Confession time, y’all: I have no idea what the f*ck is going on. This week’s American Horror Story: Asylum has had the effect on my wee brain of a Jolt Cola-sponsored 48-hour horror movie marathon held in an operating steel mill. I’m no longer able to discern heroes from villains, the dead from the living, or a fake Boston accent from a real German one.
Asylum, you have finally broken me with these four simple, yet impossibly beautiful, words:
We begin with a bit of background nunsense: two smiling nursing sisters titter about Lilies of the Field as they arrive for their shift through Briarcliff’s front doors. I’m half expecting them to punch a clock on the way in as a sheepdog punches himself out. (“Mornin’, Sam.” “Mornin’, Sister.”) They arrive in the medical ward, where a very grey, very sweaty Grace (Lizzie Brochere) lies barely conscious under a sheet. One of the sisters pulls back the sheet to reveal gallons of blood soaking Grace’s downstairs area:
The sisters whisper intensely about the fact that Dr. Arden is likely behind this, but Bloody Crotch Grace is distracted by someone else in the room. It’s the luminous Frances Conroy, standing off to the side looking like she’s dressed for Helena Bonham Carter‘s baby shower:
Seriously, it’s like the Nanny McPhee Collection by Vivienne Westwood.
Gothy McPhee approaches Grace and asks her if she wants a kiss. Uh, hello – time and a place, lady! This ain’t last call at the Cubbyhole. Grace replies “I’m ready” and McPhee suddenly sprouts a huge pair of black wings. Oh my! Grace has stopped breathing, and Chicken Lady bends in to kiss her … but before she can, Sister Smiley pounds Grace in the sternum, bringing her back from the brink. Chicken Lady (who does not, as it turns out, “love life”) backs off as Sister Smiley comments, “We almost lost you, Grace!” Grace mumbles that they should have let her go.
In his office, Arden (James Cromwell) gardens. He’s always gardening, actually – is anything going to come of this plant obsession? He’s the King of Arden Gardens. He’s the constant Ardener. Sister Mary Eunice Whoopsies del Diablo, BVM (Lily Rabe) enters, commenting that seeing as how he’s “all thumbs” it’s good that at least one of them is green. She blames him outright for botching Grace’s sterilization, but he says he never touched her. Whoopsies insists: “All of her girl parts have been scooped out!” Remind me to not make butternut squash anytime soon. Arden tells her not to talk to her like that, demanding that she show him the respect duly owed to a murderous Nazi doctor with a teeny-tiny peepee.
She replies, “You really think you’re in charge?” and Arden slaps her.
You heard me, folks: Babe‘s daddy just slapped a nun.