American Horror Story
“I Am Anne Frank, Part 2”
November 14, 2012
Sister Jude, convinced by “Anne Frank” that Dr. Hoggett is a Nazi, secretly delivers a file of information on the good doctor to her friendly neighborhood Nazi hunter. Nazi Hunter assures her that she should trust her instincts and tells her about “Operation Paperclip” in which the OSS brought a bunch of Nazi scientists over to the States and gave them new identities, so Dr. “Hoggett” might be Dr. “Grouper” after all. Nazi Hunter then instructs Sister Jude to look out for a tell-tale SS tattoo on Dr. Hoggett’s upper arm — a tattoo of a tiny Chekov’s gun his blood type. But don’t go ripping the sleeves off of his shirts or anything, Sister Jude needs to play it cool and let the tattoo be a big reveal in some episode closer to the finale not make Dr. Hoggett feel cornered.
At Briarcliff, “Anne Frank” takes Dr. Hoggett to Sister Jude’s office by gunpoint, only to find Sister Lucy Fur instead of Sister Jude, and the barrel of Ed Mars’ gun against the back of her head instead of justice. OH WELL, “ANNE FRANK.” BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME.
When “Anne Frank” awakens in her cell, she finds Sister Jude waiting for her to tell her what, exactly, it was she thought she saw in Dr. Hogget’s lab, because Sister Jude and Ed Mars searched everywhere and found nothing. “Anne Frank” insists that there was some sort of creature rolling around on the floor of the lab, and Sister Jude is like, Yeah, I looked everywhere and didn’t find anything. I dunno, maybe it escaped? But “Anne Frank” protests that this is an impossibility as it had no legs. (Although, technically, it did have legs, just not lower legs. Nor, and perhaps more importantly for its mobility, feet.)
Sister Lucy Fur interrupts to inform Sister Jude that “Anne Frank’s” husband is here to collect her. It seems “Anne Frank” is actually a woman named Charlotte Cohen, and she has a very colicky baby at home that she needs to come deal with, because her husband CAN’T TAKE THE CRYING ANYMORE. It seems that while Anne Fraud was pregnant, she read Anne Frank’s diary, and then saw a production of the play soon after. It apparently resonated with her because the next thing Mr. Fraud knows, after giving birth to her son, Anne Fraud was busy prison tattooing herself, going around saying she was Anne Frank, and building her very own little Nazi conspiracy bunker in the basement.
Dr. Sylar pops his head into the conversation to say it sounds like a bad case of post-partum and that she probably needs more treatment, and Sister Jude is all “SHUT IT, FOUR EYES,” before agreeing with Mr. Fraud that it is best that Anne Fraud be sent home to him and their son.
And so they bring Anne Fraud downstairs in her street clothes and tell her she’s going to go home now, KBAI. Anne Fraud is all “BUT I’M ANNE FRANK!” until Mr. Fraud shows her a picture of herself with her baby, and she’s like, “Oh. Right. Cool, let’s go home.” Dr. Sylar insists that Sister Jude is making a huge mistake, and Sister Jude is all, “I’m sorry, did I ask you? OH THAT’S RIGHT, I DIDN’T. I TOLD YOU TO SHUT IT.”
As for Kit and Grace and their impending sterilizations, the two share their concerns about the procedures through the cell walls, and Grace is all “I alweyz wanted keedz. Le sigh.” Kit reveals that he and Secret African-American wife had talked about having 2 or 3 of their own, before apologizing to Grace for getting their reproductive organs carved out of them both of them. “I regret nozing,” responds Grace.
Sister Lucy Fur then comes and collects Kit for dinner, as Sister Jude has apparently changed her mind about snipping his tender bits. It seems she thinks he has shown signs of redemption, and thinks he shouldn’t be in solitary confinement anymore. OH, WAIT. SO THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE IN SOLITARY? The kind of solitary confinement where you can talk to the person in the cell next to you does not seem particularly “solitary.” And as far as I can tell everyone has their own cells anyway, so how, exactly, does solitary confinement differ from their regular cells except for the part where the hallway isn’t single-sex? BUT WHATEVER. The point is: Kit gets to keep his manparts, but Grace is still going under the knife. SRY.
So Grace wigs out and screams and cries in French and curls into a little ball until the aliens come and get her, which, sure. Why not. There are bright lights and flashes of things and eyeballs and then a pregnant Secret African-American Wife is instructing Grace to not fight it because it will make it worse. Grace is all, “Who are vous?” and Secret African-Wife answers, “Secret African-American Wife,” but then the aliens slice open Grace’s belly and there is screaming again because her belly was sliced open! Yikes!
In the common room, Dr. Sylar whispers to Lana Winters, Might As Well Enjoy the Free Meds While I’m in Here! to meet him under the stairs at a particular time, they are busting outta here! He then hurries away to his office to meet with Kit to trick encourage him to record a confession of his crimes, so that Dr. Sylar can play it back for him and help him come to terms with what he’s done or something, I don’t know, Kit, this sounds like a terrible, terrible idea. But Kit goes along with it, because if it means he gets to stay in Briarcliff and not get the chair, he’ll say whatever Dr. Sylar needs to hear.
