thoughts on american horror story: tricks and treats

Previously on AHS: Welcome to Briarcliff

(Different seasons, different characters, different storyline. But it’s still worth noting that last year’s 2-part Halloween episode was significantly scarier than ‘Tricks and Treats’)

WHO WE MET

  • The Head Doctor: Dr. Oliver Thredson (played by Zachary Quinto, Heroes, American Horror Story, Star Trek, etc.)
  • The Possessed Farm Boy: Jed Potter (played by Devon Graye, Dexter)
  • The Priest: Father Malachi (played by John Aylward, ER)
  • The Hit-and-Run Victim: Missy Stone (played by Chelsey Valentine)

Jed’s Exorcism

The Potter family comes to Briarcliff because they are concerned about their son, Jed. After finding Jed in the barn, covered in the blood of their best cow he’d ripped open and killed, they decide he’s possessed. This theory is further confirmed by the strange language Jed is muttering. Your standard possession symptoms. Dr. Thredson thinks the boy can be cured with medicine and other by-the-book methods, while Father Malachi gets his exorcism on and tries to free Jed from whatever demon or being has a hold on him. Sister Jude is kicked out of the room because of her affliction (aka she’s not a man), but is later brought back in when Malachi fails to get the job done. Nothing seems to work and Jed taunts Sister Jude, reminding her of the “53 dicks” she’s had in her mouth. She snaps, strangles him and it’s not until the boy dies that the ‘possessor’ leaves his body…and seemingly enters Sister Mary.

The Escapees

Lana is given electric shock therapy to erase her memories, but it’s not entirely effective and she is able to keep notes on the things she can still remember. She also recalls the secret tunnel in the basement and decides it’s a means for escaping. She brings Grace in on the plan, but doesn’t give her all the details since she doesn’t want Grace to bring Kit along with them. It’s kind of funny that Lana is so sure Kit is guilty when she’s innocent and still locked away at Briarcliff. A glitch with the exorcism messes up the electricity and all the doors open, giving the three an opportunity to escape. Lana sacrifices her own chance at freedom to make sure Kit stays locked up and yells for the guards when he and Grace try to make a run for it, which was quite the asshole move on her part. Because I’m convinced of Kit’s innocence, it only made me dislike her character. Lana is rewarded for being a traitor by not receiving a whipping from Sister Jude. Instead, she watches as Kit takes the lashes for himself and Grace. Chivalry at its finest.

The “Good” Doctor

Dr. Arden is so twisted, and I love it! He turns down Shelley’s advances because she’s a dirty whore in his eyes. This is understandable, given her general attitude of always being down for some sexual action and the time this show is set in. But as we soon learn, Arden’s dislike of whores goes just a little bit deeper than that. He invites a prostitute over for a romantic candlelight dinner, which she ruins by being forward in a way that turns him off. He requests that she put on a nun’s habit, remove her skanky makeup and prepare for whatever he has plans, which I’m assuming is hours of respectable, strictly missionary-style lovemaking. Unfortunately, she sees his BDSM photos, which show women who are bruised, battered, beaten and possibly dead. He catches her, she bites him and flees into the night. Knowing what we know about Arden now, it makes sense now why he’s so nice to naive little Sister Mary.

Sister Jude’s Past

Last week’s red lingerie was just a taste of what Sister Jude has going on beneath the surface. It seems that before she gave her mind, body and soul to the Lord, she was singing in nightclubs and giving it up to any soldier that would look her way. Also, she once pulled a DUI and hit a little girl, Missy Stone. We don’t know if she was tried for that crime and we can’t be sure if that was the event that sent her life in a more chaste direction, but it should be fun to see the rest of her secrets unravel. It’s hard figuring out who the “bad guy” is in all of this, and the more we learn about Sister Jude, the more I’m thinking it’s not her. I believe she’s the way she is to somehow fix all the mistakes she feels she made before and not because she’s the real Bloody Face.

Other Observations

  • “I’m a school teacher, they won’t understand.” Something about Wendy‘s last words before being stabbed by Bloody Face just felt weird to me. I just can’t put my finger on exactly why they seemed off.
  • Dr. Arden and Sister Mary Eunice’s little exchange with the candied apple reminded me of Eve and the serpent. Given the religious themes of this season, it’s possible there’s some symbolism there.
  • Sister Jude’s comment that Kit is a “James Dean copycat” is pretty spot-on.
  • Leo is definitely dead, but will Teresa escape Bloody Face? Also, who the hell is Bloody Face?!
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