American Horror Story: Asylum "The Name Game" Review: Dance the Pain Away (PHOTO RECAP)

By Price Peterson

Jan 04, 2013

American Horror Story S02E10 "The Name Game"

How terrible were the holidays, am I right? All that relaxation and mirth and familial companionship and good food and cozy weather. The worst! Haha okay the holidays weren't terrible, fine. I was playing a prank just now. But here is a LEGIT complaint about the holidays: No new American Horror Storiez? Like, don't come at me with Santa Claus foolishness unless he's got a loaded gun and a taste for murder. Don't show me a Christmas ornament unless it's in the shape of Pepper's head. And WHERE WERE ARE ALL THE BUTTS? Fortunately we're back to the January grind because this week we received the best holiday present of all: "The Name Game," certainly one of American Horror Story's best ever episodes, but in my opinion also one of the best episodes of any television show ever? Yes. Rhetorical question because YES. I adored the ever-loving heck out of this episode and now let's talk about it for a few minutes!

The question posed by the previous episode of, "Yo Doc, you gonna wake up Kit?" was answered when he immediately plunged a syringe into the poor dude's sternum. Welcome back, Kit! Except when he asked Dr. Arden if his descent into the afterlife had indeed summoned the aliens, Dr. Arden was a real lying jerk about it.

So yeah, as far as Kit knew, he'd just willingly had himself murdered for nothing.

But anyway, yeah, not only was Grace back and super pregnant, she was basically ready to burst. Dr. Arden being Dr. Arden, he was pretty eager to start doing evil things to her and/or the baby, but Pepper was not about to let that happen because she is an alien cop now or something.

I love that Pepper was super-well spoken now (and if anything kinda condescending?) because the aliens fixed her brain but not her face, nose, ears, hands, or hairdo. I mean, don't get me wrong, I kinda missed the old Pepper's personality (but don't worry, Old Pepper would be back in a MAJOR way later), but I also appreciated learning that Pepper had been wrongfully convicted of murdering a baby when her brother had been the one to do it. First it was like, "Phew, my precious Pepper ain't no murderer" but then I was like, "OF COURSE she didn't murder anybody." 99% of these inmates are innocent! The only person who legally deserved to be at Briarcliff was Grace and even she must've had a pretty solid reason for axe-murdering her family, you know?

Anyway, yeah, Dr. Arden was prevented from hurting Grace when Pepper told him off good and then aliens knocked a scalpel out of his hands and then he started crying.

So, bad news: The Monsignor was still alive. Here he was getting a foot rubdown from a demon.

But in a flashback we saw the highlight of his conversation with the Angel of Death Geisha.

And that's why she let him live: To take down Sister Eunice. But because the demon nun could read minds, he just blocked her by petting his rosary and flashing an uncomfortable smile:

But when I think about it, Sister Eunice wasn't ALL evil. Like, for instance, getting a big jukebox for the common room was a sincerely thoughtful gesture!

Better than that dang record Sister Jude played on repeat-1. Speaking of ol Judy, she was now THE BEST. Just lounging around chain smoking like a tired tramp, just flashing people looks and ashing cigarettes in their general direction.

LOVE her now. Love that instead of trying to maintain a semblance of grace or authority, she went immediately into badgirl mode. Jessica Lange has seriously never been foxier.

Ugh, this guy. After mysteriously excaping from his lightly guarded supply closet prison, suddenly Dr. Thredson was back to terrorizing Lana and Kit.

These poor people. All they want is a nice relaxing day in the common room chillin' to the soothing sounds of yammering crazy people. But nope, in barges a noted serial killer to tell them that even though he can't murder Lana until she's birthed and breastfed his progeny, it's still GAME ON BUDDY.

Here was an old trick Sister Demon learned from her former boss: The ol' plant-a-cucumber-and-accuse-an-inmate-of-busyfingers trick! But again, note Judy's 'tude here... She did not give an EFF.

Except, her 'tude might've gotten her in trouble here because...

Ouchhh! More electroshock therapy forced upon an innocent person! I know I've said it before, but this is not a very good asylum. It was one thing when Sister Eunice defied Dr. Arden's orders and turned up the juice far too high and in plain sight of all the nurses, but also—and maybe I don't understand how electricity works—but don't touch her head when you are electrocuting it a ton? Like I said, I don't know, I really don't.

So anyway, the Monsignor had taken the death angel's words to heart and attempted a spontaneous exorcism on Sister Eunice. But it didn't really work because she flipped him around and sexed him ALL UP.

She did him, she did him good. I don't know how to tell you guys this, so I'll just be blunt: The Monsignor was no longer a virgin. But the Monsignor's crotchal area wasn't the only thing to have been effed over...

Dr. Arden was watching from the doorway looking super bummed! Poor Dr. Arden! Haha just kidding, he is a Nazi.

