American Horror Story, S2E3: Nor’Easter
Original Airdate: October 31, 2012
Recap by Sarabeth Pollock
Happy Halloween, boys and girls! Of course, our thoughts and prayers go out to the people dealing with the aftereffects of Superstorm Sandy. Let’s get right into tonight’s episode!
Teresa watches in horror as Leo pleads for help before Bloody Face stabs him repeatedly with his ice pick. Teresa reaches for Leo’s phone just as Bloody Face charges into the room and attacks her. Suddenly, Leo rushes in and tackles Bloody Face. You just can’t keep this guy down! Once Bloody Face is on the floor, Teresa stabs him until he lies motionless. She helps Leo to his feet and grabs the phone, dialing 911. Unfortunately for this most unfortunate duo, as soon as the operator answers the call, Bloody Face comes at them from the opposite hallway. They turn to run, and there he is again. With a gun. WTF?
He shoots Leo and Teresa. They collapse on the ground. (I’m not going to say they’re dead, not with this show) The two Bloody Faces pull their masks off—what!—and the one with the gun rejoices. I mean, did you see how they just fell down!? The other kid is much more aware of how much trouble they’re in. They went way too far with this little prank…but wait a minute—why is this guy’s arm ripped off? What the hell did that?
Dumb and Dumber look up to see the real Bloody Face emerge from the cell. Horror fills their faces as the real Bloody Face comes after them.
Will the real Bloody Face please stand up?
Sister Eunice delivers the mail to Sister Jude with a smirk on her face. Gone is sweet and innocent Eunice. Now she’s gone all demon-possessed. Demon Eunice. “There’s a storm coming, Sister Jude,” she says helpfully. Again, you can tell by her expression that she’s not just talking about the weather at this point. That’s not Demon Eunice’s style. Sister Jude finds a newspaper under the stack of mail. It has been folded to highlight the story of a missing girl—the same missing girl that Sister Jude killed all those years ago. Sister Jude immediately starts shaking and demands to know where the newspaper came from. Where did it come from? Who brought it? Sister Eunice’s sweet smile belies the evil in her heart. The mailbox? The mail man? She does a horrible job concealing her satisfaction as she turns to leave. The article is dated 1949, so now we know that fifteen years have passed since the incident.
Dr. Arden’s radio broadcast is interrupted by a breaking news bulletin about the weather. The powerful storm will hit the Eastern seaboard on Friday. It has been advised that residents leave the area, or be prepared if you don’t. Obviously the Briarcliff crew isn’t going to evacuate, so they might as well hunker down and get comfortable. But Dr. Arden isn’t paying attention. He’s tinkering with the bug-like microchip that he fished out of Kit’s neck. He takes it apart, and then it puts itself back together like a possessed Humpty Dumpty.
In the bakery, Sister Jude is kneading the hell out of a lump of dough. She’s also having vivid flashbacks of the night she killed the little girl. Given that, she’s incredibly agitated when Dr. Thredson walks in. She tries to play it off by saying that they weather causes the inmates to become restless. He accepts this because he’s more concerned about lecturing her on the use of corporal punishment. One of the inmates couldn’t even sit down as a result of the caning he received. Perhaps she hasn’t read the latest research from BF Skinner, but positive reinforcement is the new thing in treatment. When Dr. Thredson doubts that Sister Jude is capable of compassion, she surprises him by revealing that she is a “beacon of compassion” and that she’s arranged for a showing of “The Sign of the Cross” to help calm the inmates during the height of the storm. Dr. Thredson starts to leave, but not before requesting a copy of Jed’s autopsy. Sister Jude tries to say she’s too busy to get it. Dr. Thredson suspects that it’s because the report will read that he dies of natural causes instead of the truth, which Sister Jude counters by saying that it isn’t natural for a seventeen year old boy to die of a cardiac arrest. He suspects her reluctance to provide the report is attributed to her guilty conscience, which makes her think he was the one who sent the newspaper. His confusion makes it evident that he doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Demon Eunice’s job is done—Sister Jude is beyond paranoid.
