American Horror Story: Asylum “Trick or Treat” Review

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

Whether it’s a change of direction for the series or just this episode, “Trick or Treat” seems to shirk the sillier elements of American Horror Story. The entire plotline of the episode pretty much revolves around the disturbing. Now I’m not sure if it was these ‘missing’ elements that confused my feelings on the show so much, but I may have to believe so because I thought this episode was absolutely fantastic. Zachary Quinto also makes his return and it is brilliant.

Picking up right where the premier left off, we see Channing Tatum’s wife fleeing from Bloodyface. She tries to save Adam Levine, but can’t and watches as Bloodyface finishes what he started and stabs Levine to death. Wikipedia better not have lied to me, because with Adam Levine dead, if Dylan McDermott doesn’t come back I will be very disappointed. At the very least, what we do have if fantastic. Bloodyface himself is a gruesome and terrifying villain. I still have no idea what the point of the present story is, I guess we’ll just have to enjoy watching Channing Tatum’s wife flee, it will be like Haunting Ground but with real people.

Back in the 60s, Lana’s lover is assumably cut down by Bloodyface. Lana begrudgingly enlists the help of Grace to escape the asylum, but Grace refuses to leave without Kit. I really understand Lana’s revulsion of Kit, since the entire world believes that he is Bloodyface, but when Grace, the only other seemingly sane person there sans Kit, says that Kit isn’t a murderer and shouldn’t be here, shouldn’t you maybe question whether he’s a murderer? I mean, she is in the asylum because Sister Jude forced her in there, couldn’t Kit just be another victim?

Zachary Quinto in American Horror Story: Asylum
Spock is back

The big reveal, which also seems to prove the existence of the aliens last episode, is that Dr. Arden is secretly Bloodyface and has a huge hardon for nuns, Sister Mary in particular. I knew Arden was not a good guy and seemingly responsible for whatever creatures are in the woods, but this reveal actually surprised me and really works. It explains why Kit is here, what better place to stick your fall guy than the insane asylum where you work. Clever move Arden, you deranged psychopath you.

Zachary Quinto also enters the scene as Dr. Oliver Thredson, the court appointed psychiatrist who is here to examine Kit and determine whether he is truly insane or not. He also shows up just in time for panicked parents to bring in their son because of his strange behavior. Turns out, their son is possessed and needs an exorcism. So not only did we have to suffer through seeing Lana get electroshock therapy, but we get an incredibly disturbing exorcism scene. The sheer amount of disturbing imagery in this episode is quite astounding.

“Trick or Treat” was the first episode of American Horror Story, Asylum or not, that I’ve ever seen and instantly enjoyed. Yes, it is incredibly disturbing, but it doesn’t seem to be doing it just to disturb. The narrative simply works, even with the addition of what seem to be monsters and was appears to be the confirmation of the aliens, it doesn’t feel ridiculous. Leaving the episode with Lana giving up the escape attempt so that Kit won’t leave and what seemed to be Sister Mary getting possessed, this season really has started off strong and I can’t wait to see where it goes.