American Horror Story Review: "Continuum" (Episode 2.12)
Oh, the mysteries of American Horror Story: Asylum. The penultimate episode of the FX drama time-jumped but still found itself mired in clichés.
Now that he’s back at home, Kit suddenly sports an even more exaggerated Boston accent. He walks into his home sounding like he is auditioning to play a Kennedy in a Lifetime movie. Kit, Alma and Grace are living it up Big Love style—two wives, two babies, one husband—but Grace is obsessed with remembering her encounter with the aliens while Alma wants to forget the whole thing. Grace is the ax murderer, but it’s Alma who ends up bludgeoning Grace to death. Now poor Grace has had to die two violent deaths on the same show.
But what really doesn’t make sense is that Kit allows for Alma to end up at Briarcliff. Really there are no other institutions for the criminally insane? There’s nothing Kit could have done to prevent his wife from ending up there? It really seems like Alma was just there so Kit could see Sister Jude and realize she was still alive.
Somehow the Monsignor has been appointed Cardinal of New York, but before he leaves he promises Jude he will get her out of Briarcliff, which has been taken over by the state. But this is coming from the man who created a fake death certificate for Jude and has renamed her Betty Drake so, you know, it’s not looking too good for Jude in general. Jude thinks she’s being visited by the Angel of Death but really it’s just another inmate, and Jude’s delusions further illustrate her descent into insanity. Jude thinks the Monsignor just visited her, but years have passed and he’s abandoned her at Briarcliff in pursuit of his own career aspirations.
But the most upsetting thing about “Continuum” is where we find Lana in 1969. She’s at a book signing for her best-selling book Maniac: One Woman’s Story of Survival where she exaggerated the horror Dr. Thredson perpetrated (hard to believe, right?) and downplayed her relationship with Wendy, who she passes off as a roommate. Both Thredson and Wendy appear to her at the book signing. But Lana has changed. She snipes at her assistant (or new girlfriend?) that her Tab is warm and signs her book “Yesterday is nothing but a memory.” She gushes to Kit about selling the film rights to her book, her appearance on The Dick Cavett Show and how she’s working on a new novel about Lee Emerson’s crime spree. She wants to call the book Santa and the Seven Nuns.
Like the viewers, Kit is confused. Isn’t this the Lana who promised to shut down Briarcliff? Sure, Lana is a survivor and yes, she did spin “straw into gold,” but I found it so disappointing to have Lana go such hackneyed route. She’s been my favorite character this entire season. Don’t let me down now, Lana.
The final scene found (in a tricky time jump) modern-day Bloody Face back at the same bookstore looking for a signed copy of his mother’s book. It seems Lana told everyone that her baby died in child birth (which we all know is not true). Bloody Face has a dream—he wants to find his mother and tell her “I’m the piece of trash you threw away 48 years ago.” After this little announcement, he plans to shoot Lana in the face and finally complete his “father’s work.” A class act, that modern-day Bloody Face. But, hey, it beats watching Dylan McDermott breastfeed, so there’s that.
Next week this whole horror show thankfully comes to a close. In my mind, here are the big questions:
• Is modern-day Bloody Face really Lana’s son? I keep hoping he isn’t the baby Lana gave birth to—simply because it would make the show more interesting.
• Will Jude be rescued?
• Will anyone still be alive at the end of the series? This week killed off Alma, Grace and Pepper (maybe? Fake death certificates are kind of Briarcliff’s thing). I’m still hoping that, just like last season, Jessica Lange is the last one standing. But the Cardinal of New York has got to die, right? He’s really the only bad guy left.
• Will poor Grace have to die a third time, or is two deaths enough?
• Will we ever find out what’s the deal with the aliens? Do we care?