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Remember last week when I rejoiced at the possibility of AHS: Asylum finally living up to the first season? It seems we have another reason to celebrate: Jessica Lange is given room to shine once again. But it comes at the price of more maddening pointlessness.
In the newest episode, Spilt Milk, we’re treated to the same bland alien storyline, of course. The writers still seem to think we’re actually interested in this, which is unfortunate. But first we get to see another gem in the form of Dylan McDermott’s portrayal of Johnny Morgan, the supposed son of Dr. Thredson and Lana Winters. It’s refreshing to see another truly creepy character blossom, since this season seems to be lacking the “creep” factor entirely. His interaction with the lactating prostitute is one of the only moments so far this season where I’ve been truly given the heebie-jeebies. I only hope that as Asylum wraps up in the next couple of episodes we’ll see more of Johnny Morgan and much less of the blasé characters we’ve been forced to endure already.
In fact, we’re left with a bit of cliffhanger in his storyline. His attack on the prostitute never reaches a resolution; instead we’re left wondering whether the son of Bloody Face has killed again. Speaking of Bloody Face, it pains me to report that another quality character bites the dust. After finally gaining her freedom with the help of Mother Superior, Lana turns in Dr. Thredson’s confession tape and shoots him in his home.
Come on, Ryan Murphy. I know I said to kill of some characters, but I meant the squeaky clean ones. There were only three compelling characters in this entire season: Sister Jude, Sister Mary Eunice, and Dr. Thredson. Now we only have one left, while all the boring characters seem to come back from the dead almost as soon as they’re killed off. Why, Mr. Murphy, do you insist on taking away the characters that compel us to watch the show in the first place, and leaving us with the ones we couldn’t possibly bring ourselves to care about?
Case in point: like I said, Dr. Thredson is dead. Yes, we have his son to carry on the creepy legacy, which I’m grateful for, but still. Now there are virtually no villains left in the original storyline. Yet they decided to bring Grace back from the dead earlier in the season, even though she serves almost no purpose at all. Better yet, in Spilt Milk she has her baby, and she and Kit Walker are a happy little family together. A tiny blip arises when the baby is briefly taken away, but with Dr. Thredson exposed, Kit gains his freedom as well as Grace’s and they are able to be a happy wonderful little family outside of Briarcliff.
How incredibly boring is that? Fans of American Horror Story don’t want to see happy families; we want to see ghosts and serial killers. Apparently the writers agreed it was boring, too, since they decided to bring Alma back from the dead, too. And surprise: she also has Kit’s baby in her arms. Why, you ask? Because aliens, that’s why. And according to Grace, the aliens are kind and wonderful, unlike humans. Yawn.
But the episode wasn’t all bad, of course. We still have Jessica Lange to save the day yet again with her portrayal of the rapidly deteriorating Sister Jude. Her confrontation with the Monsignor is chilling, to say the least, especially since she declares that since becoming insane, she now has “total clarity.” We don’t see a whole lot of her in Spilt Milk, which is unfortunate, but our glimpses of her promise great things in the next episode. Faking her death papers, the Monsignor locks her up in a tiny, disgusting cell at the end of the hallway. In fact, it looks to be the same cell where Adam Levine has his arm ripped off in the first episode.
Is Sister Jude the arm-ripper? What sort of horror is she doomed to become? Her eerie singing at the end of the episode would indicate something spine-tinglingly good. And who cares about aliens when we can see Jessica Lange spiral into some sort of terrifying creature? I can only hope the next episode lives up to my expectations, because Sister Jude has given me hope yet again.