Sister Eunice strides purposefully into the day room, hips swaying with a newfound swagger. She stops the music and makes an announcement about the storm, her lip curled in an amused sneer. Since the storm will cause chaos for the inmates, Sister Jude has arranged for a movie so that they can sit in the dark together. “The Sign of the Cross,” she says is a movie about “fire, sex, and the death of Christians.” She stares down one of the inmates, a woman who only speaks Spanish. Though the Mexican woman is an inmate, she can somehow see Sister Eunice for the demon that she is. She even refers to her as Satan. Sister Eunice approaches her menacingly and gives her a leer, her eyes lit up demonically. Where exactly has Sister Eunice gone?
Kit and Grace discuss the opportunity for escape that has just been presented to them. They will be able to get away unseen during the chaos of the storm and the movie. Kit believes it is the perfect chance, especially given the fact that they just tried to escape. No one will think it will happen again so soon. Lana comes in and Grace tells her about the new opportunity. Shelley observes them all, intently, her curiosity piqued. Kit tells Lana that he understands her concern, but he’s innocent. A guard approaches and interrupts them. Dr. Arden wants to see Kit. The fear in his eyes is tangible as he glances meaningfully at Grace before leaving.
Frank the guard runs down a list of everything Dr. Thredson has been up to lately. Sister Jude has been keeping tabs on him. So far, everything appears to be above board. Sister Eunice bursts in carrying the communion wine and a glass. Someone has been drinking it, she says as she pours a glass. Sister Jude’s eyes widen at the sight of the wine (remember, she told Monsignor O’Hara that she swore off all spirits when they had dinner together, and we know that she was a heavy drinker during her lounge days). Sister Eunice suspects that Spivey has been drinking the wine. She wants Sister Jude to taste it, thinking that it has been watered down. Sister Jude refuses. Oh, that’s right. Sister Jude swore off all spirits in 1949, when she “had a calling from Jesus Christ.” While Sister Jude looks dazed, Sister Eunice drinks the wine. That’s when Sister Jude notices the red lipstick she’s wearing. She demands that Sister Eunice stop drinking and she wants to know why she’s wearing lipstick. Sister Eunice is nonplussed. The wine isn’t watered down, and the lipstick is called “ravish me red.” But it’s not hers, she’s just trying it out. She says she told Dr. Arden that Sister Jude wouldn’t approve, but he insisted that red is her favorite color and that she’d understand. The lipstick is for Sister Jude. Sister Eunice leaves with the same little smirk, knowing that she’s just dropped a bombshell on Sister Jude.
Dr. Arden has Kit back on the exam table. He wants to know why the little mechanical insect is so attracted to Kit. He surmises that someone implanted it to keep track of what he’s doing in his labs. Was it the East Germans, the KGB? Or it could have been the US Government. They have groups who conduct surveillance. The Jews? Fellow travelers like himself? He viciously probes Kit’s neck with a needle, then a scalpel, assuring Kit that he will learn the truth. Poor Kit looks terrified.
In the cells, the Mexican woman is in bed reciting her prayers when Sister Eunice comes in. Sister Eunice teases her for being so fearful of her. She tells the woman that they should pray together for an answer. The woman doesn’t want to go near Sister Eunice, believing her to be Satan, but Sister Eunice shouts at her to get on her knees. However, it’s not Eunice’s voice. It’s the demon that had been inside Jed in last week’s episode. The woman reluctantly obeys, trying to grab her rosary from the floor. Demon Eunice doesn’t like that. They start to pray, and while the woman is distracted, Demon Eunice pulls out a pair of scissors and viciously stabs the woman in the neck. Blood gushes out all over the bed, and when she falls to the floor, Demon Eunice drives the scissors directly into her heart. When the woman is dead, Demon Eunice sits back with a content expression on her face. Next we see her carting the body outside. She dumps it out on the ground and stands back. Even with the howling winds around her, she can hear the creatures getting closer. Dr. Arden said they needed meat…well, here it is. We get little glimpses of the creatures. They’re mostly human, but their skin is raw and covered in welts. What are they? No matter what, Demon Eunice is going to take good care of these creatures.
