American Horror Story: Asylum “I Am Anne Frank Part 1” Review

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

Even with the somewhat strange first episode, American Horror Story: Asylum has not shied away from the incredibly disturbing. Last week’s episode ended with Chloe Sevigny realizing that the insane doctor had surgically removed her legs at the knees. “I Am Anne Frank Part 1” has to try its hardest to keep the ball rolling. Unfortunately, even though I’m sure that it’s incidental and not really relevant to the main plot, we didn’t get any more of the modern day story this week. I was looking forward to watching the real Bloodyface murder the imposters who murdered Adam Levine and Channing Tatum’s wife. Oh well.

This episode is really divided into two stories, with Sister Jude and Doctor Thredson each leading a sort of investigation and discovery arc. Doctor Thredson’s story isn’t centered on the events of this episode in particular. He continues his sessions with Kit, which do result in some interesting developments between Kit and Grace. Kit starts to question his own version of events, even though we know the aliens are real, though I only say that because Sister Jude saw them last episode, but Grace reassures with that a crazy person doesn’t doubt themselves.

I was not expecting a romance to develop between Kit and Grace, even though, in retrospect, it seems so obvious. There are a few really interesting discussions of sanity in this episode that I would have loved to see expanded upon, but for a television show, what was there was incredible. Inversely, watching Doctor Thredson try and cure Lana of her homosexuality was incredibly uncomfortable. Maybe it’s because I know these things still happen now. After the aversion/conversion session, Thredson tells Lana that he is going to get her out of Briarcliff and take her with him when he leaves at the end of the week.

American Horror Story Asylum Anne Frank
Meet Anne Frank

Sister Jude’s story I found even more interesting. Her intense hatred of Doctor Arden reaches a boiling point when a new patient who claims she is Anne Frank enters the asylum. The way they handled introducing ‘Anne Frank’ was well done and reminded me a lot of the alternate versions of history in the Assassin’s Creed games. That Anne Frank could survive and go on living her life, letting her journal be published and not speak out because a martyr is more of a figurehead in an atrocity was interesting.

While I didn’t completely understand it or remember the Nazi memorabilia in Arden’s apartment from “Tricks and Treats,” the fact that Arden used to be a demented scientist who experimented on concentration camp victims during World War 2 actually makes sense. Sister Jude is starting to become a likeable character. I think it was the discovery of who Doctor Arden really is that made her finally start questioning the barbaric methods and lack of judgement she has been been imposing on people. I can’t wait to see the final reveal of Arden as Bloodyface.

I’m still surprised at just how much I have been enjoying American Horror Story: Asylum. “I Am Anne Frank Part 1” setup a thrilling two part story. With Chloe Sevigny’s fate revealed to Anne Frank at the end of the episode and the reveal that the priest running the asylum seems to not only know of Arden’s past, but is actively covering up his current transgressions, next week’s episode stands to only get better.