American Horror Story
Welcome to Briarcliff

Episode Report Card
Joe R: A- | 10 USERS: A-
Welcome to Briarcliff

Speaking of feminism and the patriarchy, our next scene takes us to the home of Miss Lana Banana, who is telling her female cohabitator, Wendy, (Clea DuVall, who is back in our lives in this AND Argo, so start celebrating) about her day and what a battle axe Sister Jude is. Lana is chain-smoking like any good reporter while Wendy's taking in a quick joint before dinner. She encourages Lana to go after the story, blow the lid off of Briarcliff like was done with Bedlam, win a Pulitzer. Lana complains about her editor at the Gazette, who doesn't know his ass from his elbow. She's going to write the story and send it out to Life or some such magazine. Wendy supports her 100%, and as the women get closer, it becomes even more obvious that they're partners, not roommates. Lana goes to kiss her, but Wendy gets up to close the blinds first. Lana thinks she's being paranoid, but Wendy has a teaching job to protect and she already has a tough enough time getting evolution into the curriculum. I know evolution was a pressing issue back in the '60s too, but that still feels like wedging a modern-day issue into bygone times, and if anything is going to annoy me about this season of AHS, it'll be that.

Who's ready for some sensory overload? Observe as Sister Jude simultaneously recites the "Hail Mary" and cooks up some decadent Coq Au Vin, while the show intercuts scenes of Sister Jude dressing, revealing a scarlet-red negligee to be work underneath her habit AND she's dabbing perfume around her cleavage area, all the while opera music is playing. I'm quite literally never going to be able to look at sautéing mushrooms again without feeling a little dirty. This is all in preparation for a secluded dinner with Monsignor Timothy Howard, played with all the handsome blandness you expect out of Joseph Fiennes. He compliments her cooking as unexpectedly decadent and calls her a "rare bird" both of which Sister Jude accepts warily, not knowing for sure they're compliments at first. She then gets to the point of her little dinner meeting: she wants to discuss Dr. Arden. She was under the impression that she and the Monsignor were simpatico on their mission statement here and their vision of "madness as a spiritual crisis; an absence of God." Dr. Arden is seemingly not a man of God at all; where'd he find him? Monsignor Howard is curt as he says that the Church approved him, and they're better equipped to judge his godliness than Sister Jude. "Your rare bird has a nose for rodents," Sister Jude says, and I cannot WAIT for a full season of lines like that. Howard goes into a whole monologue about how science can co-exist with God these days. They're living in amazing times -- they've almost put a man on the moon; a Catholic was elected President. "Anything can happen if someone wants it enough." Sister Jude wonders what they want other than to save souls and Howard takes her hand. He says his vision is that Briarcliff becomes such a renowned success that they are asked to be Cardinal in Rome. Sister Jude picks up on the plural pronoun and he says that she is his right hand, after all. Wherever he goes, she goes. At this point, the Monsignor keeps talking while Sister Jude starts unbuttoning her habit. He says that she will become Mother Superior, and he will become the first Anglo-American pope. More undressing, that red negligee making a return appearance. "You'd enjoy Rome," he says. Aaaand off comes the wimple! She's now straddling him, his piousness and ambition having proved to be an irresistible aphrodisiac. Of course, it's all in her head. When Howard tells her, about Dr. Arden, that he needs her to be a team player, her reverie is broken and they're just sitting at the table, clothed and chaste and at an impasse. Dr. Arden needs full oversight of his domain, Howard tells her. "You look after yours."

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American Horror Story




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