I Am Anne Frank

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"I Am Anne Frank"
American Horror Story episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 4 & 5
Directed by Michael Uppendahl (Part 1)
Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (Part 2)
Written by Jessica Sharzer (Part 1)
Brad Falchuk (Part 2)
Featured music "It Could Be a Wonderful World"
by The Weavers
Production code 2ATS04 (Part 1)
2ATS05 (Part 2)
Original air date November 7, 2012 (2012-11-07) (Part 1)
November 14, 2012 (2012-11-14) (Part 2)
Guest actors
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Nor'easter"
Next →
"The Origins of Monstrosity"
American Horror Story: Asylum
List of American Horror Story episodes

"I Am Anne Frank" is a two-part episode, consisting of the fourth and fifth episodes of the second season of the FX anthology television series American Horror Story. The first part aired on November 7, 2012, and the second aired on November 14, 2012. The first part is written by Jessica Sharzer and directed by Michael Uppendahl, and the second part is written by Brad Falchuk and directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. The episodes' storylines follow a patient (Franka Potente) admitted to Briarcliff identifying herself as Anne Frank, as well as reveal the identity of the killer known as "Bloody Face". Both episodes are rated TV-MA (LSV).

Plot[edit]

Part 1[edit]

A woman is brought into the asylum for an "involuntary psychiatric hold" after a public brawl. The woman identifies herself as Anne Frank, who is presumed to have died of typhus 19 years ago at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. She claims that she had to let the public believe she was dead in order to not diminish the impact of the horrors of the camps. She spots Dr. Arden (James Cromwell), who resembles the camp's Dr. Hans Grüper, and attacks him. Grüper had conducted random experiments on the women there. Arden denies it, but there was some Nazi memorabilia previously found at his house.

Grace (Lizzie Brocheré) originally tells Kit (Evan Peters) that her step-sister had framed her for the deaths of their father and step-mother, committed by the sister's boyfriend, but later reveals to him that, in fact, she killed her father for sexually abusing her and also killed her step-mother for not doing anything about it.

Kit meets with Dr. Thredson (Zachary Quinto) and questions his own memory as Thredson shows him pictures of several victims, recounting what happened to each, including Kit's wife Alma (Britne Oldford). The doctor believes Kit could not function in society while secretly being married to a black woman. Kit skinned all his victims, even Alma, so all would look the same in death. This causes Kit to ponder which is true—the alien abduction or that he is a serial killer.

Thredson also suggests aversion therapy to Lana (Sarah Paulson), who thinks there is no cure for her "condition." He says they should try as it will increase her chances of a release. She relents, at first, but agrees and he shows her slides of nude women to aid her repulsion. He then brings in a male patient and has Lana touch both the patient and herself in sexual manner. She cannot complete this form of therapy. Thredson later promises Lana that he will take her with him when his asylum visit is over in a week.

Arden confronts Anne Frank to question her motives. She insists that he is Hans Grüper and he prepares to show her what he does at the asylum. She shoots him in the leg with a gun that she took from security guard Frank (Fredric Lehne) and then hears a groan from a closet. She opens it to find a disfigured Shelley (Chloë Sevigny), who begs Anne to shoot and kill her.

Part 2[edit]

Sister Jude asks Sam Goodman (Mark Margolis) to investigate Dr. Arden being a Nazi doctor. Sam mentions "Operation Paperclip" where Nazi scientists were given false identities from the OSS so they may freely work in the United States after World War II.

Jim Brown (David Chisum) arrives at the asylum to say "Anne Frank" is really his wife Charlotte, who has become obsessed with Anne's story. He takes her home but later returns her after she tries to smother their baby. Dr. Arden tells him of a way to help Charlotte become a "new" woman—a lobotomy.

Kit is asked by Dr. Thredson to record his admission of the murders on tape. He claims this will help Kit believe what really happened, as well as aid any future legal action to permanently commit him and avoid the death penalty. The recording, in conjunction with Thredson's file, is later used in Kit's arrest for the murders.

Arden tells Jude that he is pressing charges against her for allowing a patient to acquire a gun to shoot him and releasing, rather than punish, the patient. She expects to lose her job and leaves the asylum. Arden learns that Sister Mary had removed the disfigured Shelley from his lab while his wound was being treated at the hospital. He believes that she has placed Shelley outside with the Raspers, when Shelley is actually found in the stairwell near a school playground.

Thredson tells a rescued Lana she must hide at his home until they can expose the asylum's secrets. She becomes uneasy after seeing a homemade fleshy lampshade and a half-cranium-shaped bowl. She excuses herself to find his "hobby" room down the hall, where he drops her through a trap door after she asks about the various tools and drying skin. She later wakes to find herself chained to the floor near Wendy's (Clea Duvall) frozen body. Thredson, dressed in Bloody Face's clothes, asks her to kiss Wendy, saying she will not bite as he has removed her teeth to put in his fleshy mask, which he puts on.

At home, Charlotte appears as a normal wife and mother. She has packed away most of the clippings—all but one photo showing young Hans Grüper behind Adolf Hitler.

Production[edit]

Franka Potente (left) portrays an adult Anne Frank in the episodes and Zachary Quinto (right) portrays Dr. Oliver Thredson in the series.

