“American Horror Story: Asylum” returned last night, Nov. 7, with the first half of the all-new two-part episode, “I Am Anne Frank Part I.”
In the incredibly tense and brilliantly dark hour Dr. Arden’s (James Cromwell) evil past is revealed through a new Briarcliff inmate who claims to be Holocaust victim Anne Frank. Kit (Evan Peters) grows closer to Grace (Lizzie Brochere) and learns why she was committed.
Plus, Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters deliver their strongest work to date as Lana and Kit endure psychological torment via sessions with the almost-too-calm Dr. Thredson (Zachary Quinto), which ultimately makes us wonder about Thredson’s intentions…
Is the “good” Dr. Thredson a wolf in sheep’s clothing that is setting an evil trap for Kit and Lana?
Special guest star Franka Potente does an incredible job as the newest Briarcliff inmate, who believes herself to be renowned Holocaust victim, Anne Frank. Yes, Ryan Murphy and company are taking a huge creative plunge going down this road. But, the woman paints a very compelling case and of course it’s possible she’s telling the truth…
In a mad, mad, world we have to remember that a mentally ill person’s perception is their reality. In this case this girl is wholly convicted and really convincing.
And then we see that she remembers the evil Dr. Arden as a Nazi soldier with a different name that she met during her time at Auschwitz. She describes how Arden randomly selected girls by giving them “sweets” and took them away. Some of them came back terrified and sick. Others never returned.
Was Arden breeding his mutants way back then?
The call girl, who apparently escaped Arden’s dinner date clutches files a complaint against him and the police come to Briarcliff, asking questions.. They also reveal she found Nazi items in the box with the creepy photos.
This sparks Sister Jude’s (Jessica Lange) interest. But, we learn she’s putting her faith in the wrong man because when she conveys her suspicions to Monsignor Howard, he chastises her and brings up her recent drunken rant that the staff and inmates all witness.
He does this, of course, because he’s in cahoots with Dr. Arden and we can’t help but wonder what evil secrets lurk in his past.
Kit Walks the Thin Line Between Sanity vs. Insanity
Evan Peters keeps bringing his consummate acting skills as we watch Kit be subjected to yet another round of Arden’s beating and probing, looking for the tracking device and then he undergoes a grueling psychological session with Dr. Thredson.
It’s really eerie watching Dr. Thredson “tell” Kit in a gruesome play-by-play how he killed two other innocent women and then his wife in a fit on blind rage.
At first Kit refuses to believe what he’s hearing, but then he slowly crumbles and we can see him plunging into a dark pit of self-doubt where he begins to question his own sanity.
Why would Dr. Thredson tell Lana he thinks the police may have it wrong with Kit and then suddenly tell Kit he has to “face the truth” about what he’s done?
Something’s wrong with this picture–very wrong.
Thredson is looking at police files as he describes the gory killings, but is it possible that he knows the victims and the crime on a much more intimate level? Is Dr. Thredson actually Bloody Face, trying to convince an innocent man he committed heinous crimes to cover his own evil tracks?
The most heartbreaking scene comes when Kit throws himself at Sister Jude’s mercy, begging for forgiveness, trying to make amends with God. He’s believed himself to be innocent this entire time and now he’s cracking because if all these people say he did these terrible things, it must be true…
How terribly sad and utterly frightening that the line between sanity and insanity is that thin. We have to remember, Bloody Face attacked Wendy while Kit was locked up, and so Kit has to be innocent.
Unless, of course, whatever happened to Alma is a different version of the truth in which Kit is responsible and it has nothing to do with Bloody Face.
Or, Kit’s confession could be an elaborate ruse to get on Sister Jude’s good side, so it may better his chances for an escape.
What do you think? Is Kit starting to lose his mind or is he playing a good game of crazy to further a plan to escape or some other hidden agenda?
As for the aliens, that’s still a mystery, because now Sister Jude has seen one too. What does that mean?
Kit also grows closer to Grace and they become physically intimate, in what is clearly a very desperate act on both of their parts to feel something real and good, if only for a few minutes inside their prison.
He also learns that Grace did kill her father and stepmother in a very brutal way. She explains, however, that her father molested her and her stepmother covered it up – and she finally snaps in a real Lizzie Borden kind of way…
Peters was missed by the Golden Globes and Emmys last year as the unforgettable sympathetic sociopath, Tate Langdon. He’s certainly delivering some performances this season as Kit that should make Emmy sit up and take notice…
Is Lana Trusting a Friend or a Killer?
Speaking of Emmy-worthy, Sarah Paulson deliveres her most emotionally and psychologically disturbing performance to date as she subjects herself to Dr. Thredson’s aversion/conversion therapy in an effort to save herself.
The most terrifying thing about the whole sequence is that homosexuality was viewed as a sickness to be cured back in that era, and innocent people were actually subjected to these kinds of treatments.
How terrible was it, watching Lana’s veins get flooded with morphine to induce vomiting while looking at provocative pictures of women?
Then she was forced to touch a man’s private parts while touching herself in an effort to convert to heterosexuality.
The scene was so dark, intense and ultimately sad. It’s brave for Sarah Paulson as an actress to play the scene – as it’s also brave of Ryan Murphy and company at AHS to tackle this real-life horror head on in a very public way.
Thank God times have changed…
Dr. Thredson ultimately concludes Lana will never change (and shouldn’t) and then he shocks her by telling her he’s leaving the institution on Friday and he’s taking her with him.
Her eyes flicker with such sad longing and hope. Can she trust Dr. Thredson? Is he going to save Lana? Or, is he a cleverly deceptive killer who is leading her into a fatal trap? Next week’s preview shows her in a moment of extreme terror. Does Thredson have anything to do with it?
Overall, this episode is jam-packed with psychological terror and our hearts are still pounding fiercely at the end of the episode when a badly maimed Shelley begs “Anne Frank” to kill her. We are also left with many questions about what is real versus what is imagined.
While we can’t wait to get answers, it’s not hard to admit we’re quite certain the truth that is yet to come will most certainly scare us out of our minds…
“American Horror Story: Asylum” airs Wednesdays at 10 PM EST on FX Network.