Nor'easter (American Horror Story)
|American Horror Story episode|
|Directed by||Michael Uppendahl|
|Written by||Jennifer Salt|
|Original air date||October 31, 2012|
|Running time||41 minutes|
"Nor'easter" is the third episode of the second season of the anthology television series American Horror Story, which premiered on October 31, 2012 on the cable network FX. The episode is written by Jennifer Salt and directed by Michael Uppendahl.
Nor'easter was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Miniseries or a Movie.
The episode focuses on the asylum's staff attempt to maintain order as a fierce storm hits the area, allowing some patients to try another escape. Chloë Sevigny guest stars as Shelley. The episode originally aired two days after Hurricane Sandy's U.S. landfall. This episode is rated TV-MA (LSV).
Hearing her screams from behind the door, Teresa (Jenna Dewan Tatum) is spotted by Bloody Face who kicks open the door and attacks her. Grabbing her, Bloody Face then throws Teresa against a wall, knocking her unconscious. Bloody Face prepares to kill Teresa when Leo (Adam Levine), in an attempt to save her life, throws himself into Bloody Face's way, knocking both of them onto the floor and Bloody Face unconscious. While Teresa regains consciousness, Leo kicks the murder weapon away from Bloody Face towards Teresa. Grabbing the weapon, Teresa violently stabs Bloody Face. They attempt to run down the hall to escape and another Bloody Face on the other end stops them. In disbelief, they turn around to see a third Bloody Face, who fatally shoots them. The two Bloody Faces removed their masks and discuss the recent events, with one appearing nervous of their crime. One of them notices Leo's arm and questions it just as another Bloody Face approaches them.
Sister Mary Eunice (Lily Rabe) brings Sister Jude (Jessica Lange) the mail and a newspaper – dated June 28, 1949 in Framingham – with a picture of the "missing" girl (Chelsey Valentine) that Jude hit with her car. Sister Mary Eunice later announces in the dayroom that the movie The Sign of the Cross will be shown to the residents to soothe them during the coming storm. A suspicious patient (Gloria Laino), who can sense Mary Eunice is possessed, tells "Satan" to stay away from her. Dr. Arden (James Cromwell) has again strapped down Kit (Evan Peters), after seeing the removed chip seamlessly come together when he dissects it and it seeming eager to return to Kit. Arden fears the Stasi, the KGB or even the American Jews have sent Kit to spy on him. He re-opens Kit's neck wound to look for more evidence.
Mary Eunice thinks the communion wine has been pilfered and delivers some to Jude, who notices she is wearing bright red lipstick. Mary Eunice tells her Arden gave it to her, saying it is Jude's favorite color (alluding to the red lingerie Jude wears). Mary Eunice visits and tries to seduce Arden. He rebuffs her and she laughs at him. She later enters the suspicious female patient's room to pray with her, stabs her while she is kneeling, and takes her body outside to the Raspers.
Dr. Thredson (Zachary Quinto), put in charge of setting up the dayroom movie, is approached by Lana (Sarah Paulson) to deliver a note to Wendy (Clea DuVall) at home. She has not heard from her since being committed. Knowing that this would violate Jude's orders, Thredson agrees. Shelley asks Grace (Lizzie Brocheré) to allow her to escape with her and Kit. She cites Anaïs Nin's Delta of Venus and wishes to go to Paris, where sexual freedom is allowed.
Jude accuses Arden of corrupting Mary Eunice, while he believes it to be Shelley and Jude's lack of control. She goes to her office and receives a phone call from a young girl who says she "left" her. Jude drinks the entire bottle of communion wine and drunkenly introduces Briarcliff Manor's inaugural movie night, quoting "You'll Never Walk Alone" from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, while Arden studies the lipstick tube in his office. A radio announces the approaching storm and strange lights in the sky. Kit's removed implant rattles in a jar.
