American Horror Story: Season Two: Asylum

08/15/2015 08:30

Television Show: American Horror Story: Season 2: Asylum

Year: 2012

Creators: Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk

Starring: Evan Peters, Jessica Lange and Lily Rabe



This season begins in present day. A newly-wed couple enters an abandoned insane asylum; they are played by Adam Levine and Jenna Dewan-Tatum. For their honeymoon, they are on tour of the scariest, haunted places and try to make love in each of them. This one is Briarcliff Manor. It was home to a serial killer back in the 1960s called ‘Bloody Face’. Things take a turn when Levine loses his arm and Bloody Face is after Dewan-Tatum.

We then cut to the past. We have a young man, played by Evan Peters. He is married to an African-American woman played by Britne Oldford. His friends learn this and they attack his house. It turns out that Peters is Bloody Face and he sentenced to Briarcliff to see if he is fit for trial. The thing is, his wife’s body has not been found. Is he really the killer or is it someone or something else?

Briarcliff is run by a Monsignor, played by Joseph Fiennes. The one who is actually in charge though is the head nun, played by Jessica Lange. Working with her is Lily Rabe, who is a sweet, younger nun that lacks the backbone like Lange. There is also a doctor who keeps to himself and his experiments played by James Cromwell.

Some patients to note are Lizzie Brocheré, who murdered her family with an axe, and Chloë Sevigny who is a nymphomaniac. There are others here that we met, like Ian McShane, who murdered people on Christmas and is dressed as Santa Claus.

There is a reporter who decides she wants to document the food they make and sell, she is played by Sarah Paulson. What she really is there for is to expose the hospital for what it really is. She is also a lesbian and she lives with her partner, Clea DuVall. Paulson gets discovered and she is kept in the hospital against her will.

Finally there is a doctor, played by Zachary Quinto, who is charged with determining if Peters is fit to stand trial. He is actually carrying a very dark secret which Briarcliff can help him with.

This season sees Lange fall from grace, Cromwell creating monsters that live in the woods surrounding the hospital and Paulson escaping to discover that Quinto definitely is hiding something horrible. Fiennes turns out to have greater ambitions, but with what he is doing at the hospital, can he reach his goals in Italy? Rabe is also possessed by the devil and she begins her reign at the hospital, pointing out others deep, dark secrets and being worse then Lange in the punishments she deals out. Peters and Brocheré take a liking to each other that becomes physical. We also learn that Peters isn’t Bloody Face, but who is? What happened at his home and to his wife? There are also aliens and the angel of death, played by Frances Conroy.

Can Rabe be saved before it is too late? Can Lange survive her ordeal in Briarcliff and her sanity? What is the secret that Cromwell is hiding and what are the creatures he is creating. Who is Quinto really? Will Paulson get out alive or will she be trapped in the hospital forever? Will Peters prove his innocence or he is doomed to Briarcliff for the rest of his days? What do the aliens what? Who is Bloody Face that is prowling Briarcliff in the present?

I have to say that this season started off with a lot of potential. I thought the idea of the insane asylum was good, especially if they wanted to do what they did in the first season where each episode introduced a new story. They did that in the beginning, but I feel that they rushed too much near the end. The story was okay, but it didn’t live up to what I expected. There were some good twists. I do think there was some great acting in this season though. Many of the actors were from the first season, just playing different roles. There is a good amount of blood, mystery and horror as well.

The biggest issue I had with this show was outlined in the last paragraph. What I think they did wrong was that they built up a lot of good questions, but when it came to answering them, they rushed through. They started their ending at the third to last episode, but it all felt forced. Many of the outcomes did not answer questions, but just took the easiest way to end them. They also didn’t answer all of the questions either. Doesn’t ruin it completely, but definitely hurt the overall rating.

What I liked about this show is that this season was completely different from the first. They use some of the same actors and actresses to play different roles, so this is fresh. I think this has a good concept and a good build-up, but to me lacks a solid ending. I would recommend giving this one a viewing still if you liked the first season. This one is not ghosts, but serial killers, demons, angels, aliens and monsters. It all centers on an insane asylum. There is good acting and some good effects. The ending could have been better, but still was enjoyable. I would recommend giving this one a viewing.


My Rating: 7 out of 10