American Horror Story: Asylum “The Name Game” Review

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

I have missed American Horror Story: Asylum. While I can’t blame a show with some of the most deranged and disturbing content on the air for taking a break during the holidays, I wanted to know Kit, Lana and Judy’s plight. If they had to pick a particular episode to have this little gap after, where things were left was certainly the right place to build tension. Kit was dying on a slab, Arden was meeting the aliens, the monseigneur was crucified and Thredson escaped and was planning his revenge on Lana.

Not only did Arden meet with the aliens, but the pregnant Grace he saw was real. Grace is alive and well and a lucid and well spoken Pepper is her guardian. Pepper tells Arden that the aliens find him and his experiments humorous and don’t take him seriously. It was a clear blow to his ego and James Cromwell did an excellent job of conveying that. This whole season his performance of Arden has been spectacular. When he meets his end later this episode, he manages to make you actually feel for him even after all the despicable things he’s done.

I thought that the monseigneur would die after being crucified, but that visit from the Angel of Death was only to tell him that he still had work to do and must expel the devil from Sister Mary Eunice. He attempts to perform an exorcism, but Mary Eunice stops him, and because of his weakened state, she holds him down and rapes him, which Arden sees. It was yet another uncomfortable scene that this show is known for.

American Horror Story The Name Game

As punishment for her continued stubbornness, Sister Mary Eunice has Judy subjected to electroshock therapy, leaving her in a stupor. She hallucinates playing “The Name Game” on the Asylum’s new record player and singing it to all the inmates, only to be brought back to reality when Lana tells her that her name is Judy. Hallucinations are very tricky narratively, but I felt that it was done expertly here. The bright colors and pop feel to the scene drove stark contrast to the bleak setting and circumstances.

Arden kills the monsters in the woods and almost kills himself, but cannot do it to which Mary Eunice calls him pathetic. Kit discovers the pregnant Grace, who delivers the baby and confirms it to be his. Thredson goes to recover his confession tape, but Lana has hidden and and swears she will take it to the police if he does anything to harm Kit or anyone else. Thredson, who gets off on being in control, continues to be put into powerless roles and I’m curious to see what it will do to his shaky mental state in the coming weeks. That and I miss Dylan McDermott, he needs to be back next week.

In the biggest shock of the season, the monseigneur pushes Mary Eunice off of the top of the long staircase, killing her. The Angel of Death arrives to take both Mary Eunice and whatever was inside of her. After everything that has happened, Arden finally determines his own fate and after convincing the monseigneur to let him cremate Mary Eunice, he climbs onto the tray with the one person he loved and burns himself alive in the biggest shock of the season. We are drawing closer to the end of the season of one of the best shows on television and I cannot wait to see what happens.

Rating Banner 5