American Horror Story: Asylum “Dark Cousin” Review

American Horror Story Asylum title card
Spoilers for American Horror Story below

With this week’s episode we are halfway through American Horror Story: Asylum. It baffles and thrills me that everything that with everything that has happened so far, we are only at the halfway point. Each week’s episode brings some new revelation that turns everything around and keeps me guessing. While this week doesn’t further the present day storyline, which seems to exist only to throw everything we’ve learned into question, they advance every plot line I wanted them to.

Sister Jude is in a real bad place. Her attempts to dig up dirt on Arden has only ended poorly. She attempts to call the police about the murder of the private investigator, but stops when she catches, well, some sort of angel, be it the angel of death or what, I’m still not sure, in the mirror. If the Angel of Death, played by Frances Conroy who was Moira last season, isn’t a recurring character from here on out I will be surprised. Conroy’s performance as this ferrier of souls was brilliant. She felt very otherworldly without coming off as weird.

After tossing Arden across the room like a ragdoll, Sister Mary Eunice has a little chat with Sister Jude over the phone. Whatever is inside of her has used her to seize control of the asylum and tried to get Sister Jude as far away as possible. She also switched all of the investigators documents with research on the hit and run that Sister Jude committed before she became a nun. I enjoyed the flashbacks that told more of Sister Jude’s life. After the accident she went into a depressed binge, getting kicked out of the lounge band she sang in and drunkenly crashing into a convent.

The real development for her was what seemed to be her confession to the parents of the girl she hit, but it quickly changed when she discovers that the girl only had a few broken bones and is now living a healthy and happy life as a nurse. Sister Jude has been haunted by her sins up until now and even though she is a pretty terrible person, I want this to be her redemption and her motivation to take charge and take back the asylum from Sister Mary Eunice, while putting Arden in his place.

Lana’s beats this week, while not disappointing, had me disappointed in her character. She should have either killed Thredson or at least shackled him to the bed before making her escape. Instead she winds up in the passenger seat of a car driven by a suicidal woman hater and winds up wounded and back in the hospital. Kit beats up a police officer and sneaks back in the asylum to be with Grace, but their tearful reunion is cut short when she takes a bullet for him.

I found the conversations and interactions each character had with the Angel of Death fascinating. She seems to exist to bring souls to the other side, only taking them when they’re ready to let go of life or actually dead. The conversation she has with Sister Mary Eunice was also intriguing, noting that the force within her seemed to be a fallen brethren. The look Mary Eunice gives Lana when she tells her that Thredson is Bloodface also seems like setup for what’s to come.

Each week American Horror Story: Asylum gets better and better and even though I feel like a broken record, watching doesn’t prove me wrong. “Dark Cousin” was yet another brilliant episode that answers questions, specifically that yes, there are aliens, yet brings so many more to the table. FX has a hit on their hands and next week’s episode can’t come soon enough. Give me more of the Angel of Death.