Dr. Arden is sitting at his desk when there’s a knock at the door. It’s Sister Eunice, looking none too worse for wear given what she had just been doing. “Little sister,” he greets her, “my little ray of sunshine.” His face lights up as she enters the room. They sit and he asks how she’s doing. She tells him about the feedings, and she shares her concern for the creatures given how cold it is. He assures her that they only have to get them through the winter. He puts his hand on her knee and thanks her for her compassion. Then Demon Eunice returns. “Oh, please,” she scoffs. He just wants her there so he can “undress her with his eyes.” Dr. Arden looks horrified. Demon Eunice pulls off her habit and tells him she has had an awakening, but just not to the Lord. She teases him suggestively, sitting atop his desk with her legs splayed apart. Dr. Arden’s eyes take in the stockings she’s wearing. He can’t believe what he’s seeing. Demon Eunice continues to taunt him until he throws her out of his office. Now he’s just as shaken as Sister Jude.
In the day room, Lana watches Dr. Thredson help with preparations for movie night. She decides to go speak to him. He’s familiar with her case but isn’t allowed to offer any suggestions about her treatment. That’s not what Lana is after. Lana knows that he “isn’t one of them.” She needs his help connecting with her lover, Wendy, on the outside. Dr. Thredson points out that it’s her relationship with Wendy that put her at Briarcliff in the first place. Lana believes that Sister Jude is keeping Wendy away from her, and if she could only speak with Wendy, she could straighten out this whole mess. Dr. Thredson points out that she’s asking him to betray the leading official at the sanitarium. With a little smile, he takes her message and slips it inside his jacket. Lana smiles in relief.
Shelley approaches Grace in the bakery. She saw her conspiring with Kit and Lana. Are they planning another escape? She wants in. Grace is too smart to acknowledge anything, so she lets Shelley do the talking. Shelley claims to be smarter than the “bitch reporter.” She can help them. All she wants is to get out of the asylum and go to Paris. They’re twenty years ahead of the US. Here she’s persecuted. In Paris, she’d be celebrated. Grace is from France, surely she understands. Grace tells her that they left France when she was nine, but her mother insisted that the family speak French at home. Shelley vows that she’ll get out of there, with or without Grace’s help. But they could help each other.
Dr. Arden is turning his couch into a bed. When Sister Jude enters, asking if he’s preparing his love nest, he explains that the bridge may have been washed out so he’s staying the night. And he’s had a very long, strange day. He’s not in the mood for whatever it is she has to say. That’s when Sister Jude holds up the lipstick. Ravish Me Red. Don’t worry, she says, Sister Mary Eunice told her everything. Now Dr. Arden hangs his head. He has been completely caught off guard by what happened between them earlier. He admired her innocence and purity. It’s been taken from her now. It’s the asylum, he says. All of the undue influences around them. Sister Jude challenges this, saying that the looks he gave her weren’t transparent. Now she’s been exposed to things she can’t even begin to deal with. He argues that his feelings for her have always been pure. This is where it gets interesting. Just as he starts to unravel, Sister Jude suspects that he is trying to set her up so that he can take the asylum from her. He must have been the one to send the newspaper to her. But he doesn’t know what he thinks he knows. He turns, hearing her frenzied words. “You’re coming apart at the seams,” he comments, suggesting a leave of absence. He knows all too well how threatened she is by men. She is rattled, but she stands tall. “I’m on to you,” she purrs, walking out of his office. In the dark hallway, Sister Eunice stands listening to all of it.
