“American Horror Story: Asylum” Recap: No Way to Treat a Lady

Before we even jump into this week’s ball pit of insanity, let me just say this: They got there. I frankly wasn’t convinced going into this season that any of this asylum foofery was going to add up to a satisfying horror tale on par with last year’s geeeeeeenius House, but holy flaming batcrap was I wrong. This week’s episode was such a game-changer that I may even write a separate essay on it, but don’t hold me or the Good Ship AfterElton to it. But just for the record, I do think this sh*t is legendary.

Now let’s begin.

We start things off in a proper, gas-guzzling American automobile, with a well-scarved Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) behind the wheel (I believe the look is called “Depressed Millionairess”). She walks into a hostel (?) of some sort and knocks on a door, which is answered by a kindly old Jewish fella. She’s looking for Mister Goodbarman, and she’s found him: he’s a concentration camp survivor who now devotes his free time to tracking down Nazi war criminals (remember, 1964 was PSE – Pre-Sudoku Era). She tells him that the Monsignor thinks she’s lost her marbles, but he corrects her: “Instincts are everything.”

She hands him a lean dossier on Dr. Arden – he says it’s all probably lies, anyway. He schools her on Project Paperclip, which is not a reality show that tasks Heidi Klum with selecting the next great paper clip designer, but rather a postwar rebranding effort that secreted Nazi bigwigs into the United States after the fall of the Reich and gave them false identities and histories. He asks if Jude has ever seen Arden shirtless – she hasn’t. He notes that Nazi criminals were tattooed on their upper arm with their blood type after the war, which I’m sure will never prove to be important or anything.

In Jude’s office, Sister Mary Eunice Whoopsies del Diablo, BVM (Lily Rabe) is rifling through Jude’s desk (why is it you can never find a Tic-Tac when you need one?) when Let’s Just Go Ahead And Call Her Anne Frank (Franka Potenta) bursts in with Dr. Arden (James Cromwell) at gunpoint. Let’s Just Go Ahead and Call Her Anne orders Whoops to go call the police. Seconds later, there’s a gun to Anne’s head – it’s security maven Frank: “Drop the gun or I’ll blow your goddamn head off.”

Well that went well, no?

No.

OPENING CREDITS

Let’s Just Go Ahead and Call Her Anne wakes up to find that someone’s gone to the trouble of changing her into her restraint-jammies. So sweet! She starts yammering on about seeing something inhuman in Dr. Arden’s lab, and Jude tries to get her to explain what it was she thought she saw. Because she looked everywhere and didn’t see any creature, and she’d looooove to nail Arden’s tiny nutsack to the wall with some evidence. Anne says that whatever it was couldn’t have just run away – “It had no legs!”

Before Jude can find out more, Sister Whoopsies interrupts to tell Jude that a man is there to see her. Not just any man – Anne’s husband.

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