershel wants him to know that Lori felt bad about the way things were between them.  It’s important that he know this.  She was going to tell Rick but he wasn’t able to.  If Rick needs to take time to heal from his loss, so be it.  They’re safe.  Rick disagrees.  They’re not safe.  That’s when Rick admits that he got a phone call.  He relates the tale to Hershel, who listens with an expression on his face that shows that he’s not sure whether or not to believe him.  The woman on the phone said they were in a safe place, and if it sounds right, Rick wants to try to get their group where these other people are.  Hershel offers to stay and wait for the call.  Rick says no.  He also tells Hershel not to tell the others.  Not yet.

Merle and Neil are still out hunting for Michonne.  They come to a clearing in the trees and Merle spins around, gun drawn, listening.  Suddenly he hears a twig break, and he swings around and pushes Neil away just as Michonne takes a swipe at him with her sword.  She cuts him across his chest and he falls to the ground.  Merle battles with Michonne, who quickly kicks Merle in the crotch and in the face while she tries to recover.  As Merle’s head clears, three Walkers descend upon the group.  Merle is caught off guard and struggles initially with his Walker while Michonne manages to regain her sword.  Neil has a better opportunity and jumps in to save Merle, who immediately uses his bayonet to spear the other Walker through the jaw.  Now safe, the two men turn to see that Michonne has already escaped.

Daryl, Carl and Oscar wander through the cells.  They find a door that’s moving with some badly injured Walkers inside.  Daryl says they must have missed them the night before and pledges to get them on the way back.  Then, slowly, Daryl tells Carl about his mother.  She liked her wine and her Virginia Slims, and she liked them in bed.  One night little Daryl was out playing, which he could do because Merle wasn’t around.  All of the other kids had bikes and Daryl didn’t.  Then some fire trucks sped past them and he chased after them, hoping so see something worth looking at.  Everyone was looking at him as he approached.  It was his house that was burning, and his mother that was burned to a crisp.  Carl has been listening to Daryl’s tale with a stoic expression.  “I shot my mom,” he admits.  He had to do it before she turned.  He tells Daryl he’s sorry about his mom.  Daryl grabs his shoulder and gives him a reassuring squeeze before continuing through the cells.  Poor Carl has had to endure the loss of not one, but two of his parents while Rick toes the line between sanity and crazy town.  Thankfully, the group has been there to carry young Carl through the hard time.

The Governor is making tally marks in his book when Andrea comes in.  She knows he is going to admonish her for going over the wall.  When she says she wanted practice, he pulls her from wall duty.  That’s when she admits to him that she actually liked the fights, but it was the fact that she liked them that scared her.  He points out that she started to turn away, but then she stayed, just like she could have left his office but didn’t.  He takes that as a sign that he might be growing on her.

Merle praises Neil for reacting so quickly, promising to buy the young man a beer upon their return to Woodbury.  Neil wants to keep going after Michonne, but Merle wants to leave and return.  They’ll tell the Governor they killed her, which is practically true given that she’s wounded and will end up dead soon enough.  But Neil won’t have it.  He won’t lie to the Governor.  Merle seems to make a decision.  He praises how far Neil has come and asks him again how to pronounce his last name.  A bird chirps, and that’s when Merle shoots him in the head.  I have to admit I saw that one coming.  But it also looks like Merle isn’t exactly on the Governor’s leash.

Michonne grabs her supplies and then she stumbles upon a small group of Walkers.  She clearly isn’t in any condition to fight them off, but as she raises her sword, she notices that they walk right past her.  Once they’re gone, she realizes that she’s still covered in Walker intestines and blood, which makes her smell like one of them.  Thank goodness…I don’t think she could have fought them off in her weakened state.

The phone rings and Rick is quick to answer it.  The woman is back and she wants to know why he didn’t tell the man about how his wife died.  “You need to talk about it, Rick,” she says.  His eyes widen.  How did she know his name?  The interference on the line gets worse and the call is dropped, but not before Rick starts to wonder what the hell is going on.

Michonne wanders into a small town.  She’s limping badly.  A car approaches and she hides.  She watches Maggie and Glenn get out and explore the area.  They kiss each other before opening the door to the store.  Birds fly out, but so far that’s the worst of it.  Glenn goes in, and Maggie tells him to grab the little stuffed duck.  Can you imagine growing up in a prison without toys? She laughs.  Michonne watches all of this with interest.

Andrea sits in the Governor’s well-appointed private garden.  She teases him about being the kind of man who probably waxed his car every weekend.  He admits that he wasn’t proud of any of that, not his car, his house, or his dumb dog.  She finds this hard to believe.  He points out that he did have someone.  Then he shifts the conversation to the whiskey.  It’s been so long since she’s had a good drink, she tells him.  It’s after five, so she should call him Philip.  She laughs, telling him that using his name will make her feel “less like a lobbyist.”  He watches her closely for a long moment, finally telling her that it’s okay for her to like the fights.  There are many people like “them,” he continues.  People who are willing to fight.  “Eat, drink and be merry.  Tomorrow we die,” he says.  He pulls out all of the charm and seduces her, and she falls right into it, kissing him with passion equal to his own.  The only difference is that she has no idea what this man is capable of.

Maggie and Glenn hit the “powdered milk jackpot” at the store.  As they celebrate and talk about how different it is being outside the walls (Maggie even makes the mistake of saying that it’s a good day), Michonne watches these strangers.  Who are they?  Before she can decide whether or not to talk to them, Merle appears from the other side of the building.  He’s carrying a gun, which he immediately puts down as soon as he recognizes Glenn.  Glenn realizes that it’s Merle, but neither he nor Maggie put their guns down.  Merle asks about his brother, and Glenn confirms that Daryl is alive.  Michonne puts together that these people were part of Andrea’s group.  She also realizes that Merle has something  up his sleeve.  Or, more accurately, behind his back.  Glenn tells Merle to wait there while they go back and get Daryl.  But that’s not what Merle had in mind.  He pulls out his hidden gun and shoots out the car window, then he takes Maggie hostage and demands that Glenn drive them back.  No, not back to the prison.  Back to Woodbury.  Another uh-oh.  But wait…Michonne heard the whole thing!

Oscar finds a pair of slippers in one of the cells, perfect for relaxing at the end of the day.  They’re all three standing in the cell when a Walker approaches.  They all fire at him and he collapses.  That’s when Daryl notices the knife in the Walker’s neck.  It’s Carol’s knife.  A glint of hope shines in his eyes.

Rick is still pacing in the phone room.  The phone rings and he hears a voice, distorted as it may be.  He believes the voice to belong to Lori.  His expression is bleak as he talks to his dead wife.  He hunches over and cries over the deal he made to himself, the deal to keep her alive.  He was going to keep them all alive.  But he didn’t, or rather, he couldn’t.  But he loved her.  He hears her tell him to watch over Carl and the baby, to get to them.  He looks up as the line goes silent.   Was this whole thing a dream?

The Governor and Andrea don’t waste any time getting busy in the First Bedroom of Woodbury.  A knock at the door interrupts their interlude, which leads the Governor to joke about not being off the clock after all.  Andrea asks if she “should hide under the bed.”  Not this time, he tells her.  He dresses in a robe and goes to the door, where Merle is waiting.  They go into the hallway and Merle tells him that the others are dead.  Michonne ambushed them.  The Governor wants to know if Merle was able to secure her head and sword, but he wasn’t.  This displeases the Governor, but Merle has something better.  He explains that he caught up with one of his friends from Atlanta.  They know Andrea.  Merle promises to figure out where they’re holed up, given how healthy they look.  This definitely makes up for not having Michonne’s head for his little aquarium.  Merle leaves with a grin on his face, while the Governor returns to Andrea.  They get naked again and hit the bed.

In the prison kitchen, Beth and Carl cook while Hershel cares for the baby.  Rick walks in with eyes only for his little girl.  Hershel hands her off to her father and he stares at her almost in disbelief.  His fatherly instincts come back and he cradles her tenderly.

Daryl stabs angrily at the floor.  The door keeps rattling and he gets more and more agitated.  He clutches Carol’s knife in his hand.  Finally he can’t take any more and he pulls the dead Walker aside and opens the door.  There sits Carol, barely conscious but clearly alive.  A myriad of emotions cross his face as he leans down and picks her up.  He carries her through the hallway like she’s his most valued possession.