In her office, Sister Jude leaves a message for Nazi Hunter to call his investigation off, she made a huge mistake.
Dr. Hoggett bursts into her office and is all, “O RLY? Tell me more about this ‘mistake!'” before revealing that he knows she was poking around in his office. “Find anything interesting? OF COURSE NOT, BECAUSE THERE WAS NOTHING TO FIND.” And oh, by the way, Dr. Hoggett will be pressing charges against Sister Jude for letting Anne Fraud shoot him in the leg. Sister Jude suggests that it doesn’t need to come to that, but Dr. Hoggett’s all, “Bish, plz. Pack your rosaries and pack your canes and pack your habits because you gettin’ fired.”
Dr. Hoggett then goes down to his lab where Sister Lucy Fur is waiting for him with some gauze and peroxide and an apology for waving her “mossy bank” (still gross) at him the other night. “Whatevs,” says Dr. Hoggett, “Thanks for taking care of my secret closet monster business (WINK WINK).” And by “secret closet monster business” he means “dragging Chloë Sevigny out of the joint before Sister Jude found her,” which is shown in flashback so that we get it. Dr. Hoggett informs Sister Lucy Fur that he is probably going to be put in charge soon, and he’s going to need a strong right hand, someone who can drag a Chloë Sevigny out into the woods at a moment’s notice, for instance. And Sister Lucy Fur insists that it was no big deal, he’d be “surprised at how little a Chloë Sevigny weighs.”
And then some little kids at recess discover a legless, melty Chloë Sevigny climbing up some basement stairs at them and everyone screams and runs away because AIIIIEEEE!!!
Well, whaddya know but just sending a woman suffering an acute case of postpartum depression home to her colicky baby without trying to treat her or help her in any sort of therapeutic way doesn’t cure her of her delusions, but instead puts everyone, including said colicky baby in the direct line of danger? You don’t say. And so, because Anne Fraud went home and ignored her baby except for the time that she tried to suffocate him, she’s back at Briarcliff, i.e. the place that didn’t help her the first time around, BUT WHATEVER. PLOT.
As for Lana Winters, Let’s Get Outta Here! she waits under the stairs, where Dr. Sylar meets her, throws his jacket over her shoulders and walks her right past the security guards and out the front door, no big deal. Dr. Sylar gets her into his car, and is about to get in himself when he’s stopped by Ed Mars who informs him that Sister Jude would like to speak to him about Anne Fraud. “She should have thought of that earlier. OK BYE,” sasses Dr. Sylar before getting into the car and driving Lana Winters, Escapee! to safety. Hooray!
So, Mr. Fraud apologizes to Dr. Hoggett for the whole, wife-shot-him-in-the-leg-called-him-a-Nazi thing. Dr. Hoggett is all, “Bygones. Oh, by the way, I’m going to lobotomize your wife, cool?” And not only is Mr. Fraud cool with that, he sits in on the procedure, which frankly doesn’t seem like a good idea at all.
Meanwhile, Sister Jude is parying in her office when Ed Mars comes in and informs her that he can’t find Lana Winters, Disappearing Act! anywhere. “Eh, who cares. Let me tell you about a pet squirrel I once had that my mother threw in the trash and the moral of this is God answers all of our prayers, butthe answer just might not have been what you were hoping for and also: I’ve made a huge mistake.”
Ed Mars is Team Sister Jude and tells her that she always had an uphill battle at Briarcliff: a man was never going to accept a woman in charge. Yeah, whatever, I’m going to go drink martinis and violate my vows by sleeping with strange men because who even cares, Sister Jude doesn’t say (but certainly acts on).
Meanwhile, back at the sleek modernist Sylar house, Lana Winters, I’d Really Like to Go Home Now! asks to go home. Dr. Sylar insists that her home will be the first place the authorities look for her, and that she’s safest staying here for the night until the two of them can go to the press and expose Briarcliff in the morning. In the meantime, how about a big glass of red wine? As he goes to pour her a glass of happy, she tries to call someone, and is caught by Dr. Sylar. NOPE. Tomorrow she can contact her friends. Tonight, he’d like to tell her his story.
And to that end, he sits Lana Winters, Uh Oh! to a chair in the living room and turns on the nipple lamp next to her and offers her a mint from his skull bowl. “Uhh … I’m about to lose control of my bladder, can I use your bathroom?” asks Lana Winters, What Have I Done! and Dr. Sylar directs her down the hallway where she finds several locked doors and one open serial killer closet. “Oh! You found my skin den!” declares Dr. Sylar before pushing the trap door button that drops her into his killing basement.
