Last Wednesday we watched as candy apples were as accurately represented as would be a whore pretending to be a nun. The deliberate sexism in last week’s episode was rampant and it seemed like Ryan Murphy had hopped from one soap box to another, making men look like jerks and the 60’s again look like a decade we’d not want to revisit. An interesting thing occurred as I did my re-watch (which this show seems to warrant). All of the stupid decisions in last weeks episode were made by…you guessed it WOMEN! Whether Ryan Murphy had no clue how lame he made the fairer sex look, or not, they looked pretty bad. So let’s dive into this recap, avoiding candy apples, smelly clams, and mossy banks.
The episode opened in the present with the wife running from Bloody Face, and heading back to her husband, who’s still unable to move. She tries, pitifully to drag him into the room where his arm was torn off, only to have him dragged away. So she does what any useless damsel in distress would do. She leaves her husband, locks herself in and watches as our favorite mystery killer treats Adam Levine like a meaty pin cushion with an ice-pick. Let’s pause there for a moment, an ice-pick? It does raise some questions. Such as, how much blood will still be lost with such a small weapon, and if the ice-pick is Bloody Face’s weapon of choice, what did he use to rip the arm off? So with Adam Levine now successfully punctured Bloody Face begins banging on the door, which makes little sense, considering we assume he was already in there, and they lock from the outside.
Back at Lana’s, we see other likely lesbians consoling Lana’s lover (say the last 5 words ten times fast). After some over eager trick-or-treaters pop up bringing up the fact that “tomorrow” is Halloween and the lesbians leave, we discover what an idiot Lana’s girlfriend is. In a sequence that makes you nostalgic for Norman Bates, she takes a shower alone, with several windows open. I’m sure it’s meant to demonstrate 3 things, first, that “Psycho” was an awesome flick, second that the 60’s were a safer time, and that what’s-her-name (Lana’s _________ seemed repetitive, and just like Adam Levine people who die early, rarely have memorable names… Drew Barrymore in “Scream” anyone?) believes that Bloody Face is locked up. However, I still think she’s an idiot. I hate showering at home alone, and if I have to, I lock the doors, it’s common sense. No worries though we got a nice reminder of just how important it is to shower as I do, because what happens when she walks through her house? Bloody Face attacks with his favorite ice-pick! For me this was a nice wrap-up to the gay rights soapbox, and a lovely plot device as well. I’m sure someone pointed out when Clea Duvall signed the papers, that she’d regret her choice and try to get Lana out. Now we can move forward.
The next morning at Briarcliff the day starts with a room search, resulting in the knowledge that food brings rats and Lana’s been keeping notes. When the notes are taken she stupidly tells Sister Jude that she doesn’t need them and has a great memory. As singer Lana Del Rey (my 2nd favorite Lana, after “Archer”) puts it: “there’s no remedy for memory”…except for electric shock therapy that is. Sister Jude goes to Dr. Arden to see if he’ll use that method to help make Lana forget. He mentions that she previously objected to that method, and she tells him that prayer has led her to believe that it’s just “another tool” of God’s. Now I’m a Christian AND I believe that science and modern medicine can both be beneficial and tools of God. However, Sister Jude’s a power hungry bitch, EST is terrible, and we all know it. Regardless, Dr. Arden, like Ryan Murphy, is more than happy to have someone to shock so he sets it all up, having Sister Jude aid in the administration. Now do I feel bad for Lana here, and did I feel bad for Clea Duval’s character, sure, but they both made some stupid choices.
Next we see Kit, going to meet Dr. Oliver Threadson (Zachary Quinto). Threadson’s job is to determine if Kit is crazy. Kit has two options, he can act crazy and stay at Briarcliff forever, or behave himself like a good alleged murderer and go to trial, where he’ll likely be convicted and be executed. As Kit puts it to Grace later he “can’t fake crazy” the good news is, he doesn’t have to. While Threadson lies to Sister Jude about not being certain about Kit, all Kit had to do was say what he believed (that he and his wife Alma were abducted by aliens, she’s still alive, and he didn’t kill anyone). Threadson thinks he’s nuts and moves on to bigger fish. He approaches Sister Jude regarding Briarcliff. Their conversation leaves the viewers with two conclusions; one about the pure intentions of Dr. Threadson (thanks to a screen shot of him including the Virgin Mary), and one about the medical misunderstanding of Sister Jude. To her EST vs. any kind of actual therapy is a to-may-to/to-mah-to kind of argument, but then again she’s the type that still believes demon possession can actually occur, which is just funny, right?!?!? Actually demons are apparently just as likely to show up in AHS as aliens are. While demonic storylines are fun for scares, it does make me wonder how all of this will wrap up by the end of the season.
Our favorite little lamb is walking outside when she’s scared by Dr. Arden. He brings her a gift, a “candied apple”. Sister Mary Eunice protests because “sweets lead to sin”. I’d have protested because it was a CARAMEL apple (yes there’s a difference, and yes it matters, make the line “a caramel apple” if you can’t find a candied one). Her protests are for naught though and she takes a big bite. Do I even need to bring up Eden? I’m pretty sure everyone got it and I doubt I’ll ever refer to Ryan Murphy as subtle. Next we see Lana recovering, and Kit comes in discussing escape with Grace.