Rick takes his baby girl outside, followed by Hershel, Beth and Carl.  Rick says the baby looks like Carl.  He hands her off briefly and walks down to the fence.  In the distance he sees a woman standing at the fence, surrounded by Walkers.  But she’s different.  She’s carrying a red basket full of baby formula.

It’s Michonne.

Holy God, what an episode.  This episode covered so much and is clearly setting the stage for things to come.  One thing that struck me is how much more I like Carl and how little I like Andrea.  Sorry Andrea.  But you can’t wander through life with those rose-colored glasses.  Wake up and smell the crazy shit!!

Ugh.  Don’t get me started.  I want to hear your thoughts.  What do you think is coming up next?  Are you having fun, or is the slow buildup not working for you?  As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

American Horror Story Asylum Recap S2E10: The Name Game

American Horror Story Asylum, S2E10: The Name Game

Original Airdate: January 2, 2013

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

Welcome to 2013, everyone.  I know that some people like to ease into a new year…and if you’re one of those people, you’re probably still reeling from tonight’s American Horror Story: Asylum.  Wow.  Oh wow.  I stared at the screen for a good five minutes wondering if I had been dreaming.  I did not see any of that coming at all.  For those of you in the “go big or go home” camp, I’m sure you’re reveling in the excitement.  In any case, let’s get to it, shall we?

The last time we saw Kit, he was dead.  Well, kind of.  Dr. Arden brought him to the brink of death to see if the aliens would return.  After a shot of adrenaline and a few blows to the chest, Kit sits bolt upright and asks Arden if it worked.  Did they come?  “No,” Arden replies.  His eyes, though, remain hooded as we see flashbacks of what really happened.  Lights filled every crevice of the surgical suite, and a very naked, very pregnant Grace is found in one of Arden’s rooms.  We see that he bends down to examine her, then he hooks her up to an IV and leaves her…while Pepper stands watch.  Kit listens in mute shock as Arden tells him their experiment didn’t work….

….except, as we all know, it did work.  Next we see Arden standing in his surgical suite with Grace on the table, draped in linens.  He’s planning an x-ray to see what’s inside of her.  But Pepper warns him that Grace is “protected.”  The x-ray would hurt the life growing inside of her, and so the rays will not be allowed to pass through her body.  Arden taunts Pepper, saying that even though she has now been granted the power to speak, she’s nothing more than a “parrot” for the aliens.  Pepper doesn’t flinch.  She seems to know that as Grace’s protector, she is safe, too.  Arden proposes a more invasive approach, but the scalpel is yanked away from him by some mysterious force.  He collapses in frightened shock against the stairs.  Pepper gets closer, telling him that it was easy for her sister’s brother to kill her nephew and cut off his ears and then blame her for the whole thing.  The judge took one look at her “micro cephalic” head and locked her away.  However, in this case, should something come to the public’s attention about Grace, the only person who will be blamed is Arden, and then he’ll end up as a resident of Briarcliff as well.  As she returns to Grace’s side, she suggests that he returns to his “whore-nun” so that she can lick his wounds.  Arden’s expression says it all—he’s terrified, and the worst part about it for him is that he doesn’t have any control of anything anymore.

Sister Eunice wheels Monsignor O’Hara into a private wing of the hospital.  He’s gaunt and his hands and feet have been bandaged, and he is filled with remorse that he fell for Lee Emerson’s tricks.  He’s clutching his rosary like a child with a security blanket.  Eunice kneels at his feet, reminiscent of Mary Magdalene, and removes his slippers.  She assures him there is a manhunt covering five states.  They’ll find him.  And don’t worry, she says, she’ll be sleeping in the bed next to his should he need anything during the night.  Yeah, like that’s comforting….  We see him while he’s still hanging from the cross, and the Back Winged Angel appears to him.  She isn’t there to take him, for he has work to do.  The Devil is in residence at Briarcliff, she says, inhabiting the body of his favorite nun.  He needs to cast the Devil out.  O’Hara worries that he’s too weak, that his thoughts are too transparent.  But the Black Winged Angel assures him that he will have help, and that he can use the rosary to keep God’s name on his lips, which will in turn keep the Devil from his mind.  Once he has been tucked into bed, he thanks Eunice while rubbing his beads.  She smiles sweetly at him, telling him that she’ll return after overseeing a delivery.  Exciting new things are happening at Briarcliff, she says.

Indeed, a bright new (well, used) juke box has been delivered to the day room.  Jude and Lana watch as Eunice blows the whistle to get everyone’s attention.  She’s doing this to spite me, Jude mutters.  Eunice declares that the juke box is meant to bring the ward into the modern age now that someone broke their recording of “Dominique.”  She stands beside Jude and talks about her without using her name, only referring to her by her patient number.  After nailing her with a few verbal jabs, she dedicates “I Put a Spell on You” to Judy Martin and then leaves the room.  Lana perks up with interest when she hears Sister Jude’s real name, but Jude reminds her that they’re all just a bunch of numbers.  Disgusted, Jude gets up and leaves, brushing past a dazed-and-confused looking Tate.

Lana rushes over to Kit and hugs him.   There’s so much that has happened since they last saw each other, but neither has had a chance to confess what they have been up to separately.  All that is about to change, however, as Dr. Thredson breezes into the day room like he owns the place.  And you’d never know that he’d previously been tied up in a storage room, either.  Lana and Kit are shocked as Thredson sits down.  Lana considers using the ashtray to bash his face in, but he moves it out of reach.  He compliments her pluck, hoping that she passes this trait on to their child.  Kit looks on in confusion.  Thredson tells him that her attempt to abort the child didn’t work.  In fact, the baby is the only thing keeping her safe, and obviously he’ll need to keep her around until she’s done breastfeeding.  At that point, all bets are off.  Kit is on thin ice, too, given that he’s a “wanted man.”  But turning him in for the reward simply won’t work.  Now we see why he hasn’t been turned in yet—until the taped confession is found, Kit will be housed at Briarcliff.  Thredson offers them a small smile.  They can continue this conversation later during their therapy sessions.  Sister Eunice has offered him a permanent job at the asylum.  “She’s a remarkably forward thinking administrator, for a nun,” he muses.  “And surprisingly adept at untying slipknots.”  With that little barb, Thredson meanders away, leaving Kit and Lana to ponder their newfound dilemma.

Jude is in her bed listening to the screams coming from the hallway.  Then the guards order everyone out into the hall as Sister Eunice struts into the corridor, cheerfully announcing a room check.  It keeps the inmates honest, she informs Jude, who accuses Eunice of mocking her.  But Eunice doesn’t have time to mock Jude, she laughs.  There is so much to be done.  Lana lunges at Eunice and forces her up against the wall, demanding to know why she set Thredson free.  Eunice calls for the guards, and then she calmly informs Lana that Thredson is a cutting edge doctor.  Lana tells her that Thredson will kill her, and then it will all be Eunice’s fault.  This makes Eunice even more gleeful.  Thredson’s only concern, she says, is for Lana’s welfare and the welfare of her baby.  With a pat on Lana’s belly, she tells the guards to boil Lana for twenty minutes in the hydrotherapy room.  Then Jude speaks up, which sparks a room search.  Eunice emerges with a cucumber and asks if she stole that idea from Shelley’s playbook.  As Eunice grasps the cucumber suggestively, she asks Jude if she thinks of the Monsignor when she’s using it.  And they just can’t allow her to keep “diddling herself,” Eunice muses.  “So punish me,” Jude replies.

Her wish, Eunice’s command.  Next we see Jude being strapped to the same exam table that Lana was strapped into upon her arrival at Briarcliff.  She’s exhibiting signs of manic depression, Dr. Arden explains, and therefore they must use the most common form of treatment: electroshock therapy.  After all, Eunice adds, that same treatment cured Lana of her “gynophilia.”  She sticks a gag into Jude’s mouth to keep her from appealing to whatever is left of the real Sister Mary Eunice, and then she asks Arden for permission to throw the switch.  He tells her that they need no more than 50% power…but Eunice cranks it well beyond that.  Jude screams and convulses.

Later, a very different Sister Eunice tends to Monsignor O’Hara’s wounds.  She laments the fact that his wounds are healing so fast, as his wounds make him all the more worthy of sainthood.  As she finishes her thought, O’Hara grabs her and presses his crucifix to her forehead, calling upon mighty forces to restrain her and cast the demon out.  She easily throws him off and recites a dirty limerick for him, which leads her to wonder if he is as well-endowed as the priest in the rhyme.  She straddles him and taunts him over the fact that his body is betraying him.  He’s aroused.  She pulls off her habit and removes her frock, revealing pink lingerie underneath.  Eunice takes his hand and places it over her breast, telling him that they’re like Adam and Eve, discovering each other for the first time.  “I gave my body to Christ,” he gasps.  “What has He given to you?” she retorts.  As she rides the Monsignor to his first orgasm, she turns and sees Dr. Arden standing in the doorway watching her.

