‘American Horror Story: Asylum’: Bananas

American Horror Story
“Madness Ends”
January 23, 2013



Bloody Face Jr. decides to take the audio tour of Briarcliff, as narrated by his mother, when he is interrupted by those meddling kids, Adam Levine and Mrs. Adam Levine. Bloody Face Jr. hears the Levines joking about “Bloody Face,” and he retreats to the solitary confinement cell to pout slip on his Bloody Face mask and wait for dum-dum to stick his arm into the food slot so that he can chop it off. And that’s why Adam Levine lost his arm, because Mommy Issues.


Lana Winters, No Not Barbara Walters! prepares for an interview with Lisa Ling; a look back on her illustrious career making politicians and actors decide what kind of tree they would be, cry. It seems Lana Winters, Respectable Journalist! has had quite a life, complete with fancy house and fancy opera-singing girlfriend (wife? whichever), and is about to receive one of those fancy rainbow ribbons from the Kennedy Center. Lisa Ling wants to begin their interview with Bloody Face, which Lana Winters, That Old Thing Again? refuses. Nope! No need to give him any more attention than we already have. So, instead, they begin with Lana Winters, Social Agitator!’s long overdue exposé of Briarcliff.

It seems that sometime after meeting with Kitt, Lana Winters, So I’ve Got a Guilty Conscience After All! led a camera crew through the forest zombie tunnels and into Braircliff, where she filmed the deplorable conditions inside with all the crazies wandering around naked, bumping into each other, rolling in their own filth, being forest zombies/possessed by the devil etc. (And I’d like to claim that Lisa Ling calling Lana Winters “Lana Winters, Crusader!” was a little shout out, but who am I kidding?)

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Lana Winters, Crusader! went into Briarcliff looking to rescue Just Betty Judy, and they trick us for a moment with a big reunion scene before Lana Winters, HA! SUCKERS! explains that this never happened, and that Just Betty Judy was long gone by the time she arrived.

Back in the present, Lana Winters, Parched! asks for a water which is delivered to her by Bloody Face, Jr. LOOK OUT, LANA WINTERS, OBLIVIOUS! THAT IS YOUR SON AND HE WANTS TO SHOOT YOU IN THE FACE!

But back to the flashback. Lana Winters, FIND ME THAT NUN!, with the help of a very obliging orderly, found Just Betty Judy’s file in a floor cabinet at Briarcliff, where it was noted that Kitt Walker released her into his custody, what? Lana Winters, Filmmaker! takes her crew to Kitt’s house where he frowns angrily at the cameras and leads Lana Winters, Cameras? What Cameras? inside to deliver his flashback within a flashback.

It seems that after discovering her in Briarcliff, Kitt began to regularly visit Just Betty Judy, because what else did he have to do (aside from taking care of two motherless toddlers I MEAN), until he decided to just adopt her like a kitten at the shelter take her home. You know, for the kids. (?) There, Kitt and some lady, who even knows who she is, no one is going to bother telling us so just forget about it, and the alien bébés helped Just Betty Judy through her detox from the asylum drugs, and through her still-psychotic, chase the children around the house with a broom phases. One day the alien bébés led Just Betty Judy out into the woods where aliens happened, I guess, and after that, Just Betty Judy was healthy and happy and not crazy and they all danced around in the living room until Just Betty Judy got sick and crawled into bed where she told the one alien bébé to not let men define her and the other alien bébé to like his job or something and then the Angel of Death came and was like, U SHUR? and Just Betty Judy was like YA I’M SHUR. And then the Angel of Death kissed her and that’s how Just Betty Judy died happily.

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Back in present time, Lisa Ling asks Lana Winters, American Treasure! about her next great exposé: her takedown of Monsignor Cardinal Timothy. After exposing Briarcliff, she and her camera crew chased Monsignor Cardinal Timothy around a parking garage screaming questions about the institution and making thinly veiled threats about the statutes of limitations on murder (none) until Monsignor Cardinal Timothy went home and slit his wrists in his bathtub. And that’s how Monsignor Cardinal Timothy died unhappily.