Skipping back to Dr. Threadson, he skillfully interrupts Sister Jude’s meeting with the parent’s of a “good boy gone bad”. We find out, that this son has ripped open the belly of a cow and eaten its heart. Dr. Threadson is “at a loss for words” and who wouldn’t be? When we meet this boy, any question regarding how possessed this boy is seems to be answered, at least for the audience and Sister Jude. Dr. Threadson says the boy needs to be “medicated”. What would one prescribe for possession?
Back with Lana, she’s nakedly persuading Grace to try and escape through the tunnel. Grace wants to take Kit and Lana refuses, it’s her “line in the sand” despite the fact that Grace is certain he’s not a killer. They share a moment acknowledging that they’ve both been betrayed by others.
We meet slut’s-her-name unsuccessfully trying to seduce Arden so she can go outside. He refuses, and she explains why she’s locked up (her philandering husband put her away when he caught her with two navy guys, because back then a woman had to be crazy if she wanted sex all the time). I’d like to point out though, that while it was definitely unfair that she was locked up for nymphomania and no one cared if men screwed around, she did mention she began masturbation at age 5, somehow I can’t help but see that as less than healthy. She also never tried changing her strategy with Dr. Arden, and therefore never got to go outside.
The Catholics called in an expert for the exorcism and insist that they need a medical professional present, so they recruit Dr. Threadson. The sexist priests exclude Sister Jude, only to have to bring her back in when their expert is killed (I’m assuming he’s dead since the monsignor mentioned last rites being performed). While the demon had taunted all of them through the exorcism, only Sister Jude, when left alone with him, loses her cool. He brought up the fact that she has no real power because she’s a woman, was once (seemingly recently) quite the floozy, and reminds her of an unfortunate hit and run. She begins slapping him and shaking him as the men come back in. I’d like to say that it was stupid of the exorcism expert to kick her out, but no one else let the demon get to them like she did. Somehow the demon is able to cause a power failure and for every cell door to open in a successfully eerie sequence. As the patients get out, Sister Mary Eunice runs to tell Sister Jude, just as the boy dies and the demon leaves his body. Having eaten the only apple recently, Sister Mary Eunice was of course the perfect host. Even before we saw her next scene, I realized we’ll all probably like her better when she’s possessed.
During the chaos Lana and Grace try to get out, but when Grace chooses Kit over Lana, Lana selfishly screams for the guards, thinking she’s doing a service to women everywhere. Now, she doesn’t know that her girlfriend was ice-picked by Bloody Face (which I assume was also a plot device to make sure the audience is certain Bloody Face is NOT Kit), but I’d argue that they all should have escaped and she should have gone to the police first thing. Some would say that her actions were sacrificial; I’d say they were spiteful, rooted both in fear and in the reminder of betrayal by someone she trusted.
Also I will point out, with dignity and well, grace, that my theory last week was wrong. Grace is definitely corporeal, and very angry as she is grabbed by the guards along with Kit.
While the asylum is going crazy, Dr. Arden is having a lovely time listening to Chopin and sipping wine with a whore, who just can’t take a hint. He wants her to be classy. He’s not just paying for “the act itself” but for a fantasy, one that would climax in screwing said whore, dressed as Sister Mary Eunice. Unfortunately for our least favorite doctor, (who can’t wait to see him have a conversation with Threadson btw?) things don’t go according to plan. The hooker finds a series of disturbing photos, including some that look like Bloody Face. She is, for lack of a better word, disturbed. Arden catches her, and while he still tries to live out his fantasy she’s actually the smartest chick in this episode. She bites him harder than a candy apple, knees him and runs as Arden falls to the ground in pain. The next morning Dr. Arden goes to check on his little muse, who is apparently sleeping soundly and scantily clad (at least for a nun anyway). The Dr. tries to maintain professionalism when she wakes up, describing the human body as a machine (in a detached creepy kind of way) but ends up distracted by her robe-less state. The “Sister” is acting a bit differently, but I guess that’s what happens when one is possessed. Somehow I think the demon will prefer to use her for sarcasm and scheming rather than heart eating, I can’t wait!
Finally the episode concludes as Lana is forced to choose a cane and watch as Grace (who is quite pissed) and Kit are punished by Sister Jude. Kit steps in though, and offers to take all the punishment. While I think Kit is awesome, somehow I wonder if his actions were entirely selfless. Was he perhaps also trying to win over Lana’s trust by being the knight in shining armor?
My conclusion is that while sexism is lousy and was used by male characters we didn’t really like, the only woman with sense was the whore. So did the women deserve to be treated like idiots if they acted like idiots, and did Ryan Murphy put us all through reverse psychology?
So what other questions/theories do we have?
Well if Bloody Face has killed again, it’s not Kit, if it’s the same Bloody Face in the present (as ice-pick may suggest) it’s not Dr. Arden as he would be too old. Most characters would actually be too old. Some online have mentioned that Bloody Face may be the monsignor, and Dr. Arden (whom the monsignor recruited) is helping him.
I’m more inclined to believe that Dr. Arden’s “dead” patients who were “cremated” may not all be dead. He certainly liked to experiment, and there are those “creatures” aka “Raspers” in the woods that Sister Mary Eunice has been feeding. So my theory at this point is there’s more than one “Bloody Face” and it’s due to Arden’s experiments.
Any other theories, please leave them below, and thanks for reading.