American Horror Story

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American Horror Story Review: Big Love and the Flying Nun

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American Horror Story Season 2 has spent most of its time set in Briarcliff, but even outside of the institution its influence heavily influenced the characters.

In "Continuum," the episode was split into four separate acts; only one of which was in Briarcliff.  Each act jumped to a point in the future providing a glimpse of what happened to the former Briarcliff patients and Johnny.

Jude in Trouble

Act I: Kit and His Wives The opening scene was brutal to watch. What possibly could have happened to lead Kit to be holding an ax with blood all over him. He was never a violent man, so it had to be misdirection, right?

Last week, I wondered if Kit would be living a Sister Wives life - and guess what? He did! Kit had a happy life with Alma, Grace and their two kids. After the torment that they suffered at Briarcliff and with the aliens, it was pleasant to see them enjoying life, even if an unorthodox one.

The trouble between Alma and Grace surprisingly wasn't about having to share Kit, they were supportive of each other in that regard. It was their pasts with the aliens that caused discord. Grace wanted to remember, while Alma wanted to pretend it never happened. Their differing reactions made sense though. Grace was saved by the aliens. They gave her life, Kit, and a child, while for Alma they destroyed and complicated her life. They took her away from the nearly-perfect life she had with Kit.

And then conflict came when the differing views overtook the two women. Grace believed the aliens would come back, while Alma never wanted them to return. Their demeanors were just as opposite: Grace was filled with joy, while Alma was overwhelmed with fear.

While I didn't think Kit killed anyone, I never considered that it was Alma. What the heck!?!? What a tragic ending to their lives! When Kit took the ax, I was sure he would be blamed and be headed back to Briarcliff, but instead it was Alma. 

The alien story doesn't seem to have had a point and remains a mystery. Why did the aliens take the women and give them children? Is this story over? Or, will the aliens return in the finale?

Act II: Jude's False Hope Jude was the only one left at Briarcliff. Everyone else was either released, moved on, or was killed. The Monsignor promised he would have her released, but he failed her. It's unclear what happened or if he even really intended to help her, but Jude remained locked up.

Her experiences at Briarcliff after it became a state-run facility were just odd. Did the new top prison bitch really look like the Dark Angel? Or, was Jude hallucinating it? What seems to be the case is that Jude began to be drugged with Chlorpromazine and led her to lose time and memories.

When she found out she had lost the time and that Pepper was dead, she was heartbroken. Jessica Lange gave another outstanding performance here. She has been amazing throughout and seems to top herself each week. 

What will happen to Jude? I'd love for her to have a happy ending, but at this point, she seems to belong in a mental institution. If anything, Briarcliff can turn an entirely sane person crazy after all.

Act III: Lana's Essence of Truth Last week, I wrote that I hoped Lana would keep her son and live a happy life with him. That wasn't to be. That determined, but good-hearted Lana was gone. She wrote the book Maniac about her experiences with Bloody Face, but exaggerated and made up stories. Even worse, she became self-absorbed and unlikable. Her conscience was starting to get the better of her with visions of Wendy and Thredson. Perhaps, she will suffer a mental break from it all.

It was sad to see her bittersweet reunion with Kit. She gave up on her promise to close Briarcliff leaving its patients behind to suffer, including Jude. Of course, Lana didn't know Jude was still there, but that's no excuse. And she barely seemed sorry when she heard that Alma ended up there and died.

What will Lana and Kit do next? Is their story over? Now that Lana knows that Jude is at Briarcliff, will she be pulled there to visit? I hope so. That would be an epic reunion and one that could perhaps pull Jude out of her foggy existence, while giving Lana a renewed call to action.

I loved this interaction between Kit and Jude. It was devastating to see Jude's deterioration.

Jude: They don't know, but I don't need the hat. I can fly without it. One of these days I'm going to fly my ass right outta here. Watch and see.
Kit: I don't doubt it. | permalink

Act IV: Johnny Has a Plan Oh, Johnny. He has lived in the shadow of his mother's abandonment and his father's notoriety. His quest to make his mother pay and finish his father's work is coming to a natural end. It would make sense for him to want the signed copy of her book. He believes that she never held him or gave him anything, so it is something that she has touched.

Given that he told us his plan, it seems unlikely to actually happen. Perhaps, she will take him in her arms and love him? Though, is Johnny even Lana's son? I've believed that she isn't his mother and the book would seem to support that. Though, she lied often in the memoir, so why couldn't she have lied about her son dying? Now, it seems more likely Johnny is in fact Lana's son.

