American Horror Story: Asylum – I Am Anne Frank Part 1 Review

Photo Credit: http://www.vulture.com/2012/11/american-horror-story-recap-season-2-episode-4-anne-frank.html

What is crazier: a woman showing up at a mental institution claiming to be the famed Anne Frank, or actually finding her story believable?

This week in the asylum was a busy one for all of the main characters. When Anne Frank arrives at Briarcliff, she immediately recognizes Dr. Arden as a Nazi doctor from the concentration camp she was placed in. She recalls the mysterious but obviously horrific things he would do to women whom he singled out and took away, and when detectives show up to question him regarding his night with a prostitute, including the Nazi paraphernalia she found, his story pieces together even more. Perhaps even more shocking than these revelations is Sister Jude’s full confidence in the Nazi version of his past, and the Monseigneur’s complicities in his brutal acts.

Sister Jude is struggling with her role at Briarcliff. She wants to expose the evil in Dr. Arden, but she does not want to undermine the Monseigneur whom she credits with her own salvation. She seeks counsel from her Mother Superior, whose advice just might spark something new in Sister Jude next week.

It’s become perfectly clear, through his inhumane experiments on Shelley among other things, that Dr. Arden is truly a monster. What’s not clear though is who else in the asylum is.

Dr. Threadson is convinced Lana does not belong in the asylum, and attempts to cure her of her homosexuality in a heartbreaking therapy session. He genuinely wants to see her released, and he claims that he is going to see to it himself.

Grace and Kit take their relationship from friendship to romance, and are punished for it when caught. We get a lot of insight into both of their characters, but it’s hard to tell what is real. This week we see multiple versions of the murders Kit and Grace are both incarcerated for. Which alternate tales are true? It’s hard to say. Kit is questioning his sanity, and at times as a viewer the writers had me questioning my own this week.

The most shocking part about this season isn’t the gruesome images or the overtly sexual scenes that FX somehow gets away with airing, it’s the fact that every single week the audience gets more and more clues to the plots, but still is left to question their own sanity. This particular episode was one of my favorites thus far, as it took that even further with the characters we have grown to love and trust, like Kit and Grace, as well as a character we’ve questioned, Sister Jude. This part one of a two part episode set up a truly spectacular storyline with potential for Anne Frank (if that’s who she really is) to emerge a heroine, for Dr. Arden to be exposed, for the truth about Kit to be learned, for Lana’s escape…but we know American Horror Story well enough to know that absolutely nothing is as it seems. Grade: A

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