‘American Horror Story: Asylum’: I’ll fly away

American Horror Story
“Dark Cousin”
November 28, 2012


At Briarcliff, a couple of young nuns — because despite never ever seeing them, there are other nuns at Briarcliff — check on Grace, who is looking really not good, what with the pasty skin and the bleeding all over from her lady bits. ACK! CALL DR. HOGGETT!

And as they rush around in a hemorrhagic panic, suddenly Frances MotherCrunking Conroy shows up looking all kinds of amazing in all black, and hovers over Grace. “Je suis ready!” Grace whispers to Goth Frances Conroy, and just as about Frances Conroy is about to kiss Grace, someone punches Grace in the chest. OUCH, and NON COOL. FRANCOIS CONROY WAZ ABOOT TO KIZZ HER. “Vous should have let mois go …” Grace moans to the nuns who are performing vigorous CPR on her. STOP IT WIZ ZEE CPR AND BRING ON ZEE FRANCOIS CONROY, ME OUI?

Dr. Hoggett is busying himself in his office with some little plant or something, I don’t know, when Sister Lucy Fur enters and explains that Grace is trying to bleed out thanks to his shoddy de-ladying of her lady bits. Dr. Hoggett is like, do what now? Sterilized who? And Sister Lucy Fur points out that Dr. Hoggett can either fix Grace himself, or they will have to send her out to another hospital for help and then everyone is going to get a good look at his handy work. Dr. Hoggett insists that he did not sterilize Grace, and, by the way, as the head of Briarcliff, he does not appreciate Sister Lucy Fur’s tone. Sister Lucy Fur laughs at this idea that he’s in charge, and so he slaps her across the face, which isn’t cool, even if she is the devil. Sister Lucy Fur threatens that if he touches her again, he’ll die. And so, of course, he lifts his hand to hit her again, and she hurls him across the room. Devil > Nazi.

In the kitchen, some African-American guy we’ve never met hears some crazy head voices and slices his wrists open on a meat slicer which, honestly, doesn’t seem like a very clever thing to keep lying around in a mental institution. The orderlies manage to stop the bleeding, but not before Sister Lucy Fur notices that Anonymous African-American Guy scrawled some symbols on the wall with his blood. And Ed Mars is like, What’s that supposed to be? And Sister Lucy Fur explains that it’s Aramaic. DID ANONYMOUS AFRICAN-AMERICAN GUY SUMMON “HER?” And Anonymous African-American Guy is like, Uh? Beats me? Can we maybe move from the “asking me questions about Aramaic and putting pressure on my open gushing wounds” to the “stitch up my open gushing wounds” part now? Sister Lucy Fur orders him stitched and thrown into solitary and FOR THESE WALLS TO BE SCRUBBED IMMEDIATELY. You know, in case anyone had planned on leaving blood dripping all over the kitchen walls.

And so they stitch up Anonymous African-American Guy and strap him down in solitary, which is when Frances Conroy shows up in his room and offers to “help.” ABSOLUTELY, says Anonymous African-American Guy, so Frances Conroy kisses him to death which makes some big black wings pop up behind her, as if Frances Conroy wasn’t cool enough.


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But France Conroy’s disturbed from her work when she hears someone in the room, and she demands to know who dares look upon her. Sister Lucy Fur emerges from the shadows and tries to send Frances Conroy away, and Frances Conroy is all BISH, PLZ. Who are you to send me away? But Frances Conroy soon realizes that Sister Lucy Fur is possessed by her “fallen cousin,” and Sister Lucy Fur is all, ALRIGHT GOODBYE NOW. But Frances Conroy is onto her — the human inside Sister Lucy Fur wants Frances Conroy’s help, and Sister Mary Eunice does pop out for a moment, screaming HELP ME, FRANCES CONROY, YOU’RE MY ONLY HOPE! SHUT UP, SOW, replies Sister Lucy Fur before explaining to Frances Conroy that she still has work to do. ALRIGHT GOODBYE NOW.

Meanwhile, Dr. Hoggett treats Grace, because he is not going to be taken down by a hysterectomy that he didn’t perform.