The first part of "I Am Anne Frank" is written by co-executive producer Jessica Sharzer and directed by Michael Uppendahl, and the second part is written by co-creator Brad Falchuk and directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.

In a November 2012 interview with Entertainment Weekly, series creator Ryan Murphy spoke on several episode topics. Regarding the pace of the two-parter and the rest of the season episodes, he said "American Horror Story is always about a slow rollout of the season of reveals. The pace of these two is a little slower. The scenes are longer and I think more thoughtful than the pace of the first three. These are two of my favorite episodes in the history of the show. Also, in these episodes, I think we really understand the world a little more and what we're trying to write about which is the horror of the insane asylum back in the '50s and '60s and the degradation and the abuse, the real-life horrors. I think we really hit that in a great way in the Anne Frank story."[1]

Regarding the decision to do an episode about Anne Frank, Murphy said "We have a great writing staff but I will take credit for that. One of the things we've done on the show is we take historical figures—last year was the Black Dahlia and this year is Anne Frank. The Black Dahlia particularly was a case that was never solved so we solved that case in our way. The Anne Frank thing was always interesting to me because after the war, much like the Anastasia case, there were many women who came forward after that diary and said, 'Well I'm the real Anne Frank,' and they were struck down. Many of them were found to be mentally ill and suffering from schizophrenia, so I read about those cases. Before we even wrote one word of it, I thought there was sort of only one actress I was interested in playing Anne Frank and that was Franka. So I brought her in and said 'I'm gonna write this for you and would you do it.' And we had no script because we were very early on in the season. She loved the story and I sorta swore her to secrecy and God bless her heart she had like five months without telling anybody. I love how it came together."[1]

Last season, Murphy had spoken with Zachary Quinto about Dr. Oliver Thredson, who was revealed in Part Two as being the serial killer "Bloody Face." Quinto stated the knowledge "made it all the more fun for me to build the character in a way that made it seem like he was compassionate and supportive and concerned about the welfare of the patients at Briarcliff, but carrying these ulterior motives." He added that Thredson "carries a lot of secrets with him. He's very intelligent. But he's also very experienced at covering those sects and hiding them and maintaining them. There's a plan. He's fiercely intelligent, and obviously ruthless in his willingness to create this world he's making for himself. He's delusional within himself. He's not trying to sell you a story. He's trying to believe it himself. You will learn more in the coming weeks about what motivated him to these horrific crimes."[2]

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

Part One was watched by 2.65 million viewers, an increase from the previous episode, and received an adult 18-49 rating of 1.5.[3] Part Two was watched by 2.78 million viewers and received a 1.6 rating.[4]

Reviews[edit]

The Huffington Post's Joey DeAngelis stated: "Obviously the first part of 'I Am Anne Frank' isn't the finest hour of American Horror Story and didn't really do much to propel the story forward, but damn if it wasn't entertaining."[5] DeAngelis said Part 2 "hit major high notes, changing the course of the season for the better. It was topped off by a deliciously creepy performance from Zachary Quinto."[6] Amy Amatangelo of Paste called the first part "the strongest [episode] of the season," adding "the series stayed away from schlocky clichés in favor of deeper character development and a compelling guest star."[7] She thought the second part was "incredibly misogynistic," adding "What separates American Horror Story from an episode of Criminal Minds really? The show appears to be wallowing in torturing women."[8] IGN's Matt Fowler stated: "'I Am Anne Frank Pt. 2' was a killer episode filled with the right amount of twists and frights, capped off by a perfectly creepy turn by Zachary Quinto."[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Stack, Tim (November 8, 2012). "'American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy on the arrival of Anne Frank to the 'Asylum' -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  2. ^ Jensen, Jeff (November 15, 2012). "'American Horror Story': Zachary Quinto on this week's shocker and 'the most brutal, unsettling, affecting stuff I've ever done' -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 15, 2012. 
  3. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (November 8, 2012). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Duck Dynasty' Beats 'American Horror Story' + 'Moonshiners', 'South Park', 'The Daily Show' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  4. ^ Bibel, Sara (November 15, 2012). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'Duck Dynasty' Wins Night, 'American Horror Story', 'Moonshiners', 'The Daily Show', 'South Beach Tow' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 15, 2012. 
  5. ^ DeAngelis, Joey (November 8, 2012). "'American Horror Story: Asylum' Recap: 'I Am Anne Frank, Part 1'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  6. ^ DeAngelis (November 15, 2012). "'American Horror Story: Asylum' Recap: Bloody Face Revealed In 'I Am Anne Frank, Part 2'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  7. ^ Amantangelo, Amy (November 7, 2012). "American Horror Story Review: "I Am Anne Frank, Part 1" (Episode 2.04)". Paste. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  8. ^ Amantangelo (November 15, 2012). "American Horror Story Review: "I Am Anne Frank, Part 2" (Episode 2.05)". Paste. Retrieved November 17, 2012. 
  9. ^ Fowler, Matt (November 14, 2012). "American Horror Story: Asylum - "I Am Anne Frank, Part 2" (Episode 2.05) Review". 

External links[edit]