The craziest character in American Horror Story: Asylum may just be the show itself. If I were to diagnose the show (and I am because I enjoy putting my high school psych class to use by attributing mental illnesses to fictional entities) I would say AHS is suffering from dissociative identity disorder or as it’s known on the street: multiple personalities. One second it’s a story about alien abductions SMASH CUT it’s about the devil! SMASH CUT it’s about Nazis! SMASH CUT maybe Sister Jude isn’t evil, maybe Kit really is crazy! At this point I’m questioning my own sanity.
This week AHS took a break from their normal narrative of sunshine and lollipops to bring us some deeply disturbing imagery. The most disturbing might just be that this show, steeped in sex and depravity, has decided to introduce Anne Frank into the mix. Now, I am going to assume that this chick is legitimately crazy because Ryan Murphy may like risks, but even he doesn’t have the balls to attempt “Anne Frank is still alive, but is probably going to be tortured and killed by an evil Nazi psychopath anyway”. It’s just a hard scenario to pull off. Still, no matter how insane the accuser, her accusations seem to be correct. And, dun dun dun, Monsignor Howard is in on it! Those Fiennes boys, they may be easy on the eyes… but they’re all Nazis.
But the Nazi angle still isn’t even the most disturbing part of this week’s show. That would be a tie between mutilated Chloe Sevigny begging to be killed and the aversion/conversion therapy endured by Lana. Ok, it’s not even a tie because aversion therapy is a historical fact and last I saw Miss Sevigny she still had both her legs and the same disinterested expression in every picture.
But the idea that a homosexual person can be “cured” by being subjected to a vomit inducing drug while looking at scantily clad women or by loosely masked molestation was a sanctioned practice for licensed physicians and its not quite as far in our past for comfort. As I’ve said before, AHS’s greatest strength is playing on the inherent fears within our society. This week proved that we can also be disturbed not just by deformed bodies and mutilated corpses, but by being confronted with the atrocities we have made in the name of fear and misunderstanding. It’s another hard scenario, but this one was pulled off masterfully.
Oh, and also Grace is actually a killer, but we already knew that, right? Luckily she was abused so killing her abusers in the most violent and demented way possible is totally cool. She and Kit are free to taint as many baked goods with their love as possible. Like I said, sunshine and lollipops.
- Devin Mainville