thoughts on american horror story: i am anne frank (part 1)

Previously on AHS: Tricks and Treats and Nor’easter

WHO WE MET

  • The New Girl: “Anne Frank” (played by Franka Potente, Run Lola Run, the Bourne film series)
  • The Abbess: Mother Superior (played by Barbara Tarbuck, General Hospital)
  • The Law: Detective Byers (played by Matthew John Armstrong, Heroes, American Dreams) and Detective Connors (played by Joel McKinnon Miller, Big Love)
  • The Silent Aide: Daniel (played by Casey Wyman)

Anne Frank and ‘Hans Gruber’

What if Anne Frank didn’t die in Auschwitz and instead kept the fact that she was still alive in 1964 a secret so that the power of her diaries and story lived on? I like the concept, especially since it also adds another layer to the darkness that is Dr. Arden.

When “Anne” shows up at the Asylum, her identity is a mystery, but we do know she’s not scared of starting bar fights. After seeing Arden and recognizing him as Hans Gruber, one of the doctors from her time in Auschwitz, she reveals that she is Anne Frank. She tells Sister Jude that was rescued by an American solider who later died in the Korean War. Her story is slightly validated when the prostitute who escaped from Arden two weeks ago notes that among the pictures she found, there was also Nazi paraphernalia. Sister Jude takes all of her suspicions to Monsignor Howard who essentially tells her to go away. Based on the warning call, we learn that at the very least Howard knows about Dr. Arden’s past, but at the very worst, he knows about everything, including the highly unethical and immoral experiments Arden is conducting.

Anne and Arden have their last meeting of the episode in that creepy lab. Unlike Shelley, Anne has a little “assistance”, which she uses to shoot Arden in the leg. Please let Anne put Shelley out of her misery and follow that up by shooting Arden straight through the eyes.

Grace’s Past

Grace lies to Kit and tells him that she was framed her for the murder of her parents. The real story is that her father was molesting her, and she killed him, along with her stepmother. So she’s guilty of murder, but the morality of her crime is a grey area…if she’s telling the truth. Because she lied to Kit, and was only honest after getting caught, I’m forced to doubt her every word. Maybe she’s the real Bloody Face or even helping Arden find out more about Kit. I don’t know, but I’m (mostly) sure I no longer trust her.

Kit and the Doctors

Dr. Thredson isn’t convinced that Kit is insane or guilty. Yet somehow, he does believe that Kit killed Alma, along with Donna Burton (the librarian) and Allison Rydell (the secretary). If the societal pressures of hiding his interracial marriage are the justification for killing those women, fine, but that still makes him guilty of murder. On top of those almost literal mind games, he’s dealing with Dr. Arden, who is obsessed with finding the spider bot and figuring out what government agency sent Kit. Neither doctor is entirely sane, and dealing with them is a great way to make Kit crazy. Because I still believe he’s innocent (yes, this also means I believe in the aliens), I find it unfortunate that he’s about to confess his crimes to Sister Jude. The only bright side will be if she finally realizes he didn’t kill anyone, but both have pretty much the whole place now working against them, so it’s unlikely that would do any good.

Lana and Thredson

Lana agrees to aversion therapy so that Dr. Thredson can say she’s “cured” and she can finally be released. She’s shown pictures of naked women, which includes her girlfriend, and given doses of apomorphine. The combination is designed to make her grow disgusted with any sexual feelings towards women. Thredson goes on to bring in Daniel, a patient volunteer, and instructs Lana to partake in dual-masturbation. Huge shock, this all fails to have any effect. Unless we’re talking the effect it had on raising Thredson’s creep-factor. Significant impact there! Although Lana wasn’t converted to heterosexuality, Thredson still believes she has no reason to be at Briarcliff and he promises that next week, he’ll take her away with him. Somehow aiding her escape is preferred over simply finding some way to deem her clinically sane. I’m sure Thredson, ever the consummate professional, will make sure this plan works without fail.

Other bits

  •  Either Ryan Murphy and Brad Fulchuk were huge fans of Big Love, or Matt Ross (Charles Montgomery), Chloë Sevigny (Shelley) and now Joel Miller (Detective Connors) have Chrisi Karvonides to thank for their roles.
  • What is with this show and twin boys??
  • The scene where Thredson described how/why Kit killed Alma was VERY tough to watch.
  • This has been the second mention/allusion to the serpent and the apple. I’ll now spend the rest of the season waiting for it to happen again.
  • I can’t see Grace without thinking about Brittany Murphy in Don’t Say a Word.
  • Hans Gruber is a very original name for a villain.
  • “Self doubt is a sure sign of sanity.” – Grace
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