American Horror Story just introduced the Angel of Death, played by AHS season vet Frances Conroy. The literal Angel of Death, with black wings and life-ending kisses, showed up at Briarcliff this week and interacted with a number of our favorite characters. This fact makes a lot of the rest of the action this week seem irrelevant, including Lana’s near escape, Jude’s crisis of faith and Grace’s shooting. I guess there’s now going to be a fight between the Angel of Death and the Devil in Sister Eunice. Interestingly, the Angel of Death’s appearance gave us a sympathetic and almost realistic discussion of suicide.
Entries for month: November 2012
In this week’s American Horror Story, we spent time with Bloody Face. Bloody Face, the poorly named serial killer stalking Massachusetts, was revealed last week to be Dr. Oliver Thredson, the psychiatrist appointed by the court to determine whether Kit Walker, the man arrested for the Bloody Face murders, was competent to stand trial. With this reveal, Dr. Thredson joined the ranks of famous serial killers in pop culture.
Well folks, we’re at the halfway point of American Horror Story: Asylum. So far, we’ve seen alien abductions, rape, murder and mutilation. We’ve got a possessed nun, a Nazi doctor, a serial killer and Anne Frank. We’ve had forced sterilization, conversion therapy, ECT and canings. I almost don’t know where to go from here, and I don’t think the writers do either. This season is actually more coherent, plot-wise, than last season was, but it’s still just what the writers think will be scary all thrown together. Instead of tension or character-driven horror, we’re getting big set-pieces of scary. But why do the writers think these things will be scary? Why are we so conditioned to fear mental illness?
I really thought an episode of American Horror Story named “I am Anne Frank, Part I” would be more offensive than what I saw. As you may know, AHS is not a restrained show, and they like to push the boundaries of decency in every possible direction. But when dealing with Nazis and the Holocaust, the show was mercifully restrained.
Oh American Horror Story. This week you gave us a possessed Sister Eunice, a vengeful Dr. Arden, an escape scene, a rape scene and The Sign of the Cross, the great 1932 Cecil B. DeMille movie. More importantly, you also brought to the front the thorny (but evolving) history of religion and mental health.