'American Horror Story' recap, 'Tricks and Treats'
By By Zach Sparks
Oct 25, 2012 at 7:52 AM
What was the best way to cure someone of ungodliness and demonic activities in the 1960s?
If you guessed "burn them," you're wrong. That was more 1450s-1700s. If you guessed a good-old fashioned exorcism, you're right! (I don't have any prizes, so you'll have to settle for this wonderful recap.)
The victim in this episode is a teenage boy named Jed, who tore open the body of one of his family's barn animals and ate its heart (He probably just wanted to be Edward Cullen for Halloween).
Sister Jude (unsurprisingly) is the one who recommends an exorcism to the boy's parents.
"Good boys gone bad is my area of expertise," she says. "Great success in curbing the chronic masturbator."
We see repeatedly how Sister Jude tries to wipe the Earth of impure things and use the alibi of doing God's work as an excuse. But she really does get off on the torture.
Last week I mentioned how Zachary Quinto was conspicuously absent from the season premiere. This week he made his introduction as Dr. Oliver Thredson, who is assigned the task of determining whether Kit is fit to stand trial or if he is insane.
His diagnosis of Kit: acute clinical insanity. Telling a psychiatrist aliens abducted you and killed your wife is usually a good way to make them think you're nuts.
Dr. Thredson clashes with Sister Jude throughout the episode and recommends a mental evaluation of Jed instead of an exorcism. But the psychiatrist surrenders easily and actually ends up assisting in the exorcism.
He seems to carry a heavy conscious. Dr. Thredson confronts Sister Jude about her inclusion of abuse and malpractice instead of treatment.
"It's a madhouse, doctor," she responds. "What did you expect? Let me remind you that your job here is to write a recommendation to the court regarding the sanity of one patient. So I suggest, you do your job and let me do mine."
Ironically, Sister Jude is banished from the exorcism room. "Your work here is done," the priest says. "This is no place for a woman."
She reminds him she's stronger than the average woman, which may be true but that's much easier to say when she's the one administering the whipping and shock therapy.
Eventually the object of her lust, Monsignor Timothy Howard, requests her returned presence and she gets a welcoming from Jed. "It drives you crazy, does''t it? To be the smartest person in the room, with no real power because of that smelly clam between your legs?"
The demon rails off Sister Jude's life story, sharing that the holy nun has had 53 sexual encounters and that she used to sing and dance at a local establishment.
There is a well-known saying that "the best things come in threes." If you're a fan of gory deaths, this episode is for you.
The first five minutes of this episode saw two deaths: Lana's lesbian lover and Leo. That is, unless they somehow survive an onslaught of knife thrusts. Jed died later on.
Early in this episode, Lana Winters is submitted to electroshock therapy by Sister Jude and Dr. Arden for her constant talk of writing a revealing story on the asylum (Who does she think she is, a journalist?
Too bad Sister Jude and Dr. Arden couldn't pull out the neuralyzer, that little device from "Men in Black" that wiped recent memories clean.
"The last time I suggested electroshock therapy, you accused me of being a sadistic barbarian," says Dr. Arden.
After her "treatment," Lana befriends Grace and the two plan an escape together. But once Grace involves Kit, things get ugly. Like Larry Harvey's face from season one ugly.
During Jed's exorcism, the power goes out and the cell doors are opened, allowing Lana and Grace to escape, but when Lana sees Kit leaving with Grace, she screams for help and no one escapes.
Confused? I guess Lana doesn't want Kit running around free, skinning heads and murdering women. That seems reasonable to me.
Lana's "treat" for turning in Grace and Kit? Getting to watch them get caned. Except Kit takes the whole blame and gets 40 lashes instead of 20, sparing Grace.
The mad doctor and the nymphomaniac
We learned a lot about Shelley's backstory in this episode. We also saw how humorous and sexual she is in a brief conversation with Sister Jude.
"Hey sister," said Shelley. "I have a cucumber in my room. And not because I was hungry."
Shelley sees Dr. Arden flirting with Sister Mary Eunice outside and decides to exploit Dr. Arden's sexual needs so she can be let outside.
"Come on doc. Bend me over a bread-rack and pound me into shame."
Dr. Arden shoves her away, calls her a whore and receives her sob story in return. Her husband, a jazz musician, cheated on her frequently, so she got even by sleeping with two navy guys. When the husband caught her, he decked her, threw her in the car and threw her in the nuthouse -- you know, pretty standard for the 1960s.
But just as Dr. Arden made himself seem like an honest guy by turning down the temptation of Shelley, he ruins it two scenes later.
We see Dr. Arden lighting candles when a blonde woman knocks on his door and greets Dr. Arthur Arden as "Stanley."
That right there is the first red flag. We find out that he booked her as a call-girl and that he doesn't like it when a lady talks dirty.
"If you're going to be vulgar, I'd just assume you'd not speak at all."
The second red flag comes when he mentions her line of work in the same breath as "Bloody Face."
The third warning comes when the girl is alone in Arden's room, taking off her makeup, when she finds pictures of women who are gagged and bleeding. He also made the girl dress up like a nun, so she would look like the innocent Sister Mary Eunice.
At this point, you would think the mad doctor would claim another victim, but the girl gets lucky by biting him and running away.
-- Adam Levine's character, Leo, has been in two episodes this season. In the first, his arm was cut off. In this one, he is stabbed repeatedly by "Bloody Face." In a show filled with tortured characters, Adam Levine's may take the cake.
-- Now that Lana has lost her friendship with Grace, she is truly alone. That is, unless she dresses like a nun and acts innocent. Then maybe she can get Dr. Arden's attention.
-- If Sister Jude ever discovers Dr. Arden's obsession with Sister Mary Eunice, she will have one giant pawn in their chess match of wits.
What we learned:
-- Sister Jude isn't as pure as she pretends and Dr. Arden's creepiness has been substantiated with photographic evidence of his victims.
What to expect next week:
-- I'm really hoping the possessed Sister Mary Eunice dishes out more of Sister Jude's secrets and we see the violence escalate beyond girly slapping.
-- The preview for next week showed a storm hitting the asylum and Dr. Arden realizing Sister Mary Eunice's possession. Will Dr. Arden be able to do anything about it if the storm shuts off the power? Sister Mary Eunice will bring true evil back into the asylum and it looks like the patients will have to band together if they want to survive.