Sister Jude paces in her office. The phone rings, but no one is there. Finally, before she hangs up, the voice of the little girl speaks. She tells Sister Jude that she left her there without bothering to get out of the car. This sends Sister Jude into a downward spiral, made worse by the fact that there is a pair of shattered glasses on her desk, ones that look exactly like the little girl’s. Sinking into a chair, Sister Jude weeps. Then she notices the bottle of communion wine that Sister Eunice so conveniently delivered earlier. Her fingers grip the bottle. I feel a relapse coming on. The next shot shows Sister Jude finishing off the bottle of wine. She’s completely wasted at this point. Upon hearing a noise in the hallway, she staggers out of the room.
Dr. Arden listens to the news report on the radio. The storm is getting closer, and several people have reported seeing lights in the sky. They claim they are not lightning strikes. Perhaps there is a downed aircraft. The little mechanical bug is spinning wildly in its glass container. But Dr. Arden is too busy contemplating the Ravish Me Red lipstick to notice it. Maybe those lights were a UFO….
The day room is chaotic, just as predicted. The storm has caused the inmates to become agitated. Sister Jude stumbles into the room and takes in the scene before her. She blows her whistle and the inmates scamper into their seats. Frank informs her that the Mexican woman hasn’t been seen, and she’s not in her room. Sister Jude will handle the situation herself after she introduces the film. Kit, Lana, Grace and Shelley, the most aware inmates in the asylum, can see that Sister Jude is clearly drunk. As she staggers to the front of the room, she tells the group that this can either be a new tradition for Briarcliff, or it can be another bitter disappointment. It’s all up to them. Dr. Thredson sits next to Lana, tapping her leg with his hand. Sister Jude introduces the film and its stars to the group.
As the lights flicker and the thunder crashes outside, Sister Jude tells everyone not to be afraid of the dark. At the end of every storm is a golden sky, and we must all walk on. We never walk alone. As she talks, she thinks of the little girl she killed. That little girl was all alone. She starts to have a meltdown, and she hurries to leave the room: “I’m off to find the Mexican.”
Dr. Thredson wonders aloud what that was all about. Lana tells him that Sister Jude is “nuts.” He doesn’t disagree. He tells Lana that he tried calling Wendy, but there was no answer. So he went to the house and found it unlocked. Inside, there was no sign of Wendy, but the windows were open and there were certain similarities between the way the house looked and the way the crime scenes looked in the Bloody Face cases. Lana tries to understand. They have the culprit, Kit, don’t they? Dr. Thredson expresses the fact that the police firmly believe that they have the murderer and they don’t want to even entertain the idea that they don’t have him. Dr. Thredson isn’t so sure anymore.
While Lana and Dr. Thredson are talking, Grace tells Frank it’s her time of the month and she needs to go to the bathroom. He lets her go, and Kit manages to use the chaos around him to sneak out unseen. Sister Eunice has taken a seat in the front row, her face rapt as she waits for the death of the Christians in the movie. Lana sees that Grace and Kit are gone, and she tells Dr. Thredson that though Sister Jude might misunderstand, she needs to go to the ladies’ room. At this point, Frank is so caught up in the movie that he doesn’t notice all of the inmates that are missing.
Sister Jude prowls the darkened hallways looking for the Mexican. Dr. Arden is looking at the lipstick and the creepy statue in the entryway of the asylum. Kit, Grace and Shelley realize that this is a bad night to escape, given how crazy the storm is. Lana catches up to them and says she can lead the way. She apologizes to Kit and says that her friend is in danger. He accepts her apology and tells the group that they need to leave through the staff lounge. However, there are guards everywhere, looking for the escaped Mexican woman. Shelley tells the group she can distract Carl, the guard, but they have to promise to wait for her. Don’t forget her. She goes out and manages to seduce Carl, dragging him to the hydrotherapy room while the others make their escape.
