By Zach Sparks
9:35 AM EST, November 22, 2012
Evil has many faces. This episode proved evil comes in many sizes, too.
A young girl is dropped off at Briarcliff by her mother, who believes her daughter Jenny stabbed her child playmate, Josey.
Jenny told police that a tall, bearded man with a brown coat was the murderer. Maybe if Kit blamed Alma's death on Jesse James or Santa Claus instead of aliens, he'd be free too.
Sister Jude doesn't know what to do with the mini homicidal sociopath so she entrusts Jenny to the perfect babysitter -- Satan Mary Eunice.
Among the invaluable advice Mary Eunice gives Jenny:
"She deserved it, that Josey."
"You were born with the gift of authentic impulse."
"Don't be a whiner. You're smarter than they are. Maybe you just need to learn how to defend yourself."
Jenny's tenure at Briarcliff doesn't last long, as Sister Jude sends her home prematurely. Coincidently, Jenny's whole family ends up dead. Her brothers and sisters are found with their throats slashed and her mom with a knife in the back.
That tall, bearded man with the brown jacket is really keeping busy.
The origins of monstrosity
Zachary Quinto continues to shine in his portrayal of Oliver Thredson, convincing as both the once soft-spoken doctor and now hostile maniac.
The episode's title refers to both Thredson and Arden, as we're treated to more backstory on both characters.
Thredson's mental illness stems from abandonment issues. His mother left him as a child and the future Buffalo Bill was raised in an orphanage.
That's unfortunate for Thredson, but it doesn't fully explain his behavior. Mogli from the "Jungle Book" was raised by wolves and he didn't go on a killing spree.
Lana tries to appeal to Thredson's emotions in hopes that he will relate to her. And it works. With his Bloody Face mask on, Thredson attempts to kill Lana but she lets him call her mommy and the situation is diffused.
Thredson crawls into the fetal position and all is well. Of course, everything would have been fine in the first place if Kit didn't call Thredson a liar on the phone and the psychiatrist's plan wasn't discovered by those meddling kids/mental patients.
Anyway, back to Thredson's upbringing.
The doctor had to experience somewhat of a normal adolescence, as he was able to ride his intelligence to medical school. It was there that he realized his obsession with skin. But the cold subjects used for medical research weren't warm enough for his liking. So Thredson developed a routine to capture living subjects.
From beauty to the beast
Speaking of living subjects, Dr. Arden's experimentation on Shelley rendered her unable to breath properly and last episode, the creature was terrorizing school children.
Monsignor Timothy Howard visits Shelley in the hospital and does both of them a favor by ending her miserable existence.
The condition of Shelley surprises the Monsignor and a flashback of his first encounter with Arden shows us Howard may not be as bad as we were led to believe.
Monsignor Timothy Howard had good intentions when he allowed the asylum to be run by Arden or Hans Gruper or SS Nazi or whatever his name is these days.
Arden promised the monsignor that his experiments were for the greater good and that they would help prevent future disease.
At the time, Arden was treating cases of tuberculosis.
It wasn't until the monsignor saw Shelley that he saw the truth. Presenting the truth didn't go so well in a conversation with Arden.
"Briarcliff is a receptacle for human waste," Arden tells the monsignor. "Each patient, the perfect example in evolutionary failure."
"Have you lost your mind? Why on Earth would you do this?" answers Howard.
Dr. Arden wins the argument by reminding the monsignor the men are in a joint agreement. If Arden goes down, so does little Timmy.
Arden uses that to his advantage to turn the monsignor against the other person majorly affected by the pact between the two men ... Sister Jude.
Never can say goodbye
Sister Jude is abruptly fired by the monsignor and told that she's been recommended to run a home for wayward girls in Pittsburgh.
The news stuns Sister Jude, but she decides to be a good sport by sharing a glass of wine with Dr. Arden before packing her belongings.
Not one to go quietly or live up to her holy standards, Sister Jude slips drugs in Dr. Arden's drink as a parting gift.
Arden tells Sister Mary Eunice, "I'm not a monster. I'm a visionary." He also says his creatures are being designed to rival weapons being created by opposing nations.
What kind of nation is going to be threatened by legless creatures with stubby arms that can barely see or breathe?
What we learned:
Mommy issues give you a license to kill, at least if you're Dr. Thredson.
Some former Nazis are exceptionally gifted at using blackmail as a means of manipulating others.
Sister Mary Eunice refuses to let anyone bring down Dr. Arden. She kills Sister Jude's private investigator Sam Goodman (Arden calls him the Israeli Sherlock Holmes) and she hid Shelley when Sister Jude was poking around the laboratory. I'm still trying to determine what motivates the possessed Mary Eunice and what she's trying to accomplish at Briarcliff.
What to expect next week:
A character resembling the angel of death pays visits to Grace and Sister Jude.
Next week's preview showed Sister Mary Eunice throwing Dr. Arden around. It's time for her to stop playing nice with Dr. Arden.
Lana will try to survive another week in the basement of Bloody Face. Her livelihood will depend on her ability to keep playing house.