Wednesday, February 15, 2017

American Horror Story Asylum- Episode 2- Tricks & Treats

**This review contains spoilers**

The Story- Teresa struggles to drag an incapacitated and bleeding Leo to safety inside Briarcliff in 2012, but Bloody Face snatches Leo away from her, so Teresa barricades herself inside the same room, where Bloody Face cut off Leo’s arm for protection. Leo pleads for mercy, but Bloody Face continuously stabs him, while a helpless Teresa watches from inside the room.

In 1964, it’s the night before Halloween, and a distraught Wendy regrets her decision to sign the papers admitting Lana to Briarcliff. Wendy vows to free Lana from Briarcliff, but Bloody Face attacks Wendy at her home.

Meanwhile, Dr. Oliver Thredson (Zachary Quinto), the court appointed psychiatrist, arrives at Briarcliff to evaluate Kit. Kit sticks to his story about aliens, so Dr. Thredson diagnoses Kit with acute clinical insanity. During his visit, Dr. Thredson is disgusted with the cruelty and harsh treatments at Briarcliff. He expresses his concerns to Sister Jude, but Jude warns Thredson about overstepping his boundaries.

After showing signs of a demonic possession, Jed (Devon Graye) is admitted to Briarcliff by his parents. Dr. Thredson intervenes during Sister Jude’s meeting with Jed’s parents, and Sister Jude is not too happy about Dr. Thredson sticking his nose, where it doesn’t belong, but the parents are eager to hear Thredson’s opinion. Dr. Thredson pleads his case, but Monsignor Howard brings Father Malachi (John Aylward) for an exorcism. Dr. Thredson is faced with a dilemma, when Monsignor Howard requests his presence for exorcism, because the church requires a licensed physician for exorcisms, but Thredson agrees. During the exorcism, a possessed Jed forces Dr. Thredson and Sister Jude to relive painful memories from their pasts, and as Jed dies from cardiac arrest, the demon jumps into Sister Mary Eunice. 

Lana quickly befriends Grace, but she refuses to adjust to life at Briarcliff. Fearing the possibility of Lana telling the truth about Briarcliff, Sister Jude works with Dr. Arden to administer electroshock therapy to Lana to erase her memories. Lana makes little notes to preserve her memories, and Lana wants to hatch a plan to escape Briarcliff with Grace. Lana plans to use the secret tunnel for an escape, but Grace is caught in a sticky situation, because Kit is determined to escape before Dr. Thredson files his report. Kit wants to find Alma in the outside world, but Lana refuses to help him, because she believes Kit is Bloody Face. 

After the exorcism, a power failure releases the inmates from their rooms. Lana and Grace are quick to take advantage of a rare opportunity to escape, and Kit joins them. Lana is still adamant about leaving Kit behind, so Grace teams up with Kit to find their own escape route, abandoning Lana. Lana, standing still in a state of shock, screams for help, and the guards and the orderlies capture Grace and Kit. Sister Jude wants to reward Lana for her honesty, so she allows Lana to choose the cane for Grace and Kit’s canings. Sister Jude is eager to punish Grace and Kit, but at the last second, Kit takes the blame for planning the escape, and he agrees to take Grace’s canings (forty canings altogether)……

Review: Is Dr. Thredson the one? Lana is trapped behind Briarcliff’s walls, and nobody is buying Kit’s story about aliens, so Dr. Thredson is an ideal choice to be the one, who finally puts an end to Dr. Arden’s experiments and Sister Jude’s reign of terror, right? He’s smart, he’s willing to fight for what he believes in, and he’s not afraid to stand up to Sister Jude.

In the second episode, we get to see more of Dr. Arden’s dark side as a nasty misogynist. Sure, he’s polite and respectful towards Sister Mary Eunice, and he rewards her with a candy apple for keeping his secrets and feeding the creatures in the woods, but Arden shows a different side to Shelley, when she begs for a chance to see and feel some sunlight. Shelley offers sex to Dr. Arden in an exchange for some time outside, but Dr. Arden vehemently refuses, and he condemns Shelley for her promiscuous behavior.

And we get to see how far Dr. Arden is willing to go to fulfill his twisted perversions and sick fantasies, when an unsuspecting prostitute narrowly escapes Dr. Arden’s attempt to rape her at his home. After Dr. Arden demands a more polite and proper way of carrying herself,  the woman is forced to wear a nun’s habit. Yeah, one could only imagine, who Dr. Arden is thinking about, when the woman is dressed as a nun. Anyway, the woman finds a series of pictures, featuring women, who clearly suffered brutal forms of torture at the hands of Dr. Arden. From start to finish, the date with the prostitute is a tense and unsettling storyline, because you know there’s a chance Dr. Arden could snap at any moment, and this poor and innocent woman is stuck in a madman’s house.

The exorcism fiasco revealed more secrets in Sister Jude’s past, and she clearly reached a breaking point, when she attacked a possessed Jed. Jude’s troubled past includes a job as a lounge singer, a life as a promiscuous woman, an alcoholic, and she fled the scene after hitting a little girl on her bicycle, while driving drunk. The past is the past, but you have to wonder if she’s strong enough to truly move on, or is reliving a dark past enough to break Jude’s spirit?

Lana is quickly running out of options for freedom and escaping Briarcliff, and you have to believe she burned one of the last bridges she had with Grace. Wendy was attacked by Bloody Face, and you get the feeling there’s a chance Kit is more forgiving, but an angry Grace rejected Lana’s plea for forgiveness. Lana shouting for help, as Grace and Kit made an attempt as an escape was a strange and shocking moment. Lana hesitated, but after a brief pause, she completely squandered a golden opportunity to escape. Yes, you could say she had the best intentions for wanting to stop an accused murder, but you can’t rule out the possibility of Lana not being able to handle another betrayal. Remember, she’s still recovering from a broken heart after Wendy signed the papers, so it’s understandable if something just snapped inside of Lana, when Grace chose Kit over her.

Tricks And Treats is a strong follow up to the season premiere. Jed’s exorcism is a real nail-biter, and it’s hard to forget about the uneasy moments during Lana’s electroshock therapy and Dr. Arden’s dinner date. The second episode in AHS’s second season is loaded with a good amount of thought-provoking scenarios and questions, they did a good job of playing up the “it’s now or never” sense of urgency for escaping Briarcliff, and watching Dr. Arden and Sister Jude working together is borderline mind-blowing. Of course, Jude is just being nice to and using Dr. Arden, because she wants something, but they’re still sworn enemies, who can’t stand each other. They reveal more info about the pasts of different characters, and more questions are answered, when Jude comes face to face with the demon. Also, Shelly’s story about her past, the double standards for promiscuous women, and her philandering and abusive husband provides some good food for thought.

But one of the bigger carryover storylines for the next episode has to be a possessed Sister Mary Eunice. The crucifix shaking on the wall after Mary Eunice throws the bed sheets to the side was the first sign, and you could tell she was a different person during Dr. Arden’s visit. She wasn’t intimated, uptight, nervous, or scared. No, Mary Eunice was more calm, confident, and relaxed. Mary Eunice is a sweet and sincere person, and she’s always willing to help, but the demon has control of her now.

Rating: 8/10

No comments:

Post a Comment