Back in Bloody Face’s Kill Basement, Dr. Sylar rapes Lana Winters, Well This Can’t Get Much Worse! while Frances Conroy look on.

Kitt, who is still a character on this show, so calm down teenage girls, meets with … someone? A public defender? The warden? Who cares? The point is, the Mystery Man tells Kitt that the prosecutor is going to play his confession for the jury and there’s no way they won’t convict him, so Kitt bashes him upside the head with a hole punch or something and makes a run for it, which, sure. Of course. They most definitely wouldn’t have guards keeping an eye on a suspected serial killer. They’d be like, “Oh, you want to meet with your public defender in some sort of off-campus office and not be escorted by prison guards? Sure! Can’t think of anything wrong with that. We let prisoners do that all the time. Because who can you trust in this world if you can’t trust suspected serial killers? Let’s go! And forget about shackles and handcuffs, who needs ’em?”

Back in Bloody Face’s Kill Basement, Frances Conroy visits with a now alone Lana Winters, What’s the Point Anymore?!, and the two go over her options: Frances Conroy can “help” her, or she can give this whole “living” thing a go for a while longer. Lana Winters, Thanks but No Thanks! opts to pass on Frances Conroy’s generous offer, just as Dr. Sylar comes downstairs full of apologies: that was really bad, totally his fault, and he didn’t want to hurt her, so to make it up to her, he’ll give her a choice: he can either strangle her to death or cut her throat. But no shooting, he doesn’t believe in guns. Dr. Sylar heads over to kill her, but Lana Winters, Not Without a Fight! bashes him over the head with a picture of Secret Lesbian Girlfriend before half-strangling him with her legchain, grabbing the key to said legchain from his pocket and then running away. But all without killing him first, which, oh, dummy.

Lana Winters, I’m Free! runs through the woods and into the street, where she jumps into Ethan Rom’s car, which NOOOOOO! NO, LANA WINTERS, I MAKE BAD CHOICES! YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF THE CAR! HE’S GOING TO DRUG YOU WITH WEIRD CANTEEN WATER AND THEN PUT YOU IN A STRANGE NURSERY AND STEAL YOUR (TURNIPHEADED) BAYBAY! Lana Winters, Former Prisoner! apologizes for jumping into his car, and Ethan Rom, he does not take it well. It seems Ethan Rom has recently had some marital troubles with Mrs. Rom, and after ranting at Lana Winters, Sorry, I Don’t Remember Asking About Your Love Life! about his cheating whore of a wife for a while, Ethan Rom pulls out a handgun and blows his rom out, crashing the car.

And that’s how Lana Winters, You’ve Got to be Kidding Me! finds herself back in Briarcliff in her old suite.

As for Sister Jude, she’s back in Nazi Hunter’s apartment, freaking out. Especially after she finds an article about her hit-and-run taped to the television with the word MURDERER written in blood on the screen, which, to be fair, would upset you.


One of Judy’s bandmates stops by to check on her/give her a “The Band No Longer Needs an Unreliable Drunk Singer, Please Go Away and Never Call Us Again” check. Judy does everything she can think of to make him change his mind (rub on his leg, bat her lashes) but he remains unmoved. Before leaving, Bandmate also gives her a policeman’s card; he’s been asking around about that hit-and-run, and wants to talk to her. Judy FREAKS OUT and grabs her keys and some booze and gets in her car for a boozeride, as you do, and crashes her car, as you do, only to wake up having smashed her car into an angel statue at a convent. OHAI, SISTERS!


And so, instead of getting out of Nazi Hunter’s apartment and waiting for the police to arrive, Sister Jude pours herself a big glass of brown. Sister Lucy Fur calls and taunts Sister Jude about the hit-and-run, and Sister Jude is all, WAIT, WUT, how’d you know about that? Sister Lucy Fur basically tells Sister Jude that she’s been possessed, and warns Sister Jude from returning to Briarcliff. In fact, maybe Sister Jude should just occupy herself with that bottle of Kentucky and that razor Sister Lucy Fur left for her.

