American Horror Story: Asylum Premiere Review: Butt Seriously Folks (PHOTO RECAP)

American Horror Story S02E01: "Welcome to Briarcliff"

Well, here we go. Ryan Murphy's dark caravan returned under the cover of darkness last night to set up its elaborate tents of untold horror. That's right, TV's craziest carnival is back and this time it's arguably even weirder, grimmer, and more unpleasant than its first season! Which is a compliment? I think?

American Horror Story: Asylum brings us all new characters, a new building, a new decade, and a new color scheme (charcoal!). But whereas Season 1 had mostly to do with spectral horrors, it's already clear that Asylum is more concerned with tangible monstrosities. Look, I need to be real with you guys. Can I be real for a second? You may recall that I did not love Season 1's premiere episode. As a lifelong horror fan, I recognized all of the elements and tropes Ryan Murphy was attempting to stitch together into a coherent narrative, but from its frenetic editing to the clashing story elements, it just didn't come together for me. I was straight-up baffled by a lot of it, to be honest. That being said, it left me interested and that interest never waned throughout the show's first season. In fact, it grew and blossomed into intense enjoyment and slight obsession. Boy did I end up loving how things turned out. Sure, AHS: Original Recipe hit a few bum notes with me (showing us the school shooting; the unnecessarily hateful gay couple), but when it ended I declared it a triumph. That's why I'm experiencing a bit of déja vu with this, the premiere of American Horror Story: Asylum: I didn't love it, but I am INTERESTED.

Assuming that "Welcome to Briarcliff" was less a complete episode of television and more like the overture to an insane 12-hour movie that may eventually cohere into an entertaining story, let's just appreciate the madness we've witnessed so far. Mind if I photo-recap this thing? I feel like photo-recapping this thing. Let's do it!

First of all, this ain't no joke, and it applies even to this recap:

Anyway, the story opened in the present day. Two horny newlyweds (Adam Levine, plus the lady who shares a bed with Channing Tatum in real life) were snapping photos of each other in front of an abandoned building while making sexy talk and the whole scene was filmed with Instagram filters:

At this point we got a bit of an info dump (via the main lady reading Wikipedia on her iPhone): The Briarcliff used to be a tuberculosis ward where 46,000 people died but it was eventually acquired by the Catholic church and turned into an insane asylum. Also at one point there was a slasher killer named Bloody Face who once lived here. (Honestly, if you need to know more about this place, go watch that documentary Cropsy since that seemed to be the main thing Ryan Murphy was ripping off paying homage to in this segment.)

Anyway, after the world's least sexy pair of haunted house nymphos interrupted their electroshock-chair quickie to investigate a mysterious sound, it should go without saying that they eventually wound up in front of an ironclad door, where she started doing sex to his crotchal area as he stuck a camera phone through the slot, only to get his arm ripped off by some unseen force. All that should go without saying.

Whoops! And that is how Adam Levine got his arm ripped off in the modern-day insane asylum.

So then the main story kicked in, and it began in 1964 in what I think was upstate New York, but I'm not sure because I was educated in the California public school system and the whole upper right part of our country's map is a mess and a mystery to me. All I know is, Evan Peters (who in Season 1 played Tate, a character I hated but every troubled teenager on Tumblr LOVED SO MUCH) now plays the new lead character Kit, a decent, hard-working gas station attendant with a Kennedy accent.

Right off the bat: Better haircut, better personality. Kit >>>> Tate. Unfortunately Kit's friends were NOT very cool.

Yeah, it's 1964, remember, and that fact would come into play A LOT during this episode inasmuch as it explained why the characters tended to behave monstrously toward one another. (I actually loved that: Sure, this show has aliens, forest monsters, and much worse, but the sheer fact of being alive in 1964 was presented as the ultimate horror.)

Kit had to endure his friends' violent racism because he himself was secretly married to a woman of color. Ugh, 1964. If these two hotties had to keep it on the down-low it was definitely a terrible era. (Fun fact, Kit's wife was played by Britne Oldford from MTV's Skins. Remember THAT disaster? She was basically the only thing about that show that wasn't awful, so I was very happy to see her here!)

Just gonna put this here:

So anyway, after some pre-dinner booty, Kit's reverie was interrupted by a BRIGHT LIGHT in the yard. After running outside with a shotgun to scare away potential racists, he had a Fire in the Sky UFO moment and ran back inside.

At this point he got stuck on the ceiling and then blacked out. We, on the other hand, got some quick flashes of aliens with inappropriate mouth shapes:

Aaaahhhh!! Aliens! Already I was way into this season.

Then we switched locations. Here's how the Briarcliff Asylum looked back in 1964:

It looked very coral! So here we followed an enterprising young lady reporter named Lana (Sarah Paulson, who played Billie the Lifetime psychic during S1) as she attempted to, I don't know, investigate whatever?