So then Judy walked back into the rec room and she was BUZZED! No she was not drunk, I was just making a pun about electroshock therapy which is a terrible thing to have happen and I'm already sorry about it. But yeah she couldn't talk much and it tugged at the heartstrings of a certain plucky reporter.

The simple question of whether Judy knew her own name sparked the best TV scene of 2013 and I don't even care what happens for the other 363 days of this year. We're done. Pack it in. Because THIS WAS THE BEST:

A full-color, choreographed song-and-dance number (sung by Jessica Lange!) in which she played "The Name Game" with all the residents' names! It was so truly amazing. THIS WAS ME DURING THIS SEQUENCE:

I loved it so much, you guys. I've watched it thrice. Hold up brb... Four times. Sorry wait... Five times. I can't stop and I will never stop. Perfect. I think it's because in the usual tension and release of typical entertainment American Horror Story is usually NO RELEASE EVER. But here it was, in full technicolor glory. To see smiles on Kit and Lana's faces put tears in my eyes. It's astonishing how much you need to see things like this and not even know it. Sure it was all a hallucination, but even the tiny touches (like the inclusion of the late The Mexican) just seemed packed with meaning. And did I mention it was straight-up FUN? Not a lot of that on this show. It's not something I'd been missing necessarily but it turned out I really needed it. Anyway, yeah. EMMYS.

Meanwhile in the back yard, Sister Eunice was trying to convince Dr. Arden to give Judy a full-on lobotomy but he hated her for sexin' the Monsignor and plus he just wanted to be left alone so that he could feed human flesh to his mutants and then murder all of them with his Nazi glock.

So yup, right then and there Dr. Arden closed off that whole 'mutants' plotline. Bye, you terrible creatures.

Between killing his darling creatures and also Sister Eunice being a virginity robber and also the aliens slapping a scalpel out of his hands, Dr. Arden had reached the end of his tether. Pretty soon he was threatening to shoot himself in the eyeball, but of course he didn't. Oh well.

Sister Demon was NOT impressed.

So anyway, now that the Monsignor had been dickmatized (wait, is it the other way around, how does this work?) he realized the error of his ways and approached Judy in the bakery. She was still too buzzed to do anything but clumsily paw at bread dough, but he spilled his guts to her and asked her what he should do about the demon lady. Luckily Judy was able to muster a few choice words for him:

Because, dude? You're still technically in charge here. Yeah, there's a demon on the loose but maybe make a few phone calls? Fire her at the very least? I don't know and it didn't matter, because the Monsignor took Judy's suggestion of "kill her" surprisingly seriously!

After Sister Eunice tried once again to become the Monsignor's papal concubine, he rejected her and she got super mad and yelled in his face and then he pushed her over the balcony:

And then she died! Well, after one last visit:

The angel of death was like, "I got room for two" and apparently killed Sister Eunice PLUS the demon, which was very thoughtful of her.

So yeah, wow! Sister Eunice DIED! One of season's big villains was crossed off an ever shortening list of nightmare adversaries. There was some discussion about how to handle her remains—the Catholic church frowns upon cremations—but the Monsignor was easily convinced by Dr. Arden that maybe former demons should get the flame treatment. And so it came to pass that Sister Eunice would be cremated.

Meanwhile Dr. Thredson was poking around in Dr. Arden's lab and came upon Grace totally giving birth.

It must be a hell of a thing to know that you are a slasher killer and you still are not the weirdest thing going on in an asylum. Dr. Thredson ended up keeping a level head about the undead-and-suddenly-pregnant Grace giving birth and tried to use it as leverage against Kit.

The details of this situation were hazy, but I think Kit was so touched by his new daddy status that he agreed to tell Dr. Thredson where the secret tapes of Thredson's confessions were being kept. Something like that. Look, I'm not Wikipedia okay? I'm just a guy.

But whoops! The tapes had been stoled and instead there was a book and Lana was there with a smirk on.

She was standing UP to this guy and I was glad about that. Get him, girl. Get him, then get that scoop!

In the common room Judy was still trying to regain her brain strength by struggling to remember everybody's names. But then Mother Superior came in and Judy started ranting about the Monsignor becoming Pope and that he liked her cooking, stuff like that.

So, yeah, not presenting herself very well basically. But towards the end of Judy's frazzled rant, she became lucid enough to implore Mother Superior to help free Lana. Which.. Aww! And now their shared plotline comes full circle... Lana's villainous captor became her savior! Hopefully. Because maybe Mother Superior is secretly a shapeshifting Clayface type character and we don't know it yet. I know this is Episode 10 but this show can't be finished introducing new villains right?

So this scene was as great as it was surprising. Dr. Arden, preparing Sister Eunice's body for cremation, only to hop on top of her and ride into the flames WITH HER!

WOWOWOW! Two of the show's biggest villains just BURNT UP. Now, yeah, last episode had a death fakeout, so maybe next episode will see a two-headed fire demon emerge from that furnace and REALLY make trouble. But for now, this was a poetic and disturbing closure for two very evil characters. Great ending. Great episode. Great season. Great show. Great golden era.

