Writing and Reviews – Denise Pasutti
An exorcist comes to Briarcliff Asylum after a distraught couple brings their son to Sister Jude, claiming that a demon is possessing him. Bloody Face strikes again and a disturbing light is shed on Dr. Arden’s dark side.
The episode opens with the wife of the honeymooning couple being chased by Bloody Face and leading him to her unconscious husband to be butchered.
1964: Lana is now a patient in the asylum after Sister Jude cons Wendy (Clea DuVall) into having her admitted for treatment of homosexuality. Sister Jude goes to Dr. Arden asking him to do electroshock therapy to muddle her memory of the things she has seen. Lana soon connects with Grace (Lizzie Brocheré) and convinces her that there is a way to escape through the tunnels beneath the building. Grace wants to bring Kit along but Lana refuses, still convinced that he is Bloody Face. We the viewer know this is not the case as Wendy falls victim to the creature, man, alien or whatever Bloody Face is.
We are then introduced to Dr. Oliver Thredson, marking the return of Zachary Quinto. Thredson is at the asylum to evaluate Kit’s mental capacity to stand trial but soon interjects himself into the case of a teen boy who is displaying antisocial behaviour. Jed is admitted and it becomes immediately clear that the boy’s disturbance is more severe than just routine teen angst. He speaks in tongues, his eyes change colour and he confronts the various participants in the exorcism with their deepest, darkest secrets. Sister Jude…well, she was not always so pious. Slut, alcoholic and murderer. She killed a girl in a hit and run while driving drunk.
And speaking of interesting stories, Dr. Arden’s dark side is shown and so is his lust for the naïve Sister Mary Eunice. Arden hires a whore and has her dress up like a nun. While the whore/nun is getting ready for the ick with Arden, she finds photos of women tied up and something else that I couldn’t see. As for Sister Mary Eunice, she walks in at the end of the exorcism and is struck unconscious by an invisible force. It’s seems that the demon is now inhabiting the sweet young sister.
At one point during the exorcism, Dr. Thredson tries to sedate Jed. When he does, all the lights go out and the cell doors for every patient in the asylum open inexplicably. Here is the perfect moment for Lana and Grace to make their way to the tunnels and escape but Kit shows up and Lana makes a decision that will damn them all to remain in Briarcliff when she calls the orderlies, saying that Bloody Face is escaping.
Final Thoughts: Are you with me? So, I watched ‘Tricks and Treats’, then re-watched ‘Welcome to Briarcliff’ then followed up yesterday with Episode 2 again. My thoughts have somewhat changed after a second viewing of both episodes. I still don’t know what to think of the aliens and there is a much more obvious and in your face focus on sex in Asylum compared to the first season of American Horror Story. I’m keeping an open mind and adjusting my perception to the fact that Asylum is not a continuation or really connected to the first season. It’s growing on me and I’m looking forward to seeing more of the creatures in the woods and more about Bloody Face.