Wednesday, November 14, 2012

'American Horror Story: Asylum' Review - 2.05 I Am Anne Frank, Part 2

        On the newest episode of FX's American Horror Story: Asylum, Sister Jude employs a renowned Nazi Hunter to gather evidence against Dr. Arden; Kit makes a surprising confession; and Bloody Face is unmasked.

        Say what you will about ADD nature of American Horror Story - or of series creator Ryan Murphy in general - but when it's narrative is able to flow together cohesively, it does create one very entertaining hour. That was the case tonight when the program teased a conclusion to the Anne Frank arc as well as a reveal of who Bloody Face really is. The end result is the best episode of the Asylum chapter yet.
        My main complaint with this season's story has been erratic nature of throwing every proverbial horror dart at the board and hoping that one sticks. Yes, it seems that the Bloody Face story has been given a tad bit more of emotional weight than any of the other stories but when the series also throws in the aliens, the forest creatures and the troubled pasts of all the main characters it deludes that one great story and it keeps it from leaving up to its fullest potential. This hour was my favorite of the season so far because it was much more collected and focused in its prime narrative while also driving through the story at a brisk pace. Now with the knowledge that Dr. Thredson is Bloody Face and that Alma is alive and that Dr. Arden really is a former Nazi, I am hopeful that the story will actually build to an entertaining arc in the next seven episodes. I still have my trepidations though - How will Lana continue to be interesting if she's kept in one singular location with a very limited set of scene partners? How will Shelley's transformation into a monster come back into the show's main fold? How will Kit remain integral to the show if he's off in jail?
         Tonight's episode was directed by frequent Murphy collaborator, Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, and I must saw that it was one of the most intricately, stunning episodes the series has produced. That opening sequence where Sister Jude goes to see the Nazi hunter (and hopefully this isn't the last we've seen of the wonderful Mark Margolis) is so captivating. The camera just keeps on moving to show the varying details throughout the room as well as showing the reflections and parallels between the two characters speaking. It was wonderfully composed and a thrill to watch. That sequence was the true standout but there were various other moments throughout the hour that added to the intended horror effect.

So what did everyone think of the episode? What's coming next for Lana? Will those schoolchildren be alright after seeing Shelley? Does the show remember it has Joseph Fiennes in its main cast? Share your thoughts in the comments.