11/01/2012 08:20 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

'American Horror Story: Asylum' Recap: Running From Your Demons In 'Nor'Easter'

"There's a big storm heading our way," proclaims Sister Mary to the patients of Briarcliff, and she doesn't mean just thunder and lightning. Shit is going down. We're about a quarter of the way through the season, and it's becoming more evident that although the execution is better than Season 1, Season 2 is way too overstuffed. This results in some things working and others, well, not so much. Let's start with the positive.

(Working) Demons
: Season one focused mostly on one supernatural entity and that was ghosts. While there aren't any ghosts featured in the second season (yet!), the upgraded version is playing a large role. It would just make sense to play up demons in this season because it has a religious setting and tone. A possessed Sister Mary roams the institution, killing patients, messing with Sister Jude, and offering herself to Dr. Arthur Arden. Lily Rabe pulls it off wonderfully. She quickly turned from that scared and sensitive girl to this confident, brute force of a woman. Granted, she's still a demon, but that's beside the point. Rabe has got some range on her. 

(Working) Jessica Lange and Lily Rabe: Because duh? Apart from Sister Mary, Jude has to deal with her own demons. The past is coming back to haunt her, and Mary is having a big ol' laugh about it. She taunts her with an old newspaper featuring an article on the girl that she hit with her car 15 years ago. Sister Jude asks "Where did this come from?" Mary responds, "The mailbox," and Jude retorts, "No, you ninny. I mean who brought it here?" Mary says with a coy smile, "The mailman?" Such a great exchange. They work so well together, Lange and Rabe. Later, Jude receives a not-so-welcome phone call from the dead girl, which sent the Sister into a downward, drunken spiral. But, damn, Jessica Lange can pull off drunk with such charm and grace. In her inebriated stupor, she runs into an alien. And the next thing you know, she's waking up somewhere else. The alien storyline is not doing anything for me, so I'll just toss that meet-up aside for now.

(Working) Arden's Insanity: Lana, Kit, and Grace all try to escape (again!) but decide to head back inside after being chased down by one of the creatures in the woods. Shelley the Nympho, while trying to join them, gets detoured by Arden. Arden then tries to rape her, but his schwantz just doesn't cut it ("What happened?! Did you have an accident?") Probably not the best thing to say to a psychopath, as it resulted in him hitting her over the head with some blunt object that looked relatively heavy. She wakes up on an operating table, and Arden reveals to her that her legs below the kneecap are gone. Looks like she won't be going anywhere anytime soon. Arden is legitimately crazy and the scariest non-supernatural force on the show. If I ever ran into James Cromwell in person, I would just turn around and run the other way. Sorry, James.

(Not working) Everything else: It's only been three episodes and besides demons, they've introduced Bloody Face, an indestructible, deformed serial killer; aliens, which have now infiltrated the asylum; and zombie-type creatures that live in the surrounding woods. That could have been three separate seasons of "AHS." We'll just have to see where the season leads. Hopefully it'll nip some things in the bud and let others flourish into more well-rounded plots. I have a good feeling about this season, don't get me wrong, but they're just trying to work in so many things right now that it's become a bit too muddled. 


The newspaper said the girl has been missing for six days, but all Jude did was hit her and leave (because the little girl phoned her up and said, "You left me there ... You never even bothered to get out of the car.") If she left the girl on the road, someone would have passed the girl sometime during those six days. Or maybe wolves got to her. I don't know. Come up with some excuse for it!

Emmy talk: which actress would be Lead this season? Sarah Paulson? If so, then it's going to be Jessica Lange vs. Lily Rabe next year for Supporting.

I guess I should mention the present-day Lovers. Bloody Face has repeatedly stabbed Leo, and then starts going for Teresa. Then Leo somehow musters up the strength (he was stabbed four times and he JUST lost an arm!) to tackle BF to the ground. Teresa, in turn, stabs BF and they make a run for it, only to be shot down by Bloody Face mask-wearing guys. And then the real BF shows up. It was just a two-minute eye roll for me.

"Excuse me, Sister. I think we might have a problem."
"Now?... But the Christians are about to be eaten." 

How bad is it that I clapped when Mary stabbed that patient? I just thought it was cool ... What is wrong with me?!