American Horror Story ‘Ripped Open’

by J.D. Cook

Episode 1 Season 2
*Spoilers are Guaranteed*

Well the ads for this season went asylum heavy and that sure did play a huge part in the story in the first episode. Adam Levine guest stars as the husband of a horror loving wife. Their honey moon has taken them on a tour of haunted places and they have come to the Asylum last. This first scene is used to give the viewer history on the Asylum (it went from a TB clinic to a Catholic Insane Asylum) and to show us the program in a microcosm; lots of sex, mutilations, and murder in creepy fashion!

Now one thing I love about season 2 is that it completely separates itself from Season 1. Actors return from the previous season as completely new characters. I really love this because modern horror always seems to get repetitive immediately. Saw was good but then the onslaught of Saw sequels devalued the original just like Paranormal Activity’s sequels have now made the series look like trash. Luckily there are glimmers of hope in horror as Cabin in the Woods took the genre turned it on its head and ripped it apart critically all in one motion! Evil Dead is probably the only horror series that told a progressive story in its sequels and didn’t just repeat the original. I think the writers of A.H.S. knew that to stay in the same house with the same ghosts would kill the show. Instead of beating a dead horse they changed everything thus allowing it to evolve.

The big surprise in the first episode was the inclusion of aliens! This is one of my biggest fears and it took me by complete surprise when they came into the story. Evan Peters returns to the show as the man abducted by the aliens, Kit Walker. Walker was secretly apart of an interracial marriage and how he ends up in the asylum is a mystery. His wife was also abducted and when he arrives at the asylum he is known as a serial killer called Bloody Face…uhh…they couldn’t have thought up a more terrifying name? Either way I’m interested in seeing whether the aliens controlled him; and forced him to kill the two women besides his wife or not. It is said he murdered three women; I assume one was his wife who the aliens actually killed but the other two women are as of yet a mystery. Did the aliens kill them too? Or did they use whatever the chip in his neck was to cause him to kill them!?

Chip in neck you say? That was found by James Cromwell’s character, Dr. Arden. His story is a bit simpler. He is a scientist creating monsters at the Asylum. He is taking the inmates brains for his experiments and feeding the remains to these monsters unbeknownst to Sister Jude played by returning cast member Jessica Lange. She is the crazy religious zealot to balance out Dr. Arden’s mad scientist. Her plot so far involves eradicating sin; she doesn’t believe mental illness is anything but the manifestation of that. To this end she imprisons Sarah Paulson’s character Lana Winters who is a lesbian and was snooping around the asylum looking for a news story.

I’m not sure how these plot threads will come together but my first theory is that Dr. Arden will actually create Bloody Face via experiments on the unlucky Kit Walker. Bloody Face is shown at the end of the episode in the present day but whether he is a ghost or not is still a mystery.  I’m also fairly certain the aliens will be back at some point; perhaps to claim their computer chip from Dr. Arden. Finally I think the house from season 1 may make a cameo as a place the honeymooning couple visited before the Asylum.

I’m looking forward to this season immensely even if the first episode was a little too dark (visually not tonally), had some jarring cuts between scenes and didn’t give me enough time to enjoy the various characters stories. I hope the episodes focus on various individuals in each episode much like last season seemed to focus on a particular ghost each episode.

Until next week…stay spooked!

Other Episodes
Episode 2
Episode 3,4, and 5
***

Last year my Wednesdays were given meaning by the show American Horror Story. I declined to write about it then as it was still new and I didn’t know if it would hold my interest through the first season. Well it pretty much enthralled me for the whole run of episodes and now I am not going to let another opportunity go by. With that in mind I will be writing an article in response to each episode this season to be published the Thursday (Thor’s Day) after the episode has aired.