There, Lana Winters, What’s This Shackle Doing on My Ankle! awakens to find Secret Lesbian Girlfriend lying next to her. Frozen solid. Dr. Sylar appears wearing a black nightgown over his clothes because transvestites still can’t get a break from popular culture, and explains that normally he would have skinned/cut off Secret Lesbian Girlfriend’s head by now. But instead, he’s decided to keep Secret Lesbian Girlfriend intact, for Lana Winters, What Have I Gotten Myself Into!’s therapy. So, go ahead and kiss her, Lana Winters, And Here I Thought Things Couldn’t Get Worse! Secret Lesbian Girlfriend won’t bite because Dr. Sylar’s removed Secret Lesbian Girlfriend’s teeth for his Bloody Face mask. Lana Winters, I’ve Made a Huge Mistake! realizes that she’s made a huge mistake.
Meanwhile, Kit finds Grace bleeding in the common room and is calling for a doctor, when suddenly the cops bust in to drag him off to real prison. Seems Dr. Sylar gave them the tapes Kit made for him and claimed they were Kit’s confession, because of course he did. An anemic Grace calls after them that she knows Kit didn’t do it — she saw Secret African-American Wife! Secret African-American Wife is alive! But so what, who cares, the cops got their man and off to the chair he goes. And that’s when Kit realizes that he’s made a huge mistake.
Finally, it looks like the lobotomy worked, as Mr. Fraud comes home from a long day at work to find Anne Fraud be-hairdoed, cooking a roast upstairs, and cradling the baby while she cleans up her basement Nazi conspiracy wall. As they go upstairs to their new happy life, the camera zooms in on a newspaper clip that she hasn’t yet had a chance to take down, featuring Dr. Hoggett as a young man in Nazi garb. Which would have been a big shock if they hadn’t told us last week in pretty firm terms that he was, in fact, a Nazi. But whatever, BIG REVEAL!
I don’t really have much to add to this episode as it was more about making big reveals than anything else (Dr. Sylar is Bloody Face! Anne Fraud isn’t Anne Frank after all! Secret African-American Wife is alive! Maybe! And pregnant with either Kit’s or a space alien’s baby! Maybe!). As for your Big Themes, the entire episode seemed to be a lesson on “be careful what you wish for.” Want out of Briarcliff, Lana Winters? OK, but you have to go home with Bloody Face. Don’t want to be sterilized, Kit? Sure, but you’re going to go to prison. Want to get away from Dr. Hoggett, Chloë Sevigny? You got it, we’ll just leave you right here on these school steps to terrify some second graders.
As for the big reveal that Dr. Sylar was Bloody Face, they had been hinting at such a possibility for at least the last couple of episodes. His sudden insistence that Kit confess to the crimes seemed fairly transparent last week, as did his strange behavior regarding Lana Winters and Secret Lesbian Girlfriend. What is interesting is that Dr. Sylar is portrayed by Zachary Qunito, the same actor who in last season’s American Horror Story first donned the mysterious Rubber Man suit. The curious part is that last season the Rubber Man suit and mask was later used by a different character, Tate, to terrorize the Harmon family. While I understand that these seasons are two separate stories, and there seems to be very little overlap between them (if any), perhaps this is a hint that the Bloody Face of 1964 is later co-opted by someone else in the present day story? Because — and maybe this is just a lighting trick and possibly insignificant — why are present day’s Bloody Face’s eyes blue while Dr. Sylar’s eyes are very brown? Could it be that someone else is wearing Bloody Face’s mask?
Finally, the alien question. There are some clear parallels between the aliens’ experimentation on their abductees and what the administrators of Briarcliff are doing to the patients — the strongest being Sister Jude’s threat to sterilize Grace/the aliens doing something possibly of a sexual or reproductive nature to Grace. Aside from the “abduction” parallels, both the aliens and the Briarcliffians are violating their charges in the most intimate ways possible, stripping them of their sexual agency, using them as lab rats. Secret African-American Wife’s apparent pregnancy coupled with the slash across Grace’s belly is clearly meant to suggest that Grace has been impregnated by someone … but who? The aliens? Or Kit himself? Because it is curious that Kit had sex with both women shortly before their encounters with the aliens, right? So the question that remains is are the aliens abducting the women to turn them into alien baby incubators or are they abducting them because they are already pregnant with Kit babies? And if it’s the latter, why are the aliens so interested in Kit? (If there are aliens at all …)
THEORIES? I want to hear them.
(Oh, and to the Anne Frank question from last week: I will note that I am still irritated, and think it was a cheap ploy by Murphy and the writers to maintain their “provocative” reputation by dragging her into the show, even if it is a historical fact that psychologically unbalanced women claimed to be Anne Frank back in the day. In the end, the writers did exactly what I predicted they would do, and backed away from the idea that she actually was Anne Frank thereby profiting from the controversy while shielding themselves from the consequences. Because in the end, where did it get us to use Anne Frank’s name? Dr. Hoggett’s Nazi past was revealed, sure, but couldn’t that have been done by another Holocaust survivor? I am the first to admit that I am over-sensitive on this particular point. But before I admit that, I first need someone to explain to me why the writers specifically had to use Anne Frank? I mean, aside from being deliberately provocative?)
American Horror Story airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. on FX.
This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.