Nature vs. nurture on 'American Horror Story'
November 22nd, 2012
11:54 AM ET

Nature vs. nurture on 'American Horror Story'

[Editor's Note: This post contains spoilers for the November 21 episode of FX's "American Horror Story: Asylum."]

It would be difficult to follow last week's epic installment of "American Horror Story: Asylum," so Wednesday night's show gave us a heaping helping of flashbacks, explaining the origins of several characters.

And just when you thought they had almost closed the book on the present day storyline, a group of detectives found Leo's dead body (Adam Levine sure has had an interesting week, from "SNL" to losing another team member on "The Voice" to being an armless corpse).

Three bodies were found hanging in the asylum as well - the two teenagers with Bloody Face masks, and a third. Hmm.

Back in 1962, Lana awoke in what she at once thought was her home with her girlfriend, but she soon realized she was still in Bloody Face's basement. Dr. Thredson explained that his psychotic behavior came about because of mommy issues. Lana decided to accept the role as the mother he never had, in order to keep herself alive. Thredson accepted her as the one he was looking for, at first. (Emmy-worthy work here by Zachary Quinto and Sarah Paulson, by the way.)

We're already well aware of Dr. Arden's background, though we found out a bit more last night. As he explained to Monsignor Howard in a flashback, he was cremating the bodies of terminally ill patients, but saw the opportunity to experiment on some of them to try to make people free of disease.

The Monsignor recalled all of this as he discovered Shelley in a hospital, the latest victim of Dr. Arden's experiments. When he confronted Arden, he learned that these latest experiments were meant to take humanity to "the next stage of evolution," which he explained would naturally happen once the Soviets nuked us. The Monsignor agreed to keep his mouth shut, lest Arden spill the beans about the asylum's secrets.

Never mind that Arden has secrets of his own. Mr. Goodman, the man who informed Jude that "Anne Frank" was telling the truth about Arden's past, wound up dead.

Jude wasn't in a position to take down Arden, though, because the Monsignor found her a new position outside of the asylum.

Sister Mary Eunice, meanwhile, had quite the episode - telling the truth about her true identity to the apparently-homicidal little girl roaming the asylum; discovering Jude's stash of lingerie; blabbing to Arden about Jude's Nazi hunting; and, oh yeah, killing Mr. Goodman. All so she could buy Arden's soul. (However, Goodman stayed alive long enough to tell Jude that he was killed by "a nun.")

Bloody Face, meanwhile, was prepared to kill Lana, but she continued to play the role of mother, and he was reminded that he first saw her as Kit was being brought to the police station for the death of his wife. (Kit has since taken the rap for Bloody Face's murders.) Thredson believed Lana long enough to keep her alive for a while longer.

Flash forward to the present, where the police have learned that Leo's wife is still alive. She is in the new (old?) Bloody Face's lair.

So the police are receiving phone calls from what sounds like Dr. Thredson, who would have to be in his 80s now. Again: Hmmm.

This episode wasn't as strong as last week - which was probably the best episode of the series so far - but I wonder where all of this is going with Arden and Mary Eunice.

Will you keep watching to the end of the season, even though only a handful of mysteries remain? Share your thoughts on video or comment below.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. danidimps

    The episode was disturbing but great. I'll keep watching. Also, didn't Arden say something about only needing to feed the woods ppl through the winter? What happens after that?

    November 25, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. wait

    wasn't he stuck with her for the night?

    November 25, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tim

    This was a great episode that showed us the origins of two of the biggest monsters connected to the asylum. We learned that Dr. Thredson definitely has serious mommy issues, and about the arrangement between the monsignor and Dr. Arden that inevitably lead to the creatures in the woods. I missed Wednesday’s episode, but caught up with it last night since it was recorded on my DISH Hopper. The huge amount of hard drive space on my DVR lets me save the second season on my DVR, which helps me keep up with the show when I work nights at DISH. I’m going to keep watching because now that we the origins of these monsters, I’m intrigued about their respective endings.

    November 23, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |

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