Wednesday’s American Horror Story struck a necessary balance. It was an episode that consisted of both drama and screams. The Angel of Death paid visits to several characters this week — some of which ended with a kiss.

The Players:

  • Director: Michael Rymer
  • Writer: Tim Minear
  • Cast: Zachary Quinto, Joseph Fiennes, Sarah Paulson, Evan Peters, Lily Rabe, Lizzie Brocheré, James Cromwell, Jessica Lange

Episode Title: “Dark Cousin”

The Angel of Death comes to Briarcliff (and beyond, since the residents have scattered) to visit souls nearing the end. This means goodbye for a character we’ve come to love and near farewells for others. The nuns are back in the spotlight as Sister Mary gets way evil and Sister Jude confronts her past.

The Good:

  • The Angel of Death: What a great character! The Angel of Death (played by season one’s Frances Conroy) is the right balance of creepy, beautiful, menacing and benevolent. She encompasses everything death should be and the scene in which she outs Sister Mary Eunice as her fallen, dark cousin is fantastic.
  • Lana’s Escape: Poor Lana. She’s probably the biggest fighter of the series and it never seems to work out for her. This week, Dr. Thredson decides he can’t keep her around, but says that since he cares about her, he’ll put her under to make the death is painless. Lana resists death’s kiss and fights Thredson off, doping him with the drugs intended for her. She also chokes him with her chains before hightailing it out of the house. Unfortunately, the man who picks her up on the road is preparing for his own suicide after discovering his wife’s affair. He shoots himself while the car is going 50 miles per hour. Lana survives the crash, but wakes up back in Briarcliff.
  • Sister Mary, Quite Contrary: When confronted by the Angel of Death, the true Sister Mary shows up for a few seconds and begs for the end. The demon inside takes control again and says they’re both very happy here. Mary goes on to be exactly as evil as we’ve been hoping for.
  • Sister Jude Considers Ending It: After learning that Sister Mary Eunice killed the nazi hunter and planted evidence about Jude’s old hit and run, Sister Jude considers suicide and has her own conversation with the Angel of Death, who has obviously spoken with her before. She decides she’s ready to die, but she needs to atone for her crimes first. When she goes to visit the family of the girl she hit, she learns that she survived the accident. Jude isn’t a murderer after all.

The So-So:

  • Goodbye Grace: We hate to write off Grace’s death, because we’ve certainly come to care about her, but once she departs with the final words, “I free,” it seems like it was her time to go.

Overall:

“Dark Cousin” hit the creepy notes that keep you thinking after the episode ends and set the season up for its final twists. The Angel of Death is such a fantastic character, we can only hope she returns before the finale.

Rating: 9/10

American Horror Story: Asylum airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FX.

What did you think of this week’s episode?