Well, whattya know, you take out all the crazed serial killers and the Nazi experiments and suddenly all the excitement is gone. After the insane runaway train that has been the last two weeks at the Asylum, the penultimate episode ground all that momentum to a screeching halt. Instead we were treated to domestic squabbles, a really long delusion, and the character assassination of our former heroine.
Seriously, what was this episode? It dragged on and in the end what was accomplished? Some characters we weren’t that invested in were killed, Kit was built up even more as a morality meter, Jude was built up even more as the fallen woman, and for some unknown reason the woman who has served as the story’s sympathetic heroine was portrayed as a cold, fame hungry bitch (maybe they want it to be easier on us when Johnny kills her next week). All we got was more underlining and overstating of the facts we already knew.
I can literally sum up this episode in one paragraph. Ready? A couple years have passed and Kit, Alma, Grace and their alien love babies were living in hedonistic bliss. Until you know, Alma gave Grace an axe to the back because she was talking about aliens too much. So then Alma was shipped off to Briarcliff (the only asylum in Massachusetts, apparently) leaving Kit all alone with only his sideburns to keep him company. Jude is still locked up in Briarcliff, battier than ever, and had an insanely long delusion about that angel of death. Lana finally got her book published and surprise! the true story of being falsely imprisoned, kidnapped, raped and nearly killed by a sociopathic serial killer and almost single handedly bringing down said manic wasn’t exciting enough, so she had to embellish a bit. Oh and also she’s completely self absorbed, self-obsessed and has no time for Kit and his foolish suggestion that she expose Briarcliff. Also, Johnny is still super crazy.
And there you go, kids. That was an hour of your life.
So now I guess I have to delve into the deeper meaning of AHS to fill out this recap. Damn you, Ryan Murphy.
Tonight’s episode underlined, among other things, Briarcliff as a metaphor for hiding from life. Sister Jude turned to Briarcliff to escape her past. Rather than working towards righting her wrongs within her own life, she changed her name and hid away in the asylum hoping to absolve her sins while simultaneously creating the confines that have ruined her. Her avoidance of reality resulted in her downfall.
Similarly, this week Alma tried to block out her ordeal with the still mysterious extraterrestrials, but Grace refused to let her forget. The only way to shut out the memories (and stop the drawings) is to give the axe murderer a taste of her own medicine. And where did this refusal to accept her reality land her? On a slab at Briarcliff. Running from reality will only result in imprisoning yourself inside your denial.
And now Lana is hiding from the truth. She has changed the facts of her ordeal and has blocked out the actual horrors she experienced. She may get away with her denial for quite some time, but I’m guessing, just like Murder House last season, Briarcliff will get the final say in her fate.
– Devin Mainville