American Horror Story: “The Name Game”


Grade: A+

Airdate: 1/2/13

I’m not sure how many television shows could pull off killing two major characters, having the devil rape a priest and a dance number all in one episode, but American Horror Story sure can.

And this episode was great. Dr. Arden (James Cromwell) luckily remembered that he left Kit (Evan Peters) dead on his table before the winter break. He ran back into his lab and gets Kit’s heart beating again. Arden decides not to tell Kit that the aliens came and returned a very pregnant Grace (Lizzie Brochere) and well-spoken Pepper (Namoi Grossman).

Pepper told Arden she is in charge of protecting Grace and the aliens are not going to let him do anything. They prove that by slapping the scapula out of his hand. Pepper then taunts Arden a bit and tells him she is innocent and her sister’s husband killed her sister’s baby. Yay, Pepper can now join Briarcliff’s innocent, not-crazy patient club. Grace can have honorary membership.

Monsignor Timothy (Joesph Fiennes) survived his crucifixion and visit from the Dark Angel (Frances Conroy) only be to taken to the infirmary to be nursed back to health by demonized Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe). The Dark Angel told the monsignor that Sister Mary Eunice really is the devil and he needs to cast the demon out of her. She promises he will have a little help from God if he guards his thoughts with prays and his rosary.

When she isn’t scary the life out of the monsignor, demonized Sister Mary Eunice is taunting Jude (Jessica Lange) and Lana (Sarah Paulson) in the common room and installing a jukebox, which diversified the music for the episode. Jude huffs off and Kit joins Lana. But, their reunion is quickly broken up by Thredson’s (Zachary Qunito) return. He knows Lana’s coat hanger abortion failed and says he is going to keep Lana alive for at least a year after the baby is born so she can breast feed it. And he promises Kit they are going to resume his treatment if he doesn’t tell him where the tape of his confession is.

Jude is still deciding to play games with demonized Sister Mary Eunice and hides a cucumber in her cell for her to find. She didn’t find it too funny and decides to punish Jude with how she first punished Lana: electroshock therapy. Arden tells demonized Sister Mary Eunice not to turn it up too high but clearly she doesn’t listen.

Demonized Sister Mary Eunice then goes to taunt the monsignor. He tries to perform an exorcism of her but that just gets him a punishment from her. She decides to use her demon powers to hold him down and take his virginity. His reaction to it put a small ping of doubt in my  gay theory for the monsignor. But, that thought was quickly disrupted by Arden walking in and shooting a confused, jealous look at Sister Mary Eunice.

Meanwhile in the common room, everyone is still afraid of Sister Jude, who can’t speak and barely move from her ECT, except for Lana. Jude can’t seem to remember Lana’s name or her own for that matter. When Lana asks her Sister Jude responds with playing “The Name Game” on the jukebox. And dance number! Yes, this show can have the devil rape a priest in one scene and a dance number in the next. But, it was justified. Jude is going crazy and a former night club singer so it makes sense, sort of. Also, the old Pepper and the Mexican were there. I’m not sure if that means anything.

Meanwhile in the winter wonderland section of the Briarcliff grounds, Arden is taking food to the creatures only to be joined by no-longer-his-favorite-person demonized Sister Mary Eunice. He is mad that she had sex with the monsignor and she is mad that he refuses to give Sister Jude a lobotomy. Arden tells her his experiment is over, kills all the creatures and turns the gun on himself. But, he can’t do it and breaks down into tears saying he can’t handling having lost her. Demonized Sister Mary Eunice tells him he is pathetic.

The monsignor has a reunion with Sister Jude in the bakery. He tells her she was right about Mary Eunice and everything. Yay, it only took 10 episodes and numerous near death experiences to realize he should listen to Jude. With the music from their fantasy scene in the first episode playing, he apologizes and asks what he should do. Sister Jude is only able to get out, “kill her.”

Because he is now free to roam Briarcliff again, Thredson wonders into Arden’s lab and finds Pepper and Grace, who is in labor. A little while later, Thredson has Kit brought to office to show him that Grace is alive and he now has a son. Thredson uses that leverage to get Kit to tell him where the confess tape is. But, Lana got to it first and uses her own baby leverage to tell Thredson he can’t hurt her or anyone else or she will get the tape to the police.

The monsignor takes Sister Jude’s advice to kill Sister Mary Eunice and is praying for the strength to do so. But, demonized Sister Mary Eunice knows everything and knows what he is planning. They have a taunting standoff for a while as they make their way around Braircliff to the railing of the staircase on the third floor. The Monsignor tells the devil he will get Sister Mary Eunice back.

That gives Mary Eunice a chance to appear for a moment and tell the monsignor she is done fighting. He is able to work with her to throw her over the railing. When she hits the ground the Dark Angel appears, tells her she will take both of them and kisses her.

The monsignor and Arden prep Sister Mary Eunice for burial but then decide she should be cremated because so the devil doesn’t come back. Arden agrees to do it alone. While he has her body on the table ready to go into the fire, he gets on top of her and sends himself in with her. It was shocking and weirdly sad end for both of those characters.

So, with only a couple of episodes left two of the main villains — Arden and the devil — are gone. The season is definitely building up to a final battle between Lana and the only remaining villain  Thredson. Even in her crazy state and almost lost in a bunch of nonsense, Sister Jude told the Mother Superior to get Lana out because she still knows that the only person who still has the power to save Briarcliff. Hopefully it works.


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