Oh, Pepper. Pepper might be the fall's newest breakout star, y'all! Also, she's a murderer.

A nun named Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe, who played that flapper-lookin', baby stealing ghost in S1) met Lana and took her through the asylum.

It definitely looked like a good place for people to go and heal, you know? Like, this was totally a place to go and just chill. Recuperate. Get a new lease on life.

When we first met the head boss lady, Sister Jude (Jessica Lange, a walking masterpiece), she was shaving Chlöe Sevigny's head for real, so we knew this lady was serious.

Although Chlöe Sevigny was only credited as a "special guest star," her Shelley character was one of the best things about the whole episode. A clinical nymphomaniac, all her lines were dirty and/or helpful. Often both! Good character, obviously.

So yeah, then Lana pretended to interview Sister Jude about the asylum's famous bakery (which, LOL) only to immediately reveal she was there for some harder-hitting scoops. Especially with regard to the newest incoming inmate, a man allegedly behind the Bloody Face slashings of late. Sister Jude was NOT happy about Lana's duplicity.

Oh and yeah, spoiler alert, guess who was being pinned with the Bloody Face rap?

Poor Kit! There are bad weeks and then there are bad weeks. Alien abduction, wife getting murdered and skinned alive, false imprisonment, showing your butt on national television.

Congratulations, Evan Peters! You've just scored a whole new subgenre of Tumblrs! But yeah, you guys, please stop looking at Evan Peters' butt for a second and try to remember that this whole thing was traumatizing for Kit!

After a fire-hose shower and a de-lousing, Kit was strapped to a bed and given a condescending lecture by Sister Jude.

He attempted to explain that he hadn't been a slasher killer, only an alien abductee.

For her part, Sister Jude remained a wonderful representative of the Catholic church, espousing the greatness of the Lord while also lying, beating, and being totally racist and hateful toward her patients. Just trying to make the Baby Jesus proud, you know?

Fortunately Kit's experience at the asylum wasn't without highlights. For instance he met a saucer-eyed French girl named Grace (Lizzie Brocheré) who not only seemed kind, but also claimed to not be insane at all. So, that's credibility right there. Anyway, even this nice moment didn't prevent Kit from getting into a fistfight in the world's worst common room. Solitary confinement it was!

Then we met Dr. Arden (James Cromwell, who played Marcy the Realtor in S1) who seemed to be the asylum's resident mad scientist. The main thing about him was that he and Sister Jude despised each other, and her power over the facility ended at his doorstep. He was clearly doing his own thing, and it clearly involved feeding the patients to some unseen monstrosity, as in this near-subliminal image that flashed while he was denying everything:

So yeah, it was an interesting dynamic in that Sister Jude was clearly a villain, but Dr. Arden was probably an even bigger villain that she hated.

So in another big 1964 moment, we learned that Lana had a "roommate" (Clea Duvall, currently in theaters playing Argo in Argo) whom she enjoyed kissing on the mouth whenever the shades were drawn.

Here's a twist I did not expect: Sister Jude had some human flaws, and even an inner life full of wants and needs! For example, though she was a pious servant of the Lord and His mama, she still enjoyed everyday sensualities like wearing red unmentionables and weirdly putting on perfume and also frying bacon and gazing lustfully at her dreamy monsignor (Joseph Fiennes/Shakespeare).

As it turned out, the main man behind this asylum (and Sister Jude's diocese) had designs on becoming New York's Archbishop and after that the Pope! And in order to do those things he wanted to generate headlines (I guess) by turning Briarcliff into the world's most headline-grabbing asylum (or whatever). And that included allowing the in-house mad scientist to work his magic and create whatever headline-grabbing monstrosity he could (possibly). I don't know, this scene was more about subtext: Sister Jude would have literally done anything for a single shirtless hug from this guy.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, you guys. This was just a fantasy sequence. Stop undressing Jessica Lange with your eyes! Come on, get real. Never gonna happen. This isn't Red Shoe Diaries, fellas. Relax. Take a cold shower already.

So in addition to getting bossed around by Sister Jude, Sister Mary Eunice was also getting bossed around by Dr. Arthur, and in this scene he ordered her to go leave a bucket full of body parts out in some forest clearing where the sounds of monsters could be heard approaching. We saw nothing, but it was clear these things were REAL and not just Sigourney Weaver in a cloak. (Though those things DO sound similar.) After dumping the human gizzards and bolting back inside, Sister Eunice was intercepted by a snooping Lana, who blackmailed Sister Eunice into giving her a tour of the facility in the middle of the night for some reason. Just getting the scoop!

Meanwhile Dr. Arthur wanted to run experiments on Kit's brain because of how much evil must've been inside his "cute blonde melon." Haha, Dr. Arthur, you big flirt.

So yeah, this particular check-up did not look very fun. Very Clockwork Orangey. Also it reminded Kit mostly of how annoying his saucer-ride had been.

