“American Horror Story: Asylum” Recap: The Diary of Anne Frankenstein

First off, let me give full credit where it is due for that headline – I first heard the genius title mashup “The Diary of Anne Frankenstein” in gay horror director Joshua Grannell‘s (aka Peaches Christ) wonderfully demented horror comedy All About Evil. (It also later appeared in the anthology flick Chillerama.) But I’m delighted that American Horror Story gave me the perfect opportunity to use it. Martyred Jewish teenagers and mad scientists – they go together like chocolate and peanut butter! (“You’ve got your martyred Jewish teen in my mad scientist!” “No, you’ve got your mad scientist in my martyred Jewish teen!”)

Anyway, for once we don’t start an episode with Jenna Dewan Tatum squawking to raise the dead and Adam Levine using his remaining arm to text his agent for a way the hell out of what was supposed to be a 5-minute cameo, and THANK GOD FOR THAT. Instead, we start the episode with Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) mounting an impromptu runway show for the fall collection at Brides of Christ Casuals:

WORRRK! (You too, Frank. Is that from the Don’t Tell Mom, the Babysitter’s Dead collection?)

Jude is sashaying through the halls in the middle of the night because they’ve received a new nuthouseguest: a Jane Doe who started a bloody barfight after someone used an anti-Semitic slur. While she didn’t kill anyone, they think she may be crazy – probably because she looks like Lili Taylor:

…which, history shows, is rarely a good sign.

Turns out the stab-happy gal is NOT played by Lili Taylor, but rather by Run Lola Run hoofer Franka Potente. I like her. Jude asks the lady if she lost someone in the war, and she just starts whistling something that I can’t identify.

Elsewhere, poor, amputated Shelley (Chloe Sevigny) is still alive, and by the looks of it she has been given all sorts of horrible diseases and/or toxins by the slender, nefarious Dr. Arden (James Cromwell). She’s covered in open sores and other nastiness and when she asks, “Am I gonna die?” he titters, “After I give you this, you just might live forever” and goes to stab a needle in her eye:

Yikes! I gotta say that so far, with the blowjobs and head-shaving and amputation and torture, this has to be about the 16th most demeaning role that Sevigny has ever played. (And memo to her people: I smell one heck of a Proactiv campaign in her future once all this is finished!)

OPENING TITLES

In the sanitarium bakery (because, well, of course), Kit (Evan Peters) and Grace (Lizzie Brochere) take a break from making their award-winning crazy bread to catch up. She notices a fresh cut on his lip, and he tells her that Dr. Arden smacked him around while trying to find out where his six-legged chip went. Arden’s convinced that Kit somehow put it back in himself (so it must have gone missing from Arden’s jar?) and looked everywhere for signs of a fresh incision – finding none, he demanded, “WHICH ORIFICE?!?!”, which seems a bit presumptuous for a second date.

Grace tells him that she still believes him about the aliens (she doesn’t.) and he says that they have to hold on tight to their stories, because they define them. Grace decides to tell him her story…

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