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American Horror Story: Asylum Review: “Dark Cousin” (Season 2, Episode 7)

Tonight's episode of ​American Horror Story: Asylum ​moves the story along briskly while hinting that the worst is still yet to come for those who dwell in Briarcliff.

It looks like after giving viewers a bit of history, American Horror Story: Asylum is getting back on track with the stories at hand. All of the characters that were previously taken from Briarcliff have managed to find their ways back, drawn by whatever forces they believe they must stop/help. Some of the motivations are a bit goofy, but that’s to be expected from a show that features the line “I took her teeth” in a serious moment.

SPOILERS AHEAD! Yet again, don’t read on if you don’t want this episode’s plot spoiled.

After an inmate attempts suicide by cutting his wrists on a bread slicer (awesome), an angel of death is invited into Briarcliff, offering a release to many of the “patients” who are suffering within the walls. Sister Mary is terrified when she finds this out, meeting with the dark angel and giving a little more insight into just what kind of devil is possessing her. We also get to see the real Sister Mary try to take control, but that rascally devil is having none of that. Dr. Arden, fresh off of his new office as the head of Briarcliff, is quickly knocked down a notch after Sister Mary makes it perfectly clear that she’s running the place now.

Although scared out of her skin, Mary still finds time to antagonize Sister Jude, leaving evidence of her hit and run at Jude’s Nazi hunter’s hotel room. Although Jude thinks she is on her way out, she finds the family of the girl she ran over, only to find out that the girl survived after all. With this information in mind, perhaps Sister Jude can return to Briarcliff emboldened and ready to kick some major tail.

Dr. Thredson is still keeping Lana in his basement as his potential mother figure, which leads to one of the more disturbing scenes in the season. However, she manages to escape seconds before he puts her to death, climbing into a car with a helpful stranger. Sadly, this guy ends up being just as messed up as everybody else in the series, and through a ludicrous series of events, she finds herself back in the confines of Briarcliff. We all knew she would stumble back to the asylum, but the way it happens is just a completely unbelievable stretch.

Meanwhile, Kit is in the custody of the police, trying to prove his innocence. After only a minute of listening to an officer, Kit smashes the poor guy’s face in with some office supplies and makes a break for it. Apparently the police have worse security than Briarcliff, but hey, we need Kit back at the asylum! Grace is still reeling from having her lady bits hacked to pieces, but Kit seeks her out hoping to get some answers about her vision of Alma.

But since nothing is allowed to go as planned, Kit accidentally unleashes one of Arden’s monstrosities, managing to kill it just as a police officer walks in and shoots Grace while she tries to protect him. The angel of death shows up again, granting her the kiss of death after Grace states that she is ready to die. Here’s to hoping there’s another way to find out the truth about Alma.

This angel of death, played by the perfectly cast Frances Conroy (the elderly version of Moira from last season), is an interesting character that will hopefully stick around throughout the rest of the season. Her conversations with Sister Jude, Grace and Sister Mary lend a huge amount of insight into all of the characters, and even if her motivations are unclear, there’s still a calming feeling to seeing those big black wings spread open as her lips meet those of the unfortunate souls who have been picked off.

The loss of Grace will have a huge effect on where the season goes from here, and we’re left wondering just how Kit will get the answers he needs, unless Alma herself can communicate with him. Lana went from being in the frying pan to being dumped unceremoniously back into the fire, and Sister Jude is on a crusade to take back her asylum. It’s fantastic to have all of the cast back in Briarcliff, even if their means of return are all just a bit too goofy.

The sneak peek for next week revealed quite few interesting tidbits, including the return of Dr. Thredson to Briarcliff, which was met with giddy clapping and a jump unlike any I’ve ever done. Zachary Quinto’s work thus far has been astounding, as has Jessica Lange’s, so having them find their ways back to the asylum gives me great hope for the rest of the season. Tonight’s episode of American Horror Story: Asylum moves the story along briskly while hinting that the worst is still yet to come for those who dwell in Briarcliff.

About the author

Christian Law

An avid gamer, moviegoer and music lover, he can be found giving his opinion on entertainment to anybody who will listen, and especially to those who won't. Otherwise, he's busy writing film and music reviews over at the Speakeasy Online Magazine.