He did not have a good time, but he did have a GOO time. Because goo. Also alien busyfingers. Guys, I think Kit may have gotten buttsexed by an alien.

So then the doctor pulled out of Kit what was clearly an alien microchip. But it was kinda big, suggesting that even aliens had crappy technology in 1964.

And then LOLOLOL the chip grew legs and ran away! WTF x infinity?? Ryan Murphy you crazy for that one.

Meanwhile Lana was still snoopin' around. Shelley took a break from mouth-sexin' an orderly and directed her to the solitary confinement areas so that Lana could, I don't know, be a reporter?

But then a monster hand reached out and slammed her head against the door! (P.S. I think this is the same door that Adam Levine lost his arm to earlier, but I'm not sure, I'm not Sherlock.)

The next day Sister Jude eventually found out that Sister Eunice had helped Lana explore the facility and she was TICKED.

But since Sister Eunice had super low self-esteem, she just cut to the chase, brought Sister Jude her whippin' rod (the biggest one she could find in Sister Jude's whippin' rod closet) and even pulled down her unmentionables for Sister Jude's convenience.

But apparently Sister Jude gets annoyed when a bare-ass whippin' isn't HER idea, so she was like, "No way, girl." Oh well.

So then, a particularly horrible moment for Lana (and 1964, and US AS HUMANS): Sister Jude coerced Lana's ladyfriend into having Lana committed to the facility, in exchange for not outing her to her town.

Man, this was pretty hard to watch. Sister Jude didn't even really make that much sense: First she said the girlfriend couldn't visit Lana because she had no legal standing. Then she said that the girlfriend DID have legal standing to have her committed? I didn't get it. But Lana did:

Uh oh, Lana! But look at the bright side: If your memory is decent, you can REALLY get the inside scoop now. She can bust this whole story wide open like a lady Geraldo. (Which, no joke, he DID do to a particularly nightmarish mental health facility in Long Island. I'm not kidding, go watch Cropsy!)

As for the monster pit where Lana conked her head, Sister Jude came to check it out only to find Dr. Archer scrubbing and Febrezing the EFF out of it. Where'd that monster go, Doc? Sister Jude was now officially on the warpath and these two titans of awful looked to be headed for a clash!

Anyway, the episode then ended back in the modern day: Mrs. Channing Tatum was scrambling through the facility's hallways trying to find an exit for her poor, one-armed The Voice judge, and accidentally came face-to-face with the man of the hour!

AAAHHHH!! Bloody Face, you've over-exfoliated!!! No but seriously, this guy looked terrible. It's probably just a mask that the killer is wearing, but don't tell me it doesn't smell terrible. I think we're dealing with a lunatic here, guys. That's my theory.

So hey, I'm not trying to tell you this was a perfect hour of television. For one thing, it was edited like a Michael Bay film on Adderall. Relax, editors! Absolutely no atmosphere or tension can be developed when there's a cut every 1.5 seconds and half the shots are Dutch angles. When it comes to how this thing is filmed, I'd prefer more Shining and less Saw II, thank you. Slow it down. Creep us out. You can do it. But yeah, this WAS a great appetizer for a meal I really want to eat. Consider my ticket purchased!


QUESTIONS:

... Which actors are better in Season 2 than Season 1?

... Who exactly is the main character, anyway?

... Would you rather be abducted by aliens or wrongfully accused of mass murder?

... #BUTTS

Comments (105)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
"That's why I'm experiencing a bit of déja vu with this, the premiere of American Horror Story: Asylum: I didn't love it, but I am INTERESTED."

I'm beginning to accept that this is going to be a reoccurring theme with me and this series because save for a few great moments, that's how I felt through most of season 1.

"Sure, this show has aliens, forest monsters, and much worse, but the sheer fact of being alive in 1964 was presented as the ultimate horror."

Yup, pretty much

"And then LOLOLOL the chip grew legs and ran away! WTF x infinity?? Ryan Murphy you crazy for that one."

Is it too late to wish away this whole aliens arc?

"It was edited like a Michael Bay film on Adderall. When it comes to how this thing is filmed, I'd prefer more Shining and less Saw II"

Yes please
Reply
Flag
Mr. Peterson, you're making this episode look like a real piece of crap, which it isn't. I'm no fan of AHS, but anyone can see from miles away that you're doing this kind of reviews because of your big ass ego and other things I can't post because I'd get booted from this site.



This is not the place to play a b*tch, Price. Play it on the forums, not on your reviews. We'll appreciate it. Thanks.
2
Reply
Flag
LOL! Aww shit
1
Reply
Flag
'Lez be friends'? Oh Price. I think that might be one of my fav lines from one of your reviews from now on. Looks like AH2 has stirred up a lot of religious debate. Which I find quite interesting as when I saw this ep. The 'church bashing' aspect didn't even occur to me. In fact from reading the comments below. It seems to me that some of the more religious amongst us AH fans brought it up first (defensive much?)