Meanwhile, Jude staggers into the day room with the same confusion that poor Lana felt after her “therapy.”  The other inmates laugh at her condition while Lana and Kit watch her in something that resembles sympathy.  “Looks like the turned the juice up extra high,” Lana observes, then she wonders why she doesn’t feel better seeing Jude in a similar situation as she had been in (by Jude’s own hand).  When Jude starts beating the juke box, Lana rushes over and stops her, then she asks if Jude remembers who she is.  She calls herself “Lana Banana,” then asks if Jude knows her own name.  That’s when Jude focuses on the music selections and chooses Shirley Ellis’ “Name Game.”  The next thing you know, the Briarcliff day room has become the set of Glee, with Sister Jude as the lead singer.  Lana and Kit become her backup dancers as she sings the song using inmate names.  The whole thing is surreal…and so perfect.  When it’s over, Lana is still there asking if Jude remembers her name.  Jude stares at her.  She’s stuck inside her own head for now. (And, frankly, being inside her head is fun if it’s like that all the time…well, apart from the electroshock part)

Dr. Arden wheels a load of fresh meat out to his pets in the woods.  The poor guy has had a rough time lately.  First he realizes that his sweet innocent nun is possessed, then he is berated and threatened by Pepper, and then he discovers Eunice screwing the Monsignor.  Eunice catches up to him and picks up on his jealousy.  She assures him that the Monsignor didn’t mean anything to her, which he believes, and he refuses to entertain her notion of performing a lobotomy on Jude, citing the fact that it’s something she wants.  Then after he has fed the creatures, he shoots them, ending the experiment.  Eunice is shocked and then amused by his tantrum.  Arden is at his breaking point.  He points the gun at his head but doesn’t have the courage to pull the trigger.  He tells her that losing her was more difficult that she could ever imagine, and she laughs at him and tells him he’s pathetic.  When he reaches out for her and begs for mercy, she casts him aside and walks away, leaving him broken.

Jude is in the kitchen trying to mold the dough into something useful, but her motor skills are gone.  The Monsignor enters and orders everyone from the kitchen except for Jude.  Once they’re alone, he slowly approaches and tries at first to help her with her work, commenting on the high dosage of medications they gave her.  Then he starts pouring out his soul to her.  She has always been his moral compass, and now he needs advice.  He doesn’t know what to do, whether he should leave the Church or not.  Jude was right, Eunice is possessed, and she stole his virtue.  He’s a broken man, too, but in a vastly different way from Dr. Arden.  He reaches across the table and grabs Jude’s hand.  It’s hard to tell what this means to her because her face is expressionless.  But when he asks what he should do, her expression hardens.  “Kill her,” she tells him.  His face crumbles, as if he’s already considered that and is looking for another way.

Thredson asks a guard to bring Kit to his office.  He stops by Arden’s office, and when he finds that Arden isn’t in, he enters and starts searching for sodium pentothal.  That’s when he hears the moans coming from deep inside the office.  He ventures deeper into the surgical suite and comes across Grace, who is on the exam table and she’s bearing down with all her might.  Pepper pops up at the end of the table.  “She’s crowning,” she informs him.  Thredson’s face registers his confusion for a split second before the wheels start turning.

Back in the Monsignor’s room, the good priest is saying a prayer asking for the strength to carry out his plan.  Eunice appears in the doorway and taunts him.  She asks if he’s ready for another round in bed, but he refuses, stating firmly that there will be no more indiscretions.  He stumbles into the office and she follows on his heels, asking how he plans to kill her.  Letter opener?  Too messy.  “You could bludgeon me with the statue of Saint Francis.  That would be ironic,” she laughs.  Will he use his rosary, the way he did with Shelley?  That’s right, she knows everything about him, and she makes sure that he knows it.  However, the fact that he wants to kill her isn’t putting her off.  She wants to take him to the highest position in the Church; she has figured out that power is his weakness.  She can get him there, she says.  But that ship has sailed for the Monsignor.  He follows her from the room, saying that the demon isn’t strong enough to overpower the goodness inside of Sister Mary Eunice.  He’s toying with her now, and it’s really starting to piss the demon off.  But as she threatens him, she cracks.  The real Mary Eunice pulls through and apologizes to the Monsignor and tells him that she’s tired of fighting.  “Then let go of me, Sister,” he whispers.  She lets go, and he shoves her over the railing.  Their eyes lock gazes as she falls.  When she hits the floor, her eyes shift toward the Black Winged Angel, who slowly approaches her.  “Take me,” Eunice whispers.  “I’ll take both of you,” the angel replies, leaning in for a kiss.  And then she’s gone.  Probably.  With this show, you never really know.

But it looks like Sister Mary Eunice is in fact dead.  Next we see Monsignor O’Hara saying a prayer over her.  When Dr. Arden walks in, he informs the doctor that she has been released from Satan’s grasp.  Arden can’t resist getting in another barb with the Monsignor, pointing out that she fell from the third story balcony, so it looks like it was his grip that failed her.  When the Monsignor talks about preparing her for burial, Arden stops him and insists that she is cremated, given the fact that every cell had been corrupted by the devil.  Briarcliff’s crematorium is still fully functional.  He refuses the Monsignor’s help, opting to see to the whole thing himself.  As O’Hara turns to leave, he mentions the smell that is often noted when people die.  St. Teresa of Avila’s body gave off a fragrance of fresh flowers for days after her death.  Arden asks what the Monsignor smells.  O’Hara pauses and gives Arden a long look.  Nothing but “decay,” he says, walking away.  Once he’s gone. Arden approaches Eunice’s body and gently dabs her lip with a cloth.

Upstairs, seemingly oblivious to everything that has been going on, Thredson meets up with Kit for their 3pm appointment.  Kit’s bravado doesn’t faze the doctor in the least.  Underneath his martyr complex, Thredson explains, is his savior complex, which is particularly strong with women.  If that’s the case, Thredson reasons, then it’s probably stronger with children.  That’s when he opens the office door to reveal Grace and her baby, with Pepper standing protectively behind them.  It would seem that Arden’s diagnosis was way off base, and since Grace claims that the baby is Kit’s, it would seem that Dr. Arden has been up to something in that lab of his.  Kit asks if it’s true, and Grace nods.  Kit instantly becomes wary of Thredson, asking what he’s going to do.  We flash to Thredson in the hydrotherapy room, presumably searching for the tape of his confession.  He finds a parcel under the tub and opens it to find a copy of “See Spot Jump.”  “I don’t want to ruin it for you, but Spot jumps,” Lana drawls from the doorway.  Thredson moves to hit her when she pulls out her trump card.  He wouldn’t want to hit the mother of his child, would he?  Now she’s the only one who knows where the tape is, and should he do anything to hurt Kit, she’ll find a way to get that tape to the police.  She’s plucky like that, you know?

Mother Superior pays Jude a visit because the Monsignor told her that Jude has been calling for her.  Jude tells her that she and the Monsignor are getting married…in the Vatican.  Mother Superior’s expression is troubled as she sees how delusional Jude has become.  But there’s something that Jude needs.  She points at Lana.  Jude tells Mother Superior that she wronged her, and Mother Superior needs to help her.  She needs to get Lana out of Briarcliff.  “Help her get out!”

In the bowels of Briarcliff, Arden prepares the body of Sister Mary Eunice for cremation.  She has been dressed in a white gown and in death she looks every bit as angelic and innocent as she did in life before the demon took possession of her body.  He touches her face lightly, lovingly, and then he bends down almost as if to kiss her.  The furnace is ready for her.  As her body slowly moves toward the fire, Dr. Arthur Arden climbs on top of her and embraces her as she enters the crematorium.  The door slams shut, and we’re left with the sound of his screams as he burns with her.

Well.  I don’t know about you, but that was no way to ease into the New Year.  There were so many critical elements to this episode that I don’t know where to begin.  For starters, who would have thought that a show like American Horror Story: Asylum could work in a musical number.  And the thing is, it worked.  That moment was just as appropriate as Lana’s drug induced Pulitzer Prize acceptance speech.  As always, Jessica Lange played it spot on, with flair and pizazz.  Someone give this woman another Golden Globe!

