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American Horror Story: Asylum (season 2)
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This season is mostly set in the 1960s, but most episodes are framed by events in the present (2012). It begins with a newly married couple, Leo (Adam Levine) and Teresa (Jenna Dewan Tatum), exploring the ruined, long-abandoned insane asylum, Briarcliff Manor, in Massachusetts. The two of them are apparently horror junkies, and they're interested in the asylum because it's famous for having housed a serial killer known as "Bloody Face." After the opening scene, the story flashes back to 1964, when a white man named Kit Walker (Evan Peters) is married to a black woman named Alma, and the two of them suffer harassment because of their mixed marriage. Suddenly one night, some very supernatural-seeming stuff happens, and Alma disappears. Kit believes she was abducted by aliens. However, everyone else believes he killed his wife... and for some reason, they also believe him to be Bloody Face, with Alma being just the latest of his victims. So, he's confined to Briarcliff, which is owned by the church and run by Sister Jude (Jessica Lange). The actual director of the asylum is Monsignor Timothy Howard (Joseph Fiennes), who has ambitions to work his way up through the church hierarchy and eventually become Pope. It's a goal that Jude supports, though she also seems to have unspoken sexual feelings for him.

A journalist named Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) comes to Briarcliff to do a story on Bloody Face, and doesn't believe Kit's denial of having killed anyone. Meanwhile, Kit is befriended by another inmate named Grace Bertrand, who was accused of having killed her entire family. And... the chief physician at the asylum is Dr. Arthur Arden (James Cromwell). There is an intense rivalry between Arden and Sister Jude. Aside from Jude, the most important nun who works at Briarcliff is Sister Mary Eunice McKee (Lily Rabe), who seems very innocent. And... by the end of the first episode, Jude has had Lana committed to the asylum on grounds of homosexuality, after blackmailing Lana's secret girlfriend, Wendy Peyser. In the second episode, a court-appointed psychiatrist named Dr. Oliver Thredson (Zachary Quinto) is sent to Briarcliff to determine if Kit is competent to stand trial. Also, Mary Eunice ends up getting possessed by a demon.

Throughout the season, lots of weird stuff happens. And we learn more about the dark pasts of some characters, including Sister Jude. The darkest past apparently belongs to Dr. Arden, as in the fourth episode, a mental patient claiming to be Anne Frank (Franka Potente), also claims to recognize Arden as a Nazi doctor named Hans Grüper, who had performed horrific experiments on prisoners during the war. (Whether or not this is true, Arden is certainly performing horrific experiments on patients at Briarcliff, now.) Also, over the course of the season, various secrets are revealed, including the actual identity of Bloody Face. And some characters are occasionally visited by the Angel of Death (Frances Conroy). And eventually the present-day scenes introduce a character played by Dylan McDermott, but I don't want to reveal who that character turns out to be. In fact, I don't want to reveal any more of the twists and turns that the story takes throughout the season. But it's definitely interesting. Sometimes scary, sometimes fun, but always weird. Oh, one other thing I do want to mention is that in the common room of the asylum, there's a record player that is almost always playing this song. (It becomes kind of creepy, by association.)

Other than that... there are plenty of supporting characters I haven't mentioned. There's the head of security at Briarcliff, Frank McCann (Fredric Lehne). An inmate with microcephaly named Pepper (Naomi Grossman). A nymphomaniac inmate named Shelley (Chloë Sevigny). And... others I don't feel any need to mention (or remember). And some things are never really explained. And I don't know what else to say.


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