Regardless, their reunion is sure to be something neither of them will forget!

Johnny: You are gonna give me that book because it's my fate to have it. You see I have a plan to meet my mother. And when I see her I'm going to greet her with a polite hello, Ms Winters, do you know who I am? And, she'll shake her head in ignorance and then I'll present this book of lies. And, then I'll say, "I'm in your book, except I didn't die. I'm the piece of trash you threw away 48 years ago. I'm your son." When she fully understands who it is standing in front of her, I'll take out my 9 mm handgun, point it at her face, and pull the trigger. And, I would have finally completed my father's work. But, first, I'm going to need that book. | permalink

Johnny's monologue about his mother was one of the top moments of the season. It was crazy, but so grounded in reality. I could watch Dylan McDermott give that little diatribe over and over again.

Next week is the finale of the Asylum series. What do you want to see in the end? Will anyone have a happy ending? Or are they all doomed to a horrible future? And, most importantly, what did you think about Kit and his tighty whities?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (62 Votes)

Carla Day is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.

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Jessica Lange IS American Horror Story. nuff said.

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Finally, an episode that was truly creepy. The problem isn't Briarcliff, the devil, aliens, crooked church leaders, nazi regime doctors...It's our minds. It is fear, paranoia, greed, lust and just how fragile our minds can be under certain circumstances. Lange's performance as she realized she had missed out on 2 years of life she could not remember, and her paranoid thoughts that 'her' story was sold to Hollywood was gripping to watch. As was the scenes with Alma and Grace. While I can understand each side, Grace's obsessiveness was excessive and certainly scary. I have no feelings for Lana anymore. She's about as callous as Jude first was and as cold hearted as Thredson. Sure, she sold the 'Maniac' story rights to Hollywood, but she lied about things in that book. What did she do with the recording she took when she left Briarcliff? She says she 'found her voice', but all she's doing is obsessing over the evil and the unknown, much like Grace.

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This is my take on it. I have a feeling that Johnny is a "wanna be," as far as being the child of bloodyface and Lana, i think he's an obsessor of the story and he wants to be bloodyface so therefore, has the story to tell to say he was the son she abandoned. It is likely and very well possible i am wrong and the story will go on the way it has with him being their child, etc. but something tells me he is a pyschopath believing he can be their "son" because he is obsessed with wanting to act out on the life bloodyface took on. I will not touch on the alien act because I have no clue how to even decifer it correctly. I hope they tell us what the creature is in the basement that tore off Adam Levine's arm in the beginning, and if that's Arden's zombie creations living in the cellar, or is it Shelley (the slut), whatever happened with her?? I can't wait to see the end but I dont want it to end and wait 9 months for the next time we visit this amazing show.

Chrys

I kind of agree on Alma's take on the aliens. I see them kind of like Dr. Arden... experimenting on vulnerable creatures for their own purposes.. or even enjoyment? I still don't see though why they'd take an interest in Kit. Of course...he is open minded and sympathetic to other people's pain but how could that draw the attention of a higher intelligence species? I've somehow lost hope that this will ever be explained.
I hope next episode will be about Kit and Lana bringing down Briarcliff. But i think till then Jude will have been kissed by the Angel.
Johnny was f...ng awesome. It seems that he is Lana's son... i don't want him to though. Was Johnny the one who killed the impostors at the beginning of the season?

Fatin

I hope the finale finally explains the aliens. And yes, take down The bloody Monsignor.

Spindae 2o

A really good episode! Nice storytelling! my only issue is connected to the alien story! and I want a resolution for this story explanation or something. . .
I expected this from Lana! She is damaged and I get it! but as shown in the preview we can see she seems to redeem herself but there is always a twist!!

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So piecing together from previews with my own theories...while Johnny is on his quest for Lana he runs first into recently retired Kit and the aliens don't so much as save him but communicate with Thomas and Julia to bring Lana and to end the violence cycle they are ashamed they let grow while they were so focused on Kit. I can't really guess how old Jude would be at that point in time but saving her will be Lana's chance at repentence. and Jude will take down Cardinal Tim.

American Horror Story Season 2 Episode 12 Quotes

The cruelest thing of all is false hope.

Jude

The Monsignor: Please, Jude, don't be childish.
Jude: Childish? Hell, I'm the Queen of Candyland.