BRB GONNA REWATCH THE DANCE SEQUENCE AGAIN.


QUESTIONS:

... Which Pepper is better, Old Pepper or New Pepper?

... Did Grace's baby look deformed or do ALL babies look deformed?

... Is this really the end for Dr. Arden and Sister Eunice?

... Is "The Name Game" still stuck in your head?

  • Comments (141)
Add a Comment
In reply to :
  • marcusj1973 Apr 29, 2014

    "But when I think about it, Sister Eunice wasn't ALL evil. Like, for instance, getting a big jukebox for the common room was a sincerely thoughtful gesture!"

    Leading up to BAR NONE, my favourite AHS scene and possible contender for favourite scene ever

    "maybe I don't understand how electricity works—but don't touch her head when you are electrocuting it a ton?"

    What did I say about silly questions?

    "So anyway, the Monsignor had taken the death angel's words to heart and attempted a spontaneous exorcism on Sister Eunice. But it didn't really work because she flipped him around and sexed him ALL UP."

    I know it's completely wrong and beyond a double standard, but I couldn't help giggle through most of this rape scene. I'm blaming it mostly on the fact that the Monsignor is a deplorable human being and deserves whatever he gets.

    "The simple question of whether Judy knew her own name sparked the best TV scene of 2013 and I don't even care what happens for the other 363 days of this year. We're done. Pack it in. Because THIS WAS THE BEST. A full-color, choreographed song-and-dance number (sung by Jessica Lange!) in which she played "The Name Game" with all the residents' names! It was so truly amazing."


    SO glad I'm not the only one who thought so. I don't know if BEST! SCENE! EVER! is hyperbolic or not...but I said it! It's not quite enough to make me buy into some of the craziness that's happened of the absurdities to come...but it's enough for me to give a pass to AHS no matter what happens from here on in.

    Though with that and the cremation of the good doctor and demon corpse {sigh} comes American Horror Story: What the F*ck Just Happened?!?!?

  • alcalde Jan 20, 2013

    So much poetic justice this episode... Judy getting electroshocked, the Nazi ending up in an oven.... Price's recap was fantastic but he missed one joke, though: during the baby delivery scene he missed making a reference to "Dr. Pepper". :-)

  • TheGrimAriel Jan 15, 2013

    That scene where Judy was trying to remember everyone's name... :'(

  • _CNK80Q3_ Jan 08, 2013

    I recently ran across this site and this review in particular and...oh man! You are hilarious! I spent the weekend going back over your previous photocaps of AHS and TVD, and let me tell you, I am hooked! Sir, you are quite entertaining, and I shall be returning with regularity to read your reviews. Love it!

  • smorbie Jan 08, 2013

    Just to let everyone know. I will be leaving the community due to a bullying incident on another thread. I will log in to read Price's reviews for the rest of AHS this season, but I will no longer be posting or be an active member of this community. I enjoy Tim and Price's reviews; they are always good for a laugh, and I have enjoyed discussing the show with all of you.

  • write2ap Jan 15, 2013

    Don't let a bully run you off. You have a right to your opinions just like everybody else. Keep posting!

  • smorbie Jan 15, 2013

    Thank you. Upon reflection, I agree. I will just be very careful about what i say from now I just thought this was a safe community, and was shocked and kind of scared to realize that it isn't. But I do enjoy the site, and I enjoy talking with most of you. Thank you so much for your encouragement.

  • itsmemadie01 Jan 08, 2013

    This is one of the best episode ever and Jessica Lange and Sarh Paulson shined. Season 2 has a more complex woven stories than the first one but definitely cemented in this episode that it got better.

  • skeet000 Jan 08, 2013

    Damn... :) One of the most entertaining reviews of anything I've read... Great job! Made me sign up here JUST to tell ya...keep up the good work! And yes...best AMS episode evah, and the 'Glee' interlude was AWESOME!

  • vcivi Jan 07, 2013

    Sister Judy was awesome!! The singing scene was brilliant....love it!!!
    So glad that the Demon sister and the freaky doctor are dead!!!
    This was the first episode since season 2, that i really enjoyed it!!!

  • theleaterborg Jan 06, 2013

    It's very rare that I read an article that makes me laugh so hard that my housemates come in to join the fun. This was probably one of the funniest (yet so true) reviews I've ever read. And the images killed me even more. You're a genius. That was all.

  • angeleys151 Jan 06, 2013

    That dance sequence was GREAT. I'm loving this season so much more than last.
    Qts: Both Peppers are equally awesome.
    All babies look deformed after being born (something about the heads being misshapen in the birth canal).
    They can't be dead already, they have to come back somehow.
    Kit-Kit-Bo-Bit-Fonananana-Fo-Fit-Fe_Fi-Mo-Mit--Kit!

  • See More Comments (62)