Looks like we r in fir a treat (again) season 1's big question was 'how will they sustain the haunted house thing for the whole season' and season 2's question seems to be 'how will they reconcile all the sub genres of horror?' I thought the alien thing might be a Tate style self-delusion until the show went 'Minority Report' and did the old 'mechanical spider trick' I love that this from the sane guy who brought us 'Glee'
Reply
Flag
I wonder what the cigarette budget is on this show lol
Reply
Flag
I'm pretty sure James Cromwell didn't play Marcy the Realtor in season 1.
7
Reply
Flag
Your review made my day...unfortunately it was much better then this episode...what the hell was that? Where is poetry, mystery and chilling from season 1? Where are any interesting characters? And stories? And UFO? Like..REALLY???? Ugh...I have to watch again Langsons and Harmons story to calm down
Reply
Flag
Not perfect but enjoyable all the way. I love Jessica Lange but I don't want an overdose. Please don't turn AHS in 'The Lange Show'.
1
Reply
Flag
I loved it! Can't wait for next week. Last year's story was really good and I know this year will be interesting and exciting.
Reply
Flag
I'm intrigued with how they're planning to tie alien abduction and serial-psycho-killer together. And I want to know more about the skitter chip, I'm guessing it skits to the next suitable hosts then inserts itself. Was it the skitter chip that made the young man kill? Is turning abducted humans into serial killers a way of culling humans before taking over our planet?
Reply
Flag
Interesting theory. The alien storyline seems to be at odds with the creepy sanitarium, but I'm sure it will all fit somehow.
Reply
Flag
I'm not quite into it yet, but I'll definitely stick with it. I like how this show can get away anything, because the crazy, nonsensical nature of the show allows it. Making this show an anthology series is smartest decision Ryan Murphy has made anywhere, and that's saying a lot. I heard that was the original plan for Heroes, but Tim Kring chickened out. I also think AHS is the type of show Alan Ball wishes True Blood was. The problem with that is, when we started watching the logic defying show that is AHS, that's the show we signed up for from the beginning.
Reply
Flag
Hey did anyone else notice that in the monster's bloody food bowl there is a Canadian maple leaf between its thumb and forefinger? Wonder what that's all about? LOL!
Reply
Flag
I would like to enjoy this show, but ultimately its audience is for those who like women busty, men dark & hung, and the Church the height in horror. Today, anything spoken Truthfully especially on moral issues is denounced as wrong, mean, even evil. Ridiculous! Should the Church lie to you? If you've never heard about sin I'm not surprised. It has consequences. So many want to be respected even as they denounce Jesus & the Church. You enjoy homosexual vacations, gay marriage, adultry, abortion, and all that. Those things damage the good. Hating the Church because she won't lie to you that your Godless lives are in order! What's wrong with you who know better!
1
Reply
Flag
I agree with you. The insults to the Church are cheap shots and I wish the show had steered clear of it.
1
Reply
Flag
These were the 60's when priests had their way with anything that had 2 legs!
Reply
Flag
And another cheap shot. While there were, and no doubt are, priests who do not live up to their vows, there are a great many more who live good, pious lives devoted to the Savior and His Church. But no one ever hears about those.
Reply
Flag
Liked it, but didn't find the episode too scary. I don't generally find aliens scary, and in the show didn't either at least not the parts with Kit being abducted. I'm hopeful that AHS will find a way though.

And also hoping I can get the previous characters out of my mind to focus on these. I think Evan Peters is the hardest mainly because I keep seeing him as a teenager. Though he's like 25, a lot of teenagers on tv are played by actors in their 20s. Feels odd to have him as a married man,
Reply
Flag
I loved the pilot, found it as scary as I would have been able to find and even got spooked when I went to bed and my door made a creepy noise because it wasn't properly closed. But this recap had me laughing - and I know this is a clich - out loud!



Thank you for this.
Reply
Flag
Apparently no one took notice that: 1. Zachary Quinto is listed as the main actor this year (he was first billed in the opening, for crying OL) and 2. His appearance was a blink-and-you'll-miss cameo when Evan Peters was being brought in. So what's the deal with that? I see him in priest's clothing, and being outside the facility we can pretty much conclude he is not one of the crazies. HOWEVER, I always suspect of characters who interact with no one or to another single character (thanks, "Sixth Sense"). Could he be a ghost?
Reply
Flag
I'm pretty sure Jessica Lange is the 8th wonder. Love her. As for the basis for the hospital story, I think the story, not so much the bulding, sounds like the old Waverly Sanatorium in Louisville, KY http://therealwaverlyhills.com/ The Death Chute, and the claims of extravagant numbers of deaths from TB come straight from that place. It was also turned into a mental hospital once it was no longer needed as a TB hospital, in the mid 60's (after antibiotics were discovered that significantly lowered the death rate due to TB)
Reply
Flag
@ Price Peterson - First of all some corrections are in order. The mental institution that you are referring to was on Staten Island not Long island. Secondly it's spelled Cropsey not Cropsy. And lastly the documentary with Geraldo Rivera Was called Willowbrook: The last disgrace. And to be honest its not very informative nor is it all particularly "nightmarish" as you put it. Now if you were trying to refer us to the documentary by home town natives of the region entitled "Cropsey", then yes there is a good deal of information and somewhat haunting as its told by locals of the area and not some out of town reporter.
Reply
Flag
Have to say though that s01e01 was edgier and weirder, this has much more of a regular storyline vibe to it from the start. Also, the editing, too frantic. That said, the acting was stellar, Tate and Constance are already a fading memory (sort of, they're kind of unforgettable).
Reply
Flag
Briliant #1: " (James Cromwell, who played Marcy the Realtor in S1)"

