TV: ‘Tricks and treats’ indeed in ‘American Horror Story’

By Meryl Gottlieb|| @buzzlightmeryl
American Horror Story airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.
RATING: 3.75/ 5



Tonight’s episode “Tricks and Treats” was not up to par with the premiere, which was just too good. Some moments were intriguing but many others left me feeling rather uncomfortable and longing for the storyline to kick into full gear.

In the present, Bloody Face is chasing Teresa (Jenna Dewan-Tatum) until they get back to Leo (Adam Levine) – is it weird I still find him attractive when he’s missing an arm – and she locks herself in the mysterious room in which Leo’s arm was torn off. While in there, she watches as Bloody Face kills Leo, who will no longer have those moves like Jagger.

And the rest of the episode is back in 1964.

Wendy (Clea DuVall) is overwhelmed with guilt for letting Lana (Sarah Paulson) be kept at Briarcliff; she decides that the next morning she will go and get her back. However, fate is not a friend when Bloody Face appears in her house and most likely kills her – her death is not actually shown and, based off of history, I am not making any assumptions. And here is the proof that Kit (Evan Peters) is not Bloody Face. Yay!

A room search is ordered, and Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) finds Lana’s notes about the asylum. Worrying that her memories will eventually cause problems for the institution, Sister Jude asks Dr. Arden (James Cromwell) to perform electro-shock therapy on Lana, which he does.

Dr. Oliver Thredson (Zachary Quinto), a psychiatrist, comes to Briarcliff to meet with Kit. Kit understands that if he is diagnosed as insane then he will stay in Briarcliff, but if he is not, then he will be sent to trial, convicted and executed. Dr. Thredson diagnoses him with acute clinical insanity.

Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) questions Arden about the creatures she is feeding, and he dodges an answer by making her eat a caramel apple (you know, the usual tactic to avoid conversation). She originally does not want it, citing that Sister Jude told her, “Sweets lead to sin.” Sins of sweet chocolately pleasure, though, are excusable – at least that’s what I tell myself as I further my transformation into a giant Kit-Kat Bar.

A family arrives saying their son Jed (Devon Graye) is possessed by a demon. Whoever this actor is, can we all applaud him on a creepy job well done?!

Grace (Lizzie Brocheré) and Lana discuss Lana’s desire and plan to escape the asylum. Grace asks if Kit can join them, but Lana vehemently denies the thought, thinking Kit truly is Bloody Face. Lana also confesses she is mad, but more so saddened, knowing that Wendy so easily signed over her life.

Shelley (Chloë Sevigny) attempts to seduce Dr. Arden, unsuccessfully. She reveals her backstory: She began this sexual lifestyle at the age of 5 (ew) then she married an abusive man who put her in the asylum after he caught her in bed with two sailors. Arden is not sympathetic and dismisses her as a whore, showing true disgust for her sexual nature.

In order to “save” Jed, Monsignor Howard (Joseph Fiennes) calls for an exorcism, which Dr. Thredson deems barbaric in this day and age.

Initially kicked out of the exorcism because of her sex, Sister Jude comes back in the room to watch over Jed. She is tricked by whatever demon is taking over him, and we learn about the not-so-nun-like background of Sister Jude. A flash back to her singing in a bar, drinking and trying to hook up with a military man show her racy past, but her present holiness becomes even more diluted when another flashback shows her hitting a little girl with her car and not even turning back to try and help.

While this is an intriguing insight, it is not showing the depths to which I think Sister Jude’s character can go. There has to be something more, something big.

Jed’s exorcism and the demon within cause a power failure in the asylum, giving Grace and Lana the chance to escape. But Lana’s hopes are crushed when Kit finds them; Lana refuses to go with him so Grace decides to run with just Kit. Furious and betrayed, Lana yells that Kit is trying to escape, drawing the attention of the orderlies who grab Grace and beat Kit.

You know what Lana, I sympathized with you. Journalist to journalist, you have betrayed my faith in our noble profession, and you can no longer sit with us at the lunch table. How dare you get Kit in trouble! Evan Peters deserves freedom, happiness, and love – things he can get with me sorry, let’s get back to the show.

At his home, Arden has dinner with a call girl. I don’t want to talk about this scene for too long because I was sincerely creeped out. He has her dress up as a nun (fetish alert!), and while she is changing she goes through his stuff like the good hooker she is. However, she doesn’t find cheap jewelry, instead she discovers a pornographic booklet and pictures of women tied up. Honey, this is when you run. After the incredibly awkward almost-rape scene, the call girl gets away after biting Arden’s arm and kicking him in the crotch – girl power!

Sister Mary Eunice fainted after the exorcism, so Dr. Arden goes to check on her. He longingly looks at her in her nightgown and the two exchange a sexual-tension filled conversation.

Sister Jude brings in Lana and decides to reward her for her bravery by having her watch as she canes Grace and Kit. However, Kit says he is to blame and should get all of the whippings, and he does – all 40.

Not the most suspenseful way to end an episode, but I think it certainly left a mark on us all.


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