The little détente between Lana and Dr. Thredson is very interesting.  She has most of the power so long as she carries Thredson’s baby, and she can use that power to keep Kit and Grace safe.  But without Arden, Sister Jude, or even Sister Eunice to watch over him, there’s nothing really keeping Thredson in check.

So much to consider.  So many possibilities.  I am eager to hear what you think.  This may have been the best episode yet.  Please leave your comments below!

The Walking Dead Recap S3E5: Say the Word

The Walking Dead S3E5: Say the Word

Original Airdate: November 11, 2012

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

OK, so before we start this week’s recap, I have to repent a little bit.  Last week I wrote that the inmate that Oscar killed was an unknown person.  As it turns out, this was not the case.  The man who opened the gates, thus leading to last week’s slaughter, was none other than Andrew, the inmate who had been locked in the cafeteria with Axl and Oscar.  And of course we don’t really know whether or not Carol is dead.  It just looks that way.  So we can consider her dead until she shows up later, or we can consider her alive until she comes back dead, or a walker.  Your choice.  Either way, please forgive my transgressions.

Down to business.  As the fall turns to winter in most parts of the United States these days, the good people of Woodbury are enjoying a festival in the sunny haven they call home.  Milton brings Andrea an ice cold drink, grumbling about the wasteful use of the generators to make the ice.  Andrea, still wearing her rose-colored glasses, tells him that it’s great that the Governor has done this for the enjoyment of the people.  But more importantly, she wants to know more about the event that’s scheduled to take place that evening.  Milton looks pained momentarily.  “Mere words cannot adequately describe the festivities ahead,” he tells her.  And while Andrea doesn’t ponder just how dark his words are, Michonne looks on at the scene before her.  For her, the writing is on the wall.

The Governor sits in his room, listening to peaceful classical music while brushing the hair of the girl who sits at his feet.  The moment is interrupted when the brush tears out a bit of her flesh, sending her into hysterics.  Those strange noises we heard were the sounds of the Walker sitting at his feet.  She struggles against him, and he gets her into a straightjacket and puts a hood over her head, reassuring her that “Daddy’s here,” and he loves her.  Ladies and gentlemen, meet Penny, the Governor’s daughter.  As he holds her, he sees Michonne standing outside watching him.

Back at the prison, Rick is catatonic.  Daryl tries to snap him out of it, but he’s too far gone.  Maggie hands the baby girl to Carl, who takes her over to Hershel.  He pronounces her healthy, but hungry.  Daryl takes over; obviously they need food for her.  When Hershel says that she won’t make it without food, Daryl shakes his head.  No way.  “Not her,” he says.  He’s going to make a run into town to see what they can find.  Maggie and Glenn offer to go with him.  Before he leaves, he tells Beth to watch out for Carl, who just lost his mom and whose dad seems to be gone as well.  He gathers Oscar and Axl to help patrol the fence in case Walkers pile up.  As the group heads out, Rick picks up an axe and runs back into cell block C.

As it turns out, Maggie has been scouting the stores they passed through on the way to the prison, looking for baby food.  The car can’t pass through the debris, so Maggie volunteers to go with him on his bike.  Glenn is hesitant to let her go after everything she’s been through, but he reluctantly allows her to go.  (Aside: Knowing that Lori was due to give birth, don’t you think someone would have picked up one can of formula along the way?  You know, just in case?)  They ride out of the prison on the bike, and Oscar quickly shuts the gates.

Inside, Rick tears through the remaining Walkers with vengeance.  Has he completely snapped or is he just blowing off steam?

The Governor stands on the steps of the makeshift Woodbury Town Hall to address the residents.  This all started with nine people and some cans of Spam.  Now they have a thriving community that is safe and secure.  This day is about celebrating their progress and reflecting on those they have lost along the way.  “To us!” he cries.  (Happy Veteran’s Day to all of you veterans out there, by the way.  Your hard work and great sacrifices have allowed us to live in this great country and enjoy the freedoms that we possess).

Michonne is on a mission.  While the crowd is gathered in the square, she goes into the Governor’s rooms and retrieves her swords.  She comes across a notebook on the desk with some notations scribbled on the first few pages, followed by a list of names.  At the end is the name Penny, which has been underlined.  From there, there are pages upon pages filled with tally marks.   But what do they all mean?  There’s a locked door across the room, but before she can get inside, she hears people coming and hides.  It’s the Governor, Merle and Milton.  Milton tells the Governor that he feels that the use of the generators is frivolous.  He has been running an experiment and needs the extra power.  He needs ten days.  The Governor laughs and tells him to enjoy the celebration tonight and start over in the morning.  After they leave, Michonne sneaks out the window, leading into a previously unseen part of town.  It’s a warehouse courtyard filled with cages full of Walkers.  She lets them out and takes them down with her patented efficiency.  But clearly she’s puzzled as to why anyone would  keep Walkers in cages.  Her answer comes as someone approaches her from behind with a bucket full of bloody body parts, presumably to feed them.

Now caught, Michonne sits in the Governor’s room, fuming.  He enters, carrying her swords.  Does she get off on that?  There’s nothing to hide in Woodbury, he says, but she points out that people who feel that way don’t normally need to say it out loud.  Of course they all have their secrets, he says.  “Like Penny?” she asks.  His face registers several emotions.  He asks if she knew about her, and wonders if she knows that he loved her.  Michonne misreads the situation and believes that Penny was a lover.  He relaxes slightly when he sees that his secret is still safe.  As it turns out, he says, he was just about to give her sword back.  But now she presents a problem for him.  They have only been hospitable toward her but she keeps trying to leave.  Normally, there would need to be consequences for her actions given the nature of her crime (i.e. breaking and entering, theft, etc.), but the Governor is willing to look past it if she doesn’t tell anyone about it.  Michonne isn’t being fooled by his act.  She spins in his seat and takes her sword back, pressing the tip into his neck.  They exchange heated looks for a few tense moments before she backs away and leaves.  Merle, who had been stationed outside, comes in and wants to know if they have a problem.  The Governor asks for Andrea.  Then he sits down and ponders the situation.  He looks more shaken than we’ve seen him before.

Glenn is digging a grave when Oscar and Axl approach him.  The perimeter is safe.  Now they’d like to know if he needs help.  When Glenn doesn’t reply, Axl offers that he’s sorry for his loss.  Oscar tells him that he had one friend like that his whole life, and Glenn has a group of people like that. They were family, Glenn replies.  He sees Hershel approach and tells the former inmates that he needs two more graves.  Axl and Oscar get to work.  It’s interesting to note that they are willing to do pretty much anything, including killing their own, to fit into the Grimes Gang.  Now they’re digging two more graves, when there is only one body.  That says something.

Hershel tells Glenn that Rick is still inside.  Glenn can’t believe they lost a third of their group in one day.  “Because of one asshole,” Hershel points out.  He says that Oscar and Axl seem like good guys.  Glenn reflects on the man that T-Dog was, when he went to gather up people from his church in a van in case they couldn’t get out.  Glenn admits that he wishes they’d killed all of the inmates when they had the chance, and that way this wouldn’t have happened.  He’d gladly trade any of the inmates’ lives for a member of their group, but Hershel reminds him that those inmates were the ones who helped close the gate, and Maggie could have died if that hadn’t happened.  This gives Glenn a lot to think about.  In the distance, Axl and Oscar continue their work.

Andrea rushes into the Governor’s home. He tells her that he has a problem with Michonne.  At first, when he talks about how she took the swords, Andrea points out that you can’t steal something that belongs to you.  He tells her that she went into a private place and slaughtered some Biters.  Andrea wisely asks why he would keep Biters around, but he evades her question and says that Michonne is making people uncomfortable.  He doesn’t want her to leave because it’s too dangerous, but this behavior can’t continue.  “We’re not barbarians,” he finally says.  Oh, really?

Michonne is contemplating her departure when Andrea comes into her room.  She tells her that she can’t do things like she has been doing.  Michonne replies that it’s dangerous there and they can’t stay.  There is no leaving Woodbury, she says.  No one leaves.  Of course, Andrea doesn’t believe her, and since Michonne isn’t able to really point to any evidence, she wants to stay.  Woodbury is a great place and they need to stick around.  Michonne tried it out but can’t stay anymore, despite Andrea’s argument that she hasn’t given it a fair chance and “breaking and entering” isn’t exactly the way to express gratitude for a place where the people are only trying to help.  “This place is not what they say it is,” Michonne says.