Briliant #2: "AAAHHHH!! Bloody Face, you've over-exfoliated!!!"

I was in fact rolling (on the couch, not the floor)!
Reply
Flag
It was fun to watch. I agree about the editing though. When Lange was talking to the girlfriend, the rapid cuts were really annoying. But that was the only thing that I found annoying, except for the fact that there were no boobs in the episode.

I can't believe you hated Tate in season 1. He was one of the best characters, and Evan Peters did a fantastic job. I especially loved the "don't you die on me" scene.

Reply
Flag
About the building itself - from what I can find online (or lack thereof) it's CGI (if I'm wrong please let me know because it's pretty awesome!).



The asylum in the show is in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, which would be appropriate for Massachusetts.



As far as I can tell (again, if you have something better say so!) the best exterior similarity is the Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane - http://tinyurl.com/9etokz3



Also, the interior entrance/staircase looks a lot like that of the Welfare (Roosevelt) Island Insane Asylum in good old NYC - http://tinyurl.com/8sncupn
Reply
Flag
I absolutely loved it. Jessica Lange was scary! This season looks like it's going to be fifty times more intense.
Reply
Flag
Does anyone else think Jessica Lange is just going to be in all the seasons? Seems like she'll be the string that ties each season together.
Reply
Flag
idk. They will be lucky if they can keep her.
Reply
Flag
"For her part, Sister Jude remained a wonderful representative of the Catholic church, espousing the greatness of the Lord while also lying, beating, and being totally racist and hateful toward her patients. Just trying to make the Baby Jesus proud, you know?"



This is a very offensive thing to say. Every religion has people in it that do bad things even horrible things but that does not mean that they are represetative of that religion. It is really low of you to say something like that about a major religion especially since I am guessing you know next to nothing about it. It is the Catholic Faith afterall that preaches loving the sinner and hating the sin, treating your neighbor as you would want to be treated etc. I am greatly offended by your comments and would appreciate an apology for how rude and insensitive they are.
Reply
Flag
Frankly, grow a damn backbone. The time of religion being something that we're not allowed to criticize is long over. If something like this offends you as much as it seems to then you really need to a good, long hard look at your own beliefs. If your faith is as strong as you're implying then why would someone else's opinion bother you this much?
Reply
Flag
There are obviously many lovely, decent individual Catholics, but the Catholic Church itself is an ancient institution/corporation which often seems to behave as if more concerned with keeping it's power and property at any cost than with the welfare of it's congregation. If Catholics want to change the reputation of the Church, well, you know what they say, change comes from within.
Reply
Flag
Hahahahahaha, hilarious. As a Catholic myself, I find the only offensive thing happening here is that someone would pretend that the Church doesn't have a long history of officially-sanctioned and awful positions on everything from holy war to slavery to the horrors of the Inquisition to the persecution of scientists to apathy about the Holocaust as it happened to the appropriate way to deal with priests who serially raped the children they were trusted to care for.



Be offended by the truth of our Church's history. Don't be offended by someone's pointing it out.
Reply
Flag
ksinglet, As a lifelong Catholic myself, went to a Catholic school and even ended up finding out years later that one of the priests in my congregation has molested children older then myself that I knew from school...I am well aware of the sordid history of our church. I couldn't agree more with what you said, while I still and will always believe in my faith, I find it very naive for someone to act so offended by someone pointing out the truth.. He is not saying every Catholic is like this but the Catholic church has sanctioned some very narrow minded and horrific views and methods in the past.. Do some research...figure it out for yourself, it doesn't make you a heretic to question these things, as these acts were committed by men, albeit supposed men of God, however God was no where present in these acts..
Reply
Flag
He's not saying that's everyone in the church... He's just pointing out the contradiction of piousness and her un-pious behavior. She is both condemning sinners and a sinner herself. No need to be so offended...
Reply
Flag
Yes, it was in MA and definitely more western Mass (I am from Eastern and seriously some are not good but some of the accents are actually credible).



