With only three episodes left in 'American Horror Story' season 2 (Asylum) including tonight's episode 2.11 (Spilt Milk), show creator Ryan Murphy already has fans abuzz about season 3, which isn't to air until October. Murphy inserted a clue about season 3 in last week's episode 2.10, The Name Game, and chat boards and social media have since been filled with fan conjecture about possible plots and settings, including Salem witch hunts, circus freak shows and even governmental intrigue. Click here to read more.
Fans also yearn for the skinny on which of their favorite cast members will be returning. Back in November, Jessica Lange confirmed her return. Lange won an Emmy for her performance as Constance Langdon in season 1 and richly deserves another for her portrayal of Sister Jude in season 2, who went from running the asylum to being committed as a patient. Monday on "The View," Lange said she still doesn't know what character she will play in season 3. Click here to watch the segment. Other than Lange, casting for season 3 is still pretty much up in the air.
In a Zap 2 It article published yesterday, Lily Rabe talked about her season 2 character Sister Mary Eunice saying it was "such a wonderful challenge and dance really, to live with both lightness and darkness existing at the same time and that losing battle." Her very innocent character became possessed by Satan in episode 2.2. In episode 2.10, she couldn't fight the demon anymore and was mercifully killed by Monsignor Howard (Joseph Fiennes).
Rabe also appeared in season 1 as Nora Montgomery. Murder House was built for her by husband Charles, doctor to the stars and later, abortionist. While the Zap 2 It article says Rabe talked about Murphy's success in bringing back returning actors for season 2 and that she is sure he will "do that again," she says she has "no idea" if she will be back, although she would "certainly love" to. Murphy obviously likes working with her, and fans love her, so chances are, yes! Hopefully.
James Cromwell didn't appear in season 1, but his season 2 character, the mad scientist/former Nazi Dr. Arden, immolated himself at the end of episode 2.10 as he cremated the body of Sister Mary Eunice. Will he be back next season? Only time will tell, but, in the meantime, he will appear on new NBC show "Do No Harm," a Jekyll and Hyde-based drama premiering January 31. According to Monday's TV Line article, Cromwell will appear in "at least three episodes," leaving him plenty of opportunity to come back for season 3 of "AHS" next October, should he and Murphy so desire.
And what of fan favorites Zachary Quinto, Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters? Quinto played a supporting role as Chad in season 1 but headlines season 2 as Dr. Thredson, aka serial killer Bloody Face. Paulson also supported season 1 as psychic Billie Dean and graduated to lead in season 2 as Lana Winters, lesbian reporter falsely committed by Sister Jude, later kidnapped, raped and impregnated by Bloody Face. Peters played pivotal roles both seasons as Tate Langdon (Columbine-style killer, Ben's patient, Violet's love interest, and Constance's son) in season 1, and Kit Walker, wrongly accused of being Bloody Face and key to the alien subplot in season 2. Viewers will surely be sorely disappointed should any of these three not return. But with Murphy's unpredictability, fans will be on edge until confirmation.
Today, J. Bryan Lowder's article on Slate aptly speculates on the enduring draw of "American Horror Story." He postulates the main reason is parataxis, "the artistic or literary technique of placing unrelated materials beside one another to encourage the exploration of the unpredictable resonances that arise between them." He talks about the numbness viewers feels when "bombarded rapid-fire with alien violations, boil-ridden amputees, failed self-induced abortions, half-crucifixions, sadistic electroshock sessions ... when those events ... seem to have little to do with one another." He speaks about Murphy knowing America is "the land ... soaked with blood" and playing upon it. Whatever Murphy's diabolical plan, it's working!