Glenn searches for Rick in the corridor.  The halls are lined with freshly killed Walkers.  He finds Rick standing against a bloody wall.  Glenn tries to talk sense into him, telling him that he doesn’t have to clear the place out by himself, but as soon as Glenn touches him, Rick shoves Glenn up against the wall and stares him down before walking away.  Looks like Rick is still out to lunch at this point.

Merle and his “research team” take an army vehicle out to what looks to be a weather and communication tower.  There’s also a giant pit nearby, and they use the winch on the truck to pull up a net full of Biters.  Milton looks completely out of his element as Merle circles the net and critiques their catch.  He tells Milton to get his hands dirty, but when they lower the net, one of the Biters tries to grab Milton, who is wearing a shirt that has duct-tape-covered sleeves for added protection.  Merle pulls the Biter off and continues his taunts.  He stabs one blonde Biter through the eye while he holds another one down and pulls out one of its teeth.  So now we know that they Governor not only keeps Biters locked up back at Woodbury, but he evidently has a system for capturing and selecting which ones go back to the holding cells.

Daryl and Maggie arrive at a daycare center in what looks to be the middle of the woods.  He parks his bike outside the gate and they creep onto the property.  It seems to be deserted, but we all know you can never be too careful, so they scout around and go inside.  Maggie goes in first, ending up in a nursery room filled with cribs.  The only thing that looks out of place is the trash on the floor.  She finds diapers in a cupboard and starts loading up her backpack.  Daryl seems affected by the children’s’ handprints on the wall.  He shakes it off and continues to search the place.  They go into the kitchen, where they find an opossum.  Daryl shoots it and calls it dinner, but Maggie says it’s not going on the bike.  She grabs the containers of formula and starts filling her bag.

Back at Woodbury, the townspeople continue their celebrations while Merle stands guard at the front gate.  He sees Michonne and Andrea approaching the gate.  They want to leave, but he points out that it’s almost curfew and they’d need an escort.  Andrea says that the Governor said that they were free to go, but Merle tells her that she needs to step back while he discusses something with the guard on duty.  Michonne points out that there’s always a reason for them not to leave yet.  Finally, Merle agrees to let them go.  Michonne tries to get Andrea to leave with her, telling her that this is all an act and they set this whole thing up to make it look like they are letting them go.  Andrea can’t take eight more months of being outside of the gates.  This place is a good place to be.  She begs Michonne not to give her an ultimatum.  Michonne turns and walks out the gates, telling Andrea that she’s just “slow her down” anyway.

Andrea is alone on a park bench when the Governor comes to cheer her up.  He’s sorry things didn’t work out with Michonne.  He says it’s weird to lose someone “by their own choice,” saying he thought those days were gone.  He’s probably referring to the early days of the zombie apocalypse when people left safe places because they didn’t know any better.  Now they have idyllic Woodbury, and it seems bizarre that anyone would want to leave.  He offers his company to Andrea, along with a good strong drink.

Glenn is keeping watch outside the prison when Daryl and Maggie come barreling down the road.  Axl creates a distraction while Oscar opens the gates.  Inside the secure cell block, Carl cuddles his fussy baby sister.  Maggie and Daryl come in and Daryl quickly takes the baby, holding her in one arm while he feeds her.  He coos at her and she finally quiets down and drinks her bottle.  He asks Carl if she has a name yet, and poor Carl goes down the list of the women they have lost, starting with Sophia and ending with Lori.  Daryl asks her if she likes that, calling her a “little ass kicker.”  The group, sans Rick, laughs at the tender moment.  Yes, this baby is probably the safest child in the world at this point.

Rick continues his Walker slaughter through the prison until he comes across the place where Lori died.  He even finds the bullet casing that came from Carl’s gun when he shot his mother to keep her from becoming a Walker.  There’s a trail of blood leading to a Walker who is sitting against the wall, panting.  Rick sticks the gun in its mouth and shoots it…but then he sees the hairs coming from its mouth.  His gaze goes down to the Walker’s engorged stomach, and he realizes that this fucker ate Lori!  In a rage, he stabs it over and over in the stomach.

The people of Woodbury gather in that warehouse area that Michonne came upon earlier in the day.  Now there are seats set up, and music is blaring from the speakers.  Six Biters are chained up in the makeshift ring, and a man runs into the ring, shadowboxing with the Biters.  Merle joins him, and then we realize that this isn’t a fight with the Biters.  This is a fight between Merle and this other man, and the Biters are there as an extra element of suspense.  It’s a postmodern day Bread and Circuses, courtesy of the Governor.  As they fight, the chains are let out so that the circle gets smaller.  Andrea demands to know what is going on.  The Governor says this is a “way to let off steam.”  Andrea counters that you can do that by jogging.  This is “barbaric,” she says, throwing his own word at him.  He lets her in on a secret: the Biters’ teeth have been removed, and this is a way to teach the people of Woodbury that they don’t need to be afraid of the Biters.  Do you believe him?  I certainly don’t.  At any rate, Merle wins the battle after knocking the other guy out.

Back at the prison, Daryl places a flower on Carol’s grave.  It’s the same flower he gave her when he was on Sophia’s trail back at the farm.

Rick is sitting in the room where Lori died.  The Walker is still there, dead and bloodied.  He hears a baby crying…and the sound morphs into the sound of a phone ringing.  He walks over to an old rotary-dial phone and answers it.

Who is on the line?  The show ends and we’re left hanging.  It’s hard to believe how much we have gone through tonight.  Rick is on a rampage.  Axl and Oscar seem to be on their way to being accepted as part of the group.  Michonne and Andrea part ways.  There’s a zombie fight club going on in Woodbury (thanks to Chris Hardwick for coining that term).  Daryl seems to be a great baby whisperer (how cute was that!?).  And the Governor has a Walker daughter named Penny.

So much going on tonight…leave your thoughts below and let me know what you think is coming next week.  As always, thanks for reading!

Sir Paul McCartney: The Man, The Beatle, The Legend

I am listening to Sir Paul McCartney playing live here in San Diego.  He sold out Petco Park.  There are not many artists who can do that these days. 

What’s fascinating is the different kinds of people who lined up to get in.  Young and old, rich and not so rich, kids with their parents and grandparents, people speaking every language out there.  Paul McCartney brings us all together.

His music has a universal appeal.  It will never get old.  It will continue to be covered by new artists (“Yesterday” is the most covered song ever) and with each new iteration his music and the music of the Beatles will breathe new life into new generations of fans.

This has been a huge event for San Diego.  Sir Paul hasn’t been here since 1974 with Wings (my mom and dad were there). The local radio station has been playing McCartney and Beatles music all day in preparation for the big event, rebranding for the day to PaulFM. 

Welcome back to San Diego, Sir Paul.  Please come back again soon.  And thank you for sharing your gift with us.

The Walking Dead S3E4 Recap: The Killer Within

The Walking Dead S3E4: Killer Within

Original Airdate: November 4, 2012

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

With a title like “Killer Within,” you know there are at least a dozen things you can infer about tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead before you even watch it.  Is it referring to division within the group?  Let’s get right to it….

A deer has been slaughtered.  Somewhere in the prison, the Walkers are brought to the carcass, which has been dragged inside, effectively leading them on a path through the now cut-open gate.  Someone is sabotaging the security of the prison.  Whoever it is knows what he’s doing.  He has a plan.  But what is it?  Who is he working for?  (Note: Yes, I did just assume a man did all of this even though I don’t know that for sure.  The hands and feet look kind of feminine to me, but as a girl I’m going to blame this mess on a guy….)

T-Dog, Rick, Carol and Daryl are working to rid the grounds of the dead Walkers.  They’re going to move the vehicles to a more secure location.  But they will need help.  Where the heck are Glenn and Maggie?  They’re up in the guard tower (apparently for the second night in a row).  Bemused, Daryl calls to them and a half-dressed Glenn steps out.  The group exchanges a laugh.  You can see that the gang has settled into a somewhat comfortable routine at the prison, and the guard tower has become a love nest for the two young lovers.