I have a theory that in Ryan Murphy's horror reportory, Evan Peters is being put through a three part ringer...last year (I liked him more than Price did and I am not a sixteen year old girl), but he was clearly evil, but you kind of felt bad for him and had to remind yourself of how horrible he was recently...this year, I suspect he is the victim and will be the character we follow as Arden turns him into one of the things in the woods and we come to find out that he didn't kill anyone and those three horrible guys at the beginning killed his wife and more Kit's mind snapped and maybe the guys dragged him along as they found a taste for this and he is just starting to come back together (like we will see the same memories and flashbacks over and over again, but bits of reality start to creep into the flashbacks and we learn the truth)...next year edition, he will clearly be the hero (as they haven't had a clear good guy in either season, I suspect Ryan Murphy is itching to do either an Evil Dead homage or I don't know why but some sort of airship carrier that returned to port abandoned of all crew).



Anyway...



I think Lily Rabe might be the actual scariest of all of them...she sort of seems like she belongs in an asylum herself.



I think Sister Jude is actually the main character and I suspect those bits of mercy, I guess, that we witnessed, or the actual outrage over the most recent victim of Arden, she is going to eventually burn this place down.



I don't know....
More+
Reply
Flag
The whole alien abduction thing being an hallucination to cover trauma was what I thought at first, but then how does that explain the neck implant? Was that part of his delusion too? It seemed like that part was the doctor's POV though...
Reply
Flag
My only issue is those of us in the western part of the state really don't have the Boston accent... Minor details I guess.



I like the theory that Lang will burn the place to the ground, except the fact the building is still standing in present day and doesn't look like there was a fire, just aged. It'll be interesting for sure.
Reply
Flag
Just a note: The mention of Chicopee (by Lana when she was talking about not wanting to do lame stories anymore) hints of the institution being in Western Mass. There was an old mental institution in Northampton, MA which could possibly be what the place is based on. Which is super creepy considering I now live in Chicopee. And I have to go to the former site of the Northampton Mental Institution fairly regularly. *shutters*



All in all, I don't know if this season can be better than Season 1 which I was also obsessed with. I'm a little ehh with the aliens, but willing to ride this out and see where they take it. Plus I also like Evan Peters' butt. #Butts
Reply
Flag
I went to Smith, and I'd say you're right on the money with Northampton State Hospital - I wonder how far Ryan Murphey is going to take the comparison.
Reply
Flag
I looked at some pictures of the Northampton Mental Institution online, and I have to say that it's a very real possibility that the place is the inspiration for Briarcliff. They look so alike.

What I've been trying to figure out is where the building used for Briarcliff is. The only information on-line is that the second season is shot in Hidden Valley, Ventura County, California. But so far I haven't found any info about the house itself. Who knows, it might even be partially CGI.
Reply
Flag
I attended Salve Regina University in Newport, RI and the Briarcliff reminded me of McCauley Hall. Check it out on Google Images. I wonder if they used the idea of that mansion and then some CGI.
Reply
Flag
It's back! It's crazy! It has Jessica Lange and Aliens!

Aliens? Aliens. Well it fits the 60's tone and it was admittedly well made.

So hell yeahh I'm in again!

FTW sister Jude's closet
Reply
Flag
Aliens no thanks I was almost in but won't be giving this one a shot.
Reply
Flag
Oh surreeeeee Ghosts are 100% probable in this great World and are welcomed in this TV show...but aliens?!??! WTF they don;t exist and are a terrible plot point booooooo!!! Yuck...go play in traffic lol
1
Reply
Flag
IT was not a great episode but i remember i had the same feeling about season one so am sure after "max 2 episodes" it's going to kick some # Butts :P
Reply
Flag
I'm sad to say that this episode disappointed me a bit. I was a huge fan of season one, but something felt off about this episode. I don't know where they're going with this alien thing but I hope it doesn't make me facepalm.
Reply
Flag
Season One episode 1 sucked a bag a dog poo, but it turned out great right?
Reply
Flag
I guess I'm in the minority here, I didn't think that S01E01 sucked.
Reply
Flag
Loved it :)



all i need to say
Reply
Flag
I'm loving the new season much more than the 1st one! I adored Tate even though I'm not a troubled teenager, but I'm not a fan of ghosts. This season's storyline is getting better and better!
Reply
Flag
- I don't know if any actors are better this season, but certainly not worse either. We'll have to see how the season progresses. Though I am a little surprised that they chose the same actors this season. What's the point? Don't get me wrong, they are all great actors, especially Peters and Lange. I have nothing against their performance. And then they have added a few equally great ones to the cast like Sevigny and Fiennes. But if the season is going to have nothing to do with the first one, then why have the same actors? Why not find a bunch of great, different actors?

- I hope the monster/alien will turn out to be the best character. It will actually be a gentle, misunderstood figure with a philosophical and inquisitive mind. It will probably enjoy nothing more than sitting in a rocking chair reading a good book while agonizing over the fact that its nature compels it to viciously kill and eat people. The conflict the character faces is if one can be truly moral, if one understands the consequences of one's actions but cannot help killing because of a hunting instinct.

