American Horror Story Review: Continu-dumb
Leave it up to American Horror Story to introduce a new character in the closing episodes of the show, further proving that it cares not for well-thought out arcs of either the character or narrative flavors. In Continuum, we are treated to a cold opening in which Kit skulks around his home in nut huggers, holding an axe and covered in blood. It’s supposed to tantalize, but at this point, who really cares?
What’s more insane than the supposedly crazy cold opening is the new domestic setup that Kit has with Alma and Grace- both live in his home with their alien (??) children and we soon learn that he has his way with both of them whenever he wants. It’s something out of a TLC reality series and adds no dimensionality to the show other than revealing that Ryan Murphy is a huge Sister Wives fan. The time table is also very difficult to suss out because the two kids look markedly older than when we just left them in the last episode and yet there is reference of only “a few weeks” passing by Alma. Are the kids growing at a rapid pace? Is it a subtle clue or mislead? Behold! Another narrative fuck up for the show.
It seems that we just skipped ahead a few years because the kids keep getting older and the clothes get more hippie, but it’s hard to tell since everyone else looks the same. Grace and Alma have a fight about the abductions or something like that and Alma slaps her in the face, something I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time. Later that night Alma kills Grace with an axe, which brings us about-face to the cold opening; Kit takes it away from her, covered in blood because he was so close to Grace when the impact occurred.
We flash back to ’68 in the asylum. Jude (Jessica Lange) plays Candyland with the other patients and knows that she is legally dead, now called Betty Drake. Monsignor is now Cardinal of New York and he promises her release since Briarcliff is being turned over to the state soon. Later that day in the bakery, Jude sees the Angel of Death approach her…but it is in fact a transfer patient. Around the same time, Alma is also admitted into the asylum.
Jude goes back to her room to see Angel of Death-not-really rooming with her. But when AoD goes to give her a kiss and Jude attacks her, it’s actually a totally different patient. Speaking with head doctor Miranda Krump, it seems that months have passed and five different patients have met with the pummeling of Jude. She also learns the bombshell information that it has been over two years since Monsignor promised Jude her release, which should have been clued-up by Alma’s arrival, which would have happened years after 1968. But the whole point is moot anyway since Krump says that the state took over in 1966 even though the title card previously showed 1968. Yeah, go figure.
Later, in either another year or at the same time – who can tell anymore- Lana Winters is doing a signing and reading for her book Maniac, about her ordeal with Thredson. Kit shows up to the signing and Lana is kind of a total bitch for some reason. Kit tries to remind her that she promised to take down Briarcliff and is lost in her own fame, even though to properly tell the story of Thredson, she would have to talk about being falsely committed to the asylum, which would for all intents and purposes bring it down, but that’s clearly not been thought of or is important right now. What is important is that Alma died in the asylum for unknown reasons. Her heart just stopped. Eh, it was probably aliens.
Via a truly awful transition into modern day, Bloody Face, Jr. goes to a book store in the throes of going out of business and asks about a signed copy of Maniac. The dealer doesn’t exactly want to give up her sole signed copy, but when BFJ reveals in great detail the lengths he is going to go to to kill Lana Winters, his mother, she gives up the goods in an effort to get him out of the store and save his own life.
So it’s par for the course for American Horror Story. With the final episode about to air, we should be feeling a sense of closure for the story arcs of the show, but instead we are faced with more dead ends, more confusion, more narrative errors, and more frustration. It’s really another lost cause of a season at this point- wrapping everything up in one episode is going to feel rushed and sloppy, and if that doesn’t happen it’s going to be even worse.
I know I should look away, but I know I won’t be able to.
Season 2, Episode 12: “Continuum” (original airdate )
American Horror Story: Asylum airs Wednesdays at 10pm on FX.
Images courtesy of FX.