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American Horror Story: Asylum Recap: Episode 3


The twists may tie you into a knot

Photo credit: Byron Cohen

Maybe if there was some subtlety to American Horror Story: Asylum, the bigger points that Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are trying to make wouldn't seem so forlorn. Sister Mary Eunice is bucking the constrictions of being a nun...but she's doing so as a possessed murderess. Sister Jessica Lange is still reeling from the guilt of a drunken hit and run in she gets goofy drunk and recites the lyrics to "You'll Never Walk Alone" to the patients of Briarcliff. It's a lot.

But first, we have the present day to deal with! As Jenna Dewan-Tatum watches, Bloody Face repeatedly stabs Adam Levin in the torso. Now she's a widow! Twist! Adam Levine isn't dead, and he somehow has enough strength after bleeding out for three episodes to wrest Bloody Face off of his wife and stab him repeatedly. Now the two of them are running for their lives, when--twist!--Two Bloody Faces appear at either end of the hallway, and one of them now has a gun and shoots the couple dead. Twist! They're just sick guys who took a prank too far. But twist! The real Bloody Face is still alive!

After all that twisting, we return to Briarcliff in 1964, on the cusp of a massive storm. Topical! And Sister Mary Eunice is really enjoying being possessed. She smears some ravish-me red lipstick on her mouth, wears stockings, reveals her how "juicy" she is to the Not Very Good Dr. Cromwell, tempts Sister Jessica Lange with a bottle of communion wine, and eagerly waits for the part in The Sign of the Cross, Briarcliff's inaugural movie night pick, when the lions eat the Christians. Oh, and she viciously murders and inmate who recognizes her demonic possession, feeding her to the creatures in the woods. All in all, a far cry from the nun Lesbian Lana refers to as "touched."

Lana has her own troubles this week. After she convinces Dr. Zachary Quinto to deliver a message to her "friend," Dr. Quinto returns with the bad news--delivered during the movie--that Clea DuVall is most likely Bloody Face's latest victim. Which means... Twist! Kit isn't the people skinner the courts have said he is! That slight suspicion on the part of the doctor is all it takes to convince Lana to join Grace, Kit, and Chloe Sevigny's Shelley in their escape plan.

Luckily for them, Sister Jessica Lange is reeling from receiving a phone call from the little girl she plowed down after getting plastered. She chugs that bottle of communion wine, and embarrasses herself in front of all the inmates, much to their delight. On a wild search for the woman Sister Mary Eunice killed, she runs into... an alien? It would seem. But then she's suddenly passed out cold on her bed, wondering just what it was she saw.

(This is the part where I have to tell you that suddenly, Jessica Lange has made the hard-nosed nun into a woman you feel for. That scene where she introduces The Sign of the Cross and requires notes to tell the audience to sit back and relax was actually uncomfortable. Just another reason why she can make any Ryan Murphy nonsense, no matter how outlandish, watchable.)

Shelley peels off from the group of potential escapees to distract a cute orderly with a blowjob, halting halfway through to knock him out. Twist! She's caught by the Not Very Good Dr. Cromwell, who is having a breakdown thanks to Sister Mary Eunice's newfound slutdom. He attempts to anally rape Shelley before she realizes how unhung he is and starts cackling in his face. Her punishment? He knocks her out and cuts off her legs. Since Sister Jessica Lange thinks she's escaped, no one will ever think to look for her in his lab. Poor Shelley. She'll never get laid again.

The final three potential escapees get all the way to the woods--before they find the creatures munching on Sister Mary Eunice's victim. They run screaming back into the asylum and take their places in the common room, which is enough to throw Sister Jessica Lange off their track.

Did that alien attack Sister Jessica Lange? Is Clea DuVall really dead? Are Adam Levine and Jenna Dewan-Tatum? Will Lily Rabe get to keep using her chest voice? And can a legless Shelley ever escape the clutches of the mad doctor? Tune in next week!

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Mark Peikert