- Aliens. I'd rather have one probe up my butt, than get fucked in the ass by the whole justice system.
More+
Reply
Flag
If you totally switched the entire cast every season I would guess you'd have a higher turnover rate in your fanbase. A familiar face is something comfortable to cling to and have fond memories of the previous season.

I think having the same actors playing different characters in a different storyline line is a cool idea, and seems to be working so far. I can't recall any TV show in recent memory that has done the same thing and been successful doing it.
1
Reply
Flag
Happy this show is back! It commands my attention and I gladly give it. I'll admit I wasn't wild about the old actors reprising new roles, but I'm definitely on board now. And hopefully it gets even crazier from here. Awesome recap Price. Love your "hussy" lines and brilliant frame capture of Jessica Lange's face!
Reply
Flag
Excellent recap and I definitely can't wait to see the rest of this season.

When Evan Peters was getting deloused I laughed because it made me think of Supertroopers & the powdered sugar delousing of Farva.
Reply
Flag
Loved it. So many WTF moments going on, things can go anywhere and every plotline interests me. Despite the violent way the show is edited and presented, I wish more shows gave me this much pleasure to watch and had this many interesting characters. The intro for the new season is also awesome with some imaged being just... downright weird. Also, I'm in love with Lily Rabe.



Don't know how I feel about the aliens thing, but I'm not sure they exist because both times we saw them Kit was there, and he could just be hallucinating. Jury's still out on that.



Price, "Then we met Dr. Arden (James Cromwell, who played Marcy the Realtor in S1)" what on earth are you talking about? Marcy was a woman, played by Christine Estabrook. Still, good review.
Reply
Flag
I'm pretty sure he was joking. Just wanted to see who was paying attention.
Reply
Flag
I liked it a lot. It was strange, silly, weird, and WTH moments all through it. I watched S1 and had a love hate relationship with it. But weird stuff I like. Even a few times I jumped at what flashed on screen. Jessica Lang is just so fantastic and I feel is even more sinister than she was in S1. Sister Jude is my favorite so far. So I am hooked again and will be watching every week. I also will be reading PP's recap, that stuff had me rolling. #butts oh man you are funny...
Reply
Flag
I'm okay with it, but that isn't to say it's good. It's more like another train wreck of a season for people who like train wreck shows...and / or Jessica Lange. I'm 'ehh' on the first part, and 'hell yeah' on the second.

One thing they've fixed a bit is the 'YTF don't people leave when shit like this is going down' issue. It's an asylum. Most of the people either can't leave, or they're in on the clusterf**king. Kinda clever.

Anyway, I knew where the bar was when I turned it on, and this episode met that bar and stopped there. So, I'm good. But as most of the characters are insane or incarcerated, maybe they can pull this off without using stupidity too often. Most of Jigsaw's playbuddies weren't stupid, they were just doomed. It makes a difference.
Reply
Flag
You know why people don't leave? They have invested a lot of money and don't want to, or can't afford to lose it.
Reply
Flag
Think about it, if people always left when it hit the fan. 90% of horror movies wouldn't work or they would be 20 minutes long.
Reply
Flag
True, which is why the word 'cheesy' follows 'horror movies' 90% of the time. It's always scarier when the characters we're supposed to identify with don't have a way out as close as the front door.
Reply
Flag
Better than Beauty and the Beast...but that ain't saying much...
Reply
Flag
JESSICA LANGE....in that red number. Can we just take moment to appreciate her whole run on the whole....omg its only one episode and already she's graced the the screen and delivered the same if not more fierceness than a Lana Del Rey video. She's a show stealer and the entirety of every season should just be based solely on her character.
Reply
Flag
I appreciated it, brother.

But I may've said too much.
Reply
Flag
the pacing was so fast, but given that they had to set up (hopefully) most of the story for the season i thought it was okay. i hope the rest of the episodes are creepier because while there's a lot of depravity going on, there isn't a lot of tension built up yet.



i really wish the doctor didn't find the alien chip in kit's throat. that ruins the suspense of 'is he crazy or is he telling the truth' right off the bat.



i think the main character is jessica lange since it seems every non-monster character is connected to her's. she'll have the most ups and downs from events being revealed around her methinks, while probably having plenty to reveal herself still. give her allll the drama!
Reply
Flag
Been eagerly awaiting a write up and am not disappointed! fun read / look through.

I myself was not a big fan of the first season. It lost me somewhere as it went along. I sort of watched it all the way through, just leaving it on in the background when I lost interest.

This episode I thought was great. As you said, more tangible strings & I'm personally liking all of the characters more I believe. I definitely like that there are two or more degrees of villain. Sister Jude I don't entirely hate at all, somehow nearly the opposite.