Axl and Oscar, the two inmates banished to the other side of the prison, come through the gate to talk to Rick.  They don’t want to stay on their side anymore.  They tried cleaning up the bodies, but they knew those people.  It’s like having ghosts all around them.  “I’m not going to pretend to be a saint, but believe me, we’ve paid our dues,” Oscar says.  They’d rather face the unknown than go back there…so Rick locks them up on their side while the group deliberates on their fate.  T-Dog wants to give them a chance, to bring them into the group.  Maggie and Carol worry about allowing strangers into their little group.  Daryl knows that he could have been one of them, but even he’s reluctant to let them into their fold.  Rick tells a story of a boy he arrested for attacking his girlfriend.  The kid played the jury so that he was acquitted, and then two weeks later he shot another girl.  They don’t have the luxury of taking chances on this.  They cannot risk letting Oscar and Axl into their circle.

Back at Woodbury, Michonne surveys the perimeter.  She comes across the vehicles that the ambushed army men had been driving.  She sees the bullet holes and fresh blood on them; you can see the wheels turning in her head.  As she turns to leave, the Governor is standing there.  He’s sorry that she and Andrea are going to leave.  Michonne would make a fine soldier.  She’s curious about the bullet holes on the trucks.  Did the Biters learn to use weapons?  Why didn’t one of the soldiers drive away from such slow-moving attackers?  And it sure is a shame about Welles….  The Governor has a response to everything.  The men probably came under attack by bandits (if only his team had reached them sooner…).  They would never leave a man behind, so they all died together (how convenient).  And their doctor couldn’t bring Welles back, so Merle ended his misery with a bullet in his head.  Thankfully, though, no one knew him so he won’t be missed.  “Thank God no one knew him,” he says.  “Thank God,” she replies before turning and walking away.  She’s not playing his game.

Rick decides to give the prisoners a week’s worth of food before sending them on their way.  T-Dog says that they won’t last a week, and Rick wants to know whose blood he’s rather have on his hands, theirs or Maggie’s, or Glenn’s.  “Neither,” T-Dog replies.  He’s not happy with this arrangement.  Axl watches Daryl on his bike.  He has experience working on bikes, which he offers in hopes of being allowed to stay.  “Grow some balls,” Oscar tells him, shaking his head.  Oscar knows that they aren’t going to be allowed to stay no matter what.  There’s no sense in kissing ass now.

Beth and Lori bring some crutches to Hershel, who gets up and wants to take a walk.  He can’t stand looking at the bottom of the bunk any longer.  Lori helps guide him, praising his progress.

Michonne tells Andrea that their best bet is to head for the coast.  The ideal thing is to find an island.  Andrea wants to know what they’d do there…will they just grow old and die?  Michonne is willing to take her chances.  Andrea presses her for the unspoken truth—is her desire to leave founded in her lack of trust in the Governor?  Is it just too good to be true in Woodbury?

Glenn gives Axl and Oscar their food.  “Thank you, bro,” Axl tells him.  Oscar mocks him again.  Rick, Daryl and Glenn go out into the perimeter fence to start clearing out the bodies.  Carol, T-Dog and Maggie move the cars inside to a safe location.  While the all work, Lori, Beth and Carl bring Hershel outside for a walk.  Glenn sees them and comments that Hershel is one tough son-of-a-bitch.  The relief in their expressions is evident.  The group parking the cars stops to watch Hershel’s progress as well.  Everything is serene and almost idyllic, which is a really bad sign for this show.  Lori and Rick share a happy smile from across the yard.  Then Carl turns and sees Walkers coming at them.  These are the Walkers that were released by the unseen saboteur.  Rick, Glenn and Daryl run toward the prison.  They have to pass through multiple locked gates, which makes it damn near impossible to get to the others in a hurry.  Hershel and Beth lock themselves into a fenced walkway, while Carl takes aim at the approaching Walkers.  My God, his shot has improved.  Even pregnant Lori is a crack shot.

Maggie leads Carl and Lori into one of the cell blocks.  They run across the day room but find a herd of Walkers waiting for them.  Turning back, they head for a hallway.  Maggie shuts the door behind them, but that can’t hold them off for very long.

Outside, Carol and T-Dog make their way through the Walkers.  Carol’s shot has improved as well.  She wields a gun with the kind of confidence that comes with a seasoned shooter.  I bet Daryl has been giving her lessons.

Rick, Daryl and Glenn finally get into the yard.  They passed through the gate that held Axl and Oscar, and when they don’t close it, the two former inmates are left to ponder their next move.  “Hey bro, what about us?” Axl yells as they both move to follow the other men.

Inside the yard, Carol makes it through the gate and T-Dog moves to follow.  As he turns to lock it, a Walker jumps him from behind and rips a chunk of his shoulder out.  Carol screams.  He manages to shut the gate, shoot the offending Walker, and follow after her.  He may be bitten, but T-Dog isn’t out for the count just yet….

Andrea gives Merle directions to Hershel’s farmhouse.  He knows the area.  What he really wants to know is why he never hooked up with Andrea.  She points out that he called her a whore.  He did have a way with words, right?  Merle wonders why she doesn’t want to go with him to find the group.  He correctly guesses that she doesn’t want to find them because she doesn’t think they went out of their way to find her.  They were both abandoned by the same group, Merle muses.  Andrea doesn’t disagree.  She asks if he ever considered leaving Woodbury.  Why would he do that?  Merle points out that he was in bad shape when the Governor found him.  They didn’t have to save him, but they did.  So why would he leave?

Rick and company finally get into the yard.  Hershel and Beth are still safe in their little fenced in cubicle.  Glenn tells Rick that the lock was cut on the gate, which allowed the Walkers access into their yard.  But who would have done that?  They turn to see Axl and Oscar standing nearby.  The inmates could have run away, but they didn’t.  Why?  As the gang moves to go after Lori and Maggie, an alarm starts blaring out from the speakers all over the prison.  The sound catches the attention of the Walkers outside the fences, making them come out of the woods and into the clearing between the trees and the outer fence.  Where is it coming from?  Oscar tells them that the backup generators must have been turned back on.  He’d worked a few days in the area and can lead them there.  Rick points out that if the power comes back up, the gates could start opening on their own.  They have to turn them off, which means they’ll have to trust Oscar and Axl.

T-Dog isn’t dead yet.  He’s trying to help Carol get back to their secure cell block.  She tries to tell him to stop, but he knows his time is limited.

Back in cell block C, Carl leads the way through the darkened hallways while Maggie and Lori follow.  There are Walkers at every turn, it seems.  Suddenly, Lori gasps in pain.  There’s something wrong with the baby, she says.  It’s coming.  Carl finds a door leading to an electrical room.  They’re safe there…for now.  The baby is coming.

The Governor is practicing his golf swing from atop one of the barricades.  The balls are hitting the Biters and knocking them down.  Evidently, he has been practicing.  Merle joins him on top of the barricade and they share a joke about going to Augusta and letting people in who weren’t allowed in before.  Merle, however, seems to take issue with letting go of those traditions (outdated as they may be).  He wants to know if he can take some men out on a scouting mission to find Daryl.  The Governor trusts Merle’s tracking ability but points out the risk of someone getting hurt, especially after such a long period of time has passed since they were at the farm.  He can’t risk losing Merle, telling him that the place would fall apart without him.  He offers a deal to Merle, that if he gets more concrete information, he’ll go with him on the search himself.  Did you all see how the Governor’s eye was twitching when he said this?  It may not have been intentional, but it certainly added to the effect.  Never trust a man with a twitching eye.

Rick, Glenn and Daryl make it to their cell block to find the cells empty and the place full of Walkers.  Someone is playing games with them.  They split into two groups, and whoever gets to the generators first needs to shut them down!  Well, duh….

Lori is in labor.  There’s no question about that.  Maggie helps her take her pants off (poor Carl doesn’t know where to look) and she tries to see if Lori is dilated or not.  Her dad told her how to deliver a baby, but this is her first time doing it.  She can’t tell where Lori is, but Lori knows that she needs to push.  They stand her back up and Maggie encourages her to let her body do what it needs to do.  There’s a gross noise and Maggie tells Lori not to push, something is wrong.  Maggie reaches down and finds her hand covered in blood.  Something is very wrong…this is why Carol was practicing C-sections on Walkers.

Carol and T-Dog find themselves in a corridor full of Walkers and no more ammunition.  Without hesitation, T-Dog rushes headlong into the Walkers, buying time for Carol to get past them and escape.  He tells her to go, and she does.  When she gets to the door and looks back, she sees a Walker tear out his throat.  She goes through the door and out into the light.

