American Horror Story: Asylum, S2:E10, “The Name Game”

“For we wrestle, not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness in this world.”

Electroshock Therapy goes to 11.

Electroshock Therapy goes to 11.

AHS:Asylum returns from its midseason break with one of the most moving episodes of the season, fraught with death and emotion and a swinging soundtrack!

Arden revives Kit and lies to him about their experiment to force the aliens to return. Arden has already been having trouble with Pepper, who puts him firmly in his place after he dismisses her powers of speech as akin to a parrot. She replies that people always underestimate the microcephalic, and that she’s wrongly locked away for the murder of her sister’s baby. She adds that the aliens have been laughing at Arden for being a ‘quack,’ explaining she’s been charged with protecting Grace and the baby. If anything happens to them at Arden’s hands, “They’ll take you, open up your head, and stir your brain with a fork.”  so he can experience Briarcliff as a resident.

Leigh Emerson has escaped and Monseigneur Timothy has survived, charged by the Angel of Death with casting out the devil. Sister Mary Eunice has replaced the record player in the common room with a used jukebox, and dedicates “I Put a Spell On You” to Jude. Kit returns to the general population, swiftly followed by Oliver Thredson. To Lana, “I admire your pluck. It’s a quality I hope you’ll pass on to our child.” He vows to keep her safe and well until she’s delivered and breastfed the baby. “Sister Mary Eunice has offered me a full-time position here at Briarcliff. She’s a remarkably forward-thinking administrator for a nun, and surprisingly adept at untying slip knots.” Confirming how he escaped captivity, he asserts that Lana and Kit will both be resuming treatment under his care.

Mary Eunice’s room search sends Lana to hydrotherapy and Jude to electroshock. “We’re gonna burn those bad memories right out of you.” Though Arden tells her not to turn the machine higher than 50%, she insists Jude is tough and turns it up near 80%. This leaves Jude wobbly; she attacks the jukebox to turn it off and Lana goes to help. They slip into a bizarre fantasy performance of “The Name Game.”

Timothy tries casting out the devil, which is clearly stronger than he. Mary Eunice, wearing Jude’s red lingerie, flings him to the bed and forces him into sex, only to be discovered by Dr. Arden. Mary Eunice finds Arden in the woods. He’s obviously wounded by her indiscretion with the Monseigneur, and as the creatures come out to feed he shoots them. “The experiment is over.” Though he puts the gun to his own head, he can’t pull the trigger, telling Mary Eunice she has no idea what it means to have lost her. She calls him pitiful and he clings to her for comfort but she shoves him and walks away.

Timothy finds Jude in the bakery. He admits she was right about Mary Eunice’s possession, and doesn’t know what to do about this or about her violation of his chastity. As proof she still understands at least something, that electroshock therapy hasn’t destroyed the core of her person, Jude tells him to kill Mary Eunice.

Thredson, while digging around in Arden’s office looking for sodium pentothol to force the location of the taped confession from Kit, instead discovers Pepper helping Grace through her labor.

Mary Eunice finds Timothy praying for the strength to kill her. She taunts him about his weakness before appealing to his ambitions again. “The desires of the flesh, they’re nothing compared to the rewards of power.” Mary Eunice states Timothy is hers now, body and soul. There’s a verbal spar between good and evil, the Monseigneur denying her control over him and insisting Mary Eunice’s purity remains. She scoffs, “I’m done with you, and with your sweet nun. I’m about to devour the last morsel of her soul.” But it turns out one morsel is all it takes; Mary Eunice resurfaces, confessing she can’t fight anymore, and Timothy uses her moment of control to throw her over the railing. The Angel of Death comes for Mary Eunice and the devil both.

Timothy and Arden argue over Mary Eunice’s body. Arden insists on the ‘pagan practice’ of cremation, saying her very cells have been corrupted by the devil. After sharing a story about Saint Teresa’s body leaving a lingering smell of roses through her convent, Timothy says he smells nothing but decay.

Instead of a therapy session, Thredson reunites Kit Walker with Grace and introduces him to his son. Thredson uses Kit’s ‘savior complex’ to get the location of the confession, but Lana confronts Thredson in the hydrotherapy room. She says if anything happens to Kit she’ll get the tape to the police. “I’m goddamned plucky, remember?”

Jude remembers the names of her fellow patients before her eyes fall on the Mother Superior. Her lucidity wavers; she explains she wanted to say goodbye  because the Monseigneur is taking her to Rome. “We’re going to be Pope… We’re getting married. He likes my cooking. I’m a rare bird.” But her sense returns and she insists Mother Superior help Lana get free, because Lana doesn’t belong in Briarcliff.

Surrounded by shelf after shelf of cans in the Crematorium, Arden climbs on top of Mary Eunice’s corpse and sends them both into the incinerator.

The balance of power in Briarcliff is shifting once again. With Mary Eunice/the Devil dead and Dr. Arden along with her, Monseigneur Timothy is in charge once more. Though he’s concerned about his suitability for the church now that his virtue has been taken, his resolve seems stronger than ever; instead of using his rosary for murder, he’s at last using it for prayer. Still, if previous episodes are an indication neither the Monseigneur nor the Mother Superior have the time to devote to singlehandedly overseeing Briarcliff, so it’s likely some new blood will be brought in.  Thredson meanwhile has been granted a position that can only be somewhat hindered by Lana’s blackmailing efforts.

An In-Case-You-Missed-It breakdown:

Lana: Pregnant with Thredson’s rape baby. Doesn’t want to ruin it, but Spot jumps.

Thredson: crazy about Lana’s rape baby

Grace: Not dead, had Kit’s magic alien baby

Kit: New dad, amazingly

Pepper: Not actually a pinhead, might have magic alien powers

Jude: somewhat scrambled in the brainpan

Timothy: Alive, defiled.

Mother Superior: Might/not rescue Lana

Mary Eunice/Devil: dead, cremated

Arden: suicide by cremation

The Creatures: dead, gunshot.

Angel of Death: active. very active.

Teresa: unknown

Johnny: unknown

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