Directed by Bradley Buecker
Written by Tim Minear
Before I even forget – Pepper is six kinds of fucked up.
Ten months of waiting was worth it. If you’re familiar with the first season, then you know the near comic appeal of both seasons’ opening segments. Current day newlyweds on a haunted honeymoon tour rush into the abandoned and haunted Briarcliff Manor without hesitation. They, of course, find more than they bargain for in their search for the legendary killer, Bloodyface.
Welcome to Briarcliff exposes us to a new world of American horror. 1964 finds evil in many forms, some old, some new. The end message is the same: humans wear many masks under the veil of evil. A devilishly tongued Sister Jude (Lange), runs a mental institution that seeks to identify and treat evil in its guise of mental illness. Her character is already rich with sexual repression, a dictator-like exterior, and perhaps her heart is even in the right place. She clashes with the newly instituted Dr. Arden (Cromwell) in a standoffish power struggle of faith versus science. Arden has his own secrets, this is AHS after all, but you can discover those on your own.
Meet Kit Walker (Peters), a young white man secretly married to a black woman. His character is the polar opposite of Tate Langdon, full of warmth and kindness instead of rage. After what can only be described as an extraterrestrial encounter, Kit finds his way to Briarcliff, accused of being the murderous Bloodyface, even responsible for skinning his former wife. This alone could carry the season, but there’s so much more. It shares season one’s penchant of disrespect for women, creepy oldies songs, kinky sexual behavior, and sudden and disturbing acts of violence. Throw a lesbian detective into the mix, classic Catholic discipline, sexually charged undertones of lust, an unimaginable evil that Arden is sustaining, and we have one hell of a season.
This shift in time and location serves its purpose well; to remind us the evil has always been, that we’re just looking for excuses to hurt each other, and history is definitely repeating itself in the AHS universe. This rapidly passing hour binds me to the next eleven hours. This met my high expectations and obvious hype. Genius thus far.