Did we tune into the wrong Ryan Murphy production? This week, American Horror Story went pop (no, really) as it tied up some loose ends from the winter finale. What was better than the musical number? The return of the Angel of Death, who took two more Briarcliff residents away.

The Players:

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

Episode Title: “The Name Game”

The Angel of Death may be this season’s best character (sorry, Sister Jude). Her return to Briarcliff was a welcome one – at least for viewers. The episode sees the final (maybe) demise of two Briarcliff mainstays and Thredson’s return to the asylum. After more than half a season of questions followed by more questions and confusion, we finally began to see hints of closure.

The Good:

  • Angel of Death: She’s back! The Angel of Death, makes her triumphant return to Briarcliff this week to claim two souls. She’s delightfully creepy and one of the series’ most layered characters. That’s impressive considering her brief screen time.
  • Mary’s Last Hurrah: Devil incarnate Sister Mary Eunice finally keeled over, but not after reaping more havoc. First, she makes a man out of Monsignor Timothy, getting to know him in the biblical sense (against his will). When Timothy asks now-crazy Sister Jude how to stop Mary, she tells him the only reasonable course of action: kill her. The real Mary is on board with this, because being possessed is no fun at all. Timothy throws her to death from the third floor of the asylum.
  • Creepiest Suicide Ever: Remember Dr. Arden’s obsession with Mary? He takes it to the grave – hers and his. He insists that she be cremated, which is sound enough logic, considering her demonic past. The creepy part comes when he climbs on her body and burns himself right along with her. So long, mad scientist.
  • Thredson Returns: With Mary and Arden out of the picture, Kit, Lana and Thredson are stepping even further into the spotlight. Lana has a two-year grace period to live – for gestation, birth and breast-feeding of the demon spawn – but Thredson’s determined to get rid of Kit and his confession tape. Of course, Lana has hidden it, meaning the only person worth torturing for Thredson is also carrying his mini-me. Decisions, decisions.

The So-So:

  • Sister Jude: The Musical: To illustrate Sister Jude’s crazy thanks to her electroshock therapy, AHS treated us to a musical hallucination. Does anyone quite know how to feel about that one? We sure don’t.

Overall:

“The Name Game” brought a lot of welcome answers and helped end some storylines. Between the Angel of Death’s reappearance and top-notch performances from series regulars, it was a standout episode.

Rating: 9/10

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

What did you think of this week’s episode?