Lana Winters, Let’s Come Clean! decides then to come clean with Lisa Ling: that thing that she wrote in her book about how her rape baby died in childbirth? Yeah, that was a lie. He actually survived. Not only that, sometime in the 70s Lana Winters, What Have I Done? had a case of the guilts, and hunted him down on some playground somewhere, where she chased off some bullies that were picking on him. YOU GO AWAY, BULLIES.

Lisa Ling wonders if she ever regretted not having any other children, and Lana Winters, No Regrets! is like, No! And to illustrate this point, let’s talk some more about Kitt Walker. It seems Kitt made Lana Winters, Well, It’s Not Like She’s Going to Have Her Own! his children’s godmother, and then he got married to some hippie lady and then the one alien bebé grew up to be a Harvard Law professor and the other alien bebé grew up to be a John Hopkins neurosurgeon and then Kitt Walker got the pancreatic cancer but it’s OK because the aliens came and took him away on their metal probe ship, and the alien bebés were totally cool with it. And that’s how Kitt Walker didn’t die.

With that, the interview is over. Lisa Ling and her crew leave, and Lana Winters, Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are! pours two drinks, one for herself and one for Bloody Face, Jr. who she knows is lurking in the curtains. Let’s get this over with, she sighs. Lana Winters, Just Curious! wonders how Bloody Face, Jr. managed to get on the television crew, and he explains that he killed the donut guy and took his place. So easy! Bloody Face, Jr. marvels that she even recognizes him, and Lana Winters, Acting for Her Life! gently tells him that of course she recognized her baby boy. It also didn’t hurt that she had recently been visited by some police detectives who, armed with his photograph, explained to her that he was under suspicion for 5 deaths, including those of the owners of Dr. Sylar’s former house.

But Bloody Face, Jr. doesn’t need to know that, so instead, Lana Winters, Fake it Til You Make it! talks about feeling a connection to him that day on the playground, and that she hoped one day that he would come find her. Bloody Face, Jr., he’s not falling for it. He found Dr. Sylar’s flour confession tape on Ebay, because sure he did, and he heard her call him a monster and the part where she tried to abort him and long story short, he’s not convinced.

And so he puts a gun to her head, but Lana Winters, Stay Cool! stays cool, and tells him that Bloody Face, Sr. didn’t believe in guns. Bloody Face, Jr. DOES NOT WANT HER TO TALK ABOUT HIS FATHER, but then he gets all emotional about how he wants his father to be proud of him, &c. Lana Winters, Opportunity Knocks! tells Bloody Face, Jr. that his father was a monster, but that he could never be like him; he’s the sweet little boy she met on the playground that day. As she disarms him with her words, she literally disarms him, pushing the gun down away from her face, and slipping it into her own hand, all the while assuring him that it’s not his fault, baby. And it’s just like that Good Will Hunting “It’s not your fault” scene, with Lana Winters, Robin Williams! playing the Robin Williams part, if Robin Williams then shot Matt Damon in the face.




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Alright, so season two: done. I have to admit, I did not care for this season. While the last two episodes were certainly stronger and tied into Ryan Murphy’s original intention to look into the horrors of the mental health system (and I really dug Lana’s documentary, which seems to be at least partially inspired by Titicut Follies, an actual groundbreaking documentary about a nightmarish 1960s Massachusetts institution), the rest of the season was entirely too disjointed, too preachy and crammed with way too many unrelated ideas. Three entire seasons could have been created from the material in this one: 1. a serial killer, Lana Winters vs. Bloody Face season; 2. a demonic possession/Catholic church season (maybe even with Nazi undertones if that’s so important to Ryan Murphy, sure, why not); and 3. an alien season.

Or maybe not. You know, let’s just scratch the aliens altogether. Because what even was that, other than a half-baked idea that went nowhere? I get it, Kitt was supposed to be something of a spiritual figure, the gentle soul of forgiveness that is never broken even after all the horrific things that happen to him. But what do aliens have to do with it? Besides serving as some sort of parallel to all the angelic shenanigans that were happening? Next time, let’s leave E.T. out of it, Ryan Murphy.

