Friday, November 30, 2012

American Horror Story, Season 2, Episode 7: Dark Cousin

Grace is in a hospital bed and is rapidly losing blood. The nuns/nurses caring for her wonder what to do – especially since Dr. Arden was the one who performed the botched sterilisation on her. Grace reaches out to a woman in black mourning clothes only she can see and says “I’m ready” the woman leans over to kiss Grace – and as she does she sprouts giant black wings. Before the dark angel can touch Grace, the nuns succeed in resuscitating her.

Sister Demon Lettuce wanders up to see Dr. Arden playing with his plants and tells him about Grace – accusing him of being “all thumbs”. She mocks Dr. Arden’s clumsiness and how they may have to send her to a “real” hospital, but that would involve exposing Arden’s handiwork. Arden protests he didn’t perform a sterilisation. Arden gets angry with Sister Demon Lettuce’s tone and says he’s in charge, she laughs at him and he slaps her. She warns him that if he touches her again, he’ll die. He raises his hand – and he’s thrown hard against a wall by invisible force to clarify the chain of command.

From here we go to a Black inmate, Miles, with aggressive, heckling voices in his head, urging him to be a hero. In response to them – he cuts his hands with a bacon slicer. Uckies uckies and yet more uckies. Sister Demon lettuce comes down to see the mess – and see something written in the wall, in blood – a name in Aramaic. She asks Miles about it and if he “summoned her” but he can’t even read it (and is an awful mess with the no arms and all). She leaves and orders him to be put in isolation so as not to “reward” his behaviour.

Miles is strapped down so he can’t pull his stitches out and tells Frank that he doesn’t want to live any more. Frank leaves – and the dark angel appears saying he summoned her. He manages to pull out his stitches and she asks him if she should kiss him and make it all go away. She kisses him, her wings spring out again, and Miles dies.

She hears a noise and turns in anger, demanding to know who looks upon Shachath. Sister Demon Lettuce enters the room and the tension hits the roof. She tells Shachath that she did what she had to do – now leave. But the angel sees Sister Mary Eunice is possessed by a fallen angel, tells her she was invited and that the human girl she’s taken hostage is calling to her. She cries and cowers towards Shachath angel begging for release before the demon reasserts itself and tells Eunice to shut up. Shachath leaves – but intends to return and we get a dramatic shot of Sister Demon Nun in the dark.

Arden is checking on Grace and is determined she lives since he doesn’t want to take the blame for the savagery (interesting to see Arden refer to it so) of the botched hysterectomy that has caused an infection.

Meanwhile, Kit’s lawyer is telling him how very very screwed he is with the confession Threadson cobbled together – and Kit bludgeons the lawyer with his office supplies.

  We have a grossly vile scene of Lana being raped by Threadson. When she’s alone, Shachath comes to see her. Lana is sobbing and crying and thinks death would be better than living. Shachath encourages her to let go, her wings sprout and she leans down – but Lana stops her. Threadson returns, making even less sense than usual. The rape has apparently clicked something in him and he gives her a choice how to die – strangulation or having her throat cut. He pulls out a hypodermic needle to inject her. Lana fights back – smacking him with a picture of Wendy, injecting him with his own syringe and then strangling him with her chains (but not to death, alas). With his key she frees herself and runs – stopping a passing car and getting in. Out of the frying pan and into a car with a man who is a bitter misogynist after his ex-wife left him. Oh Lana just can’t catch a break. Shachath makes a reappearance – and the man shoots himself while driving at 50 miles per hour. Poor Lana.

And she wakes up… in Briarcliff. Oh poor Lana.

 Time to catch up with Sister Jude panicking over the dead body of Sam Goodman, the Nazi hunter. As she starts to call the police she sees an article on the television about the missing girl she ran over – and the word “murderer” painted in blood on the screen. This leads us to a flashback in 1949 where the drunken Jude has missed a singing gig and a man from her band arrives to kick her out. She tries to seduce him (with comments about him being a “coloured man”) but he pushes her away, and tells her about the hit and run. She packs and runs, taking a big bottle of booze with her drinking as she drives and trying to avoid news reports about the girl being hit in the hit and run. After lots of confused and blurred camera work, it seems she crashed her car into a tree – in a nunnery.

Back in the present, in Sam Goodman’s room, Jude has begun drinking and gets a call from… Sister Demon Nun to reveal she was behind it all, yes she’s possessed and that Sam Goodman’s files will show that he was investigating Jude for a 15 year old hit and run. And being the nice person she is – she’s left a bottle of booze (which Jude is drinking) and a straight razor for Jude – after all, how far does she think she can run?

Jude washes up and envisions suicide (we see her do it but it’s just her imagination). She leaves the bathroom and finds Shachath waiting for her, she tells her “you jumped the gun again, it was nothing more than a passing thought.” Shachath says her song was different this time. Jude reviews her life – her failed relationship when she told her partner he gave her syphilis (rendering her infertile, leaving her at the altar and calling her a whore..) and she didn’t die then, the time she ran over a child and she didn’t die then. It’s an amazingly powerful scene of recriminations and regrets and shows just what an a-list actor she is. Jude agrees with Shachath that she needs – wants to end it. But she has to do one thing first.

She goes to the parents of Missy – the girl she run over. She finds them happy and fulfilled and after trying to get round to telling them about running their daughter over – in she walks. Missy, full grown and working as a nurse. Which gives Jude another potential redemption moment, another return to her calling.

In Briarcliff, Lana tells Sister Demon Lettuce that Oliver Thredson is the Bloody Faced Killer. Sister Demon Lettuce doubts her at first but we have a flashback to her demon in its previous host telling Oliver he loved his work and calling him bloody face. She tells Lana she believes her and that she won’t tell him or anyone else where Lana is, she’s safe now. Sister Demon Nun leaves and is told by Frank about Kit Walker’s escape and that they’re to shoot him on sight

He’s beneath them, in the tunnels, running through the tunnel past Arden’s monsters. He arrives in the kitchens where a newly recovered Grace has made an amazing recovery under Arden’s care (when he wants to heal it seems he can). He leads her to the exist and the nun there (suddenly the place is overrun with nuns) screams for help – and is attacked by Arden’s monster that Kit accidentally let in. After killing the nun, the monster lunges at Kit and he manages to kill it with a knife – just as Frank runs in. He points a gun at Kit, shoots him – but Grace leaps in the way, taking the bullet to protect him

Shachath arrives and asks the fallen Grace if she’s ready for her. Grace gasps yes and the angel gives her the kiss of death. As she dies Grace says “I’m free.”

Lana’s rape was grossly, completely and utterly unnecessary. Did we need to see how unbalanced Threadson had become? I think we saw that last episode. Did we need it to show how terrified Lana was? Like she didn’t have enough reason for terror! There was no no no reason at all for this, not one damn reason.

I’m also irritated about Miles. This show doesn’t have sufficient POC to pull one in and then kill him the same episode.

These incidents really overshadow the glorious shadowing of conflict between Sister Demon Nun and Shachath and some truly beautiful imagery and scenes. It kept swooping between a 1 and a 5.

Also, I really think American Horror Story may need a “Trigger Warning: Absolutely everything.”