Andrea joins the Governor for a drink before she and Michonne depart.  He asks where they plan to go, and Andrea tells him that Michonne believes the coast will be safer.  He offers her a drink, and she refuses at first, citing her decreased tolerance for hard liquor.  He mentions the information she gave to Merle about his brother and wants to know if she has anyone out there looking for her.  There isn’t.  Everyone is gone.  The Governor tells her he lost his wife in a car accident over a year before this all started.  Now he just has his daughter (and that naked woman in his bed last week).  Before long she’s drinking with him to better days.  She’s not sure what she’s looking for anymore.  What matters now?  He talks about the mundane things he used to do before the world went to hell.  The scenery has changed, but the “way we think” is still the same.  She decides she needs to go before the raw innuendo kills them both…or something like that.  He tells her that she’s always welcome back, and then he tells her that his name is Philip.  God, this man is a player!  But what does he want with her?  It seems that at the moment he wants to be sure she doesn’t leave.

Rick’s group reaches the generator room first.  Daryl holds the door while Rick and Oscar try to shut the generators down.  A prisoner jumps out at Rick and tackles him.  He knocks Rick’s gun out of his hand, and Oscar picks it up, pointing it at Rick.  The inmate tells Oscar to shoot Rick so that they can take back their prison.  Oscar shoots him and hands the gun back to Rick.  Looks like Oscar can be trusted after all.  They shut the generators down and the alarms go silent again.

Lori isn’t doing well.  There’s too much blood and she isn’t dilated.  The horror of what needs to happen sinks in.  She needs a C-section….

Andrea wants to stay a “day or two” longer.  It’s not that much….  Michonne is quietly furious.

….Lori tells Maggie she can follow the scar from her previous C-section.  Carl knows that this will kill his mother, but she won’t allow anything to happen to her baby.  Words can’t describe the emotion of this scene as Lori says goodbye to Carl.  She tells Maggie that she has to “do it” when this is over, that “it can’t be Rick.”  Lori braces for the cut, and she slips away almost as soon as Maggie cuts her open.  With help from Carl, she pulls the baby out.  It doesn’t make any noise at first, but soon the baby starts to gurgle.  As Maggie moves to leave, Carl says that they can’t just leave her there.  He flashes back to the conversation her had with his dad in the barn, when Rick told him that he and Lori would die at some point and there’s no way he can ever be prepared.  Soon Maggie hears a gunshot and a stoic Carl walks out.  He took care of his mother.

Rick and the group find Carol’s scarf.  Daryl’s expression falls; the only person who understood him is gone.  They race out into the yard to see that Hershel and Beth are there.  Soon they hear a baby.  Maggie and Carl walk out of the cell block.  Rick sees the blood on Maggie and the baby and puts the pieces together.  Lori is gone.  As Rick goes to pieces, Glenn comforts Maggie and Carl stands there, expressionless.  Rick’s cries echo off the prison walls.

So, boys and girls, the “Killer Within” had many meanings, both literal and figurative.  Someone inside the prison opened the gates and let the Walkers inside.  Lori’s baby inside her was literally going to kill her if they didn’t take it out (which ended up killing her anyway).  The virus inside Lori was going to turn her into a Walker.  The Governor definitely has some double standards going on internally, one of which is his penchant for killing people.  Michonne totally knows that something is really rotten in Denmark.  It’s only the fourth episode and we have lost T-Dog, Lori, and Carol…for the love of God, who’s next!?

Leave your comments and let me know what you think is going to happen….

AHS Asylum S2E9 Recap: The Coat Hanger

American Horror Story Asylum, S2E9: The Coat Hanger

Original Airdate: December 12, 2012

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

I’ve come to appreciate the fact that you never know what to expect from the AHS writers.  Tonight’s episode only reinforced that idea even more.

Johnny Morgan has sought out a hypnotherapist to help him curb his “urges.”  He doesn’t smoke, and she doesn’t think he needs to lose weight, so after hearing about how his foster family kicked him out of the house for finding evidence of his pastime, she assures him that it’s a perfectly natural urge.  How long has he been touching himself, she asks.  Confusion flits across his face.  He skinned a cat, he tells her.  It was already dead, but he found the process simple.  Then he found that killing them was just as good.  The poor hypnotherapist listens with increasing alarm and tries to tell Morgan that she isn’t qualified to help him.  But he insists that she can help him.  The voices in his head are urging him on more and more.  They’re telling him to figure out who he is by tracing his genealogy…and to hurt women.  We flash to poor Teresa being skinned alive on an operating table.  She won’t hold still, leading Bloody Face to remove his mask (and now we see that the present day Bloody Face is this peculiar Johnny Morgan) and tell her to hold still.  Skinning is delicate work, you know.  But then we return to the office.  You see, he doesn’t have the medical skills his father had….  MEDICAL SKILLS?  FATHER?  Wait…it can’t be….  Morgan wonders if it’s too late for him.  The hypnotherapist mistakes his question, thinking he wants to turn himself in.  But no, that’s not it at all.  He doesn’t want to turn himself in.  He wants to know if it’s too late to go to medical school.  And his name isn’t really Morgan.  It’s Thredson.  “I’m the son of Bloody Face,” he says.

Holy. Shit.

The crazy train continues when Lana is summoned to Demon Eunice’s office.  Eunice chastises the nun who brings her in for not knocking, just as Jude used to chastise her.  But now isn’t the time for any kind of sassiness, not in Lana’s “condition.”  Lana’s face is blank as Eunice leans forward gleefully and informs her that her lesbian affliction must have been cured, because the rabbit died.  She’s pregnant.  As Lana looks on in shock, Demon Eunice playfully offers her a Drano margarita, just like the ones her aunt prepared for her cousin when she got knocked up.  But that’s not an option for Lana.  And don’t worry, the asylum knows how to care for little ones before they’re relocated to the children’s home.  She’s going to have this baby.  And it isn’t just any baby; Lana is carrying Thredson’s baby, and she is going to have it.  Eunice hands Lana a paper as she leaves.  Lana takes one look at it and faints dead away.

Monsignor O’Hara is relieved when Jude awakens.  He tells her not to struggle.  She has been injured.  But Jude struggles anyway, realizing that she has been restrained on the bed, and she’s wearing the same headgear that Lana sported upon her return to Briarcliff.  He consoles her, caressing her cheek.  He should have noticed that she’d become unhinged.  Jude wants to get out of bed, but he can’t let her leave.  She killed a man.  Jude tries to explain that it was self-defense.  O’Hara shakes his head sadly.  There were witnesses.  She murdered Frank, the guard.  Wait…what?

We flash to the dayroom, where the police are interviewing Mr. Emerson, the delightfully deranged Santa Claus of Briarcliff, whose neck is now sporting a bright white bandage after Jude stabbed him.  He saw Sister Jude murder Frank outside of his cell.  Then we see Sister Eunice corroborate his story, followed by Dr. Arden, who maintains that she had become increasingly delusional.  Mother Superior tells the police that Jude suspected that Sister Mary Eunice was possessed.  Eunice goes on to say that Jude threatened her with the same blade, and she smelled of alcohol.  As Mr. Emerson confirms that he watched Jude murder that man in cold blood, the police mention the fact that he was in fact responsible for the deaths of 18 people.  He pauses reflectively.  The state found that he wasn’t responsible, he points out, and that’s what brought him to Briarcliff.  However, he sees that he really is responsible for sending those people to heaven, and he hopes through his quest for redemption he’ll be able to apologize to them someday.  Monsignor O’Hara leans forward, interested in this twisted yet intriguing perspective.

Back in Jude’s room, the Monsignor informs her that she has been remanded to Briarcliff, where she’ll live out the rest of her life as an inmate.  She will no longer be a member of the clergy and will once again revert to Judy Martin.  “You son of a bitch!” she screams at him.  O’Hara leans against the outer door, closing his eyes as she screams that this whole thing was a setup.

In the kitchen, a dazed Lana prepares bread.  She watches an orderly wheel a rack of laundry into the storage area.  Hmm.

Monsignor O’Hara in going through Jude’s personal effects when he comes to the red negligee she’d worn under her habit the night they’d dined together.  Eunice walks in and catches him holding it; she makes a joke about who she must have been thinking about when she wore it.  Demon Eunice is very chipper.  She’s gathering up Jude’s belongings so they can be donated to the needy.  She tells the Monsignor that Jude revealed his papal aspirations, which troubles him because he shared those things in confidence.  Little does he know, he’s in the same room with the Master Manipulator herself, Demon Mary Eunice, who agrees that he should be in Rome.  She sits in the chair and looks up at him, all doe-eyed and seemingly subservient.  She wants to help him get to Rome.  She wants to save souls.  This raises his spirits a little.  However, she never actually said whose souls she wanted to save.