I also should note that while I had many complaints about the plotting and the ham-fistedness of this season (we get it, the Catholic church needs to tend to its own house before it goes around demonizing others; homosexuals are people, too), the performances were great fun. Sarah Paulson really shone this season, particularly in the last three episodes when Lana Winters, Celebrity! was finally able to do something other than be menaced by Bloody Face. Frances Conroy is impeccable; Zachary Quinto, Lily Rabe, and Ian McShane are great fun to watch as they chew the scenery; and Jessica Lange, she is Jessica Lange. What more could possibly be said? (Although, I will note that Jude was no Constance. Let’s give her a fun role next season, Ryan Murphy.)

Speaking of next season, Ryan Murphy has said that he hid some clues in the past few episodes, and added the following comments about what we can expect:

You said that next year will be lighter. Is that still the case?
I mean, I don’t think anything could ever be as dark as the mental health care system in our country. I sorta feel like for the third version I want to do something that’s a little bit more “evil glamour.” Just something that’s a little bit more…one of the things that I missed this season was I really loved having that Romeo & Juliet youth story with Violet and Tate. I want something like that again and we’re doing something like that in the third season. And we’re contemplating shooting the show in a different place. We’re contemplating shooting it in a place in the country where true horror has been. We’ve got lots of delicious plans.

You had said you wanted a younger romance in season 3. Would Taissa Farmiga, who’s in talks to return, be part of that?
Yes. There’s a romantic element. I think the whole season I want to be funnier, romantic. But make no mistake, just when I think it’s gonna be a little lighter, I find this great, true-life character that’s the most horrible woman ever created.

Is that character the main villain?
Um kind of. I think Jessica is going back to be in that Constance-vein. She’s gonna go back to her evil roots, Jessica Lange.

EW.com has summarized the hints thusly:

The Season 3 Game Plan. Murphy said he knows the tale he wants to tell and which horror pop touchstones he wants to use. He’ll begin working with the writing staff next week to plot out the saga, then pitch the plan to FX for input and approval. Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, and Evan Peters will return next season, playing new characters per the show’s novel anthology format. Murphy also said cast members from season 1 who weren’t in season 2 will return, and new faces will be joining the company. Murphy said that Lange has been offering suggestions, specifically actors she’s long wanted to work with. (He offered no names, though hinted that Oscar winners might be in the mix.) The third season will be set in multiple cities and in modern times, but will occasionally peek into the past, much like the first season. It will possess a lighter, more romantic and comedic tone, at least compared to season 2 decidedly dark bent, and it will also have a young star-crossed lovers element, similar to Violet & Tate in season 1. Murphy said “female power” will be a major theme. And he has promised Lange a decidedly better wardrobe, so he says to look for the star to play a more “glammed-out” character. Finally, Murphy says season 3 will have a signature, iconic monster, a la Rubber Man of season 1 and Bloody Face of season 2. And this time? “She’s a woman.”

Because of a record label on one of the records in the jukebox that read “CONGRESS,” a lot of people seem to think it will have some sort of political bent and take place in Washington.  Based on some pretty heavy-handed witch references in the past few episodes others have suggested that it might take place in Salem.

However, between noting that he wants to do something with “evil glamour,” set someplace “where true horror has been” and the repeated possible clues towards witchcraft in the episodes (“I Put a Spell on You,” the talk of paganism, Judy chasing the children around with a broom), my best guess is that it is going to take place in New Orleans, or, at the very least, someplace in the Deep South. After all, what is more horrific — and more American — than slavery?

As for that iconic monster? The true-life character who is the “most horrible woman ever created?” Meet Delphine LaLaurie, 19th century New Orleans socialite, sociopath and contemporary (neighbor, even) of world-famous voodoo queen Marie Laveau. According to legend, Delphine abused her slaves hideously, literally running a torture chamber in her attic until a fire started one night, exposing her depravity to the world. Delphine fled the country before anyone could arrest her, and her house in the French Quarter is one of the most notoriously haunted locations in the city. Now, the whole “set in modern times” business throws me for a bit of a loop, but who knows? Maybe this monster of Ryan Murphy’s will be loosely based on a historical figure from the past.

So tell me, 1. what did you think of this season, and the finale in particular, and 2. where do you think season three will take place?

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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