TV Recap: 'American Horror Story: Asylum' Episode 202 - 'Tricks and Treats'



American Horror Story: Asylum Episode 202
“Tricks and Treats”
Written By: James Wong
Directed By: Bradley Buecker
Original Airdate: 24 October 2012

In This Episode...

Sister Jude encourages Dr. Arden to give Lana electroshock therapy after she confiscates scribbled notes from her room. Arden is surprised for Sister Jude’s sudden change of heart on the issue, and encourages her to hold the tongs as they zap Lana’s brain. Even after the ECT, Lana keeps up her notes whenever she can. She and Grace are locked into “therapeutic” steam baths. Grace cuts both of them out, and Lana decides to trust Grace by telling her that she wants the two of them to escape through the tunnels that Lana first came in. Grace will not leave without Kit, but Lana still believes that Kit is a killer and refuses to help him escape.

We learn about Dr. Arden’s particular kinks tonight. He hires a hooker, who is surprised to find that he wants to have a romantic dinner and cultured conversation about classical music rather than head straight into the bedroom. She offers to dance for him, and he is infuriated by the vulgar shimmying. He commands her to sit and talks about the “killer of women” as he carves the roast. After dinner, he sends the hooker into the other room to wipe off all her makeup and put on a nun’s habit. He is clearly using her as a surrogate for Sister Eunice. While changing, the escort peeks in a small box on the dresser and discovers a small fetish pamphlet, some photos of women bound and gagged, and finally, photos of dismembered bodies. Arden bursts in, mad that she is taking so long, and is furious to find her snooping. He demands she lay on the bed, lift her skirt very slowly, and climbs on top. She bites his shoulder, knees him in the balls, and runs.

Dr. Oliver Thredson visits the asylum. A court-appointed psychiatrist, Thredson is there to determine if Kit is fit to stand trial. After meeting with him, he tells Sister Jude that he has not made a judgement on Kit yet, but that may be a way for Thredson to stay on a little longer. He accuses Sister Jude of horrible abuses, and maintains “progressive” beliefs, like homosexuality cannot be cured with ECT, but with “behavioral therapy.” Thredson interrupts Sister Jude while she is meeting with the Potters, who believe their son to be a chronic masturbator and possessed by the devil (it is not clear which they feel to be worse.) The last straw was when they found Jed in the barn, covered in blood after eviscerating a cow and speaking in tongues. Thredson wants to try drugs; Sister Jude believes an exorcism is in order. Monsignor Howard insists that Thredson attend the exorcism. 

During the exorcism, Sister Jude is made to wait outside with the parents (you know, being a woman and all.) It seems pretty clear that Jed is possessed. He convulses, he speaks in tongues, and he is able to throw items across the room without laying a finger on it. One of these things is a wheelchair-bound priest who ends up on his deathbed. While the old priest is being cared for, Monsignor Howard sends Sister Jude in. The demonic Jed knows all Sister Jude’s dirty secrets: that she wears fiery red knickers beneath her habit; that before she took her vows she was “the town pump” with at least “56 cocks in you;” and that she was involved in a drunken hit and run accident that left a young girl, walking home alone, dead. Sister Jude loses it and attacks Jed. Monsignor Howard pulls her off. Jed goes into cardiac arrest; Thredson attempts CPR. Jed sits up, gasps, then drops back to the bed, dead. A crucifix falls from the wall, and Sister Eunice faints.

The exorcism has caused a power failure and all the doors to swing open. Lana sees this as her chance to escape. She can’t do it without Grace, but Grace refuses to leave Kit. Lana won’t help Kit, so Grace decides they can make it on their own. Terrified, Lana screams for the guards and rats the two of them out. Grace and Kit are brought to Sister Jude for punishment; Lana’s reward for tattling is that she gets to watch them get caned. Kit takes the heat for Grace, and thus accepts her lashes, which seems to make Lana rethink Kit as a “killer of women.”

Also: The demon that possessed Jed has now clearly taken residence in Sister Eunice. Wendy is hysterical over Lana being locked up, and is determined to free her. Before she can, Bloody Face attacks. 

Dig It or Bury It?

I am enjoying this season much more than the first season. It’s like in season one, the producers felt that with any episode they could be canceled, so they jammed as much as possible into each episode. Season two feels more “restrained” in the sense that not every single scene unfolds at breakneck speed. I really enjoyed the portrayal of the exorcism in tonight’s episode - probably the most brutal exorcism since The Exorcist

I still have no idea what the point of the “modern” scenes are. Tonight, said modern scenes were limited to one, at the top of the show, with less than one full minute of actual screen time. 

Patient History

Shelly is frustrated that it is okay for men to enjoy sex, but if women do, they are whores. She discovered masturbation at age five, at which point her mother made her wear mittens to bed to keep her from playing with herself. She ran away from home (age undetermined) and hooked up with musicians, eventually marrying a bass player. Her husband slept around and expected Shelly to be the perfect Norman Rockwell wife. Instead, she decided to have some fun. Her husband found her in bed with two Naval officers. He beat her senseless and had her committed. 


A huge storm is coming, forcing the inmates into the basement. Arden believes that Sister Eunice is corrupt. Dr. Thredson floats the idea that maybe Kit isn’t Bloody Face, and the real killer is still out there - an idea that doesn’t go over well with Sister Jude.