It's back! The so-pretty-but-so-stupid-doesn't-make-a-lick-of-sense-unless-you're-licking-your-hand-to-do-some-sort-of-sex-act show American Horror Story, is back. Whahoo! So how does this entirely new series stack up to last year's entirely insane series? Well, it's totally different and yet completely the same. Let me explain.
American Horror Story, at its very best, was an an elaborate supernatural sex act set inside a Restoration Hardware show-room. It was all fun and games, until somebody made a baby out of other babies. But the cherry on top was the amazing cast. Nothing topped the grandeur that was Jessica Lange and her "burning of Atlanta" shtick. Lady was spot on, every week. Lange, and the odd ghostly flashback, were the real reasons we tuned in to AHS. Will this kitsch-free second season hold the charm of the first? We're not sure yet. But we're remaining optimistic.
The episode starts off with Adam Levine and Jenna Dewan on a haunted humping honeymoon. Getting scared gets these two beautiful youths hot. And nothing is hotter than a MRSA-covered old TB ward-turned-insane asylum. So in they go, stroking the decrepit old building like it was the only customer at the Bunny Ranch.
Too bad the Murder House wasn't first on this couple's haunted honeymoon tour. Imagine how the season finale could have gone, the Ghost Harmons all staring oddly at their Ghost Christmas tree. Then two kids tumble into the entrance and immediately just start going to town on each other. Also, anyone else catch the Return to Oz machine?
Moving along, the young couple continues to break the number one rule of all horror movies everywhere (don't hump in the haunted house) when Jenna hears a noise. Mid coitus Jenna makes her man stop so they can explore. Could it be Bloody Face, the rumored haunt of this old shack? Adam is not pleased, so Jenna tells him, "you can totally put it in my ass." Young love. Side Note: TO THE PEOPLE MAKING GIFS OF ADAM LICKING HIS HAND, STOP IMMEDIATELY.
Together they find the source of the noise, whatever is rattling around is stuck behind a giant door to an old mental patient's cell. Adam wants to investigate and AHS wants to prove that it can top Dylan McDermott's cry-masturbation scene from the pilot, soooo….. Adam sticks his hand in the food slot with his phone (to record) while his new wife goes down on him. Hooray!
Cue the terrible sex things! Whilst getting the blow job from his wife, something rips off Adam's arm. Cut to the titles! Congratulations AHS, you've done it again. "It," meaning "bringing dank, terrible sex horror to cable television."
That's it from the kids (for now). The rest of the series takes place in 1964. And the first new character we're introduced to is Tate. But it's not Tate, it's the actor who played Tate: Evan Peters. Now he's a poorly accented gas attendant whose secretly married to a lovely African American woman. (Which is frowned upon by his creepy friend, hence the "mmmm chocolate" line). This new character's name is Kit Walker — and to be perfectly honest, it was quite hard to separate Tate from Kit. It's going to take sometime to peel back the horrible creature that was Tate. Let's not forget he brutally murdered a bunch of high schoolers. Couple that with the reoccurring camera angles and style, and it's hard not to see Tate making super sweet love to his secret wife. I don't trust him. But perhaps I will get over that with time.
After Kit and his wife share a bit of sweet sex, things get even weirder. The electricity in the '64 home starts to flicker. Then a giant white light bursts through their home. An elongated hand magically strips Kit and the next thing we know he and his wife have been abducted. By aliens. There are aliens in this show now. It's definitely intense — but it's also such a traditional "white light, naked body, alien hand, human dissection" abduction scene that it wasn't particularly scary. Just, "OK, I guess there's aliens now."
Also, is this the alien?
Cut to the old TB ward, except now it's no longer run down. Now it stands as Briarcliff, home to the mentally ill. Which, funny enough, is not a medical principle that Boss Nun Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) believes in. There is no such thing as Mental Illness, she states with respect to the Nymphomaniac Chloe Sevigny (also, OF COURSE she's a nympho). Sarah Paulson plays the journalist Lana, visiting under the guise of a story about the institution's wonderful bakery. In reality, Lana is there to talk to "Bloody Face," the newest patient of Briarcliff. Who is being admitted today and held until the court can prove that he's fit to stand trial. Bloody Face is Briarcliff's first serial killer, and earned this title chopping of the heads and skinning a collection of women. No surprise here: Bloody Face is Kit.
We see Kit dragged inside the manor in shackles, proclaiming his innocence. "Little green men" will get you nowhere here, smirks Lange, "All monsters are human." One plot line down. The rest of the episode is a tour of the spooky old insane asylum. The place is populated with a lot a intense poo-flinging residents and run by three other important figures. Sister's Jude number two is Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe), who is not particularly good at anything. Why Sister Jude puts up with her second-in-command's incompetence, we're not sure. But her meekness lends itself towards trouble, as she's easily influenced by anyone with a spine.
Next is Monsignor Timothy Howard (Joseph Fiennes), who exists to be a secret sex fantasy of Sister Jude's. There's a particularly amazing scene where Sister Jude makes dinner for the Monsignor in a red negligee. She then puts her traditional uniform and habit over the sultry ensemble and sits through dinner secretly fantasizing about the Monsignor becoming the Pope and the two of them moving to Rome to conquer the world. It's completely amazing. Finally there's Dr. Aden (James Cromwell) who is secretly grabbing patients and experimenting on them in the dark of night. Dr. Aden and Sister Jude are not pals, he won't let the top nun into any part of his laboratory nor will he tell her why all the loaner patients keep dying on his operating table. This is the first time you see a bit of humanity in Sister Jude — perhaps she does think that her heavy handed methods are truly what is best of the patient. Or maybe she's just an egomaniac.
Meanwhile Lana is still hot for the story. After getting the a-OK from her lady partner (Clea DuVall) she sneaks around the hospital looking for trouble. And trouble, she finds. Lana spies Sister Eunice feeding one of Dr. Aden's pet projects human flesh (what is this pet? We have no idea) and blackmails her into sneaking her into the asylum. There she takes a tumble and awakens on a hospital bed with Sister Jude peering over her. After a quick visit to Lana's lover, Sister Jude has Lana committed. You see it was either commit her lover or be exposed as a lesbian and lose her job as a school teacher. Now Lana is locked away, at the mercy of Sister Jude.
Kit gets a special visit from Dr. Aden, who is looking for more brains for his experiment into the corrupted human mind. You see, the devil lives in your brain.
While prepping Kit for his lobotomy, Dr. Aden rips a spider bot out of Kit's neck. That is a real thing, that happened. You had me at unlawful incarceration with Lana, that was scary as hell. The Spider Robot in Kit's neck is neither scary nor interesting. Does this mean the aliens are for really, real? Maybe — but it was infinitely more interesting when this all could have been in Kit's head. And he skinned his wife all on his own. But, now ROBOT SPIDER ALIENS DID IT.
So obviously I'm still split on whether or not I'm into this breed of AHS. Lange and her character's manipulation is fairly amazing. She basically imprisoned someone to keep the good ship Bang the Monsignor sailing. But I'm not sold on the aliens yet — let's hope there's more to this story than than these Ood-like creatures. Oh and one last scare, before everything ends, the show whips back to the present. Jenna is running through the elaborate tunnel network in the old institution looking for a way out (the front door was locked). When who does she stumble upon? BLOODY FACE! Who is immortal.