Sunday, October 21, 2012
American Horror Story Asylum Season 2, Episode 1: Welcome to Briarcliff
Leo (Adam Levine) and Teresa (Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Tamara) are newlyweds taking an unusual honeymoon. The two explore haunted sites, and their journey takes them to Briarcliff Manor Sanitarium, an old mental institution. Leo leads her around the building until they find one of the old examine tables.
After strapping his wife down, they start to have sex, but hear something wandering outside. They find the noise coming from behind a locked door, and Teresa promises to go down on him if he will see what’s causing the noise. As she begins going to town, he suddenly screams and drags back his arm with a bloody stump on the end.
It then jumps to 1964 and Kit Walker (Evan Peters, American Horror Story) working in a gas station. After blowing off his friends, he goes home to see his African American wife. She wants to tell their family about their secret wedding, but he’s too afraid of what people think. After having sex, Alma makes a joke about burning dinner. Lights suddenly fill the room. Just before he passes out, Kit sees that Alma disappeared.
Lana Winters (Sara Paulson, American Horror Story) is a spunky reporter who makes up a story to gain access to the asylum. Though she says she’s writing a story on the kitchen, she actually wants an exclusive interview with Bloody Face, an infamous serial killer being brought there. Sister Jude (Jessica Lange, American Horror Story) denies her request immediately. Lana still sees Bloody Face exit the police car, and we learn that it’s actualy Kit. Kit says that aliens abducted his wife, but the police believe that he killed and skilled three women.
In his first few hours at the asylum, Kit meets Shelly (Chloë Sevigny, American Psycho), a nymphomaniac who immediately tries to get him into bed. He also meets Grace (French actress Lizzie Brochere) and Spivey (Mark Consuelos, All My Children). Grace is nice enough to help him in the common room and bring him food when he finds himself placed in a straight jacket after fighting with Spivey who describes his wife in a derogatory term.
Sister Jude goes to see Dr. Arden (James Cromwell, The Green Mile), a man working with patients in the asylum. She mentions that several patients mysteriously disappeared, but it only seems to happen to those without any loved ones. After making up an excuse, he starts working on Kit. He finds a hard lump in his neck, which turns out to be a high-tech spider type creature that pops out and flees.
Lana goes home from the asylum and reveals that she’s a lesbian who lives with Wendy (Clea DuVall, The Faculty), an elementary school teacher. Wendy encourages her to follow her dreams, which leads to the woman sneaking back onto the asylum grounds. After something comes out of the woods, she gets knocked unconscious. She later wakes up and discovers that Sister Jude had her committed by blackmailing Wendy into signing the papers under threat of her revealing their secret relationship.
Sister Jude has secrets of her own. After applying a healthy dose of perfume and some sexy undergarments, she spends the day making dinner for Monsignor Timothy Howard (Joseph Fiennes, Flash Forward). She confronts him over dinner about hiring a doctor at a religious hospital. Suddenly, she crosses the distance between them, straddles him, and they begin kissing. Just as suddenly, the image changes and we realize that it was a fantasy she had about him.
The end of the episode moves back to the present day. Leaving her husband bleeding on the floor, Teresa promises to come back for him. She begins running through the asylum, but she finds that the door they entered through is now locked. Just as she thinks she finds a way to escape, she discovers that Bloody Face is waiting for her.
While American Horror Story Asylum lacked the intense creepiness of the first episode of the first season, the first episode did have some great scenes. Here’s hoping that Ryan Murphy and his group can reach that intensity level in the coming episodes.