American Horror Story
We begin this episode much the way I wish every episode of every television show would begin: with Adam Levine being stabbed. Most of us would watch any show that began this way: a bass-fishing show, religious channel shows, a 30-minute special of Guy Fieri chugging his special brown-sugar queso fundido … it wouldn’t matter. You’d have my Nielsen numbers. Just let that marinate, showrunners and programming executives.
While Channing Tatum’s wife hides in a room, Bloody Face (or whoever is doing the stabbing — seems misleading if that’s just another guy in a human-flesh mask) jabs at Maroon 5 like he’s a Capri Sun packet. He’s just about to break down the door when we flash back to 1964.
Two no-nonsense sixties lesbians are comforting Lana’s girlfriend, Barb, with wine and smokes. They leave her alone with a hot shower, a joint, and a Dusty Springfield record. Hello, paradise, right? But wait! Oh no, somebody’s broken in. It’s our old friend Bloody Face, who ignores her pleas for mercy because her students wouldn’t understand her being horribly killed. Being serial-murdered in the sixties: just like being pregnant.
Back in Briarcliff, Lana, sexy French Grace, and Chloë Sevigny the Nympho, and Pepper are all assembled. How many of us wanted them to do “Cell Block Tango” here? Bloody Face could be lowered from a trapeze with the corpse of Adam Levine to Fosse-style-jazz-stab it.
Alas, it’s just Sister Jude’s room search. Chloë Sevigny cheerfully announces that she’s been keeping a contraband cucumber in her room, which is a ridiculous anachronism. We all know people did not have access to fresh vegetables in 1964. If she said she’d been diddling herself with a can of heavy cream soup or a penis-shaped tomato aspic, maybe I’d have bought it.
J. Lange steals Lana’s notes and makes a joke about how she’s a lesbian AND a bad reporter. Wow, is this American Horror Story or Yo Mama: Atlanta? Sister Jude and Dr. Arden plot to Eternal Sunshine her exposé away. Journalists, remember this the next time you blow a deadline. Cut to: Zachary Quinto! I don’t know about you guys, but I did a big clap like I was at the Lunt-Fontaine theater in 1976 at the revival of My Fair Lady and Rex Harrison made his first entrance. He’s Dr. Oliver Thredson, and he’s here to psychoanalyze Kit. Diagnosis? INSANITY!
Meanwhile, Sister Mary Eunice wants answers about Dr. Arden’s carnivorous forest creatures. Instead, he offers her a candy apple that is clearly a caramel one. She refuses because she’s not supposed to have sweets, but he insists she take a bite, because life is too short to miss a heavy-handed allegory.
Finally, we get some Lange-Quinto action. Dr. Thredson expresses his shock at the conditions in the asylum, particularly the fact that they’re still trying to fry the gay out of patients like lesbian beignets. Then they argue about how to cure a chronic masturbator and cow-killer named Jed. He says po-tay-to, she says “exorcism.” It feels like only yesterday that we were watching them both bitch about the way Connie Britton arranges a bowl of gourds.
The line of this episode goes to Chloë Sevigny, who exhorts James “America’s Great-Uncle” Cromwell to “bend me over a bread rack and pound me into shape” while he brandishes a baguette. Then she delivers a Meisner-ready monologue about her sordid history of sex positivity, which leads to the episode’s second best line: “I fell in love with the bass player. Big mistake.”
Joseph Fiennes is here to exorcise Jed the Masturbator. In addition to the young priest, we also get an old one, but neither of them is any match for Sister Jude. We find out that she used to be a lounge singer who once drunk-drove right into a little girl. Jed is full-on Linda Blairing and tells her she has a “smelly clam between her legs” who has had “53 cocks in her mouth,” and NOBODY talks to Sister Jude like that, demon. She gives it to him right in the tubular bells. He dies, and the demon ostensibly passes into Sister Mary Eunice.
There’s a power failure and a tracking shot of various doors swinging open that briefly had me convinced that Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo were being called in to comment. It’s the perfect opportunity for Lana and Grace to escape. Lana blows it because she thinks Kit is a killer of ladies, although signs are beginning to point to Dr. Arden.
Dr. A is enjoying Chopin and the ministrations of a very professional hooker, who comes off as Taylor Swift cosplaying as Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors. He makes her dress up like a nun for some demure, kissing-free sexy times, but before they can get down to business, she finds his stash of murder Polaroids.
“Show me your mossy bank!” he demands. It’s scarier than any snuff porn, and enough to give her the superstrength she needs to (maybe?) escape.
But just when we thought we hadn’t seen enough gratuitous butt in this episode, Sister Jude prepares to spank Grace and Kit’s supple bottoms while Lana looks on. Kit decides to take one for the team, and we leave Briarcliff just when he’s about to get 40 lashes with one of her pimp canes.
What do you think will happen next week? Will we finally find out what’s up with those mutants? Who will Chloë Sevigny ask to bend her over and with what kind of complex carbohydrate? Does chronic masturbating really make you able to levitate disabled people? Tune in next week, my smelly little clams.