Tag Archives: arden and hans gruber

thoughts on american horror story: the origins of monstrosity

Previously on AHS: I Am Anne Frank (Part 2)


The Origin of Bloody Flace

It always comes back to the parents, or lack thereof, when we look at the origins of psychos. This makes Thredson’s journey to becoming a murderer pretty standard (abandoned and lacking basic emotional connections), but I found it kind of cool that he really is a psychiatrist and didn’t just pose as one at Briarcliff. He’s like a special kind of crazy!

He chose Lana to be his replacement mommy because she met the age requirement (33 years old) and he saw something special in her. Unfortunately, Lana gets caught trying to escape, which blasts Thredson back to reality, and he prepares to kill her. What followed next was one of the creepier scenes from this season, with Lana again re-convincing Thredson that she’s his mother and him nursing like a baby. She’s relatively safe, for now. Whether she makes it to the end of the season should be fun to see, especially since we know the AHS writers have no problem killing major characters.

Arden’s Tuberculosis Experiments

Knowing that Dr. Arden’s TB experiments are done in the name of medical discovery makes him the least scary of the “bad guys” this season. Sure, he’s a former Nazi. Yes, he does horrible things to Briarcliff patients. But he’s trying to create an immune booster and these people are simply the collateral damage human volunteers. In his mind all of this “human waste” is being used for the greater good. How admirable.

We learn that the Monsignor didn’t know what was happening, which really means he knew something bad was going on but since he didn’t see it he could pretend it wasn’t all that gruesome. I couldn’t quite tell if Arden has something else on the Monsignor or if this was his big secret, but either way, he gets to continue his experiments at Briarcliff.

Sister Eunice kills Mr. Goodman and with that, Arden’s tracks are covered. Unless there is more we don’t know, I view Arden, as well as the Monsignor, as the most expendable at this point. In the context of this season they are merely bad people and not quite evil or even supernatural.

Little Jenny Reynolds

A little girl who kills people is abandoned by her mother at Briarcliff. Sister Eunice helps her escape. She kills again. The other minor stories this season (e.g., the possessed farm boy and “Anne Frank”) have been part of the larger story, but I don’t see how this was. I’m not complaining; the last thing this story needs is another mystery to figure out. However, I have to ask: what was the point of Jenny Reynolds? Did this story have some relevance that I missed? Is the tall, bearded-man in the brown jacket real or was he merely a figment Jenny makes up as an alibi for killing her friends and family?

Other Bits

  • “You can scream all you want. Obviously the basement is soundproof.” Something about Zachary Quinto’s emphasis on ‘obviously’ here really made this line for me.
  • This episode made me crave croque monsieur.
  • Tossing in a psych study (the Harlow studies) was a nice touch, but what else happened to Arden at that orphanage.
  • I can’t tell if they’re saying Hans Grouper or Hans Gruber, so I’m going to just call him Hans from now on.
  • I really wish they would have started the movie-style flashbacks in the first episodes. Waiting until now is just distracting.
  • Sister Eunice’s brief red lingerie rendition of “You Don’t Own Me” was creepy and hot, simultaneously.
  • Given all that we know, Arden and Thredson are both just as likely to be the Bloody Face in 2012.
  • Can Kit please get more than a phone call next week?!
  • Speaking of next week, the preview for ‘Dark Cousin’ looks amazing.
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thoughts on american horror story: i am anne frank (part 2)

Previously on AHS: I Am Anne Frank (Part 1.)


I am (NOT) Anne Frank

“Anne Frank” is really Charlotte Brown, a mother who handled her post-partum psychosis by making herself believe she was the real Anne Frank. She saw a play, tattooed herself and the “Anne Frank” persona was born; so much for a fun twist on history. However, in her diligent (and obsessive) research on all things Nazi-related, she inadvertently stumbled upon a photo of Adolph Hitler with a young Dr. Arden in the background. Before she’s deemed crazy and lobotomized, Sister Jude goes to Mr. Goodman with her evidence in the hopes that he can confirm Arden is really Hans Gruber. Goodman notes that it’s entirely possible since Operation Paperclip brought Nazi scientists to the U.S. and gave them new identities. It all sounds about right and melds with what we’ve seen Arden do thus far. In X-Files, this operation helped create a human-alien hybrid. If that’s the case here, it definitely helps connect things neatly to Kit’s story.

