TV Review: AMERICAN HORROR STORY ASYLUM Episode 3, 'Nor'easter'

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Oh dear. What’s happened to American Horror Story? Of all the possible directions it could have chosen to go into with its explosion-like premise, its gone down the weakest path.

Nor’easter, an American term for a northeaster or macro storm, aired two days after Hurricane Sandy touched down. But the real damage done here is the lazy plotting. Doctor Arden (James Cromwell) is a sexual sadist. We get it. Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) is torturing herself over a hit-and-run from her past. Fine. The other nun, Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) is possessed and wants to be evil. Ho-hum.

But what about UFO kidnapee Kit (Evan Peters) and this futuristic bug dug out of his neck? Why was the lover of betrayed lesbian Lana (Sarah Paulson) targeted by the infamous Bloody Face? Both are wrapped up in the serial killer enigma, the best plot direction suggested so far, seeing as its playing out in 2012 as well as 1964. But instead we get the jailers of the mad house going nuts and torturing themselves with repressed sexual lust or inner angst or an urge to spit the word Christians and wear lipstick.

And we get our first look at the things that live outside – and it’s a disappointment. Imagine The People under the Stairs but without the stairs.

When Zachary Quinto is the voice of quiet calm and patience you know when you’re in trouble. By this point in the first series, we had something like two deaths an episode, an affair from beyond the grave and a spandex sex pest ghost. Here we have some troubled nuns, a Nazi scientist and a woman who looks like a giant rat. We are hardly slopping against the high watermark set a year ago.

Stop messing about, American Horror Story, and wheel out the milky white nun with the black eyes.


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