How far is too far on “American Horror Story: Asylum”? We haven’t reached the point just yet, but the way things are heading we might find out soon enough.
“The Origins of Monstrosity” served up a whole lot of demented visuals while giving the audience a bit of backstory on several key characters. It was an overly talky episode and not quite as compelling as the rest of the season so far, but here’s what we found out:
Jenny Reynolds (Nikki Hahn) is an evil little girl and Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) loves her for it
“Monstrosity” introduces a pint-sized psychopath in the frightening form of Jenny Reynolds, a little terror rejected from Briarcliff because they don’t have a children’s ward. Still, her visit gives her enough time to bond with demonically possessed Sister Mary Eunice, who encourages Jenny to act on all of her darkest impulses. She also inspires Mary Eunice to reveal a humiliating experience from her past when the timid and tormented young woman was tricked into stripping naked at a pool party. Is it the demon or Mary Eunice talking when she celebrates the newfound control she has over her own sexuality?
The Monsignor (Joseph Fiennes) made a devil’s bargain with Dr. Arden (James Cromwell)
We haven’t seen much of the Monsignor so far, but maybe he’s not such a bad guy. In a flashback to 1962, we see what happened when he was put in charge of Briarcliff: Dr. Arden seduced him with the promise of medical experiments that would help all of humanity. Arden claimed to be working on an immune booster that needed human trials to “contribute to the greater good.” But the Monsignor never quite knew what Arden’s experiments entailed until he comes face to face with the now completely monstrous Shelley (Chloe Sevigny). The Monsignor puts the poor girl out of her misery, strangling her with his rosary and then confronting Arden about what he’s done. But Arden shuts him up by threatening to expose the Monsignor’s involvement in his ongoing experiments.
Bloody Face has serious mommy issues
Now that Dr. Thredson (Zachary Quinto) has Lana (Sarah Paulson) locked up in his basement, he decides it’s the perfect opportunity to unload intimate information about his past. Turns out he was abandoned by his mother at a young age, and he’s been looking for ways to compensate for that ever since. Wearing the skin of his victims is just his attempt to feel a mother’s touch. Makes sense, right? Lana plays along with Thredson’s delusions as she looks for any opportunity to get free. Once he discovers she’s plotting to abandon him too, it’s no more Mr. Nice Bloody Face.
Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) isn’t done with Briarcliff, or Dr. Arden, just yet
After hanging out her habit for a wild night on the town last week, Sister Jude is back in charge this week. But her prediction that her time is running out proves spot on, as the Monsignor informs her she’ll be transfered to run a reform school in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately for Arden, Nazi hunter Goodman (Mark Margolis) never received Jude’s messages to call off his investigation and he’s found definitive proof of Arden’s Nazi background. He tells Jude enough before he’s murdered by Sister Eunice, and then with his dying breaths lets Jude know that his killer was “a nun … one of yours.” Sister Jude definitely isn’t leaving Briarcliff without a fight. When she visits Arden to tell him she’s leaving, she offers him a congratulatory drink. He slurps it right up and leaves his fingerprints on the glass, just as Sister Jude wanted.
Teresa (Jenna Dewan-Tatum) is still alive … for now
“Monstrosity” also revisits the 2012 storyline, in which the present day Bloody Face has dispatched with all of his imposters and apparently taken Teresa prisoner in a creepy torture chamber that looks right out of one of the “Saw” sequels.
How far is too far on “American Horror Story: Asylum”? Maybe we’ll have an answer next week…