American Horror Story is back! The brand new season, with a brand new title, Asylum, premiered last night on FX. Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy tickle our horror bones once again, with a different setting this go around. And yes, we have a horror bone. It’s similar in function to the funny bone, however it’s a hurt that makes you want to call someone Daddy and wear a latex suit.
Set simultaneously in 1964 and present day, the show centers around Briarcliff Manor, a former tuberculosis ward and sanitarium for the criminally insane. Adam Levine and Jenna Dewan play Leo and Theresa, a couple on their “haunted honeymoon” visiting the asylum in the present. There are three leading forces at work in the asylum. Monsignor Timothy Howard (Joseph Fiennes) runs the place. He has put in charge of the day-to-day operations Sister Jude (Jessica Lange,) and Dr. Arthur Arden (James Cromwell.) Kit Walker (Evan Peters) is admitted to the asylum as a patient. We also have Grace (Lizzie Brocheré.) True to her name, she seems to be the only good thing going for Kit while he’s imprisoned. Sarah Paulson plays Lana Winters, a reporter who is trying to get a story on a serial killer staying at the asylum. And finally, to round out your main cast, Lily Rabe plays Sister Mary Eunice, the timid right hand of Sister Jude.
Fair warning: There are one metric SHIT TON of spoilers ahead, so don’t read if you don’t want the story revealed.
Leo and Theresa, exploring the asylum, come across a sealed door, after having a bit of late night cable TV sex. Best part of that? Adam Levine licking his hand before going for the first thrust. That’s how you know the man gets a lot of ‘tang. Back to the story! Leo reaches in to film with his phone, and get his arm ripped off at the bicep. Looks pretty painful. Then, we’re treated to the new season’s intro- just as creepy as the first season, but in a different way. It hits a little harder. So now Kit’s hanging out at the gas station he works at. Some guys play a prank on him, and he shrugs them off. This is about the point where it starts to get real. He goes home to his wife, who is African American. They have to hide it. Think about that. We’re in the midst of the civil rights movement at this point in the show. Heavy stuff. Kit hears something and goes outside. Bright lights, and a screaming wife. Abducted. He gets fucking abducted. We find out after he’s admitted that he’s “Bloody Face,” the serial killer named for skinning his victims, and most recently, wearing their skin as a mask.
He proclaims his innocence, but Sister Jude has other plans to get the sin out of him. He claims that whatever happened to him when he was abducted, “they weren’t human.” Sister Jude replies, “All monsters are human. You’re a monster.” We get a bit of character introduction for Grace and Spivey (Mark Consuelos,) when he decides to start a fight with Kit, and Grace tries to prevent it. After some time in solitary, Dr Arden takes Kit. Right before this we learn a few patients have gone missing. Four of them. All without families or records. Their bodies cremated, as Arden tells Jude. It seems he has a darker secret than his genetically modified plants. He begins to probe kit, to find out what makes him different, like several of the preserved brains he holds on his shelves. Slicing open his neck, he finds a small microchip, which sprouts legs and runs away. Meanwhile, Lana and Sister Mary Eunice run into each other in the woods outside as the latter dumps buckets of meat. It seems Mary Eunice and Arden are in cahoots and she is dumping the ground up bodies for some sort of creature in the woods. A bit of blackmail, and the Sister agrees to show Lana around a bit. During some exploration, Lana takes a fall after something grabs her, and is admitted to the asylum by her lover. Her lesbian relationship with a local third grade teacher can’t become public knowledge of course, and Sister Jude swindles her into signing the papers. Back to the present, and Theresa runs down the death chute to escape, and runs into none other than? Bloody Face. He’s still here.
I had some thoughts about the new direction. This isn’t about ghosts. It’s about the kind of real shit people have actually gone through. It’s about racism. It’s about taboo. It’s about sanity. It’s about sin. It’s no longer just a scary story. It is terror at it’s finest. And although this episode is all about establishing characters, there’s plenty more time for the proverbial shit to hit the fan. I’m wondering what sort of direction this will all go in. Did Kit kill anyone? It seems like everyone has a secret. From Dr. Arden’s experiments, which seem faintly akin to Josef Mengele, to Sister Jude’s sexual fantasies about Monsignor Howard, we’re all thinking of whose secrets will come out.
American Horror Story is on Wednesday Nights at 10pm EST on FX.
Feel free to post theories and comments on the article, I’d love to get feedback and other people’s opinions on what’s going on! I’ll be commenting back as quickly as possible, so post away!