Breaking Habits

Unfortunately, Charlotte Brown’s episode made Sister Jude completely doubt her ability to do the job. When she finds out that Lana is missing, she realizes she’s finished at Briarcliff. Frank, the security guard, only adds to her misery by tossing in his two cents; no matter what Sister Jude does, she will always be a woman and therefore she won’t have their respect. In a moment of serious backsliding, she folds up her habit, slips into something more comfortable, heads to the nearest bar and leaves with the first guy to buy her drink. In the morning, she steal his lighter and sneaks out before he can wake up. Not sure what direction they have in mind for all of this, but it’s safe to assume Goodman will let her know that Arden was indeed a Nazi. It’s unclear if anyone knows she quit her post, so perhaps, she can resume work like nothing happened.

Grace’s Alien Encounter

Although Kit is pardoned from his sterilization appointment, Grace is still scheduled and locked in solitary. Similar to Kit in the first episode, Grace is visited by aliens and taken to some white room (the spaceship perhaps?) where she meets Alma. This is proof that Alma is alive and Kit’s account of the events was strange but true. Alma is pregnant and relatively calm, but that’s all we know about her current state. When Kit sees Grace in the commons room, she’s bloodied in a way that makes it seem like she was sterilized. We’ll have to wait until next week to learn if she made it to her procedure or if all of that was the result of her own alien impregnation.

The Bloody Face Reveal

If you have no idea who Bloody Face is, now is the time to stop reading. [SPOILER ALERT] We learn that Thredson is Bloody Face. He got Kit to confess to the crimes, not so that he’d have peace of mind as a doctor and be able to keep Kit from the electric chair, but so he’d have someone to take the fall for the murders. That part of this plot was perfection. As creepy as I found him after his therapy session with Lana last week, I genuinely believed he had Kit’s best interest in mind. Lana, who was also foolish enough to foil her own escape a few weeks just so Kit wouldn’t be on the loose, let Thredson take her to his home. She tries to call her friend, Thredson stops her. She gets excited about letting everyone know about how horrible Briarcliff truly is, Thredson lets her know she’ll be telling “his story”. She tries to run, Thredson catches her in his workshop, which is where he makes all of his lovely human furniture.

With the floor literally (and figuratively) pulled out from under her, Lana wakes up chained to the floor, Saw-style,  in Thredson’s basement. She sees Wendy and Thredson tells her that she needs to kiss Wendy’s frozen body, to continue the therapy of course. Even without the Bloody Face mask this scene would have been disturbing enough, but then he tells her not to worry about Wendy biting, since he’s taken out all of her teeth. I’d like to believe that Lana makes it out of this, outside of Kit, she’s had it the worst in this horror story. However, Thredson only promised that she’d write his story and win a Pulitzer, and she doesn’t have to be kept alive for any of that to happen.

Other Bits

  • Aliens. Religion. Nazis. Serial killers. This season certainly has a lot going on, but will it be neatly tied up in the end or will all the parts result in multiple, yet equally terrifying, horror stories?
  • “I don’t work here anymore Frank. As a matter of fact, I never did, you can tell her I said that.” Because Thredson’s house was over-the-top creepy, they really could have done without this line, especially if they wanted the big reveal to have more of a punch.
  • I almost feel like the way Shelley monstrous looks after all of Arden’s experiments is subtle commentary, almost wagging a finger at women who are promiscuous. I’d say I’m over-thinking it, but then I remember that Murphy has kind of done this before (e.g., The Carver and Kimber on Nip/Tuck).
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