American Horror Story: Asylum Recap, Episode 4: I Am Anne Frank, Part 1

When a new patient claiming to be Holocaust victim Anne Frank shows up, she claims that Dr. Arden is actually Hans Gruber. No, not the lead terrorist from Die Hard, a Nazi SS doctor from Auschwitz. After some detectives show up to question Arden on the roughing up of a prostitute, Sister Jude begins to think there may be some truth to Anne Frank’s accusation. Meanwhile, Kit starts to question his own innocence and learns the real reason why Grace was admitted to Briarcliff. Lana begins aversion therapy for her lesbianism in hopes that it will get her released from the asylum sooner.

This time around, we don’t get the 2012 introduction; the episode launches straight into the 1964 Briarcliff setting. I guess they ran out of ways to torture poor Adam Levine, or decided that “Moves Like Jagger” wasn’t a bad song, per se, just an overplayed one, and that he’d suffered enough for it.

Anyway, the possibility of Dr. Arden being a Nazi war criminal is a great development. It falls perfectly in line with the show’s mythology that since Season 1 has been chock full of 20th century evils and the hold they continue to have on our collective psyche. This extra dimension adds further menace to James Cromwell’s already depraved Dr. Arden and is great for intensifying the conflict between him and Sister Jude.

Thredson and Lana’s relationship has a great milestone moment this episode. Her need to escape and retell her experiences in Briarcliff is so great, she is willing to take part in the perverse aversion therapy where she’s administered a drug to make her sick while images of attractive women are shown to her. Thredson is the one to give provide this treatment and what results is a scene that is almost painful to watch for two reasons. 1) We don’t want to see Lana go through such pain, and 2) this sort of therapy being administered for homosexuality is an unfortunate and not so distant chapter of our history (only considered in violation of the American Psychological Association’s code of conduct since 2006!).

The episode ends with a great cliffhanger, as Anne Frank steals a gun and attempts to kill Dr. Arden. While she has him at gunpoint, she finds the mutilated Shelly, who is starting to look an awful lot like one of the monsters in the garden. I’m excited for next week, when the two episode arc concludes with “I Am Anne Frank, Part 2.”

2 Replies to “American Horror Story: Asylum Recap, Episode 4: I Am Anne Frank, Part 1”

  1. If Dr. Arden really is a Nazi doctor then it might explain why he just oozes evil out of his pores. It’s not just his experimentation and the creatures in the woods he just has that unpleasant aura. I’ve got my Hopper from DISH recording the show each week. It’s got 2,000 hours of recording time available so I don’t have to rush and watch what I’ve recorded. Lana definitely is pushing herself to get out of the Asylum even if she has to go through that awful procedure. I couldn’t do it. It looks so painful that I couldn’t watch the entire scene. My DISH co-worker thinks it’s interesting that Anne Frank was able to get her hands on a gun to try and kill Dr. Arden. It doesn’t seem to be that easy for all of the other inmates.

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