As usual, the creators of "American Horror Story: Asylum" love to dupe their audience, and the first minute or two of last night's episode 2.12, Continuum, definitely did. The show opened in Kit's (Evan Peters) home with Alma (Britne Oldford) and Grace (Lizzie Brocheré) and their babies, a few years after their releases. A blood-spattered Kit wrenches an ax from the back of a partially-seen dead body before being called by an off-screen child. So, after Peters portrayed a killer in season 1, Murder House, and was billed as a hero for Asylum, he's now become a murderer? That's sure what it looked like.
Following opening credits and commercials, viewers got the real story. Alma, still traumatized by her alien abduction and paranoid by Grace enthusiastically anticipating their return, turns out to be the ax wielder, and Grace, once more, dead. The majority of the episode concentrated on two to five years following last week's 1964 events, which found Thredson (Zachary Quinto) dead and Kit, Grace and Lana (Sarah Paulson) released from Briarcliff. A short segment also featured Lana's 48-year-old son (Dylan McDermott) in the present day.
After killing Grace, Alma is placed in Briarcliff, now run by the State instead of the Church. She can't hack it. Kit visits but can't save her from her downward spiral and eventual death. While at Briarcliff, Kit sees Jude (Jessica Lange). Years earlier Monsignor Howard (Joseph Fiennes) proclaimed her dead. Howard, who himself has murdered (Shelley), condoned the mistreatment and murder of others at the hand of Arden, and lost his virtue to the devil, has, of course, risen to the rank of Cardinal in New York, as he aspired, leaving Jude to rot.
All the years of confinement and psychoactive drugs have caused Jude, once completely sane, to become deranged. Excellent scenes showed Jude's hallucinations of the Dark Angel (Frances Conroy) as a tyrannical and intimidating new patient, with Conroy, only onscreen briefly, rivaling Quinto with her chilling performance.
In an Entertainment Weekly article published today, Ryan Murphy talks about shooting these scenes "much like one of those '50s ladies in prison movies which [he] was always obsessed with." He says he was "thrilled with Franny Conroy's brilliant lady gangster interpretation."
Meanwhile, Lana releases a book about her kidnapping at the hands of Bloody Face. In a great scene while reading a segment in a book store, she's confronted by visions of Wendy (Clea DuVall) and Thredson calling her out on her revisionist version, augmented with events that never happened and conveniently deleting her lesbian relationship.
Luckily, Kit's still alive to confront Lana about welching out on her promises to expose the evils of Briarcliff and get it shut down. Although too late for Alma, Kit tells Lana that Jude is still alive. Lana evidently has no intention of doing anything and seems as cold as her son later describes her. Our heroine ain't looking so heroic. Murphy, in the EW article, describes this as "understandable after all the horrors [that] Lana took refuge and solace in fame and money and celebrity and glamour."
And in the current day, Lana's son intends to hunt her down and finish what his father started. Which may be exactly what happens next week. Or maybe not. Next Wednesday's final episode of Asylum, entitled Madness Ends, will surely bring some resolution for Jude, quite possibly her death, as well as the return of the aliens and an explanation for their actions.
In EW, Murphy says Madness Ends is his favorite 'AHS' episode and is done "almost as a documentary with Lana ... looking back on her life." He says everyone who has seen it, including network execs and himself, has cried. Can't wait to see what zingers they put out there next week.