Home Reviews

American Horror Story: Asylum Review: “Nor’easter” (Season 2, Episode 3)

Similar to last year's excellent episode, American Horror Story: Asylum has given us the best episode of the season thus far, tightening the focus of the plot while still maintaining the trademark insanity that makes it such a rush to watch.

Oh yes, it’s Halloween! Aside from being high on sugar and dressed as whatever fad is ruling the day (if you dressed as Psy, you’re not clever), it’s time for American Horror Story: Asylum to shine. Last year’s Halloween episode was utterly insane, and why shouldn’t it be? This show was practically built for Halloween viewings. Tonight’s episode was no different, as it harnessed the energy of the season to present an episode that lives up to the series’ infamous name.

As always, we begin in the present, with the loving couple still fighting for their lives. Well, for a second, before two Bloody Faces appear and gun them down. The masks come off to reveal a duo of guys we’ve never met before celebrating their kills. Just as they realize that one of their victims had his arm ripped off, the real Bloody Face appears and begins pursuing them. Back in the past, Sister Jude is sent a copy of a newspaper from the 1940s that details the disappearance of the girl she ran over. Suspicions run high, but there’s no clear suspect.

Reports come in that a huge storm is heading towards the asylum, and Sister Jude plans to screen a movie for the patients to keep them calm. Hearing of the storm, Kit and Grace discuss another escape attempt, but Lana is still too mistrustful to allow Kit to join. Dr. Arden has another meeting with Kit, this time to question him about the metallic bug that escape from his neck during their last…ah…surgery. Neither of them know what it is or where it came from, but maybe it gives some plausibility to Kit’s alien theory.

Sister Mary is still possessed by the demon that came out of the farm boy, and it’s really starting to affect her. She kills a patient who is fully aware she’s possessed before feeding her to the creatures in the woods. What’s most exciting is that we finally get a good look at what’s hiding out there and it’s…well, monstrous. She also attempts to seduce Dr. Arden, but even he notices something is wrong and refuses her. It’s always good to keep a possessed nun around, you never know when you’ll need one.

Lana notices that Dr. Thredson isn’t like the people who run Briarwood, and asks him to deliver a message to Wendy in hopes of escaping the asylum. He takes the message, but we’ll get back to that in a second. Shelly asks Grace if she can join the escape, but it looks like there’s no room available for everyone’s favorite nymphomaniac. Sister Jude accosts Dr. Arden about the newspaper she was sent, accusing him of trying to usurp her power. There’s no denying that the good Doc is up to something, but his motives aren’t entirely clear yet.

Later that night, Sister Jude receives a call from beyond the grave from the girl she ran over in her past. Obviously traumatized by this, she gets smashed on ceremonial wine to try and cope with it. She goes back to the viewing room and addresses the crowd of crazies in what is one of the best monologues Jessica Lange has given in the series. Seriously, this woman is amazing.

During the film, Dr. Thredson reveals to Lana that he went to check on Wendy but all he found was blood stains and open windows, meaning that Bloody Face has somehow gotten to her. This changes Lana’s opinion of Kit, and she finally decides to trust him, leading him and Grace to the underground tunnel as they try to escape. They reach the outside world, but their celebrations are cut short as they quickly run into the forest creatures. The escape is cut short as they rush back into the asylum to try and rework their plans.

Shelly, who was unable to escape, managed to help the others by distracting the guards. Unfortunately, she gets caught by Dr. Arden in the hall, who does not seem to be too happy to see the “whore.” He takes her back into one of his rooms and attempts to rape her, but his impotency gets in the way before he can do anything. Rather than being smart and running, Shelly laughs at him and he promptly knocks her out and saws off her legs.

And thus brings an ending to yet another crazy Halloween episode. Forgive the gushing, but Jessica Lange is still the thread that strings the show along perfectly, constantly topping her own performances with each episode. Zachary Quinto is a welcome face to the regular cast, as his role in the first season was lamentably small.  Similar to last year’s excellent episode, American Horror Story: Asylum has given us the best episode of the season thus far, tightening the focus of the plot while still maintaining the trademark insanity that makes it such a rush to watch.

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.