American Horror Story
I Am Anne Frank, Part 1

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Joe R: A- | 3 USERS: A+
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I Am Anne Frank, Part 1

Franka Potente is sitting at a card table in the middle of the common room, scribbling down a letter -- a "diary," if you will -- to her friend "Kitty." Among other things, she's fed up with the "relentlessly cheerful tune" that keeps playing all day. Which I guess puts her on Mrs. Flax's team. She writes that it feels like the walls are closing in on her, that it's "Amsterdam all over again." I know that "I Am Anne Frank" is the episode title and that anyone with a DVR saw that before the episode even began, but I think that makes these heavy thuds of foreshadowing even more fun. Lana approaches her and advises her to put the pen away -- if they catch her making notes, they'll put her in solitary. "In spite of the religious icons everywhere, this is a godless place," she says (and a hearty oh brother to that mouthful of a line). "You might want a friend," Lana offers. Franka just stares at her and then back to her writing. "Okay," Lana snaps, "I hope you like pain." I like how Briarcliff is eroding things like Lana's patience and kindness; she's becoming more like one of them every day. Next thing we see, Dr. Arden is making a rare appearance in the common room. "Hey," he calls out, "did somebody say I had to be in here for storyline purposes?" Franka zeroes in on him immediately and strides up to him. He greets her warmly (relative to his usual disposition, of course), but she just points a finger at him. "You were there. In Auschwitz." She starts screaming at him, "MURDERER! NAZI SWINE!" Arden gets very "What is the meaning of this??" about it and the orderlies grab her and hold her back. "Don't you remember me?!" she shouts at Arden. "I'M ANNE! ANNE FRANK!" Aaaand the show reaches another plateau.

After the break, Anne is in Sister Jude's office and Sister Jude is lightly mocking her, saying how delighted schoolchildren will be to learn she's alive. Anne's story, be it true or not, has the ring of plausibility, not least because it mirrors that of one Rose DeWitt Bukater. She says when the Bergen-Belsen camp was liberated, she was too sick to give them a name and so she never did. After the Brits nursed her back to health, she bounced around Germany as a pickpocket until meeting an American soldier, who took her to America with him, where they got married. He got shipped off to the Korean War though, and died in 1952. That same year, The Diary of a Young Girl was published in America and she found out her dad was still alive. But now, she saw, her life had become more important. "People finally started to pay attention to what they'd done to us. All because of a martyred 15-year-old girl." She says it was more important to stay dead -- to keep that girl 15 forever and a martyr forever. "Yah stahhrry," Sister Jude says, "is indecent." "YOU'RE indecent," Anne snaps. "You've got a Nazi war criminal working here." I have to say, as retorts go, that one's not bad.

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American Horror Story

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