American Horror Story Review: The Circle of Life

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While I've enjoyed American Horror Story: Asylum, I didn't realize how much until I watched "The Name Game." I hadn't particularly missed the show over its short two-week hiatus, but once I started watching the episode, I was engrossed in the Briarcliff world immediately.

I especially enjoyed that the focus of the hour was back on the main characters and their journeys... for better or worse. It's not that I haven't appreciated the introduction of new characters to Briarcliff - such as, Anne Frank, the Killer Santa and the serial killer kid - I've just preferred when the show has centered on those we already know.

Kit's Reunion

The pacing on "The Name Game" was a bit slow at times, though the overall story moved forward with resolution for some characters, which is reassuring since there are only a few episodes left in this anthology.

The evil inside Sister Mary Eunice has been a puppet master at Briarcliff. She created havoc throughout the institution, but finally went too far and was ultimately taken out. Her decision to help Killer Santa was what led to her demise. When he crucified the Monsignor, a series of events was set into motion that not even the darkest evil inside her could overcome.

Between the Dark Angel's words and the loss of his purity, the Monsignor had no choice but to sacrifice the innocent sister to get rid of the evil inside her. There was no hope in saving her, but the damage the evil inside did will last long after she is gone.

I worried that the evil spirit would move on to another person after Sister Mary Eunice's death, but that wasn't to be. The Dark Angel made sure to take both "souls" with her. All that was left was the empty, innocent Sister's body.

As evil as Dr. Arden first appeared to be, he was no match for the Devil or even the aliens. Those forces and the loss of his love, the true Sister Mary Eunice, was too much for him. He gave up on investigating Grace's pregnancy, killed his "creatures," and then he cremated himself alive with Mary. I almost felt sorry for him, then I remembered all the horrible things he did and his self-sacrifice was probably too easy an out. Though, given his Nazi background, the death by fire was quite fitting.

I wasn't sure what to make of Jude. The electric shock therapy certainly disrupted her brain and caused her to have mental problems. Despite that, Lana and the Monsignor both went to her. Will she recover? I hope so. Though, she did have the strength to at least try and help Lana by asking the Mother to get her out. Her song and dance number was certainly freaky, but quite entertaining. Another example of why Jessica Lange deserves many awards for her portrayal of Sister Jude.

Lana's still presumably pregnant and Grace had her baby. Is there a connection between their two children? And will Kit be reunited with his wife and their child?

The alien story is the least developed and the most confusing. I was thrilled to see that even though Kit gave up Thredson's confession tape to be with Grace and their baby, it didn't matter. Now that Lana has the recording, Thredson is going to have a much more difficult time retrieving it. After all that she has survived, she won't give up to him without a fight.

With only three episodes left, there is still much ground to be covered even with the two devils of Briarcliff dead. What do you think is going on with the aliens? The babies? Will the story have a happy ending despite all the horrible things that have happened?

Even though this story is coming to an end, American Horror Story has been renewed for season 3. Executive Producer Ryan Murphy told that a clue about the plot for the new installment would be revealed in tonight's episode.

My guess is the clue was on the record in the jukebox after Jude had her dance scene. It said, "Congress." Did you catch that? Or do you have another guess? 


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (51 Votes)

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


I love how the pure Sister Mary was able to beat the Devil for few minutes to let the Monsignor threw her to her death.
I was kinda sad not being able to see Lily Rabe on screen again.
But I'm so pumped for the Bloody Face storyline to get resolved!
RIP Arden, RIP Mary Eunice, RIP Jude's sanity.


I wasn't a big fan of this ep. The devil has been wreaking havoc at Briarcliff and all it takes to take out the darkness is a fall from great heights (and some help from the Angel of Mercy/Death). Didn't that angel also give the kiss to Grace? She seemed to know a lot about everyone and everything a few eps back, was she unaware of these aliens and their ability to bring the dead back to life? I still don't see how the alien story will fit in anywhere and the entire 'The Name Game' song and dance routine was nonsense. Was it to show us that Jude's mind is still sharp despite the high voltage shock therapy and her slowly recuperating? Thredson's character is becoming boring. Just placed there to intimidate and make sure Lana gives birth. If Lana really wanted to give it to Thredson, she'd call the Angel of Mercy/Death again.


I thought zombies, Michael Jackson, freaks ... I think witches is a better concept though. IDK whatever it is sure it will be amazing. This series is crazy good. I never even saw the first but I want to especially after this one. Jessica Lange deserves a ton of awards, best actress ever.


This was definetely my favorite episode of this season. It focused on all the characters and the relationships between one another... I loved seeing Lana outsmart Oliver, Jude's mental breaakdown was portrayed brilliantly and the end...the end was amazing.I have to say, one of the things that i enjoyed most in the show was Dr Arden's interaction with Sister Mary Eunice. I loved them together...and though i thought they were the most horrible creatures to ever walk earth and i wanted them to rot in hell...i was hoping they would rot in hell side by side. And now thay do!
3 episodes left! They better focus on the alien sl because up until now we got nothing. And i hope Lana's child is not the modern times' Bloody Face. I generally hope for a happy happy as it can be with these series.


I would like next season to begin in Salem with the witch trials but also to include a story set in a modern city with a witch who was reincarnated after being burned alive in Salem. She takes revenge on the present day ancestors of her persecutors from Salem. Jessica Lange could play the witch or one of the ancestors in present day.


Suddenly it felt like glee...


Pepper's speech made me think freak show right away (and then when Ryan Murphy mentioned he missed the tragic love story of Tate & Violet my mind went immediately to...One of us one of us one of us). That movie as always really freaked me out.


Peppers little speech about Freaks was a great reference. One of us! One of us!


In Ryan Murphy's interview with EW, he says they want to shoot the next season in a place where true horror has been. That certainly could be Salem with the mention of the cigarettes and the song playing.


I would love the next season to be based on witchcraft!
And Jessica was amazing in this episode.

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