M. Night Shyamalan may have tried his damndest to ruin the twist forever, but it is still effective when used properly. American Horror Story: Asylum has mastered the twist. It seems that each week the plot twists in a new direction that I haven’t seen coming and feels completely natural to the narrative web they’re weaving. “I Am Anne Frank” may be one of the best two part stories I’ve seen and it masterfully uses the week gap between each of its parts to build suspense and twist everything on its head.
Not only were so many questions I had answered, but they only raised so many more. Asylum is having a field day with the sanity of its characters. I find myself questioning the events we see more and more. After their escapades last week, Kit and Grace find themselves facing sterilization. Sister Mary brings Kit back into the general population, his procedure cancelled, but leaves Grace. She isn’t left too long, as she grieves about her fate the door to her cell is bathed in light and she is abducted by the same beings that took Kit and Alma.
It seems that the aliens are real, especially with the reveal of who Bloodyface actual is later in the episode, but I find myself questioning them more in this episode than ever before. Grace sees a pregnant Alma and talks to her before the creatures perform some sort of procedure on her. When Kit finds her in the common room later, she is bleeding in a manner that would be concurrent with sterilization, so were the aliens a coping mechanism for both Kit and Grace, or are they real. It would mean Kit saw Bloodyface kill his wife and he couldn’t handle it or something else traumatic.
Anne Frank herself is the lightning rod for insanity discussions. Her husband shows up this week, stating that she was never Anne Frank. When she read the book after the birth of her baby, the postpartum psychosis presumably led her to believe that she was truly Anne Frank. Instead of just having her husband say this, which I immediately questioned his credibility since she was accusing Arden of being a Nazi scientist so he could conceivably pay someone to cover this up, they showed her old life in grainy, old videos.
She still could be the real Anne Frank, her explanation from last week can still stand. She could have gone into an obsessive state after reading her published diary. She will probably never return as a character, since Arden performed a lobotomy that rendered her into the perfect housewife. The resulting grainy video scene revealed a young Dr. Gruber/Arden in full Nazi regalia and standing in line with HItler. I have no idea just how insane she was, but this two part storyline did confirm that Arden was a Nazi.
That alone could have been enough for a single episode, but the big reveal still didn’t come until later. Dr. Thredson walks Kit through a therapy method where they record him saying he says what he ‘refuses to believe that he did’ and they play the recording back to him so he hears it in his own voice. I thought it was clever, but I wondered if Thredson had ulterior motives and he absolutely did. He did go through with his promise to rescue Lana and he brings her to his home so she’ll be ‘safe.’
Thredson also claims that she’ll win a Pulitzer for her story on him and even though I didn’t want to believe it, I knew right there that he is Bloodyface. Well, that and the skin lamp and skull candy dish in his living room. He’s the one who killed her lover and has been keeping her body in a freeze just so he could bring her to Lana. He drops Lana into his basement torture chamber, which was very reminiscent of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. He puts on the Bloodyface mask, but not before telling Lana that the teeth on the mask were pulled from her lover’s jaw.
It was an incredibly unexpected twist and a disturbing place to leave that plot line this week. We also saw Sister Jude seemingly quit the asylum and Sister Mary dump Shelley’s body on a playground. So much has happened in these two episodes and we’re only five into the season. Each week American Horror Story: Asylum gets better. I want to know what disturbing anal of insanity and brutality the show will explore next.