"A baby belongs with its mother. Everybody knows that."
The latest installment of American Horror Story: Asylum pulls quite a few spectacular tricks as it creeps its way towards its insane season finale! A surprisingly calm, yet dark episode that still manages to shock and reveal some disturbing truths concerning our remaining characters and their respective storylines, most of which are nearly tied up, yet filled with new horrors. Who knew the absence of a mother’s milk could send so many things to hell in a matter of an hour. The sins of the mother, an escape, a death, and multiple bewildering revelations make for quite a stylistically filmed and striking episode of the FX horror-drama series!
In the present day, our modern day Bloodyface killer, Johnny finds himself in need of some nourishment, courtesy of local hooker, Pandora. Discovering the disturbed facets of this modern madman continues to be quite a darkly tantalizing character study and Dylan McDermott continues to give the ideal creepy little performance. The gross breast feeding scene is definitely chilling and odd, but very telling. However, this installment gives me reason to question whether Johnny is actually Lana and Oliver Therdson’s child at all…
Kit finds that he is a father and Grace is the mother if a new miracle child that has been nurtured by whatever extraterrestrial beings held Grace and baby Thomas’s lives in their hands. Kit’s confusion is partially put to rest as Grace explains that the green monsters are actually not monsters at all. They are miracle workers, unprejudiced and meticulous; however, not perfect. Grace also informs Kit that his wife, Alma has unfortunately perished. Kit and Grace are naïve enough to believe that they would be able to spend their lives together, happily married. That is until Dr. Therdson and Monsignor Timothy force their child, Thomas out of their hands and into an orphanage. At this point, both Grace and Kit’s sanity could be called into question. Obviously not everyone will be keen on believing this story of aliens and miracle babies. Therdson continues his manipulating, this time attempting to make a deal with Kit in order to get his baby back. However, Lana maneuvers more quickly than Therdson could have anticipated.
Lana truly shines in this installment, as she carefully makes her way out of Briarcliff Manor with the help of Jude’s sister nun, and the recorded confession to bring down Oliver Therdson once and for all. All of that sealed with a much deserved middle finger and a taxi ride back to civilization gives Lana some new punch. Lana’s escape is full of silent suspense given the horrific consequences she’d suffer if found out. Lana organizes one last goodbye with Therdson, by confronting him at his home, armed with a gun and a few satisfying last words before she blows the psychopath’s brains out. Lana may not be able to get back with her lover, Wendy, but at least she has conquered the monster that has tortured, raped, and impregnated her with an unwanted baby.
Lana does not hide from this dark new spotlight, but rather continues on with her life. Honoring Wendy and the other women who fell victim to Dr. Oliver Therdson’s gruesome acts. Lana makes some of the best decisions, and rightfully earns the rank of being my favorite character of the season! She’s proved herself as a survivor and a fighter, and she’s turned her horrible situation into something that can help save others. When it comes to her unborn baby, Lana decides not to abort at the last minute, insisting that she’s seen and been through enough blood, horror and death. Despite the obscene nature of the conception of her child, Lana nurtures her baby in the end, which is why I’m almost sure Johnny is not Lana and Dr. Therdson’s child. But then who is?
With Oliver Therdson named as the Bloodyface killer, Kit Walker is finally released from Briarcliff Manor, and he cleverly negotiates for Grace’s release as well, of which Monsignor Timothy is forced to comply with. The latest drama surrounding his institution is overwhelming and Timothy can only cover up so much horror at once. Kit and Grace are released and set out for a happy ending. However, this is American Horror Story, and a happy ending is more rare than a miracle alien baby. So, upon returning to his old home with Grace and his son, Thomas, Kit finds a shocking visitor: Alma, sitting on their old bed with a child in her arms. Her and Kit’s child? Does that mean Grace lied about what happened to Alma? Or is there an awkward misunderstanding going on here? If Kit is somehow forced to choose between Alma and Grace, I can honestly say that I hope he chooses Alma. But I think we can all agree that this is the king of all awkward moments.
From the wretched head nun in charge to the crazed asylum kook, my how the mighty have fallen. Sister Jude has taken quite a tumble. The Monsignor’s confrontation with an unstable and stimulated Judy is thought-provoking and chilling. Since Jude’s violent electroshock therapy, she has been on track to bringing Briarcliff Manor down to its knees. She’s unstable, yet has an odd clarity that allows her to see the evils within the walls of the institute she use to have power over. Power, piousness, and ideals of prejudice clouded her judgment and now that she is stripped of these things that once hindered her from the terrible truths, she can see Briarcliff Manor for what it is: A hellhole. She may not be stable enough to fight it by herself; however, she is aware of her situation. When Lana comes to insist on Jude’s release, the Monsignor takes meticulous precautions to counter Lana’s plans, informing her that Jude had previously killed herself. However, the former nun is being held in the deepest, darkest corner of the institution, left to rot. If Jude is able to escape Briarcliff Manor, from the depths of the asylum, then she will be forced to push herself even more, and so will Lana and Kit, as their supposed happy endings have been turned into new nightmares. Even outside of Briarcliff.
Darkly stoic and revealing, this installment opens some new horrific doors for our three main characters. All of which deserve happy endings, but are not likely to receive them. Full of excellent cinematography, dizzying and sometimes creepily hanging scene transitions and spectacularly eerie design, the episode is also wonderfully directed, produced and edited. American Horror Story: Asylum only has two episodes of its tantalizing second season left, and everything is in transition mode, melding into new nightmares of a disparate reality. Even outside the four walls of Briarcliff Manor, the terror never ends and there will be more than spilt milk to clean up after by the finale! “Spilt Milk” gets 4 out of 5 stars!
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