American Horror Story: Asylum- The Origins of Monstrosity Review

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Almost halfway through the season, tonight may have seemed like a filler episode, but was actually so much more than that.

This week saw the most intense storyline of the season so far come to a head with Dr. Threadson, now fully exposed as Bloody Face, interacting with his newest prisoner Lana Winters. We get a little more insight into Oliver’s past, abandoned as an orphan he has always been seeking a mother’s love. He hoped to find this in Miss Winters, and she just may have convinced him that he can, especially when we find out he has been watching her long before her entry to Briarcliff, when she first started investigating Bloody Face’s murders for the paper. The chemistry between Zachary Quinto and Sarah Paulson is some of the best we’ve seen in this series to date, so as much as it might seem like Bloody Face wants to rid himself of his only living witness, I sense that Lana will be around a while longer.

Sister Jude is inexplicably back at Briarcliff this week after her indiscretions in the last episode. A young girl named Jenny is placed in Sister Jude’s care by her mother, convinced she murdered her young playmate. Despite her objections that there is no children’s ward at Briarcliff, she’s left there. Jenny finds her way to Sister Mary Eunice. Sister Mary Eunice as the devil has been a storyline that’s been underplayed, over shadowed by serial killers and Nazis, but is still very much a part of the season. Especially this week, as she lectures Jenny on the absence of god and kills Sam Goodman, the investigator who confirms that Dr. Arden was indeed a Nazi physician. Lily Rabe brings to her portrayal of Sister Mary Eunice possessed by the devil a sense of lightheartedness that is both comedic and horrifying.

We learn the Monseigneur’s  full complicities in Dr. Arden’s experiments through a flashback to when Briarcliff was still a TB ward. Dr. Arden explains to him his need for human trials in his efforts to make the human body immune to diseases. But as the Monseigneur is called to do last rights for a horribly deformed Shelley, he realizes the grave mistake he made in trusting Arden. He knows that even though Sister Jude was right, Dr. Arden is a monster, that she must be transferred because she knows the truth about him.

Back to modern day, for the first time in weeks, we hear Dr. Threadson’s voice calling 911, and then confirming killing both Adam Levine’s character and the Bloody Face imposters. It seems the masked serial killer is still at large.

This was a quieter and less eventful episode than the previous five, but the important revelations made were essential to the progression of the plot this season. Realizing how tangled Dr. Arden and the Monseigneur are is important to Briarcliff’s future, as is the reminder that the devil currently lives within Sister Mary Eunice. Obviously Jessica Lange’s character isn’t going anywhere, being such an essential character, but her future at the asylum is so unclear at the moment. And the intensity of the scenes between Lana and Bloody Face were at their peak. This episode was one of my favorites so far, even if it does not go down as one of the best of the season, because it ignored trivialities and played up the best dynamics amongst the cast members. It’ll be interesting to see what avenues the next eight episodes explore. Grade: B+

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