Prior to last night’s episode, I had a conversation with fellow BBP contributor Marie Gilbert about the first season of American Horror Story and she observed that in spite of everyone dying in the season’s finale, it was sort of a happy ending. The family is happier together as ghosts than they were in life. We also observed that a happy ending seems unlikely this time around. The depravity is definitely cranked up and there is a crushing darkness that lingers over every episode.
Last night’s episode, The Origin of Monstrosity, was no exception. We learned that Bloody Face, like all good serial killers, has serious Mommy issues. Sister Mary Eunice continued to orchestrate her brand of havoc around Briarcliff, this time taking a murderous child under her wing, sabotaging Sister Jude’s plan to blow Arden’s cover, and doing a little dance for us in red lingerie. It was also revealed that the monsignor has a hand in Arden’s experiments.
Now, after the brilliant two-part arc, I Am Anne Frank, AHS: Asylum set the bar pretty high. It wove all the threads from the early episodes into a macabre tapestry and ended on a hopeless note for the main characters. The Origin of Monstrosity, in contrast, is more of an episode placed mid-season to build and ask more questions. We only have one scene with Kit, where he uses his one phone call to confront Dr. Thredson on the doctor’s betrayal. There are two sequences set in 2012, which show us that maybe it is the real Bloody Face behind everything; at the end, he has Teresa in his playroom in the same fashion Thredson has imprisoned Lana. Sister Jude seems to be on her way out, at least temporarily, after the monsignor fires her from Briarcliff and her plans to uncover Arden’s Nazi origins are thwarted.
All in all, this was a good mid-season episode in that it leaves us wanting. It asks a lot of questions, but gives few answers. The most glaring question put forth is how the murderous little girl will come into play. After being released from Briarcliff, she kills her mother and siblings, and it’s hard to imagine her part in the story ending there. I’m excited to see further developments in next week’s episode, Dark Cousin.