Thredson relates his visit to Wendy's empty house to Lana. He reports that he believes Wendy to have been murdered due to similarities between her empty house and the scenes of the other Bloody Face murder victims. He knows the police will not continue investigating as they believe Kit is the killer. Mary Eunice revels in the Christian persecution part of the movie, while Shelley, Lana, Grace, and Kit sneak out to begin their escape. Arden uses the lipstick to mark up a white statue of the Virgin Mary, repeating the word "whore," and sends it crashing to the floor. Jude searches the ward for the missing suspicious female patient and sees an alien in a lightning flash.
Three escapees giddily reach the outside, but Arden catches Shelley, who had distracted a patrolling attendant by performing oral sex on him. Grace, Kit, and Lana discuss heading for the main road where Lana is told she will be on her own at that point. In the dayroom, Thredson notices and reports the empty chairs. The Raspers, who are revealed to be humanoid, force the three escapees to return inside the asylum tunnel, where they stumble upon the dead Mexican and other corpses. Mary Eunice fetches a sobering Jude to tell her of the escape. Jude shuts the movie, and any other future group events, down, telling the group they can thank the missing sexual deviant, the Mexican, and Pepper (Naomi Grossman) for the disruption. Lana, Grace, and Kit, although shivering and wet, have returned to their seats.
In his laboratory, after a failed attempt to rape Shelley who laughs at the size of his penis, Arden informs her that she is being blamed as the instigator of the escape attempt and everyone believes she is outside the asylum. She promises anything if he lets her walk out of there, but he assures her that she will not, as he pulls back the sheet covering her, revealing he has amputated both of her legs.
In a November 2012 interview with Entertainment Weekly, series creator Ryan Murphy spoke on several episode topics. About the timing of the episode's airdate with Hurricane Sandy's landfall, he said, "It's very strange and somewhat sad. We wrote this script I think in June. We based it on several big 50s and 60s Nor'easters that hit the East Coast, obviously not as severe as the one that just hit. It's very eerie." About Jessica Lange's performance, he said, "She's never really played a drunkard in her career so her doing this big drunk monologue that has both comedy and tragedy sometimes within a single minute and I think she just killed it. I think its really brilliant and tragic and it contains my favorite line she's ever said, which is 'Charles Laughton is an enormous whoopsie.' I thought that was really quite brilliant. Jessica Lange talking about Charles Laughton is just great. I know it was very challenging and she had a great time doing it. It was just a master class in acting."
"Nor'easter" was watched by 2.47 million viewers, receiving an adult 18-49 rating of 1.5, the highest numbers for cable television of the night.
Rotten Tomatoes reports a 90% approval rating, based on 10 reviews. The critical consensus reads, ""Nor'easter" tightens the focus on plot, while maintaining its trademark campy, scary thrills." Todd VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club gave the episode a B rating, stating, ""Nor'easter" is the weakest episode of the season so far, but it also has more than enough wacky shit going on to keep me entertained." Amy Amatangelo of Paste gave it a 6.5 out 10 rating, stating, "American Horror Story: Asylum is a completely wackadoodle series. This we know. But even when I accept this premise, the drama still sends me over the edge with its utter ridiculousness. Everything was completely over-the-top in "Nor'easter"."
- Stack, Tim (November 1, 2012). "'American Horror Story': Ryan Murphy talks the shocking fate of SPOILER and reveals Franka Potente's super-secret role -- EXCLUSIVE". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- Bibel, Sara (November 1, 2012). "Wednesday Cable Ratings: 'American Horror Story' Wins Night, 'South Park', 'Duck Dynasty','Face Off', 'Key & Peele', 'South Beach Tow' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
- "Nor'easter – American Horror Story: Asylum, Episode 3". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
- VanDerWerff, Todd (October 31, 2012). "American Horror Story – Nor'easter". The A.V. Club. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
- Amatangelo, Amy (October 31, 2012). "American Horror Story Review: "Nor'easter" (Episode 2.03)". Paste. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
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