Monday, January 28, 2013

Recapping AHS: Time is Not on My Side

Sorry we're a little behind on the AHS recaps. Fear not! The first of the final two of this season is here!

Nighttime at Kit’s house in 1967. Peace, tranquility, etc. Right up until the moment we see Kit wander into the frame, covered in blood, breathing heavy and holding an axe. “Daddy?” someone calls. “Be there in a minute,” Kit responds. Oh dear.

Should end well.

Act I! Grace is drawing the aliens while Alma talks about all the food they’re growing in their garden and the two kids play in the living room together. They’ve clearly formed a tidy little non-traditional Summer of Love home together. Neat. That night, Alma tells Kit she’s worried that Grace has been obsessed with the aliens. Kit thinks she just needs time to process, but Alma urges Kit to spend the night with Grace instead of her, I guess to help her, ahem, get less focused? Whatever, Grace is in her room still sketching creepy pictures. She tells Kit she’s doing this so that their children will understand where they came from and that Alma needs to stop trying to forget the past. Kit starts with the sexy time when cue the pulsing alien lights which suddenly come back and Alma begins to freak believing they’re here for her. Kit grabs the baseball bat again and runs outside. Turns out its not aliens at all, but locals who are taunting the household because of the unconventional nature of it. The cops aren’t too eager to chase down anyone given that polygamy is illegal in Massachusetts. It’s all a lot for Alma, who is slowly breaking down. Later, Grace and Alma argue about discussing the aliens in front of the children. Alma equates the experience to being raped and tortured and she doesn’t appreciate being told it was transformational and beautiful by the axe-murderer that her husband brought home to her and she’s had to adjust to. Guess the set up isn’t as peaceful as it looked. The argument ends in slaps and thrown dishes before Kit breaks it up. That night, Kit finds Grace in the living room drawing in the dark. Grace tells Kit how much she loves him and their collective family, but she believes “the future is coming” and they can’t hide from it and Alma needs to understand that. I’d say the scene is peaceful, except that’s right when Alma buries an axe into Grace’s back and beats her with it over and over. Kit pulls her off, but it’s too late. Grace is quite dead and Alma is left cowering in the corner, begging for the aliens not to return while Kit holds the axe.

Act II! 1968. In Briarcliff, Jude, Pepper and some other inmates sit around a table playing Candyland like it’s poker. Even as an inmate, Jude rules the roost and the others defer to her. Pepper even calls her “boss” after Jude orders her to check another inmates lithium levels. Monsignor enters the room and asks Jude for a word, but Jude scoffs that since he had her renamed Betty Drake to cover for her “death”, she’s got nothing to say. Monsignor tells her that he’s leaving Briarcliff because he’s been appointed Cardinal of New York. Also, the church has sold the facility to the state and shit is about to get bad. Monsignor says he wants to get Jude out to assuage his conscience. Later, new inmates from the state are brought in (Including Alma, btw) and who should be one of them but the Angel, flanked by two female flunkies, smoking a cigarette and looking significantly less angelic. Jude freaks and says she didn’t call her here. The “Angel”, a women’s prison inmate convicted for murder informs Jude that she’s about to become the new Queen Bee around here, but she’s willing to let Jude be “one of the girls” with her. Jude is wicked confused and confides in Pepper that she needs to get out of here, but Pepper cautions Jude not to trust Monsignor. Jude is disturbed that night to see that the “Angel” is her new cellmate. She tells Jude that everything belongs to her, now, including Jude. The next day, the “Angel” is running the common room, going all sexual harassment on a scared Alma and then shanking another inmate who was “challenging” her. That night, Jude wakes in her room to see the Angel back to being Angelic, dressed all in black, wings unfurled and moving into her for a kiss. “I don’t want to die,” screams Jude bringing the guards into the room. 

Seems like there's got to be a slash fic arena for this, right?

As the guards pull the two apart, Jude sees the “Angel” isn't the Angel at all, but someone else entirely and Jude has been hallucinating what the woman looks like all this time. Jude is brought in a straight-jacket to the new head doctor. Jude considers telling the truth when asked about the fight, but lies and says she just doesn't like the new woman. The doctor says Jude has gotten into fights with five of her new roommates over the past months. Huh? Jude asks about when Monsignor is going to get her out of here. She spoke to him on Monday. The doctor tells Jude that the now Cardinal has been gone for two years. Jude insists something’s going on and the doctor should ask Pepper for clarification. Bad news - Pepper died in 1966. Long story short – Jude has seriously gone off the deep end. The doctor is going to up Jude’s meds, but promises everything will be alright.

Act III! 1969. An extremely well-coiffed Lana is at a book reading for her bestselling memoir about her time in Briarcliff, “Maniac.” Lana dramatically reads a selection about being held in Thredson’s basement as Thredson brings in another woman to torture. “That’s bullshit,” Lana hears from the back of the audience and Thredson stands up. Clearly not really there, no one else reacts but Lana listens as he chastises her for making up things in her book. “It’s my job to tell the essence of truth,” Lana defends herself, causing a vision of Wendy to emerge who demands to know why, then, did Lana say Wendy was her roommate in the book and not her lover. Lana says their relationship “wasn’t pertinent.” Thredson accuses Lana of only being interested in the fame. 

Actually, I'm only interested in finally wearing something other than an industrial mumu, but whatevs.

Later, Lana autographs copes and divas herself to a long-suffering assistant when Kit shows up. They embrace and head for coffee, as former inmates often do. Over drinks Lana gushes about selling the rights to Hollywood and going on talk shows. Kit wants to know why Lana hasn’t exposed Briarcliff like she said she was going to, asking why she isn’t being a reporter rather than a celebrity. Kit tells Lana that Alma has recently died inside Briarcliff and so he wants to get the only person left that he cares about out of there – Jude.

Act IV! Kit tells Lana about finding Jude in an utterly dismal, filthy and overcrowded common room, disheveled and drugged but still alive. Jude's definitely gone native, telling Kit about how The Flying Nun is really the story of her life.

Scene from a light-hearted 1960s romp? Clearly. 

 Lana says Monsignor told her Jude killed herself and what can she do now? After all, “Every bed in that place, she made. Her choice.” Kit can’t believe Lana has gotten so hardened. Cut to modern day as Johnny approaches the same bookstore that Lana once gave her reading in, now going out of business. Johnny asks the sole old woman proprietor for the store’s one autographed copy of Maniac. The owner tells him it’s not for sale, it’s a private copy. Johnny throws down a lot of money and says he’s Lana’s son, but the owner tells him not possible – Lana’s only child was the baby born by rape which died shortly after birth. Johnny convinces her to let him just look at the book. Johnny says she’s going to give him that book and that he has a plan to meet Lana where he’s going to use the book to get to her and once she understands who he is, he’s going to shoot her in the face and finally complete his father’s work. Sufficiently creeped out, the owner gives him the book. 

No comments: