American Horror Story: James Cromwell Wants to See Your Mossy Bank
Remember when I promised that if you tuned in to
ThisAmerican LifeHorror Story you’d be treated to a season of watching Adam Levine slowly bleeding out on a dirty floor? Yeah well I’m a liar and we’re minute three into episode two and that dude just got hell of stabbed to death by Bloody Face. I can’t say it didn’t please me, nor did our own EOC’s thoughts as to Bloody Face’s identity, “It’s totally Sarah Paulson,” she assured me, and I said that sure, I could see that, given that she was now alone without family what with Clea Duvall having been Bloody Face-d to death. Nodding sagely somewhere on the internet, our EOC continued, “Dead lesbian and psycho lesbian – it all fits!” Rather than ask her to please in god’s name explain this thought, I promised instead to simply report it to our readers and that I have done.
With Levine dead and Mrs. Channing Tatum cowering in a cell, we are propelled back to the year 1964, where, a sobbing – and soon to be stabbed – Clea Duvall is planning to go to Briarcliff in the AM and get Lana the hell out of the clink. Sadly, her butch and inappropriately-macking-on-the-aggrieved friend Louise points out that since she signed a legally binding document it might be, uh, challenging – in other words, “no take-backs.” Clea wants to be alone and take a bath, so her friends vamoose and she indulges in the water while the show indulges in a jump scare of her flinging back her shower curtain aggressively. It sure spooked me, to the point where I turned to the guy next to me on the subway chuckling, for reassurance. He avoided eye contact, and fair enough. The real scare was yet to come, as Bloody Face enters her manse and despite her pleas (“I’m a teacher!”) she is – presumably – murdered. (Or, I speculate, used for parts.)
Meanwhile, back at Briarcliff, Sister Jude has sprung a late night room search on her inmates. She is like Nurse Ratched meets the warden of Shawshank and I love it. She confiscates a loaf of bread from Pepper and I LOL because I am sure if someone were to search my room they would also find an entire artisanal loaf, partially gnawed on, and so I relate, ya know? Chloe Sevigny, confused and believing she is playing a prostitute in Les Mis alerts Sister Jude that she’s got a cucumber in her room – for nomming of the vaginal variety. Sister Jude is all “whatever, perv” and I appreciate her nonchalance. The real victim in this search is Lana, who is doing her best to secretly write down everything she can about her time at Briarcliff. Sister Jude bursts this bubble, and when confronted with Lana’s threats that her memory can’t be taken way, swallows her pride and asks James Cromwell to give Lana electroshock. The doctor agrees, Sister Jude makes some joke about Cromwell needing a better haberdasher, and then Lana is electroshocked all while Jessica Lange yells “SCIENCE, BITCH!”
Horror-struck by this is voice of reason and court-appointed psychiatrist sent to evaluate Kit “Bloody Face” Peters, Zachary Quinto. Although he has been sent to diagnose Peters, (“clinically insane”) he has no issue holding back his thoughts from Sister Jude about the way the rest of the hospital is run which, as you can imagine, Sister Jude has zero time for. He interrupts an intake evaluation trying to be all “science”, but then it turns out that Jane from Deadwood’s son is in fact TOTALLY POSSESSED and Jessica Lange’s smug face in the presence of Satan incarnate is pretty much the best.
Lana is still fixated on escape – as one would be if they were to find themselves wrongfully committed and being caned daily by Jessica Lange. She enlists the French murderess as her escape buddy, out through the tunnel Lana arrived in is the plan – but no Kit, because Lana is 90% sure he is a lady killer which is dumb because whatever, he is also foxy as hell. He helps Lana out, hiding her scribbles when they are kicked out of the rec room – but she doesn’t trust him, for being a man (who is alleged to have worn the skin of women…so maybe fair.)
