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Episode Six: “The Origins of Monstrosity”

“I’m not a monster, I’m a visionary.” 

Sister Mary Eunice converses with a new patient at Briarcliff: a little girl who is believed to have killed someone.

After episode five, viewers of American Horror Story: Asylum were left with an unbearable cliffhanger that inspired us to stick around for another week to learn the fate of the asylum’s patients.

We saw just that in the form of a more deranged side of Dr. Thredson and a look into the obscurities of his past as he spilled his life story to Lana, whom he was still keeping prisoner in his demented laboratory. He blamed his insanity on his mother, the woman who abandoned him young and forced him to grow up a lonely orphan. After discovering the wonder of physical contact, he started capturing women and making furniture out of their skin, simply yearning after that “mother’s caress.” Shelley, on the other hand, is discovered by Father Timothy Howard in her grotesque condition, but when he tries to confront Arden about his “experiments”, is quickly silenced with a threat.

This episode lacked some Kit and Grace, whose predicament is still unknown, and perhaps some buoyant romance was needed to lighten the mood a little, especially after we discover that Sister Jude has been fired from Briarcliff. She does, however, manage to get her hands on Arden’s fingerprints to bring them to a man who will analyze them and determine if “Anne Frank’s” Nazi theories were true. Upon entering his room, however, Jude discovers that the man has been killed, and as he squeezes out his last words (“It was a nun”), we can wholly assume that the deed was done by Sister Mary Eunice. Score: 7/10

Episode Seven: “Dark Cousin”

This week, that assumption was confirmed. Episode seven was considerably more exciting than its predecessor: as Sister Mary Eunice battled with the demon that possesses her body, a kind of “dark angel” was summoned by new patient Miles and performed a kiss of death on those whose time seemed to be running out. This angel visited Lana (who was still in the clutches of Dr. Thredson), as well as Sister Jude and also had a run-in with Sister Mary.

Lana managed to escape Thredson’s lab when he attempted to kill her, but of course, as she sprinted down the road, hoping for someone who could take her to a police station, she had the luck of running into a suicidal husband, who picked her up and then decided to blow his brains out while behind the wheel. Lana survived the crash, and—what do you know—woke up in Briarcliff. This twist was a little much for me, and my frustration is reaching its limit; at times it feels like things are just going around in an everlasting loop.

Meanwhile, Sister Mary Eunice blamed her murder on Jude, who walked in on the scene and found clippings of her hit-and-run incident in the man’s apartment. Devoured by the guilt, she visited the home of Missy, the little girl she killed—or thought that she had killed. She discovered that Missy is actually alive, and Jude’s self-loathing and suicidal thoughts had actually just been a complete waste of her time.

The episode wrapped up with the death of Grace, who was shot after Kit attempted to free her from the asylum. Because I felt nothing more than some pity for Grace throughout the show, I wasn’t too disappointed—I was more distraught with Lana’s futile attempts to escape the asylum—but I will miss the romance that distracted me from the terrors of Briarcliff. Our preview of Episode eight is a Christmas special; it’ll be interesting to see how that will transpire in a place like Briarcliff, which seems to be devoid of anything that could possibly be considered “jolly.” But who knows: maybe the cast can take a break from slicing up women and mutilating patients to share a few merry moments. Score: 8.5/10

 Nataly Capote/Chief Copy Editor

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