Instead, Sister Jude goes to a diner where she orders some food, and while washing up, briefly fantasizes about slicing open her wrists there in the bathroom. It passes. She returns to her booth to find Frances Conroy, apparently a familiar face, waiting for her. It seems they had met before, after Judy’s fiance, Super Great Guy, left her when she told him that he had given her syphilis and left her barren. Why didn’t Frances Conroy take her then? Eh, she was young. And what about the night Sister Jude killed that girl? Well, that was when God’s plan was revealed for Sister Jude. But now … why not now, right? Sister Jude agrees, she’s totally ready to make out with Frances The Hottness Conroy, she just has to do one more thing. Meanwhile, the diner waitresses watch Sister Jude talk to an invisible companion and make tsking noises about how Sister Jude should be institutionalized at Briarcliff. ISN’T IT IRONIC? DON’T YOU THINK?

That final thing involves Sister Jude paying a visit to Hit-and-Run Girl’s family, and just as she is about to confess: “Hey! I ran over and killed your daughter 15 years ago. It’s nice to finally meet you guys. WHEW! That’s a load off,” in walks Hit-and-Run Girl all grown-up and perfectly alive. HA! PSYCHE!

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Totally alive.

Back at Briarcliff, Lana Winters, This Is Some Kind of Bad Joke, Right? pleads with Sister Lucy Fur to speak to Sister Jude, before telling her everything about Dr. Sylar and Bloody Face and CALL THE POLICE! CALL THE PO!LICE! But Sister Lucy Fur is all, Whatever, Crazy. Here, take your crazy pills. Sister Lucy Fur listens intently as Lana Winters, Ya Gotta Believe Me! explains that there’s a rape basement and Kitt is innocent and YA GOTTA BELIEVE ME.

Sister Lucy Fur exits the cell and tells Ed Mars about Lana Winters, Worst Luck in the World, Seriously!’s delusions, and he exposits that Kitt has escaped police custody, somehow, and there are shoot-to kill orders out on him.

In the kitchen, Grace is doing … something, when Kitt sneaks in, intending to break her out of Braircliff. Unfortunately for everyone, that’s when Sister No Name catches them and begins shrieking hysterically. This comes to an abrupt end, however, when one of the woods zombies appears and rips the nun’s throat out. Woods Zombie and Kitt fight fight fight, and Kitt rips out Woods Zombie’s intestines(?) or something just as Ed Mars appears in the kitchen and threatens to shoot Kitt. Grace throws herself in front of the bullet, however, saving Kitt, and collapses on the floor where Frances Conroy finds her. Is Grace ready for Frances Conroy? OUI. And so Frances Conroy kisses Grace, and her wings pop out



and Grace whispers, “Je suis free …” and then she dies, and a thousand  million Kitt-Grace shippers FREAK OUT, the end.

I’ve been a little down on this season of American Horror Story, and I do not want to be down on American Horror Story! I love American Horror Story! But this season has lacked the humor, the outrageousness and the sexiness of last season. This episode did not make up any of those things, but it was a vast improvement on the previous episodes. Frances Conroy was wonderful in this episode, soft and scary and gentle and maternal but still kinda sexy with a little bit of menace, and bottom line: she was perfect as the Angel of Death. Perfect! When I saw the previews for this episode, I was all, OH BROTHER! but I take it back! I take it all back. If we’re going to indulge in the premise that the devil has possessed a nun, why not have a few angels running around? Might as well, right?

As for Jessica Lange, I’ve resisted her in this season, mostly because I was so attached to Constance and her Tennessee William’s over-the-topness. But her performance in this episode was genuinely great. It wasn’t subtle, maybe, but the revelation that this nightmare she’d been torturing herself with all these years was nothing but a figment of her drunken imagination was a delightful twist and Lange delivered it perfectly. Now I’m ready for Sister Jude to kick some devil tail.

My only complaint about the episode was the ongoing torture of Our Lady of Perpetual Suffering, Lana Winters. One would be wasting their time complaining about this series not being realistic or grounded. But it has to be said that even on a show where there are space aliens, zombies, Nazis and possessed nuns running around stabbing people in the throat with scissors just because, the terrorization of Lana Winters is becoming preposterous. I mean, enough already, Ryan Murphy. LEAVE LANA WINTERS ALONE.

American Horror Story airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. on FX.

This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.

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