‘American Horror Story’ 2.10 Recap: “Exciting Things Are Happening Around Here”

My life is hectic these days, and one of the consequences of that is that I’ve fallen behind on TV watching. However, I know what my priorities should be, and made a point to catch up with ‘American Horror Story’ before the next new episode airs tonight. At this point, the show has done just about everything possible to baffle viewers. What fresh madness did last week’s episode bring? How about a musical number? Yeah, sure, that’d do it.

Let’s try to catalog the insanity that episode ‘The Name Game’ offers, shall we?

First, Dr. Arden revives Kit from the brink of death, then lies to him about the aliens visiting. Arden is repeatedly taunted by Pepper, the microcephalic girl, who now speaks with remarkable eloquence. She berates him, “Why don’t you go to your whore-nun?” and warns him that the aliens will not allow him to harm Grace when he threatens to cut out her baby.

Mary Eunice has Arden electroshock Sister Jude. She spends most of the rest of the episode with her brains scrambled. As she tries to remember the names of the people around her in the asylum, Jude hallucinates an elaborate song-and-dance routine to Shirley Ellis’ “The Name Game.”

Monsignor Howard is recovering from his crucifixion. In flashback, we see that he was visited by the Angel of Death, who encouraged him to stop Mary Eunice. Howard attempts but miserably fails to exorcize the demon from the nun. In response, she seduces and rapes him. She teases, “Does it feel like a warm, wet hug?” Dr. Arden walks in and catches them in flagrante delicto.

Later, Howard apologizes to Jude for ever doubting her. In a moment of clarity, she tells him that he must kill Mary Eunice.

Depressed at being used like a puppet and apparently jealous of his once-sweet Mary Eunice’s depraved attention for the Monsignor, Arden shoots and kills all of his “creatures.” He tells a perplexed Mary Eunice that, “The experiment is over.”

Dr. Thredson has been released from captivity. In fact, he makes a point of visiting Lana and Kit to tell them that he’s taken a full-time position at Briarcliff. Walking the halls of the facility, Thredson hears screaming and discovers Grace in labor. He brings a dumbfounded Kit to see the resurrected mother and her new child, and trades him a reunion with Grace in exchange for the location of where he hid the recording of Thredson’s confession. Kit relents, but Lana has already moved it.

Mary Eunice senses what Howard is up to, and once again mocks him for being so weak and ineffectual. Just when it seems that he’s about to cower away in shame, Howard tosses Mary Eunice off a third-floor landing to her apparent death. This is… unexpected.

By episode’s end, Jude seems to be regaining her senses. However, when visited by the Mother Superior, she goes on a nutty spiel about marrying the Monsignor and going to Rome.

As if the death of Mary Eunice weren’t shocking enough, when Dr. Arden prepares her body for cremation, he hops on top and rides with it into the furnace. That seems like a most unpleasant method of suicide, not that there are many pleasant methods.

With the presumed death of two of the season’s major villains, this episode feels like a finale in many ways. (I say “presumed,” because knowing this show, this isn’t the last we’ll see of them.) Yet we have three episodes still to go. Of course, the Bloody Face storyline still needs to be dealt with, as do the aliens. Whatever other lunacy the series may have in store for those final three episodes, I can hardly imagine.

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