AMERICAN HORROR STORY delivers what is easily the best episode of the season thus far managing to develop both the characters as well as the plot, truly allowing the actors to shine. LILY RABE, ZACHARY QUINTO, JOSEPH FIENNES and JAMES CROMWELL absolutely own it, and pretty much redeem the entire season thus far.
Synopsis and review within:
A small girl is abandoned by her mother at Briarcliff for murdering her friend and temporarily put into the care of Sister Mary Eunice. Which is probably a big mistake seeing as Sister Mary Eunice is possessed by the devil and all. After their little fireside chat, the girl goes home to murder her entire family. Current score… Eunice: 2 Everything good and holy: 0
Lana wakes up in Dr. Threadson’s basement and he explains to her how he became a psychotic killer. Being in ‘the system’ after his mother abandoned him at a young age, he was constantly punished and neglected human contact. That neglect made him crave even the smallest amounts of skin-to-skin contact which quickly grew into his fascination of wearing people’s skin. ZACHARY QUINTO delivers another solid monologue-driven performance that was extremely convincing to the point where you almost genuinely felt bad for the guy save for the fact that he mutilates women.
The Nazi hunter employed by Sister Jude confirms that Dr Arden is, in fact, the Nazi doctor that ‘Anne Frank’ claimed he was. We also explore quite a bit of Dr Arden’s past with Monseigneur Howard (Played by JOSEPH FIENNES of SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE and CAMELOT fame) and how they forged an agreement when Briarcliff was first converted from a tuberculosis hospital to a mental asylum where Arden would have free reign to perform his experiments on the inmates. Using a combination of tuberculosis virus and bacterial cure, he sought to evolve the human race to prevent extinction from nuclear war, hence the mutants in the woods and CHLOE SEVIGNY’S unfortunate transformation.
“The Origins of Monstrosity” and it’s triple-titular-entendre ended up being both fantastic and horrifying, expertly acted and managed to tie up many of the loosest ends so far. And all without the stupid alien subplot. 4.8/5