While all this is going on, the dumb skittish wailing little nun is out in the flesh-feeding forest, nervously toting along the buckets of flesh as instructed per James Cromwell. He appears to make sure she is doing his bidding, not tattling on him to Sister Jude, and also to make sure that she has not inadvertently fed the forest monsters meat from his prize-winning talking pig experiment. Pleased to find all according to his liking, he takes a candy apple (the shit caramel kind, not the good red candy kind) out of a festive metal bucket and hands feeds it to her, mentally rubbing himself to completion at the prospect of her weakness and idiocy (read: innocence). Chloe Sevigny sees all of this from the window, and in a bid for 20 minutes outside offers up her candy apple to James Cromwell (barf) her words not mine, and then when Cromwell sneers at her for being a whore over and over she tells the story of her incarceration at the hands of her Jazz musician hubby who didn’t take kindly to her double-teaming some sailors, the hypocrite. This is funny because this is the exact same story I tell dudes to try and get them to come home with me. I’m strangely Team Cromwell on this one, but will not hesitate to try the candy apple sampling line on the next old man I attempt to lure to my rat trap (read: vagina).
Zachary Quinto has become totally on Team There Is a God and Science Can’t Explain everything once Calamity Jane’s son begins having Exorcist-style fits, all speaking deep dark truths and what have you and then flinging the cripple priest across the room and killing him. “Oh my,” Joseph Fiennes’s receding hairline seemed to say. Sister Jude is mad that the boys won’t let her in their club house of demons and kicks dirts clods and mutters “aw shucks” until Joseph Fiennes leaves her to care for the devil-boy while he says last rites for the dying priest. Because the devil boy is full of the devil he speaks some sexy truths about Sister Jude’s past – she was a World War II era tramp! Singing at clubs, accepting all manner of penis into various orifices, and then drunkenly driving AND KILLING AN INNOCENT IN A HIT AND RUN THAT SHE TOTALLY GOT AWAY WITH! Then he talked about her pubes being cobwebs and I was offended because once I thought I had gray pubes, but really they were just light blond and I’d been grooming “efficiently” and hadn’t noticed them.
Now is when James Cromwell is ruined (made?) forever. He invites a prostitute to his place of domestic dwelling, and makes her put on a pig nose and then he is like “who wants to play pig in the city?” But actually he tries to have classy times with the prostitute he has hired, who is so not into classy times, but she tries because he could kill her with a knife. Then he makes her dress up like a nun, it’s awesome, it’s not at all weird to see her in a habit finding his stash of bondage porn while he waits outside ominously. And even less awkward when he slams her on the bed and demands egress to her mossy bank. If a guy called my nether regions a mossy bank I think it might close right up and vanish, like the tectonic plates shifting – only in reverse. The prostitute is freaked out and scared and so she bites him and runs away. At which point I fondly yelled “run bitch!” because I love it when hookers escape tragedy.
Back at the hospital the exorcism has failed, and the young possessed boy has died. Sister Jude goes and tells his parents, consoling them, and seeming to completely miss how when the human housing the demon died, a cross fell off the wall and Lilly Rabe keeled over in a faint – clearly possessed! As if this weren’t proof enough, James Cromwell comes to visit ailing Lilly and she is all “oh heavens, look at what I’m…almost not wearing,” and then basically takes out a large dildo and begins fellating it. All is not well! Demons up in nuns, Cromwell hiring hookers, Jessica Lange killing children in fits of drunken sadness!
The other thing that didn’t go so well – Lana’s escape plan! She had her window of opportunity, too, when the boy died and the demon was expelled from his body he shut down the asylum’s power (words I truly thought I would never write for love or money) and as a safety precaution the doors all pop open. She grabs Frenchie and is all “Quick, let’s cheese it!” But Frenchie won’t go without Kit! When Lana stamps her foot like a child and refuses to help them, Frenchie is all “Fine, we’ll do it ourselves – baguette, fromage, bicyclette.” They try to, but they are stopped by the orderlies – when Lana calls them, crying as though she has been deeply betrayed, and sure, she has been – but not by these people! Come on, Lana get your shit together – you just alienated the two most normal seeming people in there – they might have been your friends!
To reward Lana for being a snitch, Jessica Lange makes her watch as she whips the asses of her new almost-enemies now I guess? Kit takes the fall for Frenchie and gets 40 lashes to his supple behind in thanksgiving. Ah, to be that whip in Jessica Lange’s hand – is there anything so sweet?