I like Kit this season where last season I really never cared for Tate (possibly jealousy over his relationship with farmiga.) Also this season seems decidedly less gruesome? The other relied heavily on this like eyeballs in jars etc. where as this one's opening lead one to believe it might be more of the same but was in my opinion just a bit lighter.

actually looking forward to this season to see where the story goes. and looking forward to / hoping for a review next week too.
Reply
Flag
I'm with Peterson: this wasn't the great opening I expected to be - actually, I feel our introduction to the Murder House, although bat-shit crazy at the time, was way better than the one for the Briarcliff Asylum. But, obviously, this is only the beginning, so expecting the insanity to completely take over this baby in no time.

However, I don't see the Alien plot-point to be used throughout the whole series... unless Chris Carter ended up writing one of the episodes. Seriously, was I the only one who kinda expected Cancer Man to show up after that spider-chip sprung out? I get the mad science thing, and the religious zealots angle, but spooking extra-terrestrial stories... they're not that easy to, especially in an already over-saturated setting like this one. We'll see, I guess...

Fun cast, so far. Loved the returning players, and any casting agent smart enough to get Chloe Sevigny in one of their projects is A-OK to me. So, yeah, very sad that Connie Britton is gone (especially to a undeniably inferior show), but, as long as Mrs. Lange is still around, I'm expecting this ride to be just as great as the first one.
Reply
Flag
What were you expecting? Breaking Bad? gtfo
Reply
Flag
... No, I wasn't.

'Hell of a stupid comeback, buddy.
Reply
Flag
I needed a fun pick-me-up and I can't wait for TVDs recap to come out tomorrow, so I trespassed onto this one. I've only ever seen the pilot of season 1. I may keep reading the recaps to decide if I want to actually give the show a shot. I really can't figure it out, but I usually trust Price so...

Help me out guys, does the weird offensive stuff just slip past and the rest is a wacky ride or is it all hateful people doing despicable and/or gross stuff?
Reply
Flag
in my opinion this season is already less graphic / goreshock than last season. i'm hoping that that is the case and that it stays that way.
Reply
Flag
It's been one episode...this season has soooooo much gore.
Reply
Flag
#Butts
Reply
Flag
James Cromwell who played Marci the Realtor!!! HAA!
Reply
Flag
YAY! More photo-recaps from Price! I'm guessing this is to fill the TSC void.
Reply
Flag
I was feeling kind of meh ambivalent about AHS:Redux, but the whole asylum genre is one that I love so I did watch it last night. But now that I've found my most favorite TVD photo-recapper is also taking on Briarcliffe? I am SO IN, Y'ALL!

I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved this recap. I pretty much cackled my way through it and am now anxiously awaiting next week's episode just for the recap to follow. Now I get goodies on Thursday AND Friday. Whee! (I must admit, I had a bit of a *moment* when I saw the SPROINK screencap.)

Price, your observations are kind of ridiculously astute considering how hilarious they are at the same time.

COMPLETELY agree about the editing. I have really liked the way Bradley Buecker has done editing for the episodes of Glee that he's directed, but I think the fractured-jumpy thing is way too literal for the asylum setting and that the oppositelong-ass shots that move really slowly and freak us the hell out before anything even happenswould serve the show so much better. Suspense is what makes good horror, in my opinion. All the gore and creepy characters in the world will never scare me like well-crafted suspense.

Thrilled to see you on the case here, Mr. Peterson!

#BUTTS
More+
Reply
Flag
Staff
This show is complete weird-flavored garbage madness and I look forward to watching it every week. I guess if I had to theorize I would guess that the mental asylum is actually all in the imagination of a sea turtle that's dying.

Excellent work, Pricerson
Reply
Flag
Staff
HAHAHA oh no, now I won't accept any other theories!
Reply
Flag
I LOVED THE EPISODE!! It was amazingggg
Reply
Flag
- I'm surprised you didn't mention Jessica Lange's accent, it was all over the place and a bit forced. I was also a bit disappointed by her character, she's a bit less of a scenery chewer here and not nearly entertaining as Constance. I'm willing to give her a chance though...

- The whole alien thing was so unnecessary and over the top in a show that is the definition of camp and WTF. Seriously, we have nuns, a killer that uses faces as a mask, a mad scientist, creatures in the woods... do we really need ALIENS???
Reply
Flag
Murphy is hitting on all the hot topics of the 60s.... and even though it feels weird and out of place... Aliens were really popular back then with crop circles and ufo sightings... and if you were a believer, you were mental... and sent straight to the looney bin! So it's not unnecessary at all :)
Reply
Flag
Yes. Yes we do. In all honesty though, I hope they don't recur that much. Like you said, there's plenty going on already that is deliciously campy without it. I liked Lange's accent. In a show such as this, I'm not looking for authenticity, so I just sat back and enjoyed Gangster Nun.
Reply
Flag
Load More Comments

Like TV.com on Facebook