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Get Committed: 5 Things We Learned From the American Horror Story: Asylum Premiere

Date October 17, 2012

Sarah Paulson

Anthology series American Horror Storykicked off its second chapter, subtitled Asylum, and it made the first season look like child's play.

Set in the 1960s, the series takes viewers inside Briarcliff Manor, an asylum for the criminally insane run by the Catholic Church. Where the first season was the study of adultery, Year 2 takes a look at the definition of insanity. From those who run the asylum all the way down to the inmates, it's anyone's guess as to who is truly sane. 

American Horror Story's second season asks: What is sanity?

Since Season 2 is a completely different story from the first season, with completely different characters, let's take a look at the 5 things we learned from the season premiere:

1. A dis-arming honeymoon spot: In modern day, newlywed lovers Leo (Adam Levine) and Teresa (Jenna Dewan-Tatum) are spending their honeymoon having sex in each of the 12 most-haunted places in America, one of them being Briarcliff Manor, which still holds plenty of spooks even though it has been condemned. Leo learns this the hard way when his whole arm is ripped off. As Teresa tries to get him out of Briarcliff, she realizes they've been locked in and attempts to get out through the death tunnel, but her path is blocked by — wait for it — Bloody Face, this season's equivalent to Rubber Man.

2. Briarcliff's sick past: Briarcliff Manor was once the largest tuberculosis ward on the East Coast, claiming more than 46,000 lives before the Catholic Church turned it into an asylum. In the '60s, the asylum is headed up by Monsignor Timothy Howard (Joseph Fiennes), the tough-as-nails nun Sister Jude (Jessica Lange), who has a penchant for wearing red lace underneath her robes of God, doormat Sister Eunice (Lily Rabe) and Dr. Arthur Arden (James Cromwell), whose failed experiments seem to be haunting the woods outside Briarcliff with an insatiable hunger for human flesh.

3. Bloody Face suspect No. 1: Happy-go-lucky gas station attendant Kit Walker (Evan Peters) and his African-American wife had to hide their interracial marriage during that era. After three women are found decapitated and skinned, Kit is accused of being the infamous serial killer Bloody Face. In truth (we think), Kit and his wife were both abducted by aliens, who are still holding her captive. The only one who's on his side is fellow inmate Grace (Lizze Brocheré).

Deadwood alum Ian McShane joins American Horror Story: Asylum

4. Commitment issues: Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson) comes to Briarcliff under the guise of writing a puff piece about the manor's bakery, but she's really there to gain access to the newly incarcerated Bloody Face. After encouragement from her life partner, Wendy (Clea Duvall), Lana decides to write an exposé on Briarcliff, which requires her to sneak back into the hallowed halls. Lana is then forcefully committed after Jude blackmails Wendy into signing a sworn statement that her lover is insane. Lana is now among the other inmates including nymphomaniac Shelley (Chloe Sevigny), possibly sane Grace and hothead Spivey (Mark Consuelos). 

5. More Manor mysteries: Briarcliff's secrets extend further than how those in charge deal with the inmates. Within a spare room, adorned with scratches on the walls, lies something, or someone, who was the cause of Leo losing his arm and knocking out Lana. The question is: What is it? Could it be Bloody Face? Or something even more terrifying?

What did you think of the American Horror Story: Asylumpremiere? Will you be sticking around to learn the secrets of Briarcliff? And who do you think will be the first real casualty of the season? Hit the comments!

American Horror Storyairs Wednesdays at 10/9c on FX.

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