The escalation of the ridiculous in American Horror Story: Asylum has approached the screamingly obvious, and by the end of ‘Nor’easter’ there’s absolutely no getting away from how incredibly daft this show has become – and has always been, really – over such a short period of time.
In the present, Leo (Adam Levine) – despite having lost an arm and six million gallons of blood, no doubt – leaps to the defence of Teresa (Jenna Dewan-Tatum), seemingly bringing their three-episode of arc of running down corridors to a close. Then another Bloody Face turns up, and they both take off their masks to reveal pimply nobodies who are as confused by Leo’s missing arm as Leo presumably is. Then the real Bloody Face pops his head round the door. Don’t worry if it’s not making a lick of sense, as we won’t have to worry about it until the opening six minutes of the next episode where Leo will be holding off seven different Bloody Faces with his own severed arm, or have attached a chainsaw to his stump Ash Williams-style.
Meanwhile, in the Satanic Sixties, the formerly demure Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) – now in full demonic host mode – vamps around in red lipstick, murders a devoutly Catholic Mexican inmate who recognises her for what she is, torments Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) with the drink driving hit and run accident that led to her taking up the habit (lol), and gleefully sits watching pious Christians getting eaten by lions in a creaky old black and white movie. She couldn’t be any more out of character, coming onto the besotted Dr Arden (James Cromwell) in a manner that can only be described as ‘HBO-quality’. The good Doctor obviously has some sort of huge virgin/whore complex, and he later takes out his impotent rage by applying lipstick to a statue of the Virgin Mary and then pushing it over while shouting “WHORE!” In terms of symbolism it’s about as subtle as a GCSE art project, even by the outlandish cry-wank/gimp-rape standards of American Horror Story.
Kit (Evan Peters), Grace (Lizzie Brocheré) and Lana (Sarah Paulson) plot their second escape in two episodes – which is looking dangerously like it’s going to be a running theme – as they get within arm’s reach of freedom before it all goes horribly wrong. They run out into the rain, only to be confronted by a forest full of snarling, toothy, cannibal people – possibly related to the razor-toothed real Bloody Face, or the creature in the basement from Season 1 – and then run immediately back into the asylum to take their seats in front of the movie.
Tormented by Sister Demon Eunice, who thoughtfully left a bottle of communion wine out for her – Sister Jude gets good and tanked, quotes ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, denounces the star of the movie the inmates are watching as “an enormous whoopsie” and then gets confronted in a corridor by the puckered proboscis of what can only be described as the Brundlefly.
And then there’s the massive, honking great Tales From The Crypt twist – a fully horror-quality final scare that validates just why we love this show, and helps us gloss over why we worry we might be wrong to love it. It’s a ghastly, over the top explosion of one-up shocks – demons, serial killers, aliens, rape, amputation, cannibals – and an industrial metal soundtrack away from being the inside of Rob Zombie‘s head. Who really cares that it makes absolutely little immediate sense? Does it really matter that you’re not being spoon-fed answers, and when said answers do arrive they’ll probably be bollocks?
It’s all tremendously good fun, and with this show at least there’s an inverse ratio between logic and enjoyment.