Television Review – American Horror Story: Asylum: “I Am Anne Frank, Part II”/”The Origins of Monstrosity”

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Anne Frank decided to drop by the asylum in the last episode of American Horror Story; as stated previously, the show really likes to take historical events and warp them for its own gain, and the tale of Anne Frank surviving only to be thrown into an asylum because of her presumed craziness is both very out-there and also surprisingly believable. That’s how this season of AHS has been working so far, and I can’t really complain.

In “I Am Anne Frank, Part 2″, we get to see the outcome of a lot of different avenues. There have been some sprawling ideas going on right now, almost so many that it’s difficult to keep track. Not only are there many bad, bad things going on in the asylum, but there are also a great deal of people moving into and out of the forefront. Anne Frank is only the least of everyone’s worries; Lena is undergoing some therapy to try to get her lesbianism out of her system, Dr. Arden is a supposed Nazi, and Kit must confess to Dr. Thredson that he did kill his wife in order to reduce his sentence. Sister Jude has since taken up her drinking again, and Sister Mary Eunice might just be the devil. Oh yeah, and Shelly’s not doing so well at all.

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These plot lines often revolve around each other, but they also collide every now and again because there are so many. A few are resolved in these two episodes, and it gets rid of some of the more pressing issues. “The Origins of Monstrosity” reveals what Dr. Arden is doing to his patients to get them to become the crazed monsters that everyone sees out in the wilds at night. We’re also fairly certain now that Arden did in fact work in Auschwitz. But wait, there’s more!

Thredson, the nice doctor working for Lena and Kit, is actually a terrible person in disguise with his own demons to battle. He has a Oedipus complex, for one, but he also has dabbled in necrophilia and making furniture out of human skin. This comes as a giant surprise in “I Am Anne Frank, Part 2″, and one that isn’t built up to as nicely as one could hope. The reveal comes out of thin air, and the whole thing reeks of a surprise just to move the plot forward. But at least now we know who Bloodyface is.

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There’s also the ongoing battle between Sister Jude and Dr. Arden to deal with. It seems as though that is going to come to a head at first; after all, Sister Jude has set out to prove Arden is a Nazi, and vice versa Arden has implicated Sister Jude in some serious errors. But Mary Eunice, who is now the devil but also the main instigator in all of these problems for reasons as yet not divulged, has changed the game once again.

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This means that all of those conclusions that happen in “I Am Anne Frank, Part 2″ are just replaced with more heavy plot twists. American Horror Story is like a really bloody, really smarmy soap opera that seems like it will never end – it’s heavy on the plot, requires attention to detail even if it fails to operate under these rules itself, and shifts more than a Rubik’s cube. Despite the events that don’t come off as strongly as they should, at least the logic behind this season works much better than last. And the events fly at such a furious pace that one can forgive the missteps along the way, or maybe that’s just the show’s little tricks.

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