Dr. Arden puts Ravish Me Red lipstick on the statue. He paints her lips, cheeks and nipples, then he stands back to admire his handiwork. “There you are, whore,” he sneers. He shoves the statue and it falls to the floor, shattering into thousands of pieces. “Whore!” he bellows. Sister Jude hears the crash and moves to follow the sound.
Shelley is taking care of Carl’s “needs” but all of a sudden she stops, and when he asks why, she shoves him to the ground. He hits his head. “Sorry, Carl,” she laughs as she leaves the room.
Sister Jude rounds the corner and comes face to face with an alien. Yes, an alien. An honest to God alien! WTF!
In the hallway, Shelley has almost reached the staff lounge when she runs into Dr. Arden. She glances at him, terrified. “Where do you think you’re going, whore?” he demands.
In the Death Chute, Kit tells the group they can’t wait any longer. They have to go. Lana promises that she’ll write an expose on Briarcliff that will blow the place open, and hopefully that will help Shelley to get out. They run down the chute and out into the rain. They’ve made it!
Sister Eunice watches the film with child-like glee. Dr. Thredson notices the empty seats and alerts Frank, who tells Sister Eunice that they have a problem. “Now?” she says. “But the Christians are about to be eaten!” Okay, that’s not a good sign. She’s definitely out to lunch at this point.
Dr. Arden locks Shelley in his office. She was on her way to the infirmary, she tells him. He replies that they can play doctor in his office. Arden figures he’s probably the only man in Briarcliff who hasn’t slept with her yet, so he tells her to turn around and “spread her cheeks.” Shelley tells him that it’s her choice who she has sex with, and she yells “rape,” which only amuses Dr. Arden. But once he opens his pants, she sees his package and starts laughing. Was he in an accident? She expected him to be a lot bigger, considering that he’s like seven feet tall. This sends him into a blind rage. He hits her and knocks her out.
Outside, Lana trips over the body of the Mexican woman. They stop running to look at her, which gives the creatures time to find them. They can’t see anything, but Kit, Grace and Lana know better than to stick around. They can’t run deeper into the woods in this storm, not if they’re being chased. Their only alternative is to head back to the asylum.
Sister Eunice wakes up Sister Jude, who had been passed out on her bed. “We have a problem,” Sister Eunice tells Sister Jude. Sister Jude thinks she’s referring to the creature she saw, but when she looks around her room and realizes that she can’t recall how she got there, she decides not to continue that thought. Sister Jude demands that Frank tell her how they can lose track of three inmates. As she prowls the seats in the day room, she tells the inmates that movie night might have been ruined by the three individuals who have escaped. She walks past Lana, Grace and Kit, who are in their seats but soaking wet. Fortunately, no one notices this. As it turns out, Shelley, the Mexican, and “the pin head” are the ones missing.
Shelley wakes up on the examination table in Dr. Arden’s surgical suite. He tells Shelley that Sister Jude is indeed looking for her, but out in the woods, where she is presumed to have escaped. In fact, Sister Jude believes her to be the ring leader of the escapists. But Shelley has been a very naughty girl, he says, and he had to “clip her wings.” Good thing his surgical skills are still sharp. Dr. Arden pulls back the covers to expose the two stumps where Shelley’s legs once were. Shelley lets out a bloodcurdling scream.
Okay, so there was a lot going on tonight. It’s only the third episode and yet I feel like we’ve been going for months already. Sister Jude and Dr. Arden are locked in their personal, paranoia filled hells. Kit, Grace and Lana actually escaped but then had to flee to safety—back to the asylum. Dr. Arden cut off Shelley’s legs. And there was an alien at Briarcliff.
I don’t even have words for the stuff that went on tonight. I’m just blown away that Shelley doesn’t have legs, and that there was already an alien making an appearance. I’m eager to hear what you all thought of the show tonight. Do you think this season is better than last season? Are Leo and Teresa really dead? Where is Wendy? And what exactly was Shelley laughing at?? Leave your comments below!