Lana is escorted back to her cell.  The halls are ringing with the sound of someone screaming.  Once she’s inside and the lights are out, she pulls a coat hanger from her gown.  As the lightning flashes, she straightens it out.  What does she have planned?

Jude is thrashing around.  The headgear has been removed and two nuns are trying to administer her medicine.  The burly nun reminds the other that Jude isn’t a nun anymore, that she’s just another patient.  And she needs to take her pills.  How soon the Briarcliff staff turns on its own.  Jude scratches her cheek and the nun slaps her, threatening to get Frank…but, oh, wait…Jude killed Frank.  That’s when Monsignor O’Hara comes in.  He dismisses the nuns and admits that he wishes Jude would have calmed down by now.  There’s someone there to see her.  He sweeps the hair from her face and tells her the visitor might do more good than the pills.  That’s when Mr. Emerson walks in, his hands clutched in front of his chest.  He approaches the bed while Jude stares at him in horror.  Then Emerson lowers his hands, palms up, in an almost placating pose.  “I forgive you,” he tells her.  She can’t believe her ears.

Then we flash to Sister Jude and Frank working to tighten Emerson’s restraints in 1962.  He’s in a bed in an empty room and he’d being punished for something.  Frank smacks him when he talks out of turn.  Then we skip to 1963 and we see the same scene play out.  Jude and Frank had been locking him away, by himself, for years and years, as a way to punish him.  Now we return to Jude’s room, where Emerson leans down and kisses her.  She looks completely shocked at the turnabout, but she’s even more shocked when O’Hara escorts Emerson from the room, giving him a friendly pat on the back.  Is this the path for redemption, as O’Hara suggests?  Realization is dawning on Jude that she is in a world of trouble.

Kit’s IV drip is leaking into his bedpan.  When he hears someone approach, he puts it back, but then he sees that it’s Lana.  She tells him that they have to kill Thredson.  She doesn’t tell Kit about the baby; rather she says that when the staff finds him he’ll get out and no good can come from that.  Kit reminds her that they need him to clear his name.  But the only way they can get him to admit the confessions were staged is to use truth serum.  If they had some, they would be able to clear both of their names.

Down in the Death Chute, Dr. Arden wanders around trying to figure out what happened to Grace’s body.  He has a flashback to the bright lights that filled the hallway.  As he inspects the empty mining car, he notices strange footprints on the ground.  They look like huge deer prints, or maybe they belong to a Velociraptor.

Lana brings water to her prisoner.  Thredson glares at her when she reminds him not to make a sound.  He drinks deeply, then he gives her the evil eye.  “You’d like to kill me right now,” she remarks.  But he’s not going to.  In the ultimate “cosmic joke,” she shows him the paperwork that says she’s pregnant.  Thredson’s entire demeanor changes when he finds out he’s going to be a father.  He’ll change.  He has the drive, the motivation, he can be a good father, he tells her.  She pulls out the wire hanger and pulls her underwear off, threatening to kill the baby.  When he begs her not to do it, she makes him talk about the women he killed, and why he did it.  He goes through each murder, all the way to Wendy.  His eyes turn cold as he tells Lana that Wendy is the one who locked her away.  Lana falters slightly, and then we start hearing his voice, even though he wasn’t speaking.  Kit moves out of the shadows, tape recorder in hand.  He has the whole thing recorded.  Lana tells him to put the tape in a secure location.  As Lana pulls her underwear back on, she tells Thredson that the baby is already gone.  She took care of it the night before in what became a bloody mess in her cell.  He fights his bonds, calling her a murderer.

Kit hides the recording under a tub in the hydrotherapy room.  As he leaves, he is interrupted by Dr. Arden, who seems pleased that Kit is up and about.  They go back to Arden’s office, where he offers Kit a cigarette and a glass of 18 year old scotch that Arden keeps in his desk for special occasions.  Kit knows something is going on.  Arden reveals that he saw Kit’s “little green men,” only they’re not little and they’re not green.  They’re terrifying.  They came as Arden was disposing of Grace’s body, and they took her.  Arden shows Kit the mold of their footprints.  Arden knows they are more advanced, and clearly there is some reproductive aspect to their mission.  Kit had sex with Alma and Grace right before they were both taken, so Arden suspects that Kit is the link.  He tells Kit that he wants to take him to the brink of death, believing that if Kit is valuable, they will come for him.  With a wicked grin, Arden adds that he doesn’t need Kit’s permission to do this.  However, Kit surprises him by volunteering.  He’ll do anything if it means seeing Alma again.

Back in the kitchen, Lana waits for the guard to lock things up, then she sneaks in to get a knife.  The guard isn’t stupid, though, and he catches her.  He makes her return the knife, promising that they’ll call it even if she just gives it up.  She doesn’t have the guts to kill anyone.  He takes the knife.

In the chapel, Emerson kneels in prayer while the Monsignor observes him.  Emerson tells O’Hara that he’s ready to repent.  O’Hara sees this as a huge opportunity to gain favor in the Church.  If he can oversee the miraculous redemption of this hardened criminal, it might get him closer to that papal dream.  He removes Emerson’s shackles and baptizes Emerson in the pool of holy water.  As soon as the deed is done, Emerson grabs O’Hara and holds him under the water.  O’Hara screams uselessly.  So much for idealism.

Lana fetches the wire hanger from her room.  She practices using it as a stabbing implement, using her pillow as the intended victim.  Next we see her sneaking into the storage room, determined to kill Thredson, but she finds that the room is empty.  She runs into the hallway to find Demon Eunice there.  Lana knows that she’s behind Thredson’s escape.  She tells the nun that the deed is done and the baby is gone.  Eunice puts her hand on Lana’s belly and we hear the steady beat of a heart.  No, the baby is still alive (“Thank God,” Eunice murmurs), and she informs Lana that it’s a boy.

A patient goes into Dr. Gardner’s office, needing some post-hypnotic suggestion therapy after downing a bucket of chicken.  She finds the office has been torn apart, and the poor doctor is in her chair.  When she gets closer, we see that Dr. Gardner is very dead.  The woman turns to flee, and she comes face to face with Bloody Face Junior.

Lana smokes in the dayroom, looking worse than ever.  She’s still pregnant and Thredson is somewhere in the asylum.  She looks up and sees Jude enter the dayroom, rubbing her wrists and returning the leers of the other patients.  The staff looks at her with disgust.  Jude sits down with Lana and asks for a cigarette.  She apologizes for what she did to Lana and eventually agrees that it was criminal.  But Jude wants to make it up to her by helping to get her out.  That didn’t work so well the last time, Lana points out.  Jude pledges to earn her trust, starting by smashing the “Dominique” record.  The other inmates clap now that the music has been silenced.  “Well, hot damn,” Lana murmurs.

Dr. Arden preps Kit for his death.  He explains matter-of-factly that he will inject one drug to stop his heart, and then he’ll inject two others after he is dead to revive him.  Kit looks horrified, but he steels himself and mutters the only prayer he remembers.  As soon as Arden stops his heart, the lights flicker and the room rattles with low frequency sound waves.  Looks like you should never piss off the aliens.  Arden leaves Kit on the table while he chases the source of the light.  There, in the same cell where Leo lost his arm, sits a very naked and pregnant Grace, along with Pepper, the inmate with the unibrow and shaved head.  The inmate tells Arden the baby is full term and Grace will need a room.  Arden’s eyes are full of wonder as he looks at Grace.  She takes his hand and places it on her belly.  Meanwhile, Kit’s fate is yet to be determined.

The janitor enters the chapel and finds Monsignor O’Hara nailed to the cross in a gruesome depiction of the Crucifixion.  He’s still alive.  The man runs out of the room.  O’Hara squints through the darkness as a woman approaches.  It’s the Woman in Black, the angel of death of squared off with Eunice.  “Help me,” O’Hara breathes.  She looks at him.

Well, fellow AHS fans, what did you think?  I think the season has surpassed the suspense that it had in the earlier episodes.  All of our friends are still hanging around the asylum in some form or another.  Now we get to see what’s in store for them.  Now it looks like there are two babies on the way, too.  Babies bring such joy…I can only imagine the joy that an alien spawn and the child of a sociopath will bring to the sunny halls of Briarcliff….

Any